An Enigma

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.—Umberto Eco

Another Change of Plan

Quebec City

Originally, Martine and I planned to take our Fall vacation in the American South, but then two things happened to make us change our minds:

  1. News kept hammering on a massive drought and heat wave throughout the entire area, with temperatures above 100° Fahrenheit almost every day. We didn’t like the idea of vacationing in a disaster area.
  2. Los Angeles was hit with a three-week heat wave (which, thankfully, has abated somewhat).

Then, Martine thought it would be nice to see her old friend Angéla Piquéras in Paris while she was still alive, but she was dismayed by the cost of doing so. (That was a pity, because I would have loved visiting France again.)

It was then that I suggested the Maritime Provinces of Canada. We had been in Nova Scotia briefly in 2008 and really enjoyed it. This time, we would, in addition to Nova Scotia, see parts of New Brunswick, Quebec, and Northern New England. We fly to Manchester, New Hampshire, rent a car there; see a couple of places in Vermont that we love; have breakfast at Polly’s Pancake Parlor in Sugar Hill, New Hampshire (the best breakfasts in all of Christendom); pay a short visit to Quebec City; take the St. John River Drive in New Brunswick and see the tides of the Bay of Fundy; visit Cap Breton National Park in Nova Scotia; swing south to Annapolis Royal; and return to Manchester via Acadia National Park in Maine.

Despite all the long miles, it would be a good trip—and it would be in an area where the weather would not scorch our hides. On the other hand, we are bound to have a few days of rain, but for Southern Californians like us, that would be a welcome novelty. We would make it a point to stay in as many French-Canadian-owned places as possible, so that Martine could keep up her French (she was born in Paris).

If you’re interested in seeing the 740-odd pictures from our last trip to Eastern Canada, you can click here and select the slideshow option on Yahoo! Flickr. You can even display my captions. By the way, here’s a picture of Polly’s Pancake Parlor from seven years ago:

(It’s really that good!)

Because I am an impossible bookworm, I am thinking of reading Francis Parkman’s great study of the French and Indian War, Montcalm and Wolfe, from my Kindle as I travel. Canadian history is interesting in that the United States is one of the great villains: We invaded Canada twice, during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Both times, we were beaten back by the British. You may be interested in this website about Sir Isaac Brock, the always outnumbered, always outgunned British colonel who nonetheless frustrated two American invasions.