But before we’re immersed in brand new adventures, I want to complete writing about the last part of our 2019 journey, as we traveled from Nova Scotia to Florida. Browsing through photos, I feel as though I’ve pried the lid off of a time capsule.
A Time Of Blissful Freedom
Looking back, the autumn of 2019 now seems like a time of blissful freedom: Uncrowded campgrounds. Peaceful hiking trails. Exciting excursions to New York City, Boston, and Washington, D.C. Leisurely mask-free time in extraordinary museums. The camaraderie of sitting elbow-to-elbow with convivial strangers in fabulous little local restaurants.
Will life ever be quite the same? It’s too early to know. But I do know that I’m grateful for the experiences we’ve had. And we’ll continue adjusting to life as it unfolds. Ever onward, friends.
The Farthest Easternmost Point Of The U.S.
My last post from our 2019 journey left off in New Brunswick in the lovely little town of St. Andrews, after a near-perfect summer in the Maritimes. (Seriously, if you haven’t been to the Maritimes, and you can get yourself there, GO!)
Just 68 miles from St. Andrews is the rustic little village of Lubec, Maine. The third week in September, we entered back into the U.S. and began our leisurely journey down the East Coast.
West Quoddy Head Lighthouse
Lubec is well known for the iconic red-and-white striped lighthouse at West Quoddy Head, the easternmost point of land in the United States. Here, you can catch the very first rays of morning sun in the U.S. I assure you, we did not do that. But we did enjoy a beautiful day of visiting the lighthouse and hiking the trails at Quoddy Head State Park.
To experience as much as possible of the park, we combined several trails for a four-mile loop that took us along the rugged coast and through a beautiful bog.
Click on photos for a larger image
Visiting Roosevelt Campobello International Park
One of the main things we wanted to do while in Lubec was to visit Campobello Island, a small pine-covered island nestled in the Bay of Fundy. Once the summer retreat of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, it’s now an international park jointly owned by the U.S. and Canada.
Campobello Island is located in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, so just two days after returning to the U.S., we turned around and drove four miles back into Canada. Although we had to go through customs both ways, it was quick and painless.
The visitor center offers exhibits and short, interesting films about the Roosevelts.
The rambling thirty-four room Roosevelt “cottage” is preserved as it was in 1920. It’s old-fashioned, lovely, and comfortable, with wicker furniture, flowered wallpaper, kerosene lamps, and a wide veranda with a view of the bay. We thoroughly enjoyed our tour with an engaging interpretive guide.
Tea With Eleanor
In addition to our excellent tour of the Roosevelt home, we also had tea with Eleanor. Well, of course we didn’t really have tea with Eleanor. But did enjoy a leisurely hour-and-a-half listening to fascinating stories about one of America’s most beloved First Ladies while sipping Eleanor’s favorite tea blend (it was delicious!) and nibbling on fresh baked ginger cookies (also delicious).
Eleanor Roosevelt loved the tradition of afternoon tea, and she loved conversation. She was well known for her egalitarian views, and was far more interested in people’s ideas than in their social standing. Every day, she invited whomever she happened to meet on the island to join her for tea.
Eleanor Roosevelt accomplished remarkable things during her life. She redefined the role of First Lady of the United States, which was originally merely ceremonial. She advocated for women’s rights and racial equality. During FDR’s presidency, she held press conferences and wrote a daily column. After his death, she was appointed the first Chairperson of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, where she successfully lobbied for the passage of the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
Eleanor’s Question: “What Can Be Done?”
Most of all, Eleanor Roosevelt maintained that everything that is happening in our world is also happening in our own backyards. She always asked, “What can be done?” and believed that our work is to focus on how we can make a difference in our communities.
We heard many inspiring stories during our Tea with Eleanor, and also had some good laughs. Eleanor’s license to carry a pistol was passed around. The backstory was that she traveled great distances every year in service of her many projects, both during and after FDR’s presidency. She insisted on driving her own car, much to the dismay of the Secret Service. Their compromise: A pistol. According to those who knew her well, she agreed—but only carried the permit, not the pistol.
About The Campground
Sunset Point RV Park was a lovely place to stay for a few days in Lubec. The setting is beautiful, sites are water and electric only but the rates are reasonable, and there’s a dump station, laundry and free wifi.
Lovely photos Laurel! Let’s go back to 2019–but then we wouldn’t be finished with this huge project–no, let’s not go back but it sure would be great if we could lose these masks! Mike and I have been to Nova Scotia–my work sent me and he accompanied me–so beautiful! And I would love to visit Acadia NP but that’s probably not going to happen with Mike–maybe someone else–my sister??
We really enjoyed the Maritimes and east coast. We’re settled and nested in a home but miss the road enough to start looking for another (smaller) RV for new adventures. Maybe we’ll make it out your way in the winter….
Oops… didn’t mean to make that post a reply… :)
Haha, easy to do! :-) I’m always glad to hear from you, Riley.
Yes! Get another RV! And come to visit us! We would love to see you and Karen.
Always illuminating and fun! Thanks for continuing your wonderful pictorial and verbal history.
I appreciate your kind comment, Charles. It really does inspire me when I know that people are enjoying reading what I write. There’s so much interesting history and beauty in our country!
That’s a good point, Janna. I really wouldn’t want to return to 2019 if it meant we had to go through 2020 and 2021 again. 😳 How cool that you and Mike have been to Nova Scotia. We absolutely loved everything about our summer in the Maritimes! And I know you would love Acadia NP.
Well I have to admit that I am genuinely impressed by your ability to recall all these details from what seems like a lifetime ago, including the trails you took and what you learned during your tours. I guess all those digital photos are helping out. It’s interesting that the Roosevelts took summer vacations outside the US. I’m sure the press would have a field day with any president who tried that today! But from the photos I can certainly see why Franklin and Eleanor loved this area…. at least in the summer.
Shannon, it helps to have a million photos from every place that we visit. Browsing through them brings everything back in detail! And I must admit, I also make a few notes to myself about the things we do. I never thought about it, but I guess the Roosevelts were the only presidential family that had a summer home outside of the U.S. It’s not very far outside of the U.S., LOL.
Love the outdoor life style you both have….
I also love the outdoors.
I make four DVD’s updates ever year from our visits since 1972
to last week!
Cannot post pictures of the DVD’s on your site….So just names.
California Highway One: 582 miles, Eastern Malibu to Fort Bragg
California Highway 395: 265 miles, Eastern Sierras, River, lakes, mountains, etc.
Needles, CA then Colorado River:325 miles Havasu Lake south to Las Veagus North.
Valley of Fire, CA. State Park
DVD’s go from 30 min to 1 hr. 30 min.
Thank you, Bob. It sounds like you’re continuing to have wonderful adventures in some of the most beautiful parts of our country. That’s quite a historical record you’ve created!
A time capsule, indeed. What a perfect place to spend time in while we were all so blissfully ignorant about what lay ahead. You are completely right about the Martimes being a must-see for travelers. Between the scenery, history, food, and natural wonders, it packs a big punch. You know I’m looking forward to all your east coast cities posts, but this one provides a nice balance of calm before all the traffic and swearing. :)
Laura, we really were blissfully unaware of what awaited us, weren’t we? It’s a good lesson in living in the present moment, because there’s really nowhere else for us to be.
I’m on a roll now, and you’ll soon be immersed in posts from ALL of the cool east coast cities! You know us, we try to do everything, haha!! And interestingly enough, we did not have problems with traffic. That’s probably because our strategy was, as always, to not stay in the city, but to stay outside in a peaceful place and take public transportation into the city. It worked out well, and I’m excited to write about our adventures!
Whew, I can comment on this one! LOL I can’t believe that was 2.5 years ago already. I also can’t believe you were at the easternmost point in the U.S. and didn’t go see first light. What the heck, woman?! My favorite picture of this post is the one of E.R.’s permit because, clearly, the “L” key on the typewriter was broken, and they had to use the “1” key instead! :D
Haha, you are a tough taskmaster, my friend! Believe me, I will stay the course and ONLY write about our 2019 travels until I’m caught up. Which better be by the time we leave here in June.
You will have to go see first light for me. I prefer my mornings to be leisurely. But I do love my sunsets. :-) You are very observant—I didn’t even notice the “1” substituted for the “l.”
Thanks for catching us up! Loved learning about Campobello Island.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Nancy. I’m happy to hear from you, and hope you’re doing well!
Thank you so much for this lovely post, Laurel.
Just love your name too. To Joodie above, the capitol L works.
Kathryn, I always enjoy hearing from you and receiving your good wishes. I hope you’re doing well and enjoying the beginnings of spring.
Your trip looks wonderful! I love the picture of the lighthouse. We’ve only visited one presidential library (Truman’s in Missouri) and really enjoyed it. I’d love to see Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s summer retreat. I’m a big fan of Eleanor’s too.
Janis, Lubec is a beautiful and picturesque area. We were so impressed with the international park and the programs. Tea with Eleanor was a unique experience, and gave me more insight into how remarkable and progressive she was. Her question of “What can be done?” seems especially timely now.
Hi Laurel, I am looking forward to reading more of your East Coast travels here. These posts will certainly whet our appetites for your new journey. Cheers to the return of blissful freedom!
Suzanne, we’re hoping that our summer travels will feel more ‘normal.’ Perhaps we’re being too cautious, but we won’t be eating indoors in restaurants and we’ll still avoid crowds. But even being cautious last summer, we had a fabulous trip to North Carolina. We’re very excited about our trip in June! And I’m having fun revisiting our 2019 East Coast travels. Thanks for joining us!
I’m so glad you’re writing about your Maine trip. We were planning to go this Fall but will have to postpone. Nevertheless, I would love to visit Campobello sometime. We visited Hyde Park and Valkill and found both fun and very interesting. If your trip to the Upper Midwest isn’t completely planned, I have a few suggestions from our last trip there. Be prepared…their mosquitoes are as big as butterflies! Joe
Joe, you and Helen will absolutely love exploring Maine! I hope that our posts will be helpful for you. Campobello was so beautiful and interesting.
I have all of our reservations made for our four-and-a-half month trip starting in June…so much planning, as you know!! I have a notebook filled with things we want to do while we’re in Michigan/Minnesota/Wisconsin, so please send along your suggestions! I tried to plan our route for the least buggy time in Michigan, haha. We’ll see how that goes.
It does seem like another world ago doesn’t it? Fortunately we have a lot to be grateful for over the time since, to go along with all the tragedy.
We enjoyed just a day in cute little Lubec for a visit to the cute little lighthouse and pretty grounds. Wish now we’d made the drive over the bridge!! Lovely to see more of the area through your eyes. Such beautiful pics. We’ve rerouted much of our New England stops this summer to reduce miles traveled and fuel consumed, but still looking forward to returning to a bit of the northeast.
Jodee, if you make it back to Lubec, plan to visit Campobello! It’s exactly the kind of place you enjoy. And tea with Eleanor was absolutely delightful and inspiring.
You’re right, we do have a lot to be grateful for, even just the fact that we made it through two years of craziness. It’s exciting to be thinking of traveling, isn’t it? Even with gas prices going up, we’ve decided we’re going to continue with our plans. Honestly, I can’t stand the thought of redoing reservations, LOL.
Ahhhh…such wonderful memories. Our first time to the Maritimes was through Campobello. We were on the motorcycle and someone suggested this route. Of course with John as a history person, this couldn’t be missed. Those seaside villages are so wonderful.
Pam, I know that any exploration of history would be even more interesting with your own personal guide! I’m sure you had a blast exploring the Maritimes on your motorcycle. Such beautiful scenery and peaceful roads. Glad we could take you back to revisit your memories. I’m enjoying our visit more than two years later, haha! :-)
This was such a wonderful post for me to read. You stayed in one of my favorite places in Maine and did my favorite things while you were there including Tea With Eleanor. I’m only sorry you were not there for the Pirate Invasion which is such a hoot! Wonderful pictures of it all.
Thank you, Sherry. I’m glad we could take you back to a place that you loved! Wasn’t Tea with Eleanor fabulous? She was so inspiring. Lubec is such a sweet place, it would have been fun to see the Pirate Invasion.
So BEAUTIFUL! Reminds me how much we loved Maine. Also how much we miss traveling during the non-mud/ice season. Hmm, maybe there’s a reason most sane people do that? Thanks for the gorgeous photos & memories!
Gretchen, Lubec is so beautiful! As I’m going through photos of the rest of our month in Maine, I’m stunned by the beauty of it all. I lived in Boston for 10 years, so I know the mud/ice season of which you speak. Fall, however, was perfect in Maine!
Such a great story with great photos, Laurel. We will be in Maine in late September this year, but not likely this far north. OF course, I will be watching for your updates to that trip in that part of the world since we plan to be rolling around the 8 northeastern states we have yet to visit in the MoHo. Onward!
Sue, late September is a perfect time to be in Maine. I hope you’re planning to spend time in Acadia. We were there for almost two weeks, and I’m busily sorting through photos right now. It is a spectacular place, with so many interesting things to do. I’m excited for you for your travels in the northeast. We absolutely loved our time there!
Thanks for that trip to one of my favorite places. As always, beautiful photos and insightful prose.
Thank you, Susie. We loved our time in Lubec. Hope you two are doing well!