When I mention to someone that I own a cottage in New Brunswick I get one of two questions.
“Where in the heck is New Brunswick?” from my geographically challenged friends. Or, from the vast majority, “How in the heck did you ever find this place?”
I’ll answer both questions in this post.
First, New Brunswick is in what’s called the Maritime Provinces that lie north of Maine. They’re composed of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward’s Island and are a lovely mixture of deeply forested hills surrounded – and filled – with all types of waterways.
The second question takes a bit more thought to answer but it all began with an obsession I had about a decade ago with eBay. At about that time the site had gone global and people around the world were fascinated with this new online marketplace where you could buy anything from Christmas ornaments to real estate. Sometimes I’d just click into the site to see what new things had been posted.
One day, while clicking around looking at eBay’s real estate listings, I came across a notice for a stunning piece of property. Heavily forested, the three acres were bounded on one side by a country road and on the other by hundreds of feet of rocky cliff that fell down to the sea. Waterfront property, it said; $5,000 per acre.
I was incredulous. As a 30-year Floridian, I thought I knew the value of oceanfront property and this certainly didn’t match my expectations. So, I called the owner. Yep, she said, that’s right. It’s oceanfront right on the Bay of Fundy. She assured us that the photo she had posted that showed the cliffside views was indeed a picture of the property for sale.
It didn’t take my husband and I long that night to decide we’d use some excess frequent flier miles to take a short jaunt the next week up to Maine, rent a car then drive up to case out the property.
A few days later, we hopped on a plane bound for Bangor, Maine. I was still skeptical but determined to see for myself if this wildly outlandish deal were true.
Certainly I was encouraged by the stunning five-hour drive from Bangor passing through the wooded mountains and seaside coves of New Brunswick. The vibrant greens of the trees and woodlands were nearly fluorescent. Obviously this area of Canada was gorgeous.
But it was when the roadway dropped down through Fundy National Park that I was sold.
As the car topped the final mountain before coming to the coast, a fabulous vista appeared. Ahead was the brilliant blue of the Bay of Fundy, bounded by green mountains on either side. Far away across the bay were the lavender-gray outlines of Nova Scotia.
It was – in a word – magnificent.
Although we looked at the property I’d seen advertised on eBay, we eventually purchased a three-bedroom home in a small town of 275 residents called Alma. Many of its residents are lobstermen and make their living from the sea. Others make their living from the tourists who come here to visit the national park.
It was became a summer escape from the Florida heat for my family.
By the time our sons reached high school we decided to sell the home we had initially purchased in the heart of the town. We purchased another high on the basin surrounding the harbor. From the porch the view of Nova Scotia is astounding.
Eventually this will be my summer retreat, a spot where I can spend six months of each year exploring the vast expanse of the Maritimes. Until then, I just come here for a limited time each summer to escape.
It is indeed paradise found.