Kick Scooting while on a Cruise to Canada - the Blog
[ KICK SCOOTING - 11/30/2011 - www.LetsKickScoot.com ]
Recap of my fall 2011 blog
This article is a recap of a blog I wrote during October about kick scooting along the banks of Lake Michigan and along the northeast banks of Atlantic Ocean, from New York City to Quebec City and back again. We accomplished the northeast portion of our trip during a two week cruise aboard the MSC Poesia.
Prior to our cruise, we kick scooted along Racine's beautiful Lake Michigan's shores
October 1, 2011: We will be on the road as well as on the Atlantic Ocean between October 1st and October 22nd. The first part of our journey is by car to visit family in Wisconsin and to kick scoot along Racine and Milwaukee's famous Lake Michigan parks.
The ocean part of our trip will be along the North Atlantic coast, from New York City to Quebec City and back again. Unless the weather is bad, we plan on kick scooting at every port.
Racine is a beautiful place to visit and we recommend it highly. It has miles of groomed lakefront with relatively level roads and sidewalks, an interesting revitalized downtown, famous Kringle (a fruit-based flaky delicacy only found here and in Denmark), and a pretty, park-like zoo, which is also on the lakefront.
We also visited Milwaukee's Lake Park on the Shores of Lake Michigan
October 2, 2011: If you like to stroll, kick scoot, bike, or rollerblade, you'll find Milwaukee's miles of relatively level bike paths and Lake Michigan's lakefront access delightful. Seeing Old Milwaukee, with its unique, 1800s German-style mansions is also a pleasure (as are the city's German-style beers).
Sidewalks and other paths extend for miles along the lakefront, whether in Lake Park (pictured below), or along a bike path that leads into Milwaukee's spectacular Grant Park.
After our scoot, we visited our famous, 83 year old aunt, Fifi the Hat Lady, a writer and educator who's real name is Marion Guild. Click here to see the video!
When we returned home, our ship was ready . . .
October 8, 2011: Not only does our cruise ship, the MSC Poesia, await, it is moored directly in front of our house!
At noon, we are almost packed and ready. The only thing that remains is to make our kick scooters shipshape. We are bringing CityKicker by NYCeWheels and a Xootr Roma. For the trip, my Roma is decked out with new Avenir Comfy Soft Grips, a small handlebar case, plenty of StapIts, and a nylon shopping bag to hold any trinkets that might catch my fancy during shore leave.
A day at sea traveling to Halifax, Canada
October 9, 2011: Today was our first day at sea. We spent it exploring the MSG Poesia's sparkling rooms and admired its pool deck. Our early October weather was still warm enough to have it filled with swimmers.
Our personal preference was the cafeteria (we avoided almost all formal areas, including the dining rooms). Although crowded at the stroke of breakfast or lunch, within two hours of either period, it emptied out, making it a perfect place to relax, nibble on ever-present food, drink the world's finest cappuccino ($2.50) and unlimited ice tea (included with our tickets), and sip wine, as needed.
Halifax, Canada - a perfect place to kick scoot (except up and down hill)
October 10, 2011: Halifax has three completely different types of terrains: Up, down, and flat.
Halifax is a very large, fresh city, with a lovely seaport that serves tourists well. It includes museums, shops, fine arts, street vendors, plenty of places to dine or snack, magnificent views, and a huge, well-stocked tourist information center.
Sydney, Canada - a warm, friendly village
October 11, 2011: Sydney, Canada, is absolutely swarming with locals who want to tell you about their beautiful island, Cape Breton, as well as sell you hand-made items.
Kick scooting in Sydney is a pleasure as the city and its waterfront are all relatively level.
||| SeaShorepublishing.ca: This organization publishes Scenic Cape Breton, an excellent tourist circular, complete with a map of the island.
Charlottetown, PEI, Canada - a sparkling city with plenty of characters
October 12, 2011: Charlottetown on the Prince Edward Island (PEI) is a beautiful and welcoming tourist attraction. It features miles of level walkways along its shores, as well as throughout its Old Town.
The Old Town portion of the city features candy shops, cafe, and heavy references to Ann of Green Gables, a novel about a mischievous orphan girl who has adventures all over the island.
Related article: Kick Scooting in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Tourist maps can be acquired from:
Cruising to Quebec City, Canada
October 13, 2011: For the most part, our days at sea were perfect.
For those of you who are planning a cruise and who believe that you'll catch up on your reading or writing during days at sea, be forewarned that when the sea is rough, it is unlikely you'll be able to do much anything. During one patch of questionable weather, I spent a day and a half in bed.
Quebec City - stunning city made perfect for tourists
October 14, 2011: Arrival at Quebec City marked the half-way point of our two week cruise. It was the only location where we had almost two days of shore leave, with our ship docked at a pier, conveniently located near its Old Town.
We did take our kick scooters into the city center. While it is built on a very steep hill, making it necessary to walk our scooters quite a bit of the way, we were able to cover distances not normally associated with strolling.
The port was within walking distance of the city center, and, depending on where cruise ships are docked, some are significantly closer than others. That said, riding a kick scooter or foldable bike into town makes commuting a snap. Bike racks are available, too, so it isn't necessary to lug your personal transportation all over the place after you arrive.
||| www.Guide-MP3.com: Currently, this website is in French. Use translate.google.com to understand what it says.
St. John, Canada - known for very low and high tides
October 18, 2011: Among many interesting geographic wonders, St. John's visual claim to fame is its exceptionally high tides.
The picture below, which was taken at relatively low tide, will give you an idea about tidal action:
Related article: Kick Scooting in St. John, New Brunswick
Acquire a tourist map from:
Bar Harbor, Maine - relaxing in the October rain
October 19, 2011: The only location during our voyage where rain made land adventures uncomfortable was in Bar Harbor.
While I love exploration, I do not love rainy, October days. Why I was the only person to avail myself to the ship's wonders during this challenging weather, I do not know.
Boston, MA - a perfect port for a quick historical tour
October 20, 2011: It was raining in Boston when we arrived and by the time we got to the city center, the sky turned bright blue and the temperature went up 10-degrees to the high 70s. How lucky were we?
The good news is that public transportation between the harbor and city center led us directly to an information building and from there, we were able to take The Freedom Trail Tour. These tours are led by costumed actors, making them informative, dramatic, and very humorous.
Newport, Rhode Island - stunning, but too far from the ship
October 21, 2011: A tender is a small, 100+ passenger boat used to transport people from an anchored ship to shore and back again. Based on our current experiences, when we select a future cruise, we will give priority to all routes and vessels that don't need tenders.
The good news is that not all passengers made the trip. I, for example, spent the afternoon in the ship's warm, bubbling spa, behind panoramic windows that featured Newport's harbor (and hid everyone else's problems).
Back home - and home will never be the same again!
October 22, 2011: Starting in Wisconsin, then returning home to cruise from New York Harbor to Quebec City and back, my husband, Phil, and I learned that:
||| Taking BMX-sized kick scooters on a road trip to Wisconsin allowed us to cover more ground with more comfort in far less time.
We also learned that obtaining tourist destination maps prior to the cruise would have greatly aided our planning because shore time is very brief (4 to 6 hours). That said, we rolled off our ship hoping to quickly find marvelous things, and we did!
Life aboard the MSC Poesia was far more elegant than our Weehawken apartment, making us feel humble when we returned. Its glittering lights and highly polished brass are now only memories preserved in our 2,000 or so photos (least we forget).
Questions? Just ask!
Article by Karen Little. Photographs primarily by Karen Little with help from Philip Little. First published on www.Littleviews.com on 10/30/2011. All rights reserved.