It seems the people of northern New Brunswick really know how to have fun – and stay warm – on a cold winter’s night in Ottawa.
Actually, a lot of it involves thinking ahead to warmer weather – and dreaming of all the fun things it will bring with it. Throw in some tasty drinks and traditional New Brunswick cuisine, and you’ve got yourself a party…Warm Norm style!
“Warm Norm” is northern New Brunswick’s tourism ambassador. A friendly lumberjack who sports a Paul Bunyan-style beard, Warm Norm (otherwise known as Beresford-born actor Nathan Dimitroff), recreated a little bit of northern New Brunswick at Union Local 613 – an Ottawa restaurant and pub – last month.
My husband and I kicked off the evening by tasting some foods from the region, including beef tortiere and “ploye” – a French Acadian flatbread served warm, often with butter and sugar or maple syrup.
Warm Norm’s down-to-earth, friendly entourage gave us some great travel ideas for New Brunswick destinations like Edmundston, Bathurst, Campbellton and the Acadian Peninsula. I learned that the area is truly a hidden gem for outdoor enthusiasts – boasting 400 acres of some of the best fresh-air trails in Atlantic Canada. Tourists who are avid cyclists love exploring the 45 kilometers of International Mountain Bike Association approved trails.
The City of Bathurst grabbed my attention, too. It’s situated on Chaleur Bay, and looks absolutely breathtaking. The area is known for its natural saltwater beach, and the nearby Daly Point Nature Reserve.
I grew up in Alberta, and didn’t get the opportunity to go “out east” until 2010. That was when our young family took one of our best-ever road trips – to PEI. While we did drive through New Brunswick en route from Ottawa, we didn’t take the time to stop and explore.
The northern New Brunswick tourism evening left me feeling inspired to explore a new part of the country. And if everyone there is as laid back and warm as Norm and his friends, I’m sure it would be a trip to remember.