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What's your name, occupation, location?
I am Coreen Hildebrand, the Maritimes Maven and feature writer for The Maritime EDIT magazine. I have lived in Fredericton New Brunswick since I attended UNB for my undergraduate degrees and met my husband here. I was born in Moncton, and grew up in the nearby village of Salisbury, New Brunswick. My husband and I lived in New Jersey, USA for two years before our daughter was born, then later we have enjoyed several family sabbaticals over the years, living in such places as: Melbourne, Australia, Christchurch, New Zealand, College Station, Texas, and Brisbane, Australia. We have vacationed all over the world but still love coming home more than anything.
What's your favourite place to visit in the province, and why?
The fairy tale setting and salty spell of Saint Andrews By-the-Sea wooed me a long time ago with its very own castle on the hill, the lovely Algonquin Resort, the enchanting Kingsbrae Garden, and a seaside resort town that is just as pretty as a picture. I cannot get enough of it. There is an ambiance that sweeps you off your feet when you first enter the town and it still gets me every single time. I frequent this place so often, most of the shop owners, and many of the chefs, either recognize me or known me by name. This is a town to fall in love with... maybe even retire to someday.
What's something about New Brunswick that you wish the rest of the country knew about?
It is our quality of life here. We have river valleys, mountains, cliffs, coastlines and beaches. Our culture, music and the arts and our culinary delights are second to none. We treasure the changing of the seasons too. Each one holds so much beauty and opportunity to play and that we do. We also enjoy kitchen parties, home cooking, family fun, good friends and good times. It is the quality and quantity time we share in our big backyards on the lake, on the river, at the cottage, or at the beach.
There's a laid-back attitude here, a real comfort and sincere caring and deep in your soul ~ it’s a feeling that ‘all is right’ and you are where you are meant to be. I have lived and travelled in many places around the world and there is just something about coming home. It is ‘Down East’, ‘Back East’ or ‘Down Home’ and there's no place quite like it. For visitors, I think we deliver ‘soul food’ from the friendly people, the breathtaking scenery, the quaint villages, small towns and warm cities, the delightful experiences and the special memories made and stories collected along the way. This fills them up and makes them wonder… maybe, just maybe... they should come live here too. To know us is to love us.
What's your favourite "made in New Brunswick" food/drink?
I love our fresh seafood. I have never had lobster anywhere else in the world that tastes as good. Our garden fresh veggies in the summer and fruits picked from trees in the fall are absolutely the best and the seasons of berries that emerge from the earth such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are downright scrumptious. Even our maple syrup is so popular, it is sent all over the world. We can create simple down-home meals ourselves, but we also have world-class chefs that know how to take our plentiful bounty and create savoury dishes that are simply - to die for. We are also making waves with our craft beers and emerging award-winning wines and spirits. There is so much YUM here and we have more foodie events happening each and every year to showcase it. My favourite is Saint Andrews NB Indulge Food & Wine Festival every fall. I never miss it! It's a girls' weekend for me and my closest friends and it is a TIME!
Is there a part of the province you haven't been to yet, that you'd like to visit? Tell us why!
I haven't been to Grand Manan Island in years and years and I'm long overdue. Its rugged unspoiled coastal beauty, the puffins and humpback whales, the captivating sunsets, and the quaint fishing villages and lighthouses are all calling me back. I want to hike, and kayak, and beachcomb for natural treasures, then browse shops for artwork and artisan keepsakes. I want to get to know the locals, enjoy their cafes, dine at their restaurants, and then curl up in a cozy B & B to just sit a spell and enjoy the tranquility of it all too.
You can find Coreen on Instagram @maritimesmaven