- Don’t sleep the night before you fly. Worked for me. I’ve never slept on a plane before. But on our early Sunday morning flight back to Nova Scotia I slept through the take off and woke up to see we were over Montreal. I fell right back to sleep and woke up over the Bay of Fundy. The flight felt like 5 minutes.
- Wow your husband by packing 1/2 of what you normally pack. He won’t complain once about carrying your bag.
- Don’t expect to fly Air Canada and not have any complaints. That is just their new way of mass marketing themselves. We verbally told their website to pound sand when they offered us the ability to pay an extra $20 each, and each way, to pre-select our seats. Joke was on us when they said we were flying stand-by because we didn’t pay for a seat. Luckily it all worked out.
- Pack in everything you can, even if you have 3 things scheduled each day. There is time to relax when you return home. I *almost* fit everything in. We’re really lucky to have most of our family living within 2 hours of each other.
- Don’t hesitate to talk to strangers. That is how Grandma Stock, Mom, Julie, and I got a tour of our former Stock cottage.
- Don’t get your name on the rental car. That means you can be completely irresponsible and will always be the co-pilot.
- Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet. Shoes on, shoes off, doesn’t matter. Vacations are all about the memories. Sandy feet? It’s okay, it’s not your car.
- Eat everything. Vacations are not about self control. They are about gluttony.
- Try new things. I’m still on the fence on the canned coconut water, but at least I tried!
- Buy bottled water. Not everyone’s tap water is spring fresh, and you’ll need the extra fluids after #8 .
- Hug everyone. Just ‘cuz you can
I am off for 5 work days!!
Here is my list of things to accomplish (updated regularly):
- cut the grass
- Done! I’m a ball of sweat. Whew that was good exercise. Saw a mouse and the tail end of a snake as he slithered away
- stay up late
- Done! Artie Lange made his return to radio last night and I HAD to stay up to listen. He sounded so good and healthy and was as funny as ever. OK I admit I only made it to 1am and then had to listen to the last hour on the podcast this morning.
- sleep in
- Done! Well only until 8:30 a couple times, but it felt good enough
- get a sunburn
- I’ve been trying! No burn yet! Maybe a bit on my face, but otherwise Nothing!
- buy some summer clothes
- Done! I have never bought so many clothes. Now I can never tell Jeff again that I have nothing to wear!
- start, and finish, my big independent project for the course I’m taking
- apply for a job that caught my eye
- Done! Well done, but not submitted yet – still reviewing
- visit my cousin Christine in PEI
- have Dad & PJ over for a night
- weed at least one garden
- find a way to make at least $50 extra for my business
- catch up on my business accounting
- get out in our boat
- watch a chick flick
- eat an ice cream cone
Check back to see how I do!
- just watched an osprey fly over the front lawn with a big fish in his grip
- Replacing the front brake pads and rotors on my car. Pads are worn away and rotors are all rusted.
When we left Yarmouth we were still all fogged in.
All around the southern side of Nova Scotia, there is a faster bypass, and the original highway. We usually stayed on the old road that went through all the little towns. After Yarmouth, it was like a constant town all the way to Digby, and actually past Digby for quite a way as well. Many of the town centres are 3 kilometres apart from each other, meaning the communities are all strung together. In land, there is nothing. All the towns are on the shore and many people are fisherman.
The forecast was for a hot day so we knew the fog would HAVE to lift eventually, and it did once we started heading down the Digby neck.
Here are some photos once we could see past the edges of the road:
The Digby neck is a long penninsula stretching south of Digby. Pieces of it are connected by short ferries. We went as far as the first ferry were the traffic was backed up a bit waiting for a ride.
Here comes the ferry with one vehicle from the other side.
It loaded up with 2 propane trucks and headed back to the other side.
The current here was incredible! The ferry edges out from the dock and then gets thrown into the current and fights to end up at the dock on the other side. This looks like it takes a lot of talent from the captain – much more than the calm cable driven ferries elsewhere in the province.
We turned around, rather than continuing down the peninsula and headed back to Digby.
On the way, there was a beautiful picnic stop on the side of the road with a little inland lake. I knew Monty would love nothing better than getting wet, but we weren’t sure he would want to be totally wet during a hot day, so we thought we’d keep him on his long leash and just get his legs wet.
0.25 seconds later. So much for not getting wet!
Monty was just standing there, staring at us, wondering why we weren’t throwing anything for him to retrieve.
I threw him a pathetically little stick and Monty couldn’t find it, so he was looking for it under the water! He’s never done that before! That was one of the favourite past times of his auntie Surf.
Digby is nice and had many tourists. We wanted to load our little cooler up with scallops, but by this time it was suddenly HaH outside… (hot as hell) and we weren’t really convinced they would stay cold enough even in the cooler, so we decided not to take the chance.
The next town I really want to return to explore was Annapolis Royal. It had huge old houses, lots of shops, and Fort Anne right in town. But it was too hot to leave Monty in the truck without wind blowing in his back windows so we couldn’t do much more than drive through town.
Jeff took me to see the tidal hydro generated facility he knew was close by.
It wasn’t moving too much water when we stopped, but Jeff said last time he was there, about 10 years ago, it was roaring.
Driving through the Annapolis Valley was really nice – and it had vegetable stands every 3 kilometres in each town! I’m SOOO jealous and can’t understand why that produce can’t make it up to our area for sale. We stopped and I had some ice cream, we bought some delicious looking green beans to bring home, and bought a container of raspberries that were grown around where we stopped to let Monty get wet.
They were DELICIOUS, and half the price of raspberries from California in the grocery store.
Here is a picture of the basin near Minas Basin:
And a few hours later, Home Sweet Home!
Day #2 ended early in Yarmouth in the early afternoon.
The fog hadn’t lifted, and it was raining, and we decided to just stop wasting our sightseeing time looking at fog. We checked into our hotel early and had a good nap.
Sometime between 5 and 6pm the fog finally lifted! We decided to search for a good seafood restaurant. Jeff found a few possibilities in a south shore travel magazine so we set out with Lady Garmin to have a seafood FEAST!
Unfortunately, Lady Garmin, our GPS, led us to a grass covered empty lot, and 3 other closed restaurants.
Yarmouth lost its fast ferry from Maine this year and the effect on the town was certainly noticeable. It was kind of eerie and sad to see the grass and weeds growing through the asphalt at the ferry terminal.
We drove all over down town and then headed back towards the hotel where the chain restaurants were. The only family restaurant we could find was Boston Pizza. :-/ At least I ordered the shrimp and scallop fettuccine, but I’m not sure it was local.
After dinner we headed back to the waterfront were we had spotted a boardwalk earlier for some photos and so we could walk Monty. And guess what we found?!
It hadn’t even been gone for 2 hours and it was back.
There was a cool shipwreck across the bay from the waterfront. Can you make it out?
Yarmouth is a really nice place and it was stocked full of the big historical houses and buildings that I love. Here are a couple of my favourites that were side by side.
Did you see the steps in the top window? Cool, eh? It looks like it goes up to two more little windows up higher.
Oh and guess what else we found when we were driving around after dinner?
A big seafood restaurant on the waterfront. The one that Lady Garmin thought was way down the street in an empty lot. I don’t know how we missed it Next time…
One of the biggest highlights of our vacation was our stop at the Shag Harbour UFO Museum!!!
Are you familiar with the Shag Harbour UFO incident of 1967? We watched an hour program on TV last year about it. Here is a quick intro from Wikipedia:
The Shag Harbour UFO Incident was the reported impact of an unknown large object into Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, in October 1967. The impact was investigated by various Canadian government agencies, and at least one underwater search was launched to locate the remains of any associated objects. The Canadian government declared that no known aircraft was involved and the source of the impact remains unknown to this day. It is one of very few cases where governmental agency documents have formally declared an unidentified flying object was involved. Several interviewed military witnesses, including a diver involved in an attempted recovery, have claimed an alien spacecraft was responsible. It was also claimed by several of the witnesses that the U.S. military was involved in recovery attempts. The case was also briefly investigated by the U.S. Condon Committee UFO study, which offered no explanation.
Here are a few photos from our visit:
Jeff refused to have his photo taken with the aliens :>
The museum was actually in the Halifax paper just the day before we visited!
UFO museum’s rocketing attendance defies skeptics – http://thechronicleherald.ca/NovaScotia/1191793.html
On day 2 of our vacation, we woke to a weather forecast of heavy rain (25mm) with periods of fog.
That translated into a viewless drive around the coast, in the fog, and pouring rain. Pouring might be too weak of a word. As I’ve told you Ontario folk before, rain drops are wetter here in Nova Scotia (yes I am serious) and when it pours you want an ark.
On the way into Liverpool, I wanted to find the Bowater Mersey pulp and paper mill. Using not much more than our noses, we were able to find the main front gate, but the fog blocked out any more of the mill.
Shelbourne is a really nice old town. I just couldn’t get enough of the big old east coast houses we saw in almost every town. Shelbourne seems to have preserved much of its history – especially by preserving its old waterfront.
In between downpours, here are some photos from Shelbourne, mostly from inside the truck:
Asking price is only $174,500!
This week we finally ventured around the southern end of our new province.
And I’m sure it was really nice.
If we could have seen any of it.
We did get a few photos when there was something other than fog visible, so here are a few shots from day 1.
Monty had a great time. Unfortunately he has to ride in the back of the truck, but there is a cap on the truck, and he has a big vari-kennel to ride in, with water, and the all the windows in the cap were open. We stopped when we could and let him have adventures.
This picnic area wasn’t too far from Halifax. There was a busy beach on the ocean side, but in land, on the way to the outhouse, I spotted this little lily-pad covered pond.
Lunenberg was nice. The fog lifted and we found a shady spot for the truck so we could visit some shops.
The streets are very steep in Lunenburg and I was wincing watching the horses struggle to pull wagons of people down the hill to the water front. Do you think horses can get calf cramps? Look at this horse stance.
Jeff spotted the Bluenose II. It was stripped down and barely recognizable off to the edge of the waterfront in a boat yard. I didn’t think it was polite to photograph her all naked like that so we didn’t. That and we couldn’t get a good camera angle.
There were lots of tourists all the way from Halifax down to about Lunenburg. Chester and Mahone Bay were packed with Ontario plates, a few B.C., New Brunswick, California, Florida, North Carolina, New York, Manitoba, and I saw one from Saskatchewan.
We stayed the night in Bridgewater. Luckily the hotel kept our reservation and had a room for us. They told Jeff another hotel had a fire that day and rooms were scarce. Unfortunately they didn’t have a ground floor room that we wanted so Monty didn’t have his crate to sleep in that night. I took him for a good walk to wear him out, but his sleepy time ended at 3am. After that, every noise made him want to growl at night and we’d have to pounce on him before he barked.
Thanks to Cecilia for mentioning Bay Bulls and their boat cruises. We choose O’Brien’s Whale and Bird Tours. They saw humpback whales the day before we arrived, so we were hopeful, but regardless, I wanted to see a puffin!
Here is the boat we went on:
After leaving the dock, the wind and the waves really had the boat rocking so don’t expect a straight horizon line in any photo!
We quickly learned that puffins are really hard to photograph! The boat was rocking and the puffins flap their little wings and are quick little buggers! All the puffins flying by the boat had a little fish or two in their beaks. Here are a few of our “best” puffin shots:
Another tour boat visiting the bird’s islands with us:
Our boat cruise tour guide, Loyola.
Boat cruise was only to be enjoyed with Jeff’s raincoat and my new O’Brien’s toque!
Loyola singing us a Newfoundland song.
I pleaded, but Jeff refused to get his picture taken with the mermaid. I think it had something to do with all the people standing in the parking lot that would have watched
Cape Spear is the most eastern point in North America, aside from Greenland, which I didn’t know what part of North America, but hey, I didn’t proclaim to know everything.
A big cruise ship went by as we were arriving at Cape Spear.
After we got back in the truck at Cape Spear we noticed big splashes in the ocean. Something huge was smashing it’s fin – maybe a humpback or a fin whale. Then we saw some blow holes and then we watched something huge leap out of the water! A big whale! All too far away for good photos, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
After we got the diagnosis for Jeff’s truck, we had to stick around St. John’s until the parts came in the next morning. That was okay, because there was plenty we wanted to see!
Here are some of our many photos from Signal Hill:
Before we went, I read a bunch of tourist reports on the web warning against the trail at Signal Hill and that it was scary and dangerous. That is it down below:
No, there was no way I was taking that trail, even it it hadn’t have been so windy. Yes, I did turn chicken at some point over the last 10 years or so.
Jeff knew of a photo where the photographer is looking over a lighthouse and he knew it was somewhere in Newfoundland, but he didn’t know where. Well we found it! At Signal Hill!
It was so crazily windy, but it wasn’t foggy, so we could see over to Cape Spear (where we went next)
It was THAT windy!
Marconi calling her father:
Again, I wish you could tell how windy it was. Maybe this tour bus will give you some indication. From the looks of it, I’m pretty sure it was just recovered after blowing over the edge.