Upon reflection, it occurred to me that more than blue skies and blue waters were among the blue incentives to travel to Nova Scotia this year. It started with the 40th Annual Nova Scotia Bluegrass and Oldtime Music Festival held at the "agri-dome" near Truro at the end of July. Ok...so bluegrass isn't exactly my cup of tea, but like Alexander Keith's beer...those who like it, seem to like it a lot. I also have to commend a festival that is the longest running of its kind in Canada and 2nd oldest in North America.
Next up was the Blue Rodeo concert held on the exhibition grounds near Truro in early August. Blue Rodeo is one of Canada's most iconic bands EVER so I was psyched that they were performing here this year. And yet again, they were keeping with the "blue" theme.
I am often amazed at how many different things there are to do in Nova Scotia. The boy and I were looking for something fun but a little "different" to do one Friday night. We thought about going to see a movie. I had the (rather bright, if I do say so myself) idea to take in a movie at the Valley Drive-In Theatre. Sure, you could go to Empire Theatres and be corralled into huge line-ups and shiny, modern theatres with screens the size of a skyscraper, but why not change it up once in a while? Don't get me wrong - I love that we have these large screens here that give us the ability to see popular films but I also love that there are little pockets of the province where things are presented in a simpler, quieter way. Living in the past isn't very good, but taking occasional trips? Heavenly.
Note: This is Part Two of a two-part blog. Part One can be read here.
After a tour of the Halifax Seaport, I joined 'The Avid Cruiser' Ralph Grizzle and crew as we hopped on an Ambassatours Big Pink Bus and did some quick sightseeing in Halifax.
That sightseeing included an extended stop at the Halifax Public Gardens where Grizzle wanted to highlight the best example of a true Victorian garden in Canada.
"What makes it the best are its meandering paths, cultured gardens with flowers always in bloom, a gazebo, a pond and it being surrounded by a fence," explained Ambassatours tour director Paul Emmons, who guided Grizzle at all locations throughout the day. "They also plant it so that every section has something in bloom at every time of year (that the garden's open)."
On the Big Pink Bus, Emmons also pointed out Point Pleasant Park, Argyle Street pubs, the Spring Garden Road shopping district, Bishop's Landing, Keith's Brewery and Grand Parade Square before we arrived at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic at around 12 noon for the next filmed piece.
I was anxious and excited on my drive from Barrington to White Point...many things going through my head.
How big will the waves be?
Will I be the only one who won't get up on the board?
How much sea water do you think one can swallow before it kills them?
How do you think I'm gonna look in a wetsuit??
Ok, that last one's a little vain....but hey, anything to make a girl look and feel a little thinner!
Rhubarb Punch - Beverages & Canapés, Pg. 33 - May Eisenhauer (Mrs. D. M.)Who knew that rhubarb could be such a versatile vegetable? We can now add drinks to our ever-growing list of recipe uses for rhubarb.
Sherbrooke Village attracts more than 10,000 visitors each year but I was in town with my bike wanting to see some countryside. The temptation to photograph restored period buildings and animators at work did not sway me from my intentions. I left my car in the Sherbrooke Village parking lot and pedaled out of town toward Sonora.
The road goes about 10 kms paralleling the tidal portion of the St. Mary's River. The highlight of this jaunt, for me, was the new wharf. The wharf in Sonora is easy to locate at the end of a short dirt road. It juts out into the river, is very clean and provides an excellent opportunity for snapping some photos.
Annapolis Royal and surrounding areas are an important part of my family history. When I open up a book about our branch of the "Cyr" family, it all started with Pierre Sire who landed in Port-Royal in 1668.
I decided to pass by the area and check out three important sites during the time of Acadian settlement.
The first stop was Port-Royal, the second settlement of Europeans in the Bay of Fundy after the disastrous first winter on St-Croix Island. This sheltered harbour was still rugged, but overall a better location.
Note: This is Part One of a two-part blog. Part Two will follow next week.
Ralph Grizzle just got the ultimate crash course on Atlantic Canada.
And I got to be a part of the Halifax chapter.
'The Avid Cruiser,' as Grizzle is most commonly known, is a widely-respected cruise blogger from North Carolina who was recently in our region with videographer Chris Stanley producing a travel show for cruise ships and Grizzle's website, www.avidcruiser.com.
"It's a new style of travel show," Grizzle said on a drive to Lunenburg about two weeks ago. "It aims to be honest and just to inspire people to get off the ship and into the destination."
In less than two weeks, Grizzle and Stanley were tasked with covering all the best features of the cruise stops in Atlantic Canada - Corner Brook, N.L., Charlottetown, P.E.I., Saint John, N.B., and Sydney and Halifax, N.S. The show is expected to reach an audience of about 3.5 million people.
When he arrived in Halifax on the second-to-last day of filming, Grizzle was already amazed by everything he had experienced in such a short time. From zip lining to trying new food to going out on lobster boats to touring a coal mine, The Avid Cruiser had his hands full on the trip.
"We've been amazed by the diversity of the destinations," Grizzle said. "You can come up here and have a very full cruise experience and you wouldn't have to repeat any experiences if you didn't want to because it's so diverse in the offerings."
Today I am starting on a journey which I am very excited about. I am the winner of the Routes to your Roots contest . For 8 months my sister Linda and I have planned this exciting venture. It will start Monday morning with genealogist Dr. Terry Punch . Dr. Punch has researched our family and I understand he has some great information for us. The meeting with Dr. Punch was part of winning the contest. I will keep you posted on his findings... Maybe we are related to royalty or someone famous. Linda and I will then travel from Halifax on to Inverness with lots of interesting stops along the way. We will post as we go along on our journey.
Clare and Linda
It was my wife Sara's birthday and every couple of years I like to surprise her by whisking her away on an adventure to celebrate the occasion. About five years ago it was tidal river rafting on the Shubenacadie River (AWESOME!!) and two years ago I believe it was a surprise picnic lunch on the beach at Caribou Provincial Park, followed by zip-lining 240 feet high through the treetops near New Glasgow. This year, once again, I wanted to make sure we did something special.