Summer – In Summary

Summer – it was the best of times, it was the worst of times…actually that last part isn’t true. It would be more accurate to say it was the wetest of times. That’s right. Summer 2017 will go down as being…well…soggy. Spring rains blended seamlessly into summer rains and I can’t begin to tell you how many outings were postponed or soccer games cancelled. And some days, the best approach was to say “to heck with it, we are going out anyway!”.

Travelling for me and my brood was on the quiet side this year with one major foray to Nova Scotia in July. The trip to Canada’s East Coast was unique in 2017 in that we did not travel the entire time together. The kids and my husband spent seven days camping as part of the national Scout Canada Jamboree along with thousands of other Scouts and their leaders from across Canada as well as some international participants peppered here and there. It was a once in a lifetime event that they continue to talk about wistfully at times so it was well worth it.

I joined them at the conclusion of their 7-day adventure in the wilds and we spent an additional week visiting family and being tourists. We spent a lovely few days on the island of Cape Breton. We stayed in Sydney and used that as our base to visit – in our humble opinion – one of the best national historic sites in Canada. The Fortress of Louisbourg offers a snapshot of life in colonial times when the French and English waged war for the rights to Canadian lands. The biggest attraction for this spot: fishing. This beautifully restored site (faithful to the French period of occupation) is a testament to the care and thoughtfulness to sound preservation. Furthermore, the volunteer community that assists in bringing history to life are themselves an extraordinary asset to the site. The time spent here did not wow you with modern high-tech bells and whistles, more so all visitors were enchanted by the “low tech” of ingenuity born of circumstance and determination to thrive in a place that was so far removed from their European roots. In summary, the entire experience was superb from start to finish.

Another day trip found us in the charming village of Baddeck, Nova Scotia. Situated on the North Shore of Bras d’Or Lake (a partially saltwater and freshwater lake that measures roughly 100 kilometres in length and 50 kilometres in width), Baddeck is known for its most famous long-time resident: Alexander Graham Bell. That said, our primary reason in Baddeck was to kayak the lake. We enjoyed a sunny 1.5 hour paddle around the lake courtesy of Paddle Dog kayak. It was our family of four and a guide. It was lovely. The sun was high in the sky, the winds light and the lake water was refreshing. It is a fantastic way to not only pass time but see and learn about the area from a different vantage point. Oh and the banana bread and tea during our rest stop – outstanding!

Bras D’Or Lake, Baddeck, NS

We couldn’t leave Baddeck without a stop at the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. It was a great learning experience. Not to diminish the significance of the invention of the telephone, but his body of work was incredible. The museum is a testament to all his inventions – from his early days working with the deaf community to airplanes (who knew the first controlled power flight in Canada occured in this community in 1909 largely because of Bell’s involvement!).

Although our family holiday was short, we thoroughly enjoyed the sites that we did see. Here’s to you Nova Scotia – Sláinte! 

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It must be kismet!

My last post was exactly one year ago today. Even when, over the course of the year, the idea of returning to prepare a new entry would come and go at various times, I would say to myself “Ya, ya, I’ll get to it later.” And not to be too clichéd about it, “later” never came simply because I would become distracted by one, ten or a hundred other things or I wouldn’t take the time to sit down and commit to the effort of writing. So for that, I apologize. Continue reading

Cruising the Caribbean! Take 1

I was remiss in not preparing my post immediately following my recent trip with my husband.

We thoroughly enjoyed a 7-day cruise of the southern Caribbean – sans enfants! It is only the second time we have done this (travelled for this length of time while leaving the kids at home) and it was awesome! Don’t get me wrong, we love travelling with our kids but every so often it is wonderful to just be on our own. A huge debt of gratitude goes out to my sister for staying with our boys – for the second time. We certainly feel very blessed to know that our boys were in good hands while we were away.

The planning for this trip centred on our wedding anniversary. We started looking last summer just to get a feel of the places and pricing options. We stumbled upon a “last minute” cruise deal for May 2016 in August 2015. So we checked with our travel agent friend to say “is this for real?” and when she said “100% yes”, we said “here is our credit card.” Continue reading

Helllllooo Spring!

Needless to say I feel that spring is finally here – although there have been a few setbacks (e.g. impromptu snowfall) that left me scratching my head and a little testy. Case in point, the pictures below which some of you (those who live in northern climes) might identify with. Can you guess what I photographed? It is the airport! Can you believe these pictures are just over 2 weeks apart?! This is why I am happy it is April 1st and March is in the past! Continue reading