Thursday, August 27, 2015

Home Again, Home Again

As many of you know, returning home from a fantastic summer vacation is not my strong suit.  I suffer from PTD - Post Travel Depression.  

At first I thought my funk was a severe case of jet lag.  But I never suffer from jet lag until I am home.

We flew from Vancouver to Ireland, an eight hour time difference.  Both Joe and I jumped out of bed the next morning with a spring in our step and never looked back.  

We flew from Dublin to Halifax, a four hour time difference.  We easily took it in stride.

We flew from Halifax to Vancouver, another four hour time difference, and BAM!  We can't keep our eyes open, we're wide awake at 3:50am for days, we can't stop yawning or looking for the next place to lay down.

I think I am just getting over my PTD now that I've been back in Squamish for five days.

But if I have to be somewhere, this somewhere is pretty good.  I mean, seriously, Squamish has to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

The viewing platform of the Sea-To-Sky gondola's Summit Lodge.  Check out the people ascending the mountain on the 'Via Ferrata' on the lower left.

A friend and I did our own version of the 'Squamish Triathlon' this morning.  Yoga, hiking and beer drinking.  I think beer drinking was my strongest event.

 The triathletes.

 Yoga with the one and only Annie Martinello.

 A quick shot of Sky Pilot as we hiked the 'Wonderland Lake Loop Trail'.

We finished strong during our third and final event.

Thanks for such a fun day, Shuna!  It is great to be back home.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Extraordinary Kindness

Our newest friends, Cindy and Kevin.

Home exchanges.  The gift that keeps on giving.

During the summer of 2013, we did our first house exchange in England with Alan and Jo.  We have since become friends; keeping in touch via e-mail/facebook and getting together when they come to Squamish to visit their daughters.

A couple of months ago, Jo wrote to tell me about their Nova Scotian friends (whom they first met in Portugal after a tornado tossed Alan's boat into the middle of the road!). Cindy and Kevin were travelling to England at the end of August.  Would I be willing to give them some travel advice?  Of course I would!

The e-mails between Cindy and I began in earnest.

A few weeks later Cindy popped the question.  Would we like to stay with them while we were in Halifax?

It's not  every day a complete stranger invites you for a sleepover.  So of course I said YES!

We spent a fantastic day and a half with these beautiful souls.

They welcomed us into their gorgeous home with open arms and huge smiles.  They wined us and dined us and drove us all over the Halifax area in their sporty little convertible.  It felt as if we had known them forever.

Opening the first bottle of Nova Scotian wine. 

We made quick work of this pot o' mussels.


We were fast friends after an hour.

My dinner.

Cindy gave me a tutorial on the proper way to eat a lobster.

Kevin provided a musical interlude to the evening's festivities.

Relaxing on Canada's largest hammock.

Peggy's Cove.

Peggy's Cove

Peggy's Cove

"It's been a wonderful summer, hasn't it Joe?"  "Yes, Nanc, it has."

Just cruising the back roads of Nova Scotia with my newest friend Cindy.

Saying good-bye to these fine folks was hard after knowing them for only 39 hours!

Thank you, Cindy and Kevin, for the extraordinary kindness you showed two travellers.  You are consummate hosts and I will never forget our time together.  I hope we can re-pay your warm hospitality in the near future.  You will LOVE our little corner of the world.   Have a wonderful time in England with Alan and Jo.  I can't wait to hear the stories. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

P.S. One More Thing About Lunenburg

 A wall of floats.

Have I mentioned recently how friendly the people of Nova Scotia are?  I have?  I need to give you two more examples.

 Red peaks on the harbour.

The proprietress of the Lunenburg Inn was calling me 'Nanc' within one hour of knowing her.  And gave us each a big bear hug when we checked out this morning.  Thanks for everything, Donna.  We will spread the news of your B&B far and wide.

Yesterday we ate lunch at 'The Fish Shack'.  While Joe was ordering our food at the counter, my job was to find us a place to sit on the patio overlooking the harbour.  There was only one table left.  As I struggled to put up the umbrella, the gentleman at the next table said, "Ma'am, that umbrella is broken.  You and your husband are welcome to join me if you'd like." Hell yeah, we'd like that sir!  Joe and I spent a lovely lunch hour chatting with a local about Nova Scotia, our mutual love of Ireland and his hobby farm. 

There's no better way to spend a Wednesday night than in a church basement listening to music.  And good music at that.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "If Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth, then surely Nova Scotia is the friendliest."

We have two more days in this lovely province.  

Now we're off to meet friends we haven't met yet!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Nova Scotia's South Shore

I cannot believe we've been travelling for 6 weeks now!

We have been exploring the 'South Shore' for the past couple of days and are currently in Lunenburg. We get to enjoy one more night here, two in Halifax, then we wing our way home on Saturday morning.

The south shore of Nova Scotia is beautiful.  Brightly coloured buildings, quaint towns, gorgeous coastlines and over-the-top friendly people.

Here are a few more photos of this charming province...

The mornings can be very foggy in this part of the world.

Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Dock jumping in Shelburne.

We stayed at the 'Amber Rose' in Mahone Bay.  The B&Bs in this province are downright adorable.

The old cemeteries in Nova Scotia are beautiful.

The three churches on Mahone Bay.

It was tempting to peek over the edge.

'The Ovens' are a series of ocean caves on Cunard Cove.

This concrete stairway down to Cannon Cave was poured by three workmen in the 1960s; mixing and hauling 2,000 buckets of cement, all by hand.

Flowers and cottages.  Cottages and flowers.  Everywhere.

Visual artists abound in Nova Scotia.  Painters, ceramicists, quilters, sculptors, photographers.  They're all here. 

Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Sailing ship.

Dory shop.

Lunenburg Harbour.

Lunenburg.  UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Colourful stoop.

Colourful buildings.

Lunenburg harbour.

Dories in the harbour.

Lunenburg again.

Next stop, Halifax!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Acadien Postcard

We are leaving Acadia this morning.  We are heading down to the south shore of Nova Scotia to explore Mahone Bay, Lunenburg and Halifax before winging our way to Vancouver on Saturday.

 The lily pond at sunset.

 Surfing and stand-up paddle boarding in the fog at Mavillette Beach.

 There is music everywhere you go in Clare.  Everywhere.  Such talented people in this part of the world.

 A 100 year old whale bone in the Petit Bois.

 St. Mary's steeple in Church Point can been seen for miles around.

 My hat is off to these intrepid dandelions for being able to grow anywhere!

 You KNOW you're in rural Canada when the post office is located in someone's house.

 A roadside shell shop.

 Still life in Clare.

 Monsieur LeBlanc's barn.

Acadian pride.

A final sunset.

We have met some exceptional people here in Clare.  They have been friendly beyond measure. We will miss them and their incredible hospitality.