Tuesday, July 8, 2014

More Great Adventures in NS

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day so we took a drive to Chester, on Mahone Bay, one bay over from St. Margaret’s Bay. Jerry, Susie and Denny came over to greet us in the sunshine.

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We had a delightful drive, then lunch at The Rope Loft.

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We enjoyed the interesting d├ęcor outside the building as we were seated on the deck.

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And seeing boats in the harbor.

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The Tancook Island Ferry arrived and unloaded as we were leaving.

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Susie, Denny and Jerry took a long detour back home to see another part of the scenic drive. They discovered a castle. Go to Susie’s blog for details and a picture.

Don and I returned home to clean the tree sap off the motorhome; got half of it done then finished the rest this morning. Susie got a picture of us in action. Now the motorhome will look nice until the next rain, tree sap or bug suicide on the highway! But it will also be easier to keep clean after using the aero wash/wax that gives it a polymer coating.

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This evening we enjoyed another lobster dinner with Jerry and his son Dan, whose lovely wife and daughters came over as well. Dan was quite adept at preparing the lobsters.

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We all enjoyed our crustaceans, along with cole slaw, macaroni salad, chips and potato salad.

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Mostly, we loved meeting Dan’s family and sharing the time together.

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What a nice family: Dan, Leslie, daughters Jordan (left) and Hannah, and Dad/Grandpa Jerry Avis. Thanks for all the wonderful experiences in Nova Scotia. We hope to cross paths again someday.

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We’ve really enjoyed our stay here at Wayside Park, where they don’t honor Passport America during the high season, basically July-August. But they gave us a 20% discount, received our mail shipment, and are really nice people. We highly recommend it to any RVers coming this way.

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P.S. Danny stopped by the other day on his nice Honda. Like Father, Like Son, only with a different style!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tattoo, Arthur, Maritime Museum, Plus

On July 4, Independence Day for the U.S., we attended a wonderful tradition in Canada: The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. It was a superb show with non-stop action from military units and other performing groups from various countries, complete with bagpipes, drums, full bands and choirs, acrobats including tumblers, rope-jumpers, bicycle and unicycle riders, dancers, etc. There was even a tribute to the U.S. citizens in attendance because of it being our special holiday.

Unfortunately, I had a big disappointment. Our tickets, purchased a couple of months in advance, had “NO CAMERAS” printed on them. So I was obedient and left my camera at home. As soon as we got to our seats in advance of the beginning of the show, the Master of Ceremonies said, “Take all the pictures you want; just don’t use a flash.”

D**N!!!

Fortunately, Susie brought her brand-new pocket-sized Canon camera and got some good shots. Here’s a link to her blog so you can see what we saw. It was a wonderful show, and we loved every minute of it! And Don stayed awake even though it lasted past his bedtime!

For a great article on the Tattoo, including the origin of the word, check out Wikipedia. (Hint: it has to do with closing the beer tap at the end of the day.)

Prior to the show, we had a great steak dinner at The Keg Steakhouse in downtown Halifax with Jerry Avis and his son Dan, who drove us in his 7-passenger van so we didn’t have to squeeze 5 (or 6) people into a 4-passenger car as we’d done before. Thanks, Dan!

I later learned that The Keg has locations in the U.S. as well, so we’ll be looking for them in our travels. Good eats!

As some of our friends and family know, the storm known as “Arthur” came our way yesterday. It had been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm by that time, and most of the storm was west of us in New Brunswick, but we did get some significant wind and a little rain, and the power was out for about 12 hours. We drove to nearby Peggy’s Cove to take a look at the waves and ocean spray – beautiful sights, but I can appreciate how deadly such a storm can be with faster winds.

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This seagull had a hard time making any progress flying into the wind, and just hovered over the same area for awhile.

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Everyone on the rocks and path to the lighthouse was wearing a hoody and bracing against the strong winds. And that wind felt really cold, especially with the sprays of seawater!

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Today dawned bright and clear, and the power had been restored during the night. But the Internet is still spotty, so I hope I can post this blog entry.

Don and I took advantage of the pretty weather to go to Halifax today and tour the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. We both enjoyed it – my favorite was the stories of individuals who took solo sailing trips.

For example, John Hughes sailed alone as the youngest competitor in an around-the-world race in 1986. He had no corporate sponsorship and sailed the smallest boat in the race. He lost his mast and jury-rigged one using an A-frame made from two spinnaker poles. He managed to finish the sail of 4000 miles around Cape Horn and thus secured himself a place in sailing history.

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There are many stories of bravery and invention by others, including a man with no fingers (lost while surviving five days of freezing temps on high seas) who still sailed into his seventies.

I think Don’s faves were all the sailboats.

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We saw a video and exhibit about the explosion that damaged large portions of the city on December 6, 1917 when the Norwegian ship SS Imo collided with the French munitions ship SS Mont Blanc which was carrying a huge amount of explosives. About 2,000 people were killed in this explosion and about 9,000 were injured. A tsunami created by the blast killed still more, and wiped out a First Nations community.

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The “Plus” for the end of this blog is my knitted shawl, which I started during Woodcarvers’ Week in early March and completed a few hours before we left for Tattoo on July 4. What an intricate pattern! I’m glad it’s finished and I’ll now enjoy wearing it. I’ve been knitting since I was 13, and I can only remember one other project I did that was this advanced, a sweater for my mother that I made while still in my teens. Now I’ll return to making lap-sized afghans for Soldiers’ Angels, which are very easy in comparison!

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Oh, yes, here’s another plus: our dinner at home tonight. Yummmmm!

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