Tuesday, October 30, 2018


(happy birthday dancing arms)
And just like that, my baby is two. It doesn't seem like 'just yesterday' that he was born, but I can say it does feel like he just turned one. This last year flew by!
This boy is talking, running, climbing, jumping, and making us smile, laugh (and sometimes yell) all day long. He loves his pet doggy, calls Doug "Doug", sleeps through the night almost all the time except when binky falls out, he's curious, smart, loves to sing and be teased, and is a joy. We are so blessed to be his parents.
Thank you Lord for my precious boy and these two wonderful, challenging years, we ask for many many more!

Monday, October 22, 2018

Nova Scotia

We just returned from our family trip to Nova Scotia, Canada. I had been there as a child and all I remember was laying in a room watching curtains flutter in the breeze and listening to sea gulls, and that memory alone made me want to go back. So we did! Originally we had wanted to combine it with a Maine/Acadia National Park trip, but we only had 9 days vacation and that just isn't enough time. So we flew to Halifax, Nova Scotia, rented a car, and spent 8 days driving around the country.
We mostly stayed at bed and breakfasts to get in one meal a day and for a more "homey" feel.
I loved this brick oven surround, future kitchen idea!
The first night we didn't do much, tried to go out to eat but August screamed and tantrumed us out into a take-out dinner. He only napped the last 15 minutes on the plane and he had just had enough.
The next day we started our drive up into the Cape Breton area, we went on a chairlift ride (also a screamfest) and then at the top enjoyed the leaves, Doug bobbed for an apple for August, and there was a ceilidh (folk music) at the top, and then you hiked down. It was pretty.
That night if I recall correctly, August was also pretty bad as he had again not had a very good nap despite a long car ride. Doug was getting pretty frustrated and swearing off all future family trips :(
The next day we drove around the other side of Cape Breton, we visited a goat farm where they made goat soap, stuffed ourselves at a delicious cafe and tried in vain to find a place open for a whale tour. I was really looking forward to that, but all the places said it was either too windy or the whales had already gone south for the winter. It was also a rainy on and off day so we did a little running into little shops along the way, but mostly a driving day.
This side of Cape Breton was the most beautiful with yellow, orange, and red leaves everywhere. So pretty.
Our next bed and breakfast was in the mostly French speaking area of Cheticamp. The B & B owner there was a grandma and she had a bin of toys in the room for August to play with. It was awesome. So mom and dad got to relax and watch HGTV while he played on the floor with blocks and this cool French singing lion toy.
The next morning after breakfast we backtracked a tad to go back to hike the Skyline Trail. It was 5 miles and cold, but beautiful. We were hoping to see a moose but no such luck. August did pretty good in the backpack and then walked the last 1/4 mile.
Then we drove on to Pictou to spend the night before our ferry to Prince Edward Island.
Pretty little room. We got some bad news when we got there that all the ferries for the next day were cancelled due to 90km per hour winds. But then we heard the bridge from New Brunswick was still open, so it meant more driving, but we could still go. After a good night's sleep and the best breakfast at that point at the B & Bs, a super tasty egg/potato/veggie burrito, fresh fruit, and fresh baked banana berry muffins, we got on the road.
We had planned to take the ferry to PEI and the bridge back, but we obviously had to take the bridge both ways. It ended up being really no big deal and even possibly saved me some ferry-nausea??
Spent the afternoon at the Anne of Green Gables Heritage site.
The house that inspired the home of Matthew & Marilla
They were doing some construction at the site and only one of the walks was open. The "haunted wood" walk was closed, but the "lover's lane" was open, and beautiful.
Otherwise Prince Edward Island turned out to be a bit of a let down. It was gorgeous on the walk, but the rest of the island just seemed more brown, and so much was closed for the season already. It'd probably be more fair to judge it in the summertime, but I was ready to go back to Nova Scotia.
Well first we stayed at our next B & B on PEI. August loved seeing the barn cats and sheep outside and we caught the sunset in the downtown area off the boardwalk.
Our cheapest B & B of the whole trip, and we even had two little separate bedrooms!
Saying goodbye to the sheep in the morning, and back on the road
August is doing this thing where when it's time to say goodbye to whatever (a person, place, animal, even his beloved binky) he waves and says "Goodbye! See ya!" And I have to say it is just ADORABLE. It's also really nice because instead of throwing a tantrum he seems to just say 'see ya' and move on with life. So I really appreciate that.
This was another day of long driving as we had to go from PEI, through New Brunswick (where we met an amazingly nice chatty lady as we stopped for lunch) and then down the side of the Bay of Fundy back into Nova Scotia. Poor Doug had an episode of being scared to run out of gas and driving through miles of nothing, with of course no cell service, as August and I blissfully napped unawares.
But we did make it. Our next B & B was this old house with these gorgeous floors.
We drove over to the water to see the famous high/low tides of the Bay of Fundy. It wasn't that dramatic for us since we were only there a short bit, but it was beautiful.
We went out for dinner after that, put August to bed, and came down to relax with tea. We ended up spending nearly 2 hours chatting with the B & B hosts who were Christians, and just genuinely nice people.
The next day we planned to spend at Peggy's Cove. Good thing the tie-for-best-breakfast (?) B & B owner told us to go via a city called Lunenburg because turns out Peggy's Cove has nearly nothing else in the area, and that city was filled with little cute shops and things to see.
I had this amazing carrot, sweet potato, ginger soup and when we came home found a recipe that ended up being pretty similar.
Doug enjoyed this donut with hockey players on it. Lol. And then we went to Peggy's Cove. It was crazy windy and hail was pelting us in the face. Poor August was crying so we mostly saw the lighthouse from the gift shop!
Our motel with an ocean view!
View from our fancy restaurant dinner
Cuddling with mama. August was behaving a lot better after the first couple days, so the trip had come around I'd say.
Our last day we explored Halifax
Walked along the longest boardwalk in the world.
My mom had given me the phone # for the couple that we had stayed with probably 25 years ago, that inspired my return to Nova Scotia. We called them in the morning and they invited us for a visit. They no longer lived in that home I remembered, but we came to their new condo and chatted an hour or two. These two are 90 and 91 and I tell you I could not have been more amazed at what great shape they were in and minds as sharp as tacks. What a blessing!
August loved sitting next to her and of course loved being given a cookie :)
Before we headed to our airport hotel they had recommended an area called the Eastern Passage so we checked it out.
Little shops and we went out for dinner.
Last night at the airport hotel, didn't sleep very well, and up early for our flight. Changed planes in Montreal where they confiscated our apples and orange, lunch layover, and then back home!
Great trip and so blessed to be able to explore our beautiful world.