Trains and Boats and Planes

We’ve been scratching an itch a lot this year.  The travel itch, that is.

This year we have gone down to Houston, cross country to Halifax, and hit up the west coast cities, Vancouver and Victoria.  Not entirely world travel – but we’ve had fun exploring and going on adventures.

Halifax holds a very special place in our hearts now.  This was the first time Lee had ever been out to the east coast and I had only ever been for a speed skating competition waaay back in the day.

For this trip, we went and visited with friends, Shaun, Leah and their two daughters – who live in Calgary but have a beautiful home just outside of Halifax.  We highly recommend going.  It has become one of our most favorite places ever visited.  Hands down.

Just for fun – here is a glimpse into our time there.

Day 1 :  We arrived at 6 something a.m. Halifax time.  Which is 3 something a.m. Calgary time.  A 5+ hour red eye flight with limited sleep made for a very low-key first day.  We ate breakfast and promptly crashed for 4.5 hours.  It was a good way to adjust to the 3 hour time difference.  Not much – but enough to take every ounce of energy outta ya.

Low-key meant hitting up a local beach, watching wind surfers, playing in the ocean and tide pools and then struggling to go to sleep at night… We were completely unreasonable with our bedtimes.  Every. Single. Night.

Day 2 brought about some family friendly activities.

Like going through the Keith’s brewery tour.  Classy, I know !!

Frankly, you can’t go to Nova Scotia and not go to the Keith’s brewery in downtown Halifax.  The history alone is worth it.

And the beer samples!!

Post tour, we hit up Mary’s Bread Basket.  It is tucked waay back in the same building as the Keith’s brewery.  Had we gone on our own, we never would have found this gem.  The cinnamon buns were ah-maaazing.  So good.  I wanted at least 4 more cinnamon buns.  I decided I didn’t need to eat supper – I could live off of cinnamon buns.

Out of respect for the kids waning interest in the brewery tour, we took a harbour ride on Theodore the Tugboat.

This was such a throwback to my childhood.  I grew up watching Theodore.  Coolest tugboat around.

I think I sang the theme song for the show about 28 times while taking the tour.  It’s a miracle Lee took a picture of me not singing.  Or feeling sick.  Because, let’s face it, my stomach is weak.  However, I managed to keep my cinnamon buns in place.  It was a feat but I wasn’t gonna let go of those for the life of me !

Day 3 brought about yet another child friendly activity !

We hit up Luckett’s Vineyard.

We perused the shop.  We ate lunch.  We did a wine tasting.  Ahem, the adults, that is. We bought a bunch of bottles.  We wandered around the property.  Shaun, Leah, and the girls went for a hay ride.  Isaac slept in his stroller.  Lee and I wandered some more.  And took a lot of pictures.  Lee had the camera on sport mode which meant that he had snapshots of every millisecond we were in Halifax.  I’ve deleted over 450 duplicate pictures since coming home.  And to think this is only a smattering of the pictures we took !


Seeing as the Vineyard overlooked the Bay of Fundy, we would’ve been remiss had we not stopped by and waded for awhile while it was still low tide.  Isaac had no qualms about getting into the water.  The need for a quick outfit change became apparent as sitting in tide pools was the best way to conquer the Bay o’ Fundy.

For remarkable statistics about the Bay of Fundy, talk to Lee.  He is the master of useless facts.  All I know is that unbelievable amounts of water flow in an out of the Bay of Fundy twice a day.    We had to scoot just a few minutes after our arrival because the tide was coming back in.

The red squishy dirt was my favourite part.  It got everywhere.  And was super duper sticky.

Note the outfit change al a Isaac.  He loves playing in water.

Speaking of which – Isaac started the happening trend of sitting in a warm bucket of water after going for a swim in the lake.  He wasn’t the biggest advocate for lake swimming.  However, bucket sitting was definitely his style.

Oh – those thighs of his slay me !!

This was our sunset.  Every night.  It was beautiful.  There is something to be said about ‘doing life along the waters edge’.  It was such a calming vacation in every right.

A few days in – we were taken to a peninsula on the southern part of greater Halifax by a friend of Shaun and Leah’s.  He hauled us all out in his boat.  We promptly set up shop and started a BBQ picnic.

The lack of schedule was catching up to Isaac at this point, so he and I hung out on land while everyone else made sure to play in the water.  He was a total kill joy but seemed to still enjoy himself – preoccupied with sand toys and taking in each moment as it passed by.

Of course, you can’t go to the east coast without partaking in a lobster boil!  Great food – great company.  They’re GRRRRRRRREAT !

We hit up the Citadel fortress/historical military location one afternoon.  Lee lives and breathes this stuff.  He could’ve spent hours upon hours here.

I’ll have to admit, I’m charmed by history.  But he has this uncanny knack of remembering the details.  I just sit back and appreciate.  And join in with the guards.

The view from one of the lookout spots.  To the far right is the mouth of the harbour.  Cannons were able to shoot past that island.  Blew my mind how the ‘technology’ that existed back then was so incredibly capable.

Don’t mind Lee’s semi-scary face.  That barrel actually weighs a good hunk a chunka weight.

Not to be outdone, I had to try holding a barrel as well.  Good thing I couldn’t even lift it that high by myself.  Nope.  Lee had to hoist it onto my shoulders for me.  Ugh… I’m becoming a weakling.

The crew.

One of our last days was spent clam digging.

It was awesome.

It was ‘technical’.  As in, you had to have some technique to unearth the clammies.

It took forever.  We are not experts.

But we had fun !

Lee and I were hardcore.  We desperately wanted to find as many clams as possible.

Random factoid.  Clams “pee” when they’ve been exposed.  Or at least these ones did.  Yup.  Unearth a clam and you might get a little pee on your ankle.

The best part of clam digging was the meal prepared for us afterwards.  One of the fellows digging with us is a chef at Model Milk in Calgary.  He made a couple divine dishes out of the clams we dug that afternoon.  I wish I had taken pictures.  Ah-mazing.

Our final day was spent driving to Peggy’s Cove.  It was so picturesque there.

To tell ya the truth, Peggy’s Cove is actually what I envisioned Halifax area to look like as a whole.  A rustic, simple fishing town with quaint houses and boats everywhere.  Which, by the way, is so NOT the case.  Halifax is diverse and historical and new and old and surrounded by lakes and super awesome and cannot be put into a box.  There is so much to see and do and learn about.

We took it all in.  We were spoiled rotten by our tour guides and hosts.  We loved every moment.  Even the jet lag.  And we vow to go back because we didn’t even come close to seeing everything that we hoped to see.


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