Thursday, August 27, 2009

The final details . . .

Well, I just booked our rooms in London. After much debate and cross referencing and becoming so overwhelmed, we decided to worry about the hotels in London at a later date. But with the trip 9 sleeps and counting, later was a little closer to now . . . and of course, the trip wouldn't be complete without a little hotwire action.

The crazy thing about this site is it tells you just enough to know that it could turn out really good but not enough to know if the hotel will turn out really poorly. So after a few text messages to make sure we were all okay with these choices and a couple of calls for reassurance, I booked the hotels.

As much as it is crazy, the fun thing about this site is that you are gambling on a few details and then anxiously awaiting for the payment to be approved so you can find out where you are staying!!!!

And drum roll please . . .

So the first few days in London, we want to be close to all the touristy things, and of course the hop on hop off . . .

Crowne Plaza

And then, once we are back from our spanish adventures, we are going to be staying in the heart of London's city life . . .

Kingsway Hall Hotel (doesn't it look positively delightful)

It will be soooo delightful.

After that, we will part ways . . . heading off to Ireland or making the long trek home!

So here's to hoping that Hotwire still remains my best friend once we actually see the rooms in person and Thanks to all for having the faith in my Hotwire gambling!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pics of the Camp

As promised, here are some pictures of the cozy little cabin.

Brent and I

The little stove that heats you up on a cold winter night

I love the lino - another one of the many reasons why this place brought tears to my eyes. The floor speaks of so many memories of similar flooring at the Hall Farm.

It was so dark outside that I had no clue what I was about to take a picture of so I was quite impressed I got the full cabin. And of course I caught the boys goofing off and posing!!

The views on the way home. You can kind of make out how the trees form a canopy over the road.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The 'Camp'

I just had the most enjoyable night on this vacation. And let me tell you, that statement is a big one as I have had a tonne of great times on this trip. No worries - you will soon find out all the great adventures.

But first, let me tell you a little about last night. After a fabulous time at Brad and Laurel's wedding, the party was near over and Jimmy and Brent had been commenting on going up to the camp. Since we had switched the car for the truck earlier on, all we needed to do was stop by the house and change.

We went down some familiar roads before we made out first turn. As we were headed up the road, with me at the wheel Jimmy said 'we are about to go up a steeper grade. You will need to go slow but steady!' No worries - the farm girl in me kicked it into high gear and we were off!

We went up this crazy rocky road that had various twists and turns. Other than a few soft spots, the roads were pretty good considering that they are maintained to their bare requirements for use to access the camps and power/telephone. Despite Jimmy's concerns that I was extra nervous, I was sitting up nice and straight and quite close to the steering wheel as this was the only way that I could see past the front of the truck and the night was pitch black so I wasn't sure what would be around the next corner (not going to lie - I was kind of waiting to happen upon a bear or family of deer as it looked like we were invading their homes on the drive)

It was absolutely beautiful. The trees formed a canopy over the road as it twisted and turned gaining an elevaltion of maybe 700 - 850 feet at Brent's best guess. Once we got passed the steep grade, we were able to slow right down and enjoy the drive winding our way up the mountain.

All too quickly, we arrived at this little cabin. I can't wait to post pictures. It was so cozy inside. When Brent first cracked the door open, my eyes actually got slightly misted as it reminded me of walking into the Hall Farm those numerous times over the years for a little farm picnic with dad and gramps during harvest and all the fabulous May long memories.

We spent the next few hours hanging out, chatting about the beautiful spot, listening to Jimmy and Brent catch up on the last year, their families, their friends and the town entertainment. Made plans to attend a race in Vegas. And talked about all the wonderful places we would like to travel.

It seemed like barely minutes had passed before it was time to head out. As we were getting ready to leave, the boys dubbed me to be the one to sign the log book. What a privilege as this special spot is something that Brent doesn't share with just anyone and I was thrilled that I was one of those privileged few. Not to mention that I was the first 'flatlander' to grace it's presence in the many years that it has been in the family.

Few important details to note in the log book - temperature, upcoming forecast, date and the 'who' and the rest of the page is filled with fabulous stories and memories for the next person to read. I loved every minute of being able to note our evening on paper for others to read for years and years to come.

Then off we were on the 25 minute drive back down the mountain. Through the spider webs, slowing to ensure that we don't hit the little frogs, listening to the chirping of the crickets, watching the bats fly accross our path and marveling over the beauty. I really hope i get the opportunity to come up during the daylight one day so that I can stop and take pics along the way. I also think this would be a great spot to sled up and spend new year's one time. (wink wink nudge nudge Jimmy!!)

I know it may not seem like much to others, but it really was such a special moment for me.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I realize this is slightly out of order

But wanted to tell everyone that I am having a most delightful morning
sipping a yummy latte eating a muffin outside the Tall and Small on
main street Antigonish before I head out to get ready for the
beach!!!! It is another fantastic day!!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Highway #7

Sometimes Jimmy has the most delightful ideas and our roadtrip from Halifax to Antigonish was no exception.

He suggested that we pick up his good friend and drive home the old highway. Of course, the main suggestions that I add to an idea like this revolve around food. So after stopping to pick up Brent and heading to the grocery store for our 'picnic' lunch and some snacks we were off.

First stop - Peggy's Cove

I don't really know what I expected. I have seen so many pictures of that infamous light house. My cousin had just finished telling me it was all rock. But I really wasn't expecting anything that it was.

Watching the waves was absolutely amazing. I am continually in awe of God's incredible handiwork and how different this beautiful country of ours really is.

And of course, no road trip would be complete without me running around trying to find some cool shots.

After Brent told us this incredibly sad story about Swiss Air flight 111 we headed off to the spot where they erected the memorial.

Apparently the man who now runs one of the little touristy spots was from Switzerland and his daughter was on that flight. He immediately came over to wait for her with his wife. After months of looking, hoping, waiting his wife felt that she couldn't put her life on hold anymore and wanted to return home. However the father just couldn't bear to leave his daughter and her eternal resting place. He bought the little place and has been there since.

With the solemn reminder that our days are numbered and we must enjoy them to their fullest, we headed on our way. What a beautiful province I was visiting.
We stopped in this delightful little cove for our picnic lunch. The lake was like glass and it wasn't long before we had our own picnic guest . . . not the proverbial ants but rather a hungry little duck who quite enjoyed all the bread.

Again we were off and this time we didn't stop until Sheets Harbor. What an interesting spot this was! The site of a pulp mill, all that was left were a few stone foundations, the flowing river brown with all the minerals in it and a clock. Jimmy and Brent both like 'learning' spots and so they quite enjoyed exploring.

After an 8 hour drive to travel 2 hours, stories of men who always awaited the next passerby on their stoops and various roadtrips down these very paths, we were home!

Not sure if we will repeat the route again this year but if you are ever in the area, take the time and make the drive. I guarantee you will not forget it.

And there are plenty of road signs counting down the hours until french fries, burgers, ice cream and many other such treats if you forget to stop at the store first . . .

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Less than a month away

Well as I sit here frantically thinking about all I have to do before I embark on my vacation season, I wanted to share with you the exciting places I will soon be seeing:

First stop - London!! I loved London when I was there a couple of years ago. I loved the people, the beautiful architecture, the window shopping and the fabulous Indian food!! I cannot wait to experience all of that again.

This time around we have added the London eye, Camden market and the Tower of London!! Oooh - I could squeal right now!

One thing that I will not be partaking in again . . . White Pepper (in case anyone was wondering)

Next on the Agenda - fabulous Barcelona. After watching Viky Christina Barcelona I was so excited to visit. Then when Jillian Harris visted there with all her boys, I knew it was fate.

Check out the movie trailer if you have never seen it:

It looks like the hotel is going to be amazing:

And finally some photos of sites we will be seeing!

And then . . . before we head back to London for the weekend, we wanted to have a little beach time. So why not Mallorca! The island looks absolutely amazing . . .

And in case you were wondering about the beaches . . . check out our little hotel:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Beach Days

Arisaig Beach

I know I promised you more of Nova Scotia Beaches and on this gloomy day as I am stroking things off the to do list prior to jetting away to this lovely province let me share some of my favorite beach moments with you.

The lobster traps at Cripps Point

My very own real live little crab that Jimmy caught for me. It was sooooo cute.

The fresh waterfalls that Clairise took me to explore

They run directly into the ocean.

The best fish and chips EVER!!!

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Ahhhhh . . . that feels better

My flight is booked for London. We have flights from London to Barcelona and on to Mallarca and two hotels.

Maybe now it will feel a little more real!!

Monday, August 03, 2009


I was so excited that we had enough time on this trip to spend a couple of days in Halifax. What an absolutely beautiful city. And it came with the added bonus of being able to visit with my cuz.

First stop was to meet some new friends, have a little dinner and watch their son play some baseball. Then it was off to downtown Halifax to meet up with Nate and check out some sights!

The following day we handered down to the waterfront. It was the perfect day to wander through the shops, enjoy some fresh fish on a patio and check out the local Alexander Keith's brewery.

Alexander Keith's Brewery Tour

Where we headed to for lunch.

The evening proved to be just as beautiful as the day. We met up with some more good friends and my cousin and found a spot at one of the guys favorite spots along the waterfront.

The pier by night.