Monday, August 31, 2009
This morning the girls woke us up around 7:30. We worked hard to keep Becca quiet since it was still quiet time until 8am. We got up and heated some water on our stove to make her bottle and we found it freezing outside. We snuck next door to Tom and Tara's site to steal some wood and started a fire. We had a nice breakfast of organic chocolate chip banana bread and some yogurt with granola. We also had some nice warm drinks (tea and hot chocolate) to warm us up. Adam and Ben woke up and came over and joined us.
This morning we woke up around 7:30 to start getting the car packed and the girls ready for our
Our first step was to set up our tent while the
After lunch we headed into the town and went for a nice long walk along the river to see the falls. It was quite hot so we stopped by the river to dip our toes and then headed to Cows for some ice cream. We then set out to find a liquor store so the adults could have a treat. We stumbled across one called “A Liquor Store.” – it sounded good however we could only fit inside a few at a time because it was the smallest store I have ever been in. It wasn’t a big problem and we got what we needed and headed back to the campsite.
At the campsite, things were rough with Rebecca because we couldn’t really put her down to crawl around. The ground was quite dirty and she was always picking things up and putting them in her mouth. It meant that I always had to hold her which made it quite frustrating to make dinner and eat. Fortunately we just had an easy meal of hamburgers barbequed on Tom and Tara’s barbeque on their trailer.
We roasted marshmallows with the other kids and Isabella really wanted to tell scary stories with the flashlight so we indulged her for a bit. The older kids went to bed quite easily. We had our campfire at Tom and Tara’s site so that we were farther away from Becca sleeping, and I was thrilled to find that she stayed asleep while I went in and put Bella to bed. We unzipped one of the windows so that Bella could peek out at us over at the campfire so that she wouldn’t be scared at being alone. She had a few issues of falling off the air mattress but she eventually fell asleep.
The rest of us had a nice visit around the fire and enjoyed our drinks. We went to bed and were quite comfortable in our tent. I had a hard time falling asleep and around 1am Bella woke up to go to the bathroom so I took her. I fell asleep quite easily after that.
Friday, August 21, 2009
After Becca's nap and lunch we drove all around town trying to find a replacement pole (the ones we had previously ordered took 3 weeks to arrive and we are doing REAL camping in a week so I couldn't wait that long). We couldn't find a long enough pole, but I did find replacement parts so I had to settle for rebuilding the pole from scratch.
At first I couldn't get the metal connector off because it was glued on and after my neighbour Ryan watched me trying to pull it off for about 10 minutes he offered to help. After WD-40, vice grips and tin snips he got it off. I headed back to the back yard to start threading a new length of shock cord through the sections and realized that was going to be pretty much impossible. I was quite frustrated, but at least I understood the physics of how it all worked now. Just before giving up I had an epiphany. I realized that if I took two sections off of the long new pole then it was the right length. So I pulled the shock cord out - cut it and tied a new knot at the shorter length and voila! D'uh - I felt so stupid- it took 15 seconds and I could have done that without all the effort Ryan and I put into the other one...oh well - it all worked out and I didn't tell Ryan I didn't use the part he worked on for me :)
About 7pm - after Big Brother and Becca was in bed - we headed outside and started a fire in our fire pit. It took a bit of work due to the breeze, but eventually we got it going. We used the barbeque to make our hotdogs and had a nice dinner outside which Dean joined us for. Dean went inside to enjoy his evening to himself while Bella and I stayed out and told spooky stories around the fire. We didn't put much wood on it because we really only wanted coals so we let it dye down and we got some great coals for marshmallows. Bella didn't like how the smoke was blowing towards her so I ended up roasting hers, which was probably for the best. Dean snuck back out now that we were having treats, but went back in when we were finished.
We headed into the tent and got our beds all set up. I had gotten a new queen sized air mattress to replace one with a hole and two twin air mattress which were on a great sale and I knew we would eventually need. Bella slept on a small one while I took the big one. First we made shadow puppets on the wall and then we told a few more stories before going to sleep. We both drifted off quite quickly. I was cold during the night, but Bella was snug and warm.
Dean came out before leaving for work to have me turn on the baby monitor I had in with me. By 8:10 Becca was awake, but Isabella was still sleeping. I tried waking her up but she was zonked. I reluctantly left her alone in the tent while I went in to get Becca. Around 8:45 I saw Bella coming out of the tent and I was pleased to find that she was happy and not angry I had left her alone. We all had a nice breakfast of oatmeal to warm me up - although Bella only had about 5 bites and Becca pushed hers all out with her tongue.
We had a great night and I'm almost tempted to leave the tent up and do it again tonight!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Today was a nice day. We went out for a drive in the morning to a petting farm in The Falls where we got to see lots of neat animals - we actually only got to "pet" goats so I felt it was mislabeled but it was a fun time anyway. We even got to practice using a lasso to rope stationary plastic bulls - it was much harder than it originally seemed.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
We arrived in Truro around noon and were treated to a great lunch from Murphy’s Fish and Chips. Becca went down for a nap and the rest of us enjoyed a great hot and sunny afternoon. Dean sat out reading trashy magazines and got a tan, while Bella and I played in the little pool and with water guns. We were running low on beer and coolers so I took Bella and we walked to the liquor store which is about a 10 minute walk away (5 without Bella). Coming back she was so cute pulling a case of Keith’s in her wagon – we even got a couple of comments from some young business men who thought it was a great idea. When Becca woke up she joined us in the pool and we had a great time.
For dinner we had some steak with fresh local vegetables. After dinner we enjoyed some local Jost port and Cuban cigars before heading off to a local pub called The Red Bird. By the time we walked home from there we only had energy for a piece of pie and then off to bed.
At about 11:30 we arrived at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic where we got to see lots of ship replicas and we even got to see all the original models from the “Theodore in the Big Harbour” show they film in Halifax. Bella and Dean went on the Acadia while Becca and I waited on the dock.
For lunch we went to Captain’s Catch (a tradition) for Clams and fries. They were very yummy as usual. We were entertained by a very naughty gull who kept pulling garbage out of the nearby can looking for food. At 1:30 we met up with Dianne for our afternoon Pirate Cruise on The Mar II. It is called a tall ship and is a ketch (two masted) that is 75 feet long (half the size of Dean’s tall ship from last summer). It was a lot of fun and the weather was beautiful. We had lots of wind and a full main sail and jib on the way out, however we lost the wind on the way back. The cruise lasted about an hour and a half and we had a good time.
After our sail we treated ourselves to some “Beaver tails” a wonderful deep fried pastry. Dean got apple cinnamon, but I got chocolate hazelnut (I’m pretty sure it’s Nutella). We drove over to visit relatives of Dean’s: Uncle Jack and Aunt Gwen Hornsby. We only stayed for a few minutes because it had been a long day and we wanted to get home.We relaxed at Diannes for a few hours and put Becca down to bed. At 7:30 Dean, Bella and I went down to the pool and although the windy air was quite cool the pool was wonderfully warm and we had a great swim.
At 8:00 Dean went out and picked up some Sushi we had ordered from a local restaurant, Sushi Nami and we had a nice late dinner. Although the sashimi was wonderful, the rolls were a little bit disappointing and next time we are in town we will probably try a different location. We got a head start on packing for tomorrow and then went to bed.
Our next stop was Point Pleasant Park. We used to love this park, and although it is still nice, it lost a lot of its trees in Hurrican Juan in 2003. It’s still a nice stroll, but you don’t feel like you are in the woods anymore, it’s more like a walk by the beach. We used to see about 40 squirrels on a typical walk and today we only saw one.
For lunch we decided to walk along Spring Garden Road and find something. First we stopped at the Second Cup to get a family sized (large) frozen hot chocolate – everyone should try this drink – it was fabulous, and perfect on a hot day. We also made note of how the Royal Bank across the street was now a Starbucks and we knew that Dad would find this ironic. We eventually settled on Your Father’s Moustache for lunch and had some nice pub style food. Becca was quite fussy during lunch which was the first meal she really cried during so far this trip. Bella of course was perfect and ate her lunch like a princess. After lunch we headed over to the Public Gardens and they were spectacular. Although they also had Juan damage they had been repaired nicely and they were stunning. Bella and Dean threw coins in the fountains. Dean’s wishes were a secret but Bella wished to first be a princess and second to be a car racer.
After our walk we strolled a little more down Spring Garden Road, but then headed back to the car as the girls needed a nap. We went for a lovely drive out Purcell’s Cove Road and got some stereotypical pictures of your typical Nova Scotia scenic view. We drove out by the lighthouse by Duncan’s Cove which is one of our favourite hikes, and reminisced about Bob the seal who watched bob in the waves one day.
We got back to Dianne’s around 4:30 in time to hit the pool before adult only time at 5:30. She made us a nice dinner of steak and then Dean and I headed out for an evening on the town.
We had our lunch at the Chicken Burger in Bedford which is quite a “tradition”. We all had cheeseburgers, onion rings and chocolate milkshakes. Next we headed into the Natural History Museum where we were quite entertained. We saw lots of live animals such as a tortoise which Bella got to pet, snakes, frogs and bees. We got to dig for fossils and build a salt molecule, plus lots of other things.
Upon leaving the museum we drove over to the Fairview Cemetery to visit Dean’s father’s grave. It was our first time having Becca there so that was special. And then we played hide and seek with the headstones because, although it is a solemn place, Dean Sr. was such a special man that we want the girls to think fondly of their late grandfather.
For dinner we had a lovely spaghetti casserole with salad and then Dean, Bella and Dianne headed out to Melville Heights for Dianne’s concert and Bella sang along with her during a special part. She was a very good girl, but was exhausted and dozed a little in Dean’s arms after her part. They came home and we all had dessert before heading into bed.
We arrived around noon and had a great cool lunch of ham and potato salad etc. Bella was getting a bit rambunctious so she went for a few walks outside with Dean and Dianne to burn off some energy. We took pictures, drew pictures, looked at pictures, and then it was time to head back home so we all piled into the car. Dean did a great job driving while the rest of us caught a nap. Upon arriving back to the apartment we went into the pool too cool off and refresh from our naps.
Bella had her infamous “mac and cheese” however the rest of us were treated to a feast of scallops. I couldn’t believe it. Dianne paid about $15 for the scallops and we would have paid at least $50 for back in Calgary. We waited until Becca went to bed so that we could really enjoy them. We had also picked up a nice Merlot at the local wine store and we enjoyed that.
Dean and I both headed to bed early to enjoy our books. Since Becca has been sleeping in the bathroom, it has been really easy for us to read and not worry about waking her up.
After the walk we packed up and went to visit my aunt and uncle (Bonnie and Barry Matthews). We didn’t stay there too long, and my dad took me and Dean for a drive around the subdivision showing us which land still belonged to our family and what the developers were doing with the other land. It was very interesting and we even drove down a “Rebecca Drive”.
After this we packed up, said goodbye to Mom and Dad and headed into Halifax. We ran a few errands along the way, but still ended up in time to hit the pool. We got the girls settled and Becca into bed and then we left Dianne home with them and Dean and I went out to dinner.
We drove down to the waterfront and went for a nice walk. Next we headed into Salty’s Upstairs for our 8pm dinner reservation. Dean had seafood chowder, pan seared scallops and baked Atlantic salmon. I had seafood chowder, oyster on the half shell and a seafood Quattro (salmon, haddock, shrimp and scallops) and it was all fabulous. We started with Grey Goose Martinis, and then shared a lovely bottle of Bordeaux. We topped off the meal by splitting some Nova Scotia Apple Crisp. Just as we were paying the bill, fireworks started outside! We were able to get a great spot and watched a nice show. It wasn’t nearly as good as the Canada Day show we saw in Ganges Harbour, but it was still nice.
After the fireworks we walked over to the Casino. I tried my luck (unsuccessfully) at the slots while Dean played for hours at the roulette table. He also was unsuccessful but we had lots of fun. We got home around 1am and went straight to bed.
We arrived at a foggy Clam Harbour Beach at noon and had our lunch up at the picnic tables before we headed down to the water. The water was quite cold at first but it didn’t stop us from going in. I sat Becca on the sand so that sometimes she was out of the water, however the larger waves would make it out to her. She liked splashing in the water and picking up (eating) sand, but she didn’t like it when a cold wave would sneak up and get her. I carried her out to jump in the waves with us but she didn’t really like that either. Becca spent most of her time in the shallow water while Isabella, Dean and I spent a lot of time out in the waves. Mom spent a lot of time with Becca on shore, but she was so fussy that I had to cut my water play short and join them.
We enjoyed some more snacks of cookies and cheesies and Bella has lots of fun digging holes and burying us in the sand. Around 2:30 we started the long process of packing up and trying to get the majority of sand off of the girls. After doing as good a job as we could we piled back into the cars and headed off to Heritage Village which was on the way home. This is a little area with actual relocated buildings from the 1940’s like a schoolhouse, church, house, barn etc. It was really fun to walk around and see how life was back then. Before we left we got some treats at the gift shop for the drive back. We headed back to our cars and were home in Truro by about 5pm.
Dad was already home and waiting for us and then he went out and got us some gorgeous 2 lb lobsters. We got Becca into bed and Bella set up in the TV room with the Garfield movie while the adults headed into the air conditioned apartment end of the house and had a feast. We watched the movie “Burn After Reading” and it was quite enjoyable. The lobster was delicious and we also enjoyed some of my grandfather’s homemade port. We were all in bed fairly early and I enjoyed reading some of my book.
When we first arrived I surprised to see how great my Grandmother looked. She looked younger and more energetic than last summer when I saw her. She knew who I was, but she had some trouble remembering Dean. We went out to the back yard and went for a walk. Then we enjoyed some ice cream treats and Bella won a prize in the sucker pull game. Dean and I joined in the water balloon toss, and we almost won when Dean dropped our balloon and we ended up coming in second. After about an hour we all packed up and took my Grandmother out to see my Uncle Clary’s headstone. He passed away in June of 2008 and this was our first time seeing the headstone. It was pouring rain, but Dean and I braved the wet and went out to see it and my grandfather’s headstone, while everyone else waiting in the cars.
We said goodbye to everyone and headed back to Truro. Mom and Dad arrived shortly after us due to all of our wrong turns and taking all the back roads. We got the girls dinner and then got ready to head out to dinner. We went out with my cousin Kelly and her husband Glenn. They brought their daughter Olivia (5) over to my Mom and Dad’s for a “sleepover” while we were out. We headed out to a restaurant called Frank and Gino’s and had lots of cocktails! Except for Glenn who was driving (thanks Glenn!). Dinner was great and we got to chat lots. My fish and chips were disappointing, but the company was great! We headed back to Mom and Dad’s around 9:30 to find the girls calm and colouring. We visited a bit longer but then they went home and we all went to bed.
Monday, August 3, 2009
We started out our day by heading out to breakfast at Smitty’s and then came home and swam in the pool. We had a light lunch of soup and crackers and then we headed out to York Redoubt. We had a lot of fun walking on the paths and checking out the buildings and cannons. After about an hour we left and drove over the Sir Sanford Flemming Park (The Dingle) where Dean and I had our wedding pictures taken. Dean and Bella played on the playground while Becca and I sat by the water. Next we all climbed the stairs up to the very top of the Dingle Tower. It was kind of scary, but we all made it up and down safely. We continued to walk around the tower and Bella played in the water for a bit. On our way back to Dianne’s we stopped at Dairy Queen to have a nice cool treat.
We hit the pool again before dinner and got all cooled off before a chicken casserole. We had another quiet night in and Dianne and Isabella spent a lot of time at the piano. We decided to set up Rebecca in the bathroom with her bed, so that the sun wouldn’t wake her up. After we put Becca to bed, Dean and I headed down to the pool for some relaxation without kids! It was an early evening into bed.
We had a nice dinner of Beef Bourgugnon at Dianne’s and had great chats catching up. Rebecca went into bed in our bedroom and Bella was sharing a room with her Nanny. It was very hot and humid but we got the ceiling fan going and that helped a little.