Saturday, October 1, 2011

Off to the Cook Islands!

The Naugler Family is off to the Cook Islands for most of the month of October.  We leave tomorrow and have boarding passes in hand - we are very excited!  Part of the point of this trip is going off of the grid and just enjoying time together in paradise so I won't be updating the blog until we get back.  However, if you are curious to see where we will be staying here are the three hotels we will be visiting.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Home - July 28

This morning we woke up bright and early to head out to the airport.  The girls took advantage of one last snuggle in bed with Grammie before she drove us to the airport.  We left the house at 6:45am and got the airport at 7:30.  Checking in and security were both a breeze.  We grabbed some snacks and drinks and then boarded the plane.

I started by watching the end of True Grit which I didn't get to finish on the flight in to Halifax last time. On Dean's "better than I thought it would be" review I watched Water For Elephants.  Then I watched the Lincoln Lawyer.  It was a great movie.  At first I didn't really want to watch it, but it was slim pickings.  By half way through I couldn't look away and I really enjoyed it.  I usually don't watch this many movies in a month!

Dean was waiting for us at the airport and it was great to see him.  The girls ran right into his arms and it was pretty cute.  As usual we will miss everyone but it is nice to be home.  Today was a busy day, but now laundry is done and the lawn is mowed so it's time to relax!

Cook Islands in 67 days!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stewiacke - July 27

It was another wet day today, but the rain held off enough that we could still do some things.  I spent most of the morning packing and getting ready to fly home tomorrow.  It's always nice to get those boarding passes printed off and in my hand so that I know our seats are together on the plane.  Just before 11am we headed out to Stewiacke with Dad.  We started off by playing mini golf and the girls had a blast.  They found this course really fun because it had a lot of moving parts unlike the course we play on at home.

After mini golf we walked around the park and checked out the Mastodon and some of the history along with the "Flintstones" style car, house and Dino.

 In case you didn't know, Stewiacke is halfway between the equator and the North Pole.

 Digging for fossils in the interpretive centre.

We had lunch at KFC-Taco Bell which had something for everyone and then we headed back home to Truro.  I stopped at the grocery store so that I could pick up treats for the plane tomorrow and lobster for sandwiches for dinner tonight.  Bella was asleep so Dad stayed with her in the car while Becca and I went in.  While inside we ran into my cousin Kelly - so weird to run into someone I know in a grocery store in Truro.  Of course she lives here, but it's weird because she's really the only person I know other than my parents.

When we got home we all rested on the sofa and watched two movies (Bambi and Tangled) before dinner.  The girls had their favourite - grilled cheese with tomato soup.  I got the girls into bed even though Bella was quite upset about leaving tomorrow.

Dad and I enjoyed a dinner of lobster sandwiches before I fly back to the land of beef (yum!). Mom and I indulged in our last night of watching Big Brother together before I remove the series recording from their TV.  I made sure everything was ready for the morning and then went to sleep :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Truro - July 26

At the movie theatre
feeding the birds

Fairy Village
The new house the girls made (decorated) for the fairies

This morning we got off to a slow start which was fine with me. Mom did lots of crafts with the girls and we decorated a fairy house to leave out for the fairies. The girls are loving this! Mom got them to help her with feeding the birds, which honestly is more work than help, but the girls loved it.

For lunch we got a treat of Burger King. It was nice and relaxing for Mom and I because the girls ate and played in the indoor playground while we sat at watched them. It was a really nice visit because they played well with other kids and there were no bullies there which you sometimes encounter at places like that.

When we got back to the house I took the girls for a walk down to the grocery store to pick up a few things and to get some exercise. Later in the afternoon, Dad and I took them to the movie theatre to see the Winnie the Pooh movie. It was Becca's first time in a theatre and she was perfect (unlike Bella's first experience). They had a lot of fun and laughed and ate their treats and Becca can't wait to do it again.

We had a low key evening and only snacked for dinner due to the theatre snacks. Bella spent a lot of time playing outside by herself and having creative fun, while Becca preferred to stay inside and watch a TV. They went to bed and I indulged Dad by watching a British detective show he had taped, which was only fair since I had been monopolizing the television for the past few nights. Not sure what is on the plan for tomorrow, it will be weather dependent.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Burlington - July 25

Aunt Pam's cottage (house) in Burlington
Bella leading Dancer (with help)
That saddle is heavy!
Aunt Pam, Dancer and Bella
The girls checking out Dancer and Dolly

Our plan was to wake up bright and early today to head out, but it turned out Mom had an appointment at 9:15 so we got to sleep in and get a later start to our day. The girls were excited to see that fairies had taken the dresses they left out again and tomorrow we plan to build them another house.

We got on the road and stopped at Subway to pick up lunch and Shopper's Drug Mart to get Bella some new earrings since we discovered she had lost one this morning. We took the back roads out to Lower Burlington - my Mom and Dad will always choose back roads if given the option. The drive was beautiful, but a little too windy for my stomach. We arrived just before 1pm and we loved it. My Aunt and Uncle have been building a cottage and barn on their property and it is just such a special place - so secluded, with great views and lots of room Dancer and Dolly (the horse and pony).

After lunch, my Aunt Pam indulged us by taking Bella for a ride on Dancer. Not only did she take her for a ride, but she gave Bella her first riding lesson. This was Bella's first time on anything other than a pony. Becca asked for a turn but as soon as I lifted her up she started squirming to get down, so she didn't even get to sit on Dancer. It was very special to watch Aunt Pam working with Bella. She is such a gifted, patient teacher and Bella was just absorbing her every word. She was very excited to get a chance to ride, lead and just generally help out with Dancer, and I appreciated her having the opportunity. This will certainly be a new, regular stop on our annual Nova Scotia visit.

We left around 4pm and took the highway back to Truro - much easier to stomach. I had set up the wading pool before leaving and it was nicely warmed up by the time we got home. Bella played in it for a bit while Becca played with the wagons. We had a nice dinner outside before getting the girls to bed a little bit late for the second night in a row. Tomorrow we have a relaxing day in Truro planned.

PS: Turns out our visit to the race track yesterday ended up in the Chronicle Herald today! Check out our picture here

Bella riding Dancer:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Truro Raceway - July 24

Today's fairy dress creations
Girls watching horses at the Truro Raceway

The fairy house left overnight in the garden

This morning we said goodbye to Dean, bright and early around 6:45am, and he had an uneventful flight home which is always good. Apparently the movie Water For Elephants isn't as bad as we had thought it would be.

I had a really hard time waking up this morning and I kept sneaking back to bed, but the girls finally got me up to stay around 9:30am. They were ecstatic to find that not only had a fairy taken the dress we left last night, but that the fairy had built a house in the garden (thanks Mom!). So we spent this morning making 2 more dresses to leave out tonight. Mom and Dad have an awesome garden to get nice big leaves from and Mom's stamping supplies certainly allow us to add some flair.

Just after noon Dad went out to play golf and we headed out to the Truro horse races. I have never been to a horse race before and I was completely overhwhelmed at first, but after a bit I figured out what I was doing. We only bet on one horse per race to show (that means come first, second or third if you have no two clues like me). It cost $2 to place this bet per horse and my largest one time win was $3.90! I did not have beginner's luck and I came out about $15 in the hole, but it was fun and well worth the cost of an afternoon out. We also had lunch there and only in Nova Scotia can you play $13 and get a lobster roll with fries or salad, tea or coffee and strawberry shortcake! Very nice! The girls had fun picking horses to win and Bella had a great strategy where she waited until the end of their first lap and then picked the horse in the lead...unfortunately you couldn't wait this long to place your bet at the betting window. All in all we were there for 4 hours - 12 races and it was fun. Not nearly the sternum pounding horse power we experience at the Chuck Wagon races at Stampede, but still fun.

When we got home I put a movie on for the girls Dad made us a nice dinner of BBQ steak and fresh veggies. The girls had fun playing in the bath after dinner and even got to use some Avon body paint my Mom had picked up. Some of the colours were disappointing and there are no pictures since they were in the tub :)

They went to bed easily, and I started reading The Adventures of Bobby Coon to Bella, and being a chapter book that means I need to read 6 chapters a night so that we finish it in 4 nights (fortunately they are short chapters!). Mom, Dad and I watched a few episodes of the Criminal Minds Marathon on A&E but then it was time for bed since we are leaving the house at 8am tomorrow for our next adventure.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Back to Truro - July 23

Olivia, Bella and Becca visiting the Bunnies
The girls each found a prize in the Easter Egg Hunt
Becca's first time on a big girl swing
We made a fairy dress
Leaving the fairy dress out for a fairy
Outside supper (Dean is doing his GQ pose)
Blue Jay

This morning we were in no rush to get up and going and the girls even let us sleep until 7:15! We spent the morning packing and said goodbye to Ron and Dianne who were leaving for New Brunswick around 9am. We were ready and in the car to pick up our last Starbucks for a while by 10:15 and on our way out to Truro.

Both Becca and I had a nice nap on the way out and we pulled in just in time to have lunch with Mom. After lunch we drove out to Wide Open Wilderness campground to visit the Desmonds at their summer home. The campground was celebrating Easter this weekend so we got to visit bunnies and chicks, the girls got to go on an Easter Egg Hunt and Bella even got to play in the pool with Olivia. It was very hot today so we enjoyed the air conditioned drive back and Dad was home now form his fossil day out.

We played out in the back yard for a bit and Becca tried her first time on a big girl swing. She loved it but the fun ended when she forgot to hold on and ended up falling off. Some very nice friends of Mom's came by to do some Stampin' Up trades and we had a nice outdoor dinner with fresh vegetables and bbq. The girls decided it would be a great place to find a fairy in the garden so they compiled what they knew about them and started looking. After not finding any they thought perhaps they should try another method so we ended up making a fairy dress to leave out in hopes that one will come and take it.

The girls were exhausted after their long day and both fell asleep within minutes of their heads hitting the pillow. We enjoyed a nice evening catching up on missed Big Brother Episodes and enjoying each other's company. Dean leaves first thing in the morning tomorrow so it wasn't a late night.

Halifax - July 22

Ron Arsenault and Friends perform at Cameron Hall

Girls enjoying ice cream on the waterfront
on the Sackville

Becca works on her shell collection

Today was a nice hot day in Halifax. Of course we started out day at Starbucks and then went for a bit of a drive. Our first stop was Fairview cemetery to visit the grave sites of Dean’s father and Uncle Tommy. The girls were also quite interested in the many graves of the Titanic victims buried there. We drove around the grounds of Dalhousie before heading along Young Street on our way to Point Pleasant Park.

At Point Pleasant Park we spent the morning along the shore collecting shells and mistaking pieces of floating wood for seals. The girls had a blast looking for treasures although Becca was not pleased with the number of crab shells she encountered.

We drove back down to the water front, grabbing a quick lunch at a food court before proceeding to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. The was a visiting display of the history of Homosexuality in the Navy which coincided with Pride week 2011 going on also this week. The girls were quite fascinated with the Titanic display after seeing the graves this morning. We spent some time out on the ships Acadia and Sackville and the girls always have fun exploring and posing for pictures.

We went for a walk along the board walk to Sugah where we got more ice cream. Today I got chocolate mixed with toasted coconut - it was delicious. We sat out on some nearby grass and stonework to enjoy it. We walked back to the car and got back to the condo around 4pm. Dean and Bella went out for a dip, but Becca and I stayed in and I got a head start on some packing for tomorrow.

We had a delicious dinner of pan fried scallops, asparagus and sweet potato fries. After dinner we met a new girl, Alyssa, who was going to babysit Bella and Becca. We walked over to Cameron Hall where Dianne and others were doing a “pub night” at the seniors complex. We were there from 7:30 to 8:30 and then on our walk back we stopped to get frappaccinos from Starbucks. We got back to the condo by 9pm and visited with Ron and Dianne before heading to bed.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

York Redoubt and Crystal Crescent Beach - July 21

Bella, Julie, Becca and dogs at York Redoubt
Julie hiding behind a rock at Crystal Crescent
Dean on the blanket, Bella in the water and Becca in the sand at our private alcove
Warming up in Dianne's pool

After staying up too late last night we had a hard time getting up this morning, but fortunately we always have the girls to get us going. This morning I was woken up by Becca standing beside my bed, stark naked, holding her diaper asking “Where this go, Mommy?” Needless to say that gets you up and going quickly :)

We got ready at a slow pace and finally got out the door around 9:30am. We stopped at Walmart to pick up some buckets and shovels for the girls and then made our daily stop at Starbucks. We drove out to York Redoubt where we had lots of fun climbing on cannons, playing hide and seek, climbing on rocks and just hiking around. Becca even to play with some dogs that were there.

Around 11:30 we stopped at Subway to pick up some subs for a picnic and then we drove out to Crystal Crescent Beach. The weather wasn’t as nice as we had hoped and it ended up being about 20C with wind. We were really lucky to get a great secluded spot in a little alcove where we got to set up on warm sand while being very close to wet sand and waves. We made sand castles and played with the molds that came with the buckets. Dean and Bella went for a long walk climbing on rocks as they went. The water was ice cold, the kind that you eventually get numb too, you never actually get used to it. Becca still prefers to be on the sand when it’s that cold, but Bella and I had fun going in up to our knees!

We got back to the condo around 3:30 and went for a swim in the pool. The wind made it so cold but the water was so warm that as long as you kept your shoulders in you were fine. Even Becca came in.

We got the girls a treat of McDonalds for dinner and put them to bed and we were fortunate enough to have Dianne and Ron watch them while Dean and I went out to dinner. We started with a cocktail at the Fife and Drum at the Marriott before heading over to our 8pm reservation at Salty’s. We had a delicious, yet way too big dinner of lobster bisque, portebello mushroom stuffed with lobster and goat cheese, smoked salmon, pan seared scallops and the daily special which was salmon with a tomato salsa served with asparagus and a fabulous crab risotto. For dessert we split a very refreshing lemon creme brulee.

The rain that had started around 7pm had cleared so we enjoyed a nice, calm walk along the waterfront over to the Casino. It was a successful night and we walked away with $140 more than we went in with. We got home to find out the girls had gone right to sleep for Ron and Dianne so we decided to join them and headed into bed ourselves.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Halifax - July 20

Today we got to spend the day in Halifax. We started off by going for a nice walk in the Public Gardens followed by a tour of the Museum of Natural History. I love that museum but we were a little disappointed to find parts of it under renovation so there was a bit less to see but still lots of fun. Becca loves seeing the snakes, frogs and bees but she did not enjoy the stuffed animals on display. They scared her and she often walked through those displays with her eyes covered. Too cute!

WE drove down to the waterfront where we able to walk right on the 11am sailing of the Mar Tall Ship. We had a lot of fun and Bella even got to steer the ship! We had a rather disappointing lunch at Murphy's (due to the fact that we all ordered deep fried stuff and it was too heavy for a nice day). We spent the rest of the afternoon walking along the waterfront. We stopped at Sugah to get some candy and ice cream and the girls had fun playing on the anchors outside the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which we plan to visit on Friday.

We came back to the condo to get freshened up before heading over to Easter Passage to have dinner with Dianne and Ron at Ron's house. He made us a lovely seafood chowder and we had a nice evening playing out in his yard. He had given each of the girls an Anne of Green Gables doll and they had so much fun playing with them in the garden. At 7pm we drove the half hour back to Halifax to put the girls to bed. Dean and I spent the next 5 hours cleaning up the condo and we will sleep well tonight!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Trenton/Halifax - July 19

This morning we got up and headed out to Trenton - but first stopped at Starbucks for a morning treat which we had dearly missed in Truro. The drive to Trenton is just under two hours and we arrived there before we were expected so we decided to let the girls play at a playground for a bit. They had a lot of fun, but it was very hot and sunny and we hadn't planned for sunscreen or proper shoes so we headed on.

We got to Aunt Ella and Uncle Brundage's just after 11am. Cousin Karen was also visiting from Moncton and it is always nice to see her too. We stayed for lunch but then headed out around 1pm. We grabbed some lobster and ran some errands before getting back to the condo right around 3:30. Our first stop was to the pool! All 4 of us got in and had a blast, however Becca ended up swallowing so much water that we had to get her out before too long.

Ron came over and joined us for our lobster dinner and we had a nice quiet evening in.

To Halifax - July 18

We had a leisurely morning doing laundry and packing up while in Truro today. Just as it was time to load the car it started to pour and everything got wet, but it dried easily so no harm done. We left Truro around 12:30pm to drive into Bedford to enjoy lunch at the Chicken Burger. Funnily enough none of us ever get chicken burgers and instead we opted for cheeseburgers, onion rings and chocolate milkshakes - yum!

We got into Dianne's just before 2pm and Bella immediately wanted to hit the pool. It was cool and overcast so Becca and I decided to watch from the side but Dean got in with Bella and they had the whole pool to them selves. We enjoyed a nice dinner at home before Dianne, Bella and I went out to the Bedford Berkley where Dianne's band was playing for the seniors. Bella got to make a contribution by singing along with Nanny plus doing a solo of ABCs. The bassist brought her a microphone and she was in her glory! Even Ron got up to sing a song accompanied by Dianne - he was very good!

We got back to the condo around 8:30 and I put Bella straight to bed. Dean had already gotten Becca to sleep while we were out. Ron came back too and we enjoyed a few cocktails before heading to bed.