Monday, August 25, 2008

Here Comes the Fall

First Red Leaf of the Season

Snapped this on one of my walks in Point Pleasant Park in Halifax. I was honestly surprised to see a red leaf on the ground so soon, but I guess the summer actually is over. I love the colours of Fall so I always look forward to it, even if it is with a slight bit of sadness that I bid goodbye to summer.

As another sign of summer ending, I started my new job today. I am really excited about it and enjoyed myself today. Can't wait for tomorrow!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Sea Bound Coast

How High are Your Tides?

Our first day in Nova Scotia we drove out to the Bay of Fundy, which was beautiful despite the rain and fog that day. We ended up at a place called Harbourville, with lovely colourful homes, dramatic cliffs and views. The Bay of Fundy is home to 50 foot tides and St. Croix Island, a small island in the bay that became the first European settlement in North America in 1604.

The Birthplace of Hockey!

How could we resist visiting Windsor - the cradle of hockey. Nova Scotia is full of important Canadian historical events, but can any be as important and world changing as the moment some people decided to drop the puck on Long Pond (c. 1800)?

Sunset at Peggy's Cove

We visited Peggy's Cove, a small fishing village founded in 1811, on our second day in Nova Scotia. The famous red and white lighthouse on St. Margaret's Bay was originally built in 1868 and then modernized in 1914 to the current lighthouse. We loved Peggy's Cove so much we went back a second time just to sit on the point and watch the sun go down! Romantic or what? As we sat their with the sky turning orange we also watched the full moon rise across the sky.

Bluenose II - Canadian Icon

The Town of Lunenburg (1753) is a lovely Atlantic village that is home to the tallships Bluenose (sunk in 1946) and Bluenose II. We had a lovely meal of Lobster and Haddock at the Grand Banker.

One of the most popular beaches in Nova Scotia

On the way to Lunenburg we enjoyed driving through Mahone Bay (which has more churches then anywhere I have ever seen) and we stopped for a short while to splash in the surf at Queensland Beach. The drive along the Atlantic Coast is beautiful and the stop at the beach was a perfect interlude.

On History's Doorstep

A visit to Pier 21 allowed us to do some family research and learn more about how integral Halifax is to the immigration and war history of Canada (immigrants, refugees, troops, wartime evacuees, displaced persons, war brides and their children all passed through Pier 21). I found the exhibits moving and the staff at the Research Centre to be very helpful. After Pier 21 we walked over to the Keith's Brewery and took the tour - likely one of the best tours in Halifax (highly recommend). We finished off that night with singing at the Lower Deck in Halifax's Historical Properties, and drinking more Keith's (of course).

Lighting the Way

The George's Island Lighthouse (1876) is easily observed from the the Halifax Harbour. I took many pictures of this lighthouse while walking up and down the harbour front but I chose the night time shot for the blog since I spent a lot of nights on the harbour. George's Island is part of the fortifications in the defense of Halifax, in conjunction with the Citadel, Prince of Wales Tower, and the Point Pleasant, York Redoubt and McNab Island gun emplacements.

A Clearer View

It wasn't until I neared the end of our trip in Halifax that I discovered the extent of the pollution in the Harbour (200 years of raw sewerage). A massive clean up effort resulted in the beaches re-opening for swimming in June of this year but they were already closed again when we were there (due to high bacteria levels). Luckily I had resisted the urge to paddle around in the water! After disembarking one of the harbour tours I took I noted some of the locals peering into the water exclaiming how clear the water had become. When I stopped to see what they were looking at, these sea stars were what I saw.

To the Lighthouse...

The McNab Island Lighthouse as seen on my journey to the Atlantic Ocean (aboard the Sea Tiger) in search of whales. In the end there were whales that refused to surface to give us a show and then the weather changed suddenly making the calm ocean breeze bitter and cold. But before we headed back to Halifax I was able to also photograph the Devils Island Lighthouse, which made me happy. Maybe even the happiest person on the boat.

Lost in the Titanic Disaster

The history of Halifax held my imagination this whole trip and I couldn't resist the lure of the Titanic graves. I visited the Fairview Cemetery on my last day in Halifax, as well as the churches that held the Titanic Memorial Services. I think that the graves at Fairview, which hold the largest number of Titanic dead to be found in Halifax, is a fitting tribute to the victims and I enjoyed visiting them. I took many pictures that can be seen on Flickr with much more detail (about the people themselves).

Here's the usual Hooters pic (Dartmouth).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Our "Near Tornado Experience"

Kids splashing as the storm rolls in

We got more than we bargained for when decided to enjoy the hot weather at Gull Lake (Aspen Beach Provincial Park) this afternoon. By the time we made it to the lake it was obvious a storm was rolling in... but we had enough time to enjoy the water and what was left of the sun.

Then, as the storm moved over the lake, Duncan and I looked up at a strange rolling cloud formation directly above us. "Are clouds supposed to do that?" he asked. I said something like "I think that's what is called rotation" and we agreed we should be leaving.

Before we could even get out of the water a great roaring occurred - a swirling wind cloud kicking up dirt, tree parts and other debris just off the beach - I've never heard anything like it. I yelled for the kids to run, but it was unnecessary. We all made it into the car just before the view was obscured by dirt and sand. We drove away, still wet and shoeless, eager to leave the adverse weather far behind.

We stopped briefly at a roadside pull out on the highway to change clothes and grab towels etc, but the wind caught up with us and we set out once again for home. We made it back to Edmonton a few minutes before the storm did.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I Hope You Can Hear Me

I miss you...
I miss you so bad
I don't forget you, Oh it's so sad
I hope you can hear me
because I remember it clearly

The day you slipped away
Was the day that I found
It won't be the same

I didn't get around to kiss you
Goodbye on the hand
I wish that I could see you again
I know that I can't ooooooooooooh
I hope you can hear me
Cause I remember it clearly

I've had my wake up, Won't you wake up
I keep asking why, And I can't take it
It wasn't fake, it happened - you passed by

Now you're gone, Now you're gone
There you go, There you go
Somewhere I can't bring you back
Now you're gone, Now you're gone
There you go, There you go
Somewhere you're not coming back

I miss you...

-Slipped Away by Avril Lavigne

Come Out Wishing Star

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

63 Years and 1000 Cranes Later

"I will write peace on your wings
and you will fly all over the world
-Sadako Sasaki

An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand paper cranes will be granted their greatest wish. Sadako Sasaki’s wish was to recover so she could run again, although destiny had a different path for her. Sadako continued to fold her cranes even as she became sicker, until she died.

Her story became one of hope and inspiration symbolic of the desire for peace felt by her friends. As part of her legacy, children from across the world still fold cranes for Sadako and send them to Hiroshima to be placed at her memorial in the Peace Park.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

I Dreemed I had Cheezburgers...

more lol catz