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Nova Scotia, Canada – 2, The Sights

3 Aug

Recommendations of locals is never to be underestimated, and instead of heading for the very touristy Peggy’s Cove, we headed on our first day in Nova Scotia to Coleman’s Cove – a gorgeous piece of uninhabited land on the Atlantic Ocean.  After a nice little hike uphill, we reached a gorgeous, wild cove–with no one and nothing in site except many beautiful, wild rock formations, surrounded by active ocean waves.  The boys were thrilled to climb the multitude of rocks, skinny-dip in a small body of water amidst them, and take photographs of the beautiful surroundings (Emile has found a new passion in photography and is learning from his Uncle Nuno to take good shots, so that he can frequently post them on Instagram – and hopefully get new followers). His address: EmiWata15

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Filou agreed with the owner of the The Shore Club, that Coleman’s Cove is the most beautiful part of Nova Scotia – and happily he still can talk about it as we had a small panic moment, when we did not see him for a few minutes when he so enthusiastically ran off to explore more natural beauty and climb rocks.  Not knowing where he was, even for a split second, is absolutely terrifying when you stand on a massive structure, surrounded by a very wild ocean – and one misstep and fall down will be without rescue possibility. Of course we found him back with the “what are you worried about, happy look” on his face – and after a few tight hugs – the glorious day of exploration continued.

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The next day, we followed another recommendation, and took the Ferry (45 minute return ride, for $5) to Big Tanook Island.  Following a lovely, brisk boat journey, during which we even spotted a seal, we reached this small island that is only inhabited by a few – a place that is great for hiking, bird watching and calm exploration.  After about an hour hike, we reached the island’s Wishing Stone Café – a lovely little place where you can take a break and pick up a complimentary, pretty “wishing stone” promising to make your wildest dreams come true….should you choose to throw it in the water at the adjacent beach. In return for this gift, you make the promise to the café owner to email her, should your wish indeed materialize!  And apparently she had already received several emails from visitors whose wishes came true (pregnancy after years of trying, full-time job etc.).

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Filou was quite enamored by the beautiful wishing stones…and Anthony took the opportunity to give him a lesson in entrepreneurship.  Together they created a concept to sell wishing stones on-line – Filou setting the price of $1.99 per stone, creating the logo and even describing the uniform they should wear – I won’t go into details but it involved black overalls with sparkles on the pockets, a big picture of a wishing stone on the chest and dark flat caps)!  I think with Filou’s creativity and Anthony’s sales techniques – they might have a winning idea and make dreams come true?!

The beach next to the café was a great place for collecting the “wishing stones”, colourful pieces of glass, as well as many beautiful shells. This was another place of tremendous natural beauty with nobody in sight. The shallow water, surrounded by the most beautiful, green & yellow algae made the kids feel that they could run on water (which they did!).   And after taking a nice family picture and leisurely stroll, we took the ferry and some wonderful memories back to the shore of Chester.

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The later part of the week included some wonderful visits with family, as we enjoyed the incredible hospitality of cousin Danielle, Sean and their two adorable sons, Oliver & Quinn (they were addictive – so cute as they were!). Also, we went to admire the new and absolutely stunning ocean property of Auntie Katie, cousin Derek and wife Sandy. There, the kids had an absolute ball playing with their cousins Hanson and Warner.

During the last few days, we made brief stops in Halifax, where we visited the Canadian Museum of Immigration (www.pier21.ca)–an interesting spot that depicts the location where YiaYia, the boys’ grandmother, and her siblings entered Canada from Greece. As well, we spent half a day in Lunenburg, a very quaint fishing town where in the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic (www.museum.gov.ns.ca/fma), Filou got to help re-enact the launch of the Blue Nose 2, a well-known local ship that celebrated its 50th anniversary the day we were there.  And although I absolutely adore coastal towns and everything naval, the stunning natural beauty of Nova Scotia is what will stay with me as the highlight of our time in this beautiful province.

Big thanks to Nuno for the awesome pictures he took of this leg of the trip, Ayako for inspiring Filou to draw and helping Emile decipher the Japanese words in his new favorite collection of Japanese stories, and to Jichan (grandfather) for treating us to this wonderful part of our tour!  This was our second week of family goodbye’s and with some tears we said our “au-revoir” for a year. We will miss you all but look forward to your visits during our time away!

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Nova Scotia, Canada – 1, Lobster

3 Aug

NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA – LOBSTER

 So what do you eat on your first night in Hubbards, Nova Scotia? – a massive Lobster with lots of yummy butter of course!  Recommended by the owner of our cottage, we headed to The Shore Club (www.shoreclub.ca), right after our short flight on Porter Airlines and a half an hour drive from Halifax Airport.   The Shore Club, the original Lobster Supper & Dance Club did not disappoint; for $30 a person you get a small lobster (large by my standards!), all-you-can-eat salad & mussels and three copious desserts to choose from – all served of course with that wonderful Nova Scotia hospitality!

This dinner will of course beg for more…. as Emile & Filou have now developed the taste for this delicious local delicacy – they just LOVED it!  Jichan (grandpa) taught Filou to eat the head of the Lobster and all the yummy goodies, such as the liver, inside…And Emile was thrilled with the large pieces of lobster in the tail of this yummy water creature (that his godfather Nuno generously shared with him).  Anthony was also quite happy to leave his fashion sense behind for an evening, and strap on a lovely plastic Lobster Bib…to dig in!

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The lobsters at the Shore Club were cooked & prepared outside the restaurant in huge boiling pots, and when making friendly conversation with the chefs, the boys got a behind-the-scenes tour.  Quickly put to work, they got to pick out the next order of live lobster – swimming in a bucket full of ocean water.  The chef was impressed that the boys were not fearful at all of holding the animals, as the large claws can basically snap off a finger (these claws were of course held together with an elastic band – but even the small claws held a very strong grip on the boys’ fingers).  And after they learned some interesting facts about lobsters, such as how to distinguish a male from a female, they quickly made their way into the restaurant to eat.

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And eating we did. Following a week of scrumptious scallops, haddock and lobster rolls (even eggs with lobster for breakfast!) – what did we decide to eat on our last night in Nova Scotia? Another delicious lobster each at the Shore Club of course – as it was the perfect ending to a week of gourmet eating!