Thursday, September 18, 2014

Holiday Road- Nova Scotia

The RV trip of the year has been in the works for the past 9 months or so. (and on Tracys bucket list since she was 8 and read Green Dolphin Street - favorite book ever!) The Millers and The Loudamericans have been tirelessly researching campgrounds, tourist destinations and the like all over the eastern Providence of Nova Scotia. The trip started off with a minor hiccup on the part of the Millers. The night before their flight it turned out that their kids passports were expired, but no problems for these cowboys, they were off to the Consulate rodeo first thing the following morning and by noon the passports in hand they were off to the airport. Other than that the trip was pretty much issue-free.

Wednesday we all arrived the Inn on the Lake, a quaint little rustic hotel near the RV office and we settled in for the night. Thursday morning started off with an awesome breakfast outside at our own gazebo, a very auspicious way for the trip to begin. Then it was off to RV orientation and parts unknown. The orientation was mainly focused on how to not get in an accident and how to cleaner the toilet, two very important aspects of RV rental. The RV community tends to involve finding places to dump your waste, both black and gray as well as filling your propane take at every opportunity, readiness is all. Tom and Wade "passed" the inspection, "Army Training Sir" we loaded the families aboard cranked up "Holiday Road" and headed off. The first day was the longest drive, which was about 7 hours complete with a stop for supplies, gas, dump the waste and propane,. We reached or first stop, The Fortress of Louisburg!

So just to set the stage and not repeat ourselves that days were pretty much the same, not in a bad way however. We would get up have breakfast, tour the local destinations, have lunch either in at the camp site or a cool local establishment, then if we were not staying a second night head off to the next location or create fabulous dinners made from local ingredients, start a camp fire, see the big and little dipper, laugh till it hurt... then go to bed.

The Fortress is obviously an old fort and the entire place was pretty cool. The kids got to see what a working fort would have been like, complete with school rooms, a jail and the changing of the guard (and GUNS and CANNONS:)). Seems all the forts we went to all had the obsession to shoot off old Muscat's and cannon's, which was loud and cool. From the fort we headed out to Cape Britton. The beaches were sandy and the water cold, but that didn't stop the kids in fact, a couple of them didn't even wait to pit their swimming suits on, just ran right on in! That night was another repeat :)

From there it was off to the ferry and the trip to Prince Edward Island, or PEI to the locals, and the home of a small red headed kid named Anne of Green Gables. The ferry was awesome and we were entertained by one of the local musicians and several Irish folk songs, he was pretty good. He kept asking for the crowd to sing along, and as Jimmy pointed out if you want people to sing a long with you, you should probably play songs they know, just sayin'! From the debarkation area it was off to Cavendish, and the local cuisine, Lobster, that's what I'm talking about  drawn and melted butter, claws, Cole slaw and ice cold beer, PEI!!!  Jimmy and Billy, along with Wyatt, went for the chicken fingers the rest of us with the exception of Kay enjoyed our lobster, Kay inhaled hers and I'm not sure she really tasted it!

We spent two days on the island enjoying the beaches and some of us wandered through the ground of Green Gables, a very picturesque area where the story of Anne of Green Gables was developed from. The area known as Lovers Lane, the Ghost Forrest and the house the 18 hole championship golf course, which was not in the original story get the picture. We headed off the island via the 15 mile bridge, fortunately for us it was a bluebird day it would have been a tough drive in a high wind, very cool bridge. We ended up in the Bay of Fundy, well not actually in the bay more like at the bay.

The area has tidal pools, rock formations, and you can even walk on the ocean floor, the kids had a blast, the parents too. We climbed down about 100 stars and walk on the ocean floor at low tide and listened to the docent explain the uniqueness of the area and the history, felt ocean aloe, played with seaweed and Kay found a hermit crab which she was busted trying to hide it in her pocket. The area has an abundance of fish mongers and we took advantage, fresh snapper, lobsters, crab, smoked mackerel, fresh veggies a cornucopia of fresh and yummy food, it was a good thing we had a Chef along simply delicious.

The tidal pools allowed us to experience white water type rafting, without the rock & helmets, soaking wet and big smiles. The next event was zip lining (not for everyone, Tracy, Jimmy and Tom sat out) Wyatt was all in until he did it once and passed his next two turns to Kay and Caden. Wade and Angela were also fans but Kay and Caden were the show stoppers. They both, at one point, were hanging upside down screaming in laughter, and super fun time! They say all good things must come to an end, but in our case they come to a pause. We dropped off the campervans and we headed into Halifax for part two of the trip.

Halifax has always been a major port city and to this day it continues that tradition. The Citadel, which was constructed here instead of Fort Louisburg, was created for one reason, defend the port. In the same vain and time period as Old Fort Louisburg, the Muscat's and cannon fire could be heard throughout our visit through the Citadel. We wandered through old cemeteries, strolled down along the Warf and ignited the sea lover in all off us, AYE ME HEARTIES! The legend states that a man by the name of Alexander Keith made his way from Germany to Halifax complete with his brewing papers, right after he invented, India Pale Ale. It turns out not only were most of the British Troops illiterate, at the time they were quite thirsty as well. Each member of the English Army and Navy were given a daily ration of 1 gallon of beer, enter Alexander Keith. He set his brewery up right at the end of the gangway, so each of those soldiers with their ration of beer ticket had to walk by his place first, the rest is history, so they say. It worked because no sooner had Tom & Wade past he brewery inside they went for a tour!

Saturday we headed out to see with a couple of salty dogs and their young side kick. The waves were a bit rough but did that stop these explores, no! We caught several cod and mackerel which the crew cooked up for lunch along with some really well done burgers and viola, surf and turf. We strolled around the little marina in search of carmel sea salt ice cream but had to settle for regular ole ice cream. Jimmy found a music store and played a bit of electric guitar before they kicked him out. (He was going through withdrawl not having drums, piano or guitar for almost 10 days)The kids had a pizza & movie party in the room while the adults headed out to the Wooden Monkey for an awesome meal! Fantastic food, fun and friendships were the mainstay of our RV trip and were are all blessed!!!

Just one PSA, if you ever get to Halifax late, from a long day journey and are hungry and the kids look out the window of your hotel and see a giant moose head hanging off an establishment called " The Laughing Moose" and say "Lets eat there", be warned it is not a restaurant it is a All Nude Girls Cabaret" , which once realized, Kay went running down the street yelling - ITS A STRIP CLUB ITS A STRIP CLUB... sigh... more to come....