Guided Meanderings on Oak Island

Oak Island WanderingsI have a secret. Please don’t throw tomatoes at the computer, but….I don’t watch ‘the Curse of Oak Island.’ There, I’ve said it.

Which made the tour I took today a bit awkward.

Who was that nondescript bespectacled man signing autographs? Turns out he was our tour guide and beloved character on the Curse of Oak Island  series, Charles Barkhouse.

Old Island Wanderlust


There’s a good chance I was the only person on the tour that hadn’t watched  a entire episode of the show, and that’s including my entire family-who seem to be rabid fans. Who knew.

Both the ‘Official Website  of Oak Island, Nova Scotia’  and the ‘Friends of Oak Island Society’  website were (and are) suspiciously bereft of information regarding ticket sales, but my sister managed to get 6 tickets for the  tour-and man, tickets are not easy to get.Private tours are about $300 for 10 people, while the public tour was a deal at $30. Both tours were sold out in less than an hour. You need to be on your toes to get these tickets, people!

We booked the public tour-I’d say there were about 25 people, making it easy get close enough to snap pictures and to hear the tour clearly. Charles was such a wealth of information that my scant knowledge of the island didn’t  matter.  By tours end, I knew about Borehole 10X  (looked down into it actually), the so tragic  deaths of  Robert Restall, his son Bobby, Karl Graeser and Cyril Hiltz. and the cabbage farmer who  shipped his produce across the way to Tancook Island.
Charles is an exceptional storyteller and seems genuinely passionate about the Island, it’s history and of course the treasure that may be lurking beneath. How can I tell he loves doing this? Charles didn’t disappear immediately after the tour,good-naturedly fielding the constant bombardment of questions and requests for pictures and autographs (yes,I got one)

And this was his 3rd 2 hour tour of the day.

Oak Island Meandering
Oak Island is home to the longest running and most famous treasure hunt in the world. The treasure hunt began in 1795 with the accidental discovery of the “Money Pit“.

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Biking for the Lazy Susan -Kentville to Wolfville Rails to Trails

Rails to Trails Valley Wide!

Soon to be officially opened, Harvest Moon Trailway  will span 117 kms though the Annapolis Valley, connecting the UNESCO World Heritage Site  of Grand Pre with the charming town of Annapolis Royal. The Grand Opening of the Tupperville-to Annapolis Royal section is scheduled for July 8, while August 19 marks the official opening of the Wolfville to Grand Pre  portion. I’ve made it my mandate to commute via trail at least once a week this summer.

Rails to TrailsWell, lazy is kind of unfair. It’s just that Nova Scotia is soooo  blasted hilly, these  Rails to Trails sections are a treat.

Kentville Rails to Trails

I hopped on my bike after work and headed down behind Memorial Park to connect with the trail going east towards Wolfville. The trail is pavement or crushed rock ,and Kentville Rec.keeps it trimmed and groomed pretty much year round.

The trail does require touring a bit of downtown Kentville, from behind the post office along Webster St. to Station Lane, and along Justice way to reconnect with the actual trail.

Interesting tidbit. There  are two stations along the Kentville section of the trail that have tools in case your bike needs a repair-flat tire or some such minor annoyance. I love that idea although I am not sure I would be able to service my bike even with tools.

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Traveling with Grandkids This Summer? 10 Things You Need To Know

traveling with grandkids

Ok,so let’s assume you are not going to be packing a stroller and diapers, nor squeezing your vacation within the two weeks your grandson gets off work-although you could do either of these.
But for the sake of this blog, let’s say these grandkids are old enough to dress themselves-out of diapers and without a driver’s license of their own.

You do know what that means, right? It means  at that age,they will have opinions, expectations and  unique tastes.

Ignore this at your own risk. Seriously.

Now, you may be lucky enough to see your grand babies on a regular basis and from that, you know them pretty well. However, all bets are off when you are on the road.

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Delaps Cove Wilderness Trails-The Bohaker Trail

Delaps Cove

It”s been years since I’ve done the Bohaker Trail in Delaps Cove in Annapolis County . I remembered it was  a fairly short hike and that there was a point along the trail where one could see the Bay of Fundy and a waterfall at the same time. The trail was indeed short-just over 2 km, and that includes a careful decent to the bottom of the falls.

Once again, a perfect day. No bugs. No rain. No blistering heat. The rainfall the day before left some wet and mucky sections, but nothing we couldn’t get past.
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Check out Nova Scotia’s National Treasures This Year

On Canada’s 150th  birthday, why not take advantage of the free National Park  Pass and visit as many of these National Parks & Historic Sites in Nova Scotia as you can? Some have special events happening that I wouldn’t mind attending, in fact, I’m putting some of these on my calendar right now.

Cape Breton Island

Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck, Cabot Trail – Plan at least 3 hours to visit. The kid in you may want to take part in Tetrahedral Kite Workshop . $9.60 per kite. May 19 to October 30.

Cape Breton Highlands National Park
-hiking, camping, special events and weekly activities. One event that takes my eye is Learn to Lobster Boil  Wednesdays  from June 21 to the end of Aug. $44 per person. I hope you plan on several days to enjoy this beautiful park.  For access times for the Visitor Centre, click here

Marconi National Historic Site Glace Bay. Plan an hour or so to view the exhibits. Beware the steep cliffs. July 1 to September 4

Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site–  There are tons of daily activities, so -at least an entire day, please….19 and older? You may enjoy  Rum: The Spirit of Louisbourg . Drink, er, I mean taste rum daily from June 1st -Oct 15th $10.80 per person. Open daily from May 22 to October 15. Celebrate Canada"s birthday!



St. Peters Canal National Historic Site
–  Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenery and interpretive trails at this site. Bring your camera. Allow a couple hours on a pleasant day. Battery Provincial Park is nearby if you’d like to spend a night or two camping. Hours of operation differ according to season-check them here.

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Moi,Creative? Artist for a Day in Halifax

I’m always looking for new activities to write about, and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design’s “Artist for a Day”event tweaked my interest.  Held  serendipitously the day before  Mother’s Day, it gives little and big kids alike an opportunity to  create something hand made.  Halifax is a pretty easy city to get around in, but if you aren’t a city driver, hop on Metro Transit and take a loooonng,  leisurely ride from to the downtown core.


Artist For a Day
We hopped on the bus, Gus

Artists were set up all along Marginal Road and inside the college. I tried my hand at card making.  People were lined up to try screen printing, black-smithing, charcoal sketching, jewelry making and more….
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My Long-ish Weekend in Newfoundland

First of all, I don’t recommend you hop on over to Newfoundland for a weekend-however long a weekend it may be.

Too bad I am one of those ‘Do what I say,not what I do’ people.

Flights are expensive, the ferry is excruciatingly long and  a bit pricey and Newfoundland alone is huge- including Labrador, you are looking at  405,212 square km.

So…not conducive to a quick jaunt. We had five days, four nights, and some Air Miles to burn-but even so, we limited our explorations to the Avalon Peninsula and parts of the Eastern Region.

Day 1. Downtown St.John’s

Arrived in St.John’s about 10:30 am. Picked up the rental. Went to the hotel to see if we can check in early.Bonus-we can! Not a bonus-construction on our floor.Took off to visit Cape Spear-the most easterly point in North America. From there you can show your behind to the rest of the continent.  Took lots of sub-par photos-I really need a better camera. Walked up to the lighthouse , and went into the gift shop. Beautiful views from the Cape. A must see.
We came back to the hotel and had a nap. Yes, we did,even though the musical sounds of hammering and moving stuff was all around us. We took a stroll downtown. Ate fish and chips at Rumpelstiltskin’s, the hotel restaurant.

Supper @ Rumplestiltskins

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Chasing My Bucket List to Newfoundland

icebergsIcebergs? Will I or won’t I? Anyone who knows me knows I am a Bucket List freak. So far, I have taken drum lessons,  bought a kayak (two of them, second hand- I love them)completed a sprint triathlon (coming in last, I may add), zipped along on an extremely thin looking line  high above the trees and  jumped in a icy lake on Jan 1st.

There is no rhyme or reason to what ends up on my Bucket List. And it doesn’t look as if it will be finished  anytime soon, because new  ideas still seem to find themselves on it.
Last week, I got to check icebergs off the list.  Not only did I see them in the harbor,(trapped in pack ice) but we treated ourselves to a two hour tour on with Iceberg Quest Ocean Tours out of St.John’s.( Iceberg Quest also runs out of Twillingate)

I’m glad I booked this tour ahead because they sold out with a waiting list-about 100 people hungry for icebergs. There was but one lonely iceberg in St.John’s harbour , but the boat chugged around it multiple times, giving us lots of opportunities for viewing and snapping pictures. It was on the top of my to do list for Newfoundland.
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Bring Your Bike to Big Tancook

Bike Tancook Island
Biking on Tancook Island

One of the best things about bringing your  bike over to Big Tancook Island is -you get to the food first. You can roll right off the ferry and pump you legs up the hill past the couples, the families and the old folks with walkers and canes.
I jest,of course. While it’s true Tancook has limited choices for restaurants, and while it’s also true food is usually everyone’s first stop, you could just as easily whiz by them and take a swing around the island itself.
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About Me Monday-Why I Started Blogging

Blogging   I’ve started taking a online  blogging course through WordPress that will help me with branding and growing this thing.

Today’s home work:
Create 3 goals that will help solidify  my ultimate plan for blogging.
I am a new blogger. A Bloggie if you will. I have tried before but…oh,you know.The excuses we all have not to continue with something we started.

I believe now, that the time wasn’t right. The topic wasn’t right. I wasn’t right for God’s sake.

I was steadfastly trying to stuff myself and my work into a cookie cutter shape I thought other people would enjoy.

I can tell you right now.That does not work.  Not with blogging.Not with self-esteem. Not with joy. And certainly not with finding my passion.

I’m not even sure what happened, but I suddenly realized that the things I am actually  passionate about local travel, enjoying new experiences and sharing what I’ve learned  with others. Quelle suprise. I’ve only worked over 2 decades in the provincial tourism industry .Duh.

In pondering my goals going forward( and of course, they need to be concrete not wishy-washy) I’ve decided on the following:

  1. Have 1000 loyal readers in my first year (gulp)
  2. Purchase a good camera  this year and learn how to use it to create great photos
  3. Turn this blog into a profitable business that includes hosting Hello weekend retreats. I’ve given myself 2 years for this.

    So for all you folks out there who have given up even thinking they have  a passion-as I did-don’t give up.  For all those who are finally charting a  course that’s true to you-hat’s off and yippeee!  And for all of you  who think you are to old and people will think you’re crazy- guess what-you’re not and they will. And it won’t matter  a bit.
    #blogbranding #helloweekend