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


How to Pack a Carry-on for 5 Days Travel to Newfoundland

How to Pack Light
Travel Light

We leave on the 19th for five days in Newfoundland ​I have been thinking hard about what to  pack.  The main reason we are going especially in the Newfie season of ‘Sprinter” is to  see an iceberg-checking one more thing off my Bucket List. I hope.
I have a little prejudice against paying for checked luggage-especially when we are going for only five days. We are each taking a duffel bag type thingy plus a backpack.
We decided against filling  those five days to the brim-leaving time for unexpected adventure is always fun, but we did book an iceberg boat tour out of St.John’s,and  plan on using our free National Parks Pass 150 at Terra Nova National Park . Maybe  we ‘ll even get to do a bit of cod fishing.
We’re splitting our time between 2 nights   in St.John’s and the other 2 in Charlottetown, near the park. Day 5 is a we – need – to – start – heading – back – towards -the-  airport day.
So what will I pack? Considering it’s likely to be cold, guaranteed to be windy and may be rainy or even snowy (why are we going  this time of year again? Oh yeah, Icebergs  )
I consulted the internet and a friend who lives in Newfoundland
Here’s what made the list.
Waterproof hiking boots. (wear on plane)
Jeans and top (wear on plane)
Warm Jacket (wear on plane)
Lined wind pants
Sneakers/comfy shoes for walking around town
( I love Crocs -they are so comfortable and do not bother my bad knee at all.Pack light
Warm hoodie
Long sleeved tee  shirt-natural fabrics are warm and great for layering
2 short sleeved tees one  a little dressy(polyester resists wrinkling, and hand washed/dries easily)
Tights for wearing under stuff (like wind pants)
Casual slacks that go with all your tops
warm gloves
Warm hat Pj’s
3 sets undies
5 pairs warm socks (cause I hate cold feet)

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We Hiked Cape Split-and Lived to Tell About It.

To all the visitors who asked me about Cape Split at the Visitor Centre.
I lied.
It’s much more hilly then I remembered.
Last weekend, a friend and I hiked Cape Split.

Hiked Camp Split
Personal art

Cape Split Provincial Park Reserve is a 447-hectare with a 12.5 km  trail rimming its northern edge. There are signs at the beginning and all over the web that insist this trail is 16 km..but I measured the sucker with my Tom Tom  and it was just over 6 km each way. I hobbled the trail with my arthritic knee -believe me, I would warn you if it were longer.  I am guesstimating it took us about 5 hours..but we dawdled . We climbed trees. We took pictures. We tried to break into a locked washroom. (Shh). We were slow hiking up the hills- there was mutinous mutterings coming from behind me- and just as slow coming back down them. To my credit, I didn’t take a header or land on my backside.
It was a perfect day. The threatened 5 mm of rain did not appear.

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Real Women Fish Smelts Too!

Smelt fishing in Gaspereau
Path to the bank

Ok, I admit it. I don’t like eating smelts.  Yuck. However, it’s fun to fish for them. They are dip netted and jigged, and one of the best locations is the Gaspereau River by the bridge near Reid’s Meats. By this time (April 20th) they’ve been running for  a good week Drive by on the incoming time and you’ll see the bank lined with eager fisher-folk of all ages.

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Masstown Market-Serving Up Fresh since 1969


Masstown Market
Showcasing the local best

Masstown Market,just west of Truro at Exit #12 on the Trans Canada Highway, has been a favorite stopping place  for travelers since 1969.
We’ve been several times, and decided to take a drive up that way Easter Sunday.

The parking lot was packed-even more so than usual. While the garden centre was not yet open, but  as usual there was plenty of gawking to be done. Gift shop, local wines, beer and cider, produce section, deli, bakery and restaurant.
as well as a grocery section.

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Walking Shubie Park-Fairbanks Interpretive Centre Trail


Shubencadie Trail
Shubie Park Trail Head

Last week, I decided to take the dog, (and my husband ) to Shubie Canal trail head, located at the Fairbanks Interpretive Centre.  Neither my dog, (nor my husband ) had been to the park before,so it was an opportunity for both of them check out some new trails. We only covered  a smidgen of the over 18 km of trail.
The Trail
The trails for the most part are well maintained crusher dust and easy to walk-although there are sections that have a few hills.
I love that there is an off leash section, plenty of benches and lots of garbage cans. Not so much with the toilets- but there are washrooms at the beginning as you enter the parking lot  as well as inside the Fairbanks Centre. Plan your liquid intake accordingly. I rate the washrooms on this visit ‘A’

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