Yesterday, we met up with Tyler's friend Tristan and his family for lunch at McDonald's and then we went to Aylesford Lake for the afternoon. The kids had alot of fun with the boogie boards and goggles. Hunter invited Brianna to join us for the day. Little Thomas is just one year old. Sweet little guy who tries to keep up with the big kids. We got home around 4pm. Gemma came over for a sleepover. Tyler had a sleepover with Grammie.
On Wednesday, Grammie took the day off and we went to Halifax for the day. The highlight of the day was our 50 minute tour on the Harbour Hopper. We had a 25 minute tour of land-The Public Gardens, The Citadel, Spring Garden Road, the Garrison Grounds, etc. Then we went into the water for a 25 minute tour of Halifax Harbour. Halifax Harbour is the 2nd largest ice free deep water port in the world, only after Sydney, Australia. The kids were so excited (but I think Grammie was scared.) We loved it! The Harbour Hopper is an "AMPHIBIAN VEHICLE". This means it is both a land and sea vehicle. The Harbour Hopper is a refitted Lark V purchased from the U.S. Military. The Lark V was originally a military vehicle built for the U.S. during the Vietnam War era (1963-1970). They were used to transport cargo and soldiers from supply ships onto the beaches and jungles of Vietnam, a distance of up to 1.5 miles from ship to shore. In total the U.S government spent about $900 million dollars to produce approximately 900 vehicles. Of the 900 created 500 have been destroyed, 200 are being refurbished by the U.S government for future use, about 100 have been dismantled, and about 100 are privately owned worldwide. The Lark V was designed as a boat capable of being driven on land, and is currently the most stable amphibious vehicle ever built. When these vehicles arrived in Halifax, they were still wearing their Vietnam era camouflage with sharks faces painted on the front. There are other amphibious vehicles giving tours in Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto and Kingston, Ontario, but those vehicles are stripped school buses that have been refitted for water. The Harbour Hoppers in Halifax are the only vehicles of it's kind in Eastern Canada. They are the same as the vechicles used in Boston for the famous "Duck Tours". I am not sure about Western Canada and where you would find these Vietnam vehicles.
The Sackville is a "corvette"-a ship warm and dear to the Canadian Navy. She led the convoys of supply ships to Europe during WWI and WWII. This is the last surviving corvette. She was a clean burning diesel, home to about 80 sailors. She is painted in her camouflage colors blue & white for the North Atlantic. During the tourist season, she is docked in the jetty in front of the Maritime Museum. When off season comes, she is towed back to the jetty at the Navy Dockyards.
Our final stop for the day was the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. We enjoyed exhibits on the Titanic and the Halifax Explosion. Hunter was really interested in this part of Halifax's history. The Titanic exhibit has the largest collection of artifacts in the world, retrieved by rescue ships and their crew. It is a very sombre exhibit to visit. Articles of clothing from victims of the famous luxury ship. Examples of First Class, Second Class and Third Class cabins and menus which serve to highlight the British "class" system of the day.
Port Royal is the oldest settlement in North America. It was settled by a party of explorers and mappers led by Samuel de Champlain in 1605. This fort is amazing interpretation of life during that period. The major trade was the beaver pelt. Tyler loved seeing the canons and I had to explain to him how this Port Royal was a different Port Royal than the one seen in "Pirates of the Carribean".
After our visit to Port Royal, we found a shady spot to eat our picnic lunch. Then we called Daddy and he told us about his awesome fishing trip. I love Annapolis Royal! There are benches everywhere for sitting and enjoying small town life.
This fort was built initially by theFrench and seized by the English. It was a hotbead of colonial rule for much of the 1700's. It changed hands between the French and English 9 times. The grounds are "star-shaped" which was the very lastest in Fort design for maximum protection at the time. The design is called "the verbun". Tyler waited all day to see the dungeon. The dungeon was built in 1703 and it is a dirty, damp place, even today.
Debbie invited us over for supper on Tuesday night. She and John cooked us a lovely meal of BBQ pork tenderloin, baked potatoes and corn on the cob. Then she surprised me by bringing out a birthday cake for dessert and giving me a birthday gift as well. That is just the kind of person Debbie is. She always makes her friends feel SO special. After the cake, Greg and his friend Taylor took the kids for a swim in the pool. Then John lit the chiminea for some heat and we enjoyed the fire for an hour before we left for home at 10 pm.
It was a rainy day. Grammie gave Hunter & Tyler some money to go shopping at Northern Reflections. Hunter picked out some jeans and Tyler picked out some "army" pants. We ate lunch at A & W. Then we picked up Gemma and went to Frenchy's for awhile. Hunter found a pair a new GAP capri pants and a belt. I found some awesome stuff for Tyler. Frenchy's was really busy. The bargains are the best around.
A rather rainy day. I decided to give mom a break from the kitchen, so instead of her making sausages, toast, pancakes, etc., I went to BK and got us all sausage & egg croissants. Then we went to visit Grammie Pineo for 2 hours. She and the kids had a ball playing crazy 8's. And we looked at lots of old photos.
Just a low key day. I went to the Farmer's Market in the morning. Picked up a gift for Kelly when we go to Chicago. Drove Tyler to Tristan's house for his sleepover at 2 pm. Uncle Derrick & Aunt Sheila came for dinner. Mom made yummy ribs, baked potatoes, and caesar salad. All in all a quiet night. And THEN...... the phone rings at 2:41 am. Tyler is crying at Tristan's house and he wants to come home. He woke up to go to the bathroom... then he wants me. So I drove over to get him. Good try for a little guy.
Today was a "special day" with my only niece, Madison. We picked her up at 10:30 and first stop was the "Clayground" where the kids each painted a piece of pottery. Tyler chose an 8x8" tile. He painted Saturn, the galaxy, a vortex and Luke skywalker on his tile. It was amazing. Hunter chose an 8x8" tile and painted flowers, border and dots, along with a big "H". Madison chose a butterfly coaster and painted a kaleidioscope of colors. It was beautiful. Perfect thing to do on a rainy day. It poured cats and dogs all day. Wet as all get out. Next stop was lunch. Then we hit a candy store and the Dollarama for some perfect kid fun.
Each little poppet could pick out 3 kinds of candy each. A golf ball-sized amount of each type of candy. It took an hour to look thru all the candy and make the final decision. Hey! Daddy! Checkout the gum behind the kids.
We lived near the Bay of Fundy, which is famous for having the highest tides in the world. Here is the Cornwallis River at High Tide. This river is about 5 minutes from my parents house. It deposits into the Bay of Fundy. Last year, there was a pod of dolphins who had mixed up radar and actually swam up this river. Some were rescued and some died in the mud.
Here is the river at Low Tide. High and Low tides are usually 12 hours apart. But they vary from week to week. High tide this week can be at 4.52pm, but next week it can be 8:37pm. Many tourist have been trapped on beaches, unaware of the high tides until it is too late. It is always wise to keep your eyes on the ocean to see if it is coming in or going out.
These girls had a ball at the lake together. It has been 2 years since they last saw each other. They picked up right where they left off. Best of friends & cousins. Gemma & Michelle are home from Kenya for a month. We are so glad that we are in Nova Scotia to see them.
A view of the lake. This lake has been in my family since the 1840's. I lived here until I was 6 years old. It is a tranquil place. No sea-doos. No motor boats. No high speed anything. Just peace & quiet. Being here makes me feel close to my grandparents.
We enjoyed a wonderful visit with Uncle Ken & Aunt Zelma at the lake. It was so PEACEFUL and serene. The kids loved swimming in the lake, despite a few leeches. Loved playing cards with Uncle. Their dream home is beautiful. We ate and slept like Kings.
On Tuesday we did some visiting. Tyler & Tristan went to New Minas Childrens Centre together from around 20 mos. to approx. 4 yrs. They were great little friends. They were so happy to see each other. They ran off to play in no time. Tristan has invited Tyler for a SLEEPOVER on Saturday. He is SUPER excited!!!
Here's the whole gang at Ruthanne's pool. Aunt Pat also treated us to Chinese food for supper. She ordered it and picked it up in New Minas & we ate with Ruthanne by the pool. Ruthanne got out the wine for us. Such a cool, relaxing day. Thank you Daddy for sending us home to Nova Scotia!!!!!!!!!! It has been GREAT!