Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Day 21- Atlantic day

We made it to Nova Scotia! When you look at a map it's hard to believe we drove all this way with eight kids in tow!! In the morning we met up with Bobby and Joyce, my dad’s cousin, and had a nice breakfast at the Masstown market with them.  They are so kind and sweet and we had fun visiting with them.  They insisted on giving Sean some spending money to buy the kids lunch later, and so the kids took the opportunity to run into the store and each pick out a bottle of pop.  What a treat for them! My dad grew up with Bobby in a town called Trenton, which we will visit in a few days. It’s a short drive from Truro.

 We found a little place there that sold gluten free fish and chips.  Elizabeth and I were so excited!! We haven’t had fish and chips since we went gluten free years ago, so this was a great find.  It was so fresh, and so good. 

We stuffed our faces and laughed at Sammy who was trying to tell Mary that it was just like chicken nuggets… ‘fish is just a weird kind of chicken, Mary!’.

Even if they didn’t like the fish as much as we did, the kids loved the little play place beside the restaurant: they had a big area just filled with lovely white sand and lots of beach toys. They played there happy as clams for a long time and Sammy was delighted, thinking he was playing in a huge pile of ‘Magic Sand’ like the expensive stuff we had bought for him at Christmas time.  Such prairie kids.

Halifax was our destination for the day. We wanted to go see the ocean – so we headed south and decided to stop in at the Citadel first. The citadel was a British fort that was built to protect their interest in Canada. It was really quiet there, nearing the end of the summer, and so we pretty much had the place to ourselves. 
They shot muskets, let us try on costumes and write with quill pens, and Sean even got to play with a very very old projector from the 1800s that they would have used in the school.  Instead of a lightbulb, they used an oil lamp to light up the image.  Pretty interesting for my A/V guy!
Afterwards we made our way down to the Harbour area to wander around.  Our first time to wander by the ocean! Everyone wanted to go on a real boat so we were lucky that the HMCS Sackville was just about to close because they let us on for free to tour around.  It’s an old Canadian Navy boat (Corvette) that they have preserved and leave docked in the Halifax harbor for people to tour around.  
The kids had a blast here – they were especially interested in the ship’s wheel and the radio room because Sean’s grandfather was some sort of communications guy on a boat in the Second World War. Pretty interesting stuff! The kids tried sleeping in the hammocks under the deck, and were sufficiently grossed out by the medic’s room with blood and knives. 
After that we went in search of the perfect ice cream cone, which led us all the way to the other end of the harbor, past merchants selling jewelry on the dock, an awesome playground, and a very unsafe but alluring wave to climb on (again- what is it with the easterners in this country? No guard rails, crazy big statues to climb!!). 
The ambiance on the harbor is festive: musicians and artisans everywhere, the sounds and smells of the ocean in the background.  After we found our (very expensive) Cow’s ice cream, we sat on some benches and listened to a guy playing the fiddle for a long time.  So far, we are loving the Maritimes.
Gluten free food was abundant on the harbor, except we were a few hours too late as the farmer’s markets were closed, so we chose the familiar and went to a Boston Pizza on our way back to the campsite but not before we toured all the gift shops and bought some fun sweaters, a cool navy bag, and  magnets and stickers for our trailer.  We are getting the full tourist experience.

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