Thursday, July 17, 2014

Writing between bouts of vertigo...

I'm here! Nova Scotia in July! I took the new ferry, the Nova Star. I can tell that story another time, but let's just say the boat is beautiful, the food is great, and the staff are lovely. They are waiting to greet you when you get off the elevator to go to your cabin. Funny, no one was waiting for me on deck 9 to escort me to my chair. Yup. I rented a chair. Then became extremely seasick and tried to not to hurl on everyone. I spent a lot of time in bed chair.

But then I arrived!

First, I needed to just take a breather in Yarmouth, where we docked. Check out this whistle stop Wendy's and beautiful bay across the street. Several people were out clamming. Or just digging in mud. I don't judge.

And no, I didn't have Wendy's at 9 a.m.

I headed east. I want to focus on the southeast coast for several days and walk beaches. That's my plan. To walk beaches.

If you look at last year's blog around this time, a sassy Acadian woman warned me about Cape Sable Island. There was some tongue clucking, then something along the lines of, "They have Boston accents. And guns. I mean, they don't. But they do." I am from America, where we're all born packing heat, and I'm a native Masshole, so pish on scaring me with the accent business.

Cape Sable Island looks like this.

It's the southernmost tip of Nova Scotia, and fishermen here have historically worked the same waters as New Englanders. So all of those Rs were lost at sea. *moment of silence for Canadians with Boston accents*

The top of CSI (see what I did there?) was warm and windy. And it looks like this, once the clouds part.

Then I went to the south side, The Hawk Beach. And it was a very different story. Very cold and dark.


The Hawk Beach

In case it wasn't abundantly clear that this is the southernmost tip...

If anyone was looking for that perfect gift for me, I'll take this little fixer-upper.


Even those who've passed have an incredible view.

In the end, no one spoke to me on Cape Sable Island. Whether they have Boston accents is still a mystery. And unfortunately, if you Google the topic, this blog comes up. So clearly not an area of study for anyone else.

From Cape Sable Island, I headed to Barrington. And a random lighthouse on the inland side of the road, as well as a meeting house built by New Englanders.

If you have larger funds and are looking to really spoil me, I'll take this adorable house on the water.

If you remember last year, I hit a day of pure rain. I skipped all of these places and swore a lot. And then wrote about swearing a lot. Well, this time around, I had lovely enough weather that I thought I'd properly check out Birchtown.

Birchtown, also discussed last year ("Dang. Mill Girl is starting to sound like a broken record and clearly assumes I pay way more attention to this blog than I do"), was a black loyalist community--built by former slaves who gained freedom by switching to the British side in Revolutionary War times. Last year, it was pouring when I went outside of the museum to see the model dwelling and cemetery. I thought I'd try to recreate that moment this year. But I saw this monstrosity of partial construction.

And I thought, "Damn, I can't believe they're building this enormous building right next to the little museum and on the trail and haven't African Americans been through enough and where does it end and . . . oh, wait . . .

Never mind. Carry on. I'm going to assume you know what you're doing.

On to Shelburne. Shelburne was an important loyalist town and port. Along the water, they've maintained a lot of lovely historic properties, and there's a great water view. But before you do all that, stop by for a bite at Charlotte Lane. I could smell their soup of the day from up the street and was drawn to their little café. And even though they were closing between lunch and dinner, they stayed open a little longer for me. Thanks, CL. The food was really, really good.

Cream of Portobello with tarragon and salad with pickled beets and an orange miso dressing.

After a proper fill-up, it was time to check out Dock Street.

The Crucible was filmed here years ago, and I think this building was created for the film. But I could be wrong. I, like everyone else, did not watch the film, so I am going on something I read a while ago.

Nova Scotia is proud of its history, Acadian, British, Native, and African American. And I'm down with that. Race and culture is a weirdly loud but hush-hush sort of thing in the States. Because no one knows what to say and no one can say anything effective (read: not sound like a dick). And everyone's just generally pissed off. And maybe it's like that here too, but that's not how it feels to an outsider. So as you wander through Shelburne, you see a lot of British flags and things like this.

Really? Perhaps too far, Shelburne?

Damn you, NS, and your big chairs and me flying solo and not getting a pic in one. Every flipping year.

Late afternoon, I made it to my destination for the night: Lockeport. The hosts at the Lockeport Landing, Nan and Andrew, are lovely and took very good care of me.
My cute little new car in front of my cute little room for the night.
Seriously cute room and the cleanest place I've stayed in a long time (including my apt).
Why yes, I will have your lobster roll on croissant...
I think it's a sign of a good host when you apologetically take your camera out to photograph your food and your host runs to grab hers too. It was a bonding moment before I plowed through my meal.

Lockeport is quiet and, during my visit, extremely foggy. Even at 4 in the afternoon. But I was determined to walk its fine crescent beach.

The old "honey, where did you put the truck" trick

There are signs around town to guide you on where to walk, so I decided to tackle most of it.
"Walk along the beach, to the right of the squished bug..."

This was after the fog lifted.
After the beach, I decided to find the pedestrian walking bridge on the map. I took the boardwalk out of town. And then started walking on the side of the road. And then started to walk in the rain. And then got terribly lost.

And I could see the damn thing, teasing me in the distance. I kept walking. Truck tires sprayed water up onto me. I started to have low self esteem. But I kept walking. 
It turns out there's a sign on the incoming side of the road, not the outgoing. So when I gave up and started walking back, I saw a sign directing me to the rail trail back to town. And it's flanked by beach roses and water, so I couldn't complain. 
After the boat, no sleep, several beaches, and miles of walking, I look like a truck hit me. But I made it!!

Would you come visit if I owned a bowling alley in Nova Scotia?
I had a wonderful sleep and grand breakfast, and now I'm wrapping up this first post. Time to pack up and hit the road! xo