Saturday, October 19, 2013

This Week's Photo

Pleasant Bay - Cabot Trail
Early Monday morning on Thanksgiving Day, before the sun was even showing any light in the starry sky, I packed our picnic basket with the lunch that I prepared the night before and  packed my charged cameras, cell phone and (just in case) all its cables and chargers. By the time we had everything gathered and ready to head out, the sun was just coming up over the hill giving us an amazing warm yellow sunrise.
On this road trip, we decided to head for Sydney and do the Cabot Trail counterclockwise. Somewhere on the 105 near Bras d’Or we stopped for a coffee at Tim’s and then down the road to top up the car with gas. Instead of taking the ferry in Englishtown, we drove to St Ann’s and enjoyed the spectacular view of St Ann’s Harbour and its winding roads. The fall foliage was not quite at its peak, but another week or two would have done it, changing what is still green into yellows oranges and reds.  But then waiting too long, we risk having heavy rain and strong wind, leaving us with only bare trees with shades of browns and greys.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Where my Father Was Standing

Photo of the Week September 27, 2013

The Cape Breton Living Photo of the Week for September 27, 2013 is of where my father might have been standing when he was in Cape Breton back in 1942-43 during WW2. All I know is that he came over from Mulgrave on the ferry to Port Hawkesbury for a visit and that the photo was taken nearby where the ferry came in with the automobiles. As the years went by and with the opening of the Canso Causeway, the area has changed, like the background and along the railroad tracks. Looking at the photo (Photo of the Week photo), I’m thinking that the old photo might have been taken further south along the train tracks with maybe Point Tupper in the background? The next photo is where I think might be the right place.

Another photo from the same visit is of him posing in front of a large sign saying “PORT HAWKESBURY WELCOMES YOU TO CAPE BRETON ISLAND”.  This sign was set in front of the Baptist Church on Granville Street for the tourists arriving on the island by the automobile ferries until the opening of the Canso Causeway on May 20th, 1955.  
Soon after this day visit, my father returned home to Aylmer Quebec to later get married and raise a family in Ottawa. Looking back, I know my father never knew that decades later he would come back to this lovely island to visit a daughter of his who met and married a Cape Bretoner and later made this island her home…

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Road Trip - Cabot Trail

Every summer, usually sometime in August, there is one thing that’s on my to-do list and that is to go on a road trip around the Cabot Trail. The past 4-5 years we would rent a van so that the whole family could make the trek together, all of us in one vehicle. This year however, we had less people tagging along, so our trusting Nissan Sentra was able to take the four of us around the Trail. Before heading out, we checked the weather updates, got ourselves ready, packed a lunch and with our cameras fully charged we managed to leave the house by 8:00am. First stop was The Country Kitchen Restaurant in Port Hastings for a hearty breakfast to keep us going until lunch.  Leaving the restaurant, we got on the Trans-Canada Highway 105 and stopped in at The Red Barn Gift Shop then onto the Cabot Trail through the Margarees. Along the way we stopped every so often to stretch our legs and admire the beauty that was surrounding us. The wind was crazy that day and the waves were crashing on the shores with a loud roar sounding like thunder. It felt very refreshing (without actually having to go in)! I couldn’t pass through Ch├ęticamp without stopping at Le Petit Chady Convenience store to say hello and meet in person a fellow Instagrammer.  It was such a pleasure to meet her, I could have spent all morning chatting.  Carl, Julie and Maeghan were back at the car ready to continue on, so Denise’s daughter took a quick snapshot of the two of us before I ran off back to the car. Soon after leaving Ch├ęticamp, we enter the Cape Breton Highlands National Park and drove along the coastline to the MacIntosh Brook Park for lunch. We spent a little over half an hour in the picnic area where we found and set up a picnic table to eat our lunch and then spent a few minutes down by the brook before getting back in the car to head for the Beulach Ban Falls then Meat Cove and Bay St Lawrence.  By the time we arrived at the Englishtown Ferry it was 7pm. There we only had a couple of minutes wait time before getting on the ferry and it takes a couple of minutes to cross St Anns Bay. Coming off the ferry we headed for Sydney where we had a bite to eat then onto the old Highway 4 to home. So here we are at the end of another great day spent with wonderful people and being so thankful for living in such a beautiful place… 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Left Behind at the Yard Sale

It was three weeks ago we visited several local yard sales, and in my last blog post I wrote how we did find a couple of interesting items. The only regret of the day was that Julie left one of her findings behind at one of the yard sales. She is now back in Ottawa and is kicking her butt for leaving these little novelties behind. This was a set of two syrup (or molasses) pitchers. It’s not that they are some valuable antiques, but just something that reminded us of when we were kids.    I believe they’re from the 1970s. Since this yard sale is in the nearby community of River bourgeois, I went back and found that the two pitchers were still there and set aside in case one of us would eventually go back to collect them. It was almost like finding a little treasure for a second time…

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Day of Yard Sales

Sunday morning, after a hearty breakfast and a few cups of coffee, I suggested to everyone that we all go visit some of the local yard sales. I didn’t expect much of a  reaction, since everyone was still in a laid-back and relaxed mode in their lounging clothes and sipping on their second or third cup of coffee. So to my amazement, they all thought it was a great idea and in no time, we were out the door with a list of yard sales from St Peter’s to River Bourgeois to Arichat.  It was a perfect day for doing just that, the weather forecast called for sun and cloud with temperatures of around 20 Celsius. By the end of the day (or late afternoon), we did find a couple of interesting things, like some old records, a glass vase, a book, a couple of photo frames, cereal bowls , a 1970’s syrup pitcher and free magazines.  We managed to see most of the yard sales on our list except for one, which either didn’t set-up for the day or we were just too late. By that time, we were ready to head back home anyway.  On the way back we stopped at the Cottage Bakery and picked up some fresh rolls then for an ice cream at Jiggs Take-out  in St Peter’s. A delightful way to end the day!  
I was really hoping to get to more yard sales and flea markets over the summer months. Time passed by so quickly, I must say that I’m glad we all decided to get up and go on such short notice!  Summer is not quite over yet and I think fall is still a good time for flea markets, so there might still be a chance for a bit of  treasure hunting. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

From Kazabazua to Nova Scotia

Picking blueberries has always been something we did in the summer. My first memories are from when I was a young girl and spending summer vacations at my aunt's cottage in Kazabazua, Quebec.
Left photo: Me (bottom row left), my sister (second from the right) with brothers and cousins.
Top right photo: Me with my Dad / Bottom right photo: Me with my brother Guy
I can't really say that I particularly liked picking blueberries when I was a kid, but looking back now, the memories that I have of those days are some of the most cherished ones. So now, years later and 1,500 kilometers away I  go and pick blueberries in the fields around my home on Cape Breton Island. Every summer, my younger sister Julie (with her awesome kids) spends her vacation here with me where we pick blueberries and we remember when life was simple. Maybe that's why these days, I don't mind the time spent in a field of blueberries... 

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Cabot Trail Road Trip

Photo of the Week: Pleasant Bay on the Cabot Trail
This week's photo for March 8, 2013 was taken while we set out for a day road trip around our lovely island of Cape Breton. We started off the trip by making our way to Port Hastings where we had a hearty breakfast then on to Route 19 to drive the Cabot Trail in a clockwise direction. Not much snow in the fields until we reached the Cape Breton Highlands National Park all the way through St Ann's, Sydney and Big Pond on highway 4. It looks like the north part of the island kept most of its snow while in the south half of the island, most of the snow has melted away and showing signs of spring instead. That's ok too. It was a good day for our trip, the roads were bare and the scenery up in the mountains looked spectacular with snow covered trees,  just like we drove into another world. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Today on the Cams

After a week-end of snow, freezing rain, rain, high wind and fluctuating temperatures it is nice to see the sun trying to warm up and brighten our day.  Today's forecast from Environment Canada for L'Ardoise calls for a mix of sun and cloud with 60 percent chance of flurries this morning. Becoming clear late this afternoon. Wind west 40 km/h gusting to 70. Temperature steady near minus 9.
If you're ever wondering about the weather on Cape Breton Island, check out the Cape Breton Living website where you can view other webcams across  the island. Keep warm and those that need to travel the roads, please practice safe driving!