Wintery Weekend in Winnipeg

 

 

Howdy folks!  It’s been a long time since I’ve updated our blog.  Things have been pretty quiet on the Homefront.  Things changed this past weekend when Kim and her sister Janelle travelled to Winnipeg for the weekend to visit their Aunt Pauline.  They think it should be renamed “Winterpeg” – boy was it cold – minus 40 for most of the weekend!  But they all put on a brave face, and many layers of clothes and hit the town!

Janelle and Kim said that I should give Winnipeg paws up! and they are right……if you are a foodie, this is the place to be.  Janelle said Winnipeg had lots of great food, lots of great “fancy” coffees, and lots of carbs – lol!

They went to some great restaurants and events.   First stop was the brunch at the Forks. The brunch was part of the RAW:Almond event that takes place annually.  It’s a pop up restaurant located on the frozen Assiniboine and Red River that hosts chefs from across Canada and around the world.  This event lasts for 3 weeks and the location is on 3 feet of frozen river water.   The good news – it was in a shelter – and warmer than outside – ha!  And….the food was delicious.  First course: organic potato dumpling; Second course: Local beet and yam hash with butter poached pike and dill hollandaise; Third course: Soft polenta with braised beef cheeks, manchego cheese and horseradish pistou; and finally…..Red river pancakes with marscapone, pear and cherry compote, brown butter syrup and puffed grains.   And…don’t forget about the boozy coffee :). Here are some pictures – doesn’t that look delicious!?!

 

Some pictures of the location and the cold 🙂

 

Next up – a visit to the Forks, and warming up indoors.  Janelle found her favorite coffee place in Winnipeg – Fools and Horses.  Pauline and Janelle said the Vanilla Latte was the best ever!

 

Next up – what better to do on a cold afternoon? – Head down to a place called “Across the Board”.   Janelle and Kim had fun playing board games, having a beverage (of course Kim had a beer or two!) and some popcorn.  This was a cool place – a games expert helped them pick a game – they asked for something easy, that they didn’t have to think too much about.   They started off with Battle Sheep, then followed that up with 80s trivia (Janelle said this was humbling, because they thought they were 80s experts – but they were stumped!)…… and then back to another game recommended to them.  If you go to Winnipeg, do this!

 

That night they went to a great sandwich shop called King and Bannatyne.  Where is it?  On the corner of King and Bannatyne of course!  Delicious sandwiches and a great atmosphere.

 

I can’t believe how much they can eat – they started all over again the next morning at a great breakfast place called Clementines.  Janelle and Pauline had a fancy latte and Kim had a boozy drink called Good Morning Vietnam!  They each had a different meal and shared some side plates.  They said this was their favourite restaurant and best food of all of the places they ate.  That’s saying a lot – because they had some amazing food!

 

Next up – a tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.  This was a highlight of their trip and something everyone should see!  They went on a 90 minute tour of the galleries which they said is a big Paws Up!  For $5.00 they had a great tour and saw most of the museum.  After the tour they spent another 2 hours exploring on their own.  This is an “ideas museum” that has many interactive exhibits and is currently featuring a Mandela exhibit.  Kim and Janelle said it was a very moving and impactful museum, and should be visited more than once.

 

Well, that’s it folks – they had a great time and highly recommend that you go to Winnipeg!  Just a few final shots of coffee and cookies – why don’t they ever take me with them?  Paws up folks!  Make today an awesome one!

 

 

Wandering in Saskatchewan – Crooked trees and Aliens?

Howdy folks!  Well as you can see, we hit the road again.  I’m having a lot of fun – as you can tell by that big grin on my face :).  We had a very busy day today, and we started a bit early.  Our goal – to see the crooked trees and make it back in time to join all of our buddies for our afternoon walk at Whitecap Dog Park – can you believe we did it all :0).

First off, Kim was determined to start early to get a coffee and a cinnamon bun.  So we headed out at 9:00 am – it was still only -1 degree in Saskatoon – so Kim put on her downfill jacket and toque and we all jumped in the Jeep…….. and headed to Honeybun.  OMG – look at that gooey goodness cinnamon bun.  Of course, she also got an Americano to go :). Kim said this cinnamon bun was delicious and that I need to give it paws up! And she’s right!  If you are in Saskatoon and craving a cinnamon bun, go here!

Okay – Kim was finally all set to go and we headed out to the Crooked Trees.

It took us about an hour to drive to the trees, which are close to the town of Hafford, Saskatchewan.  It is a small grove of aspen trees that are all bendy – you know –  crooked – lol 🙂

There are a lot of theories on why they are so crooked – the most likely cause is that it is genetic, but we like the theory that it is paranormal, most likely caused by aliens…..that’s much more interesting, don’t you think?  We had fun walking the boardwalk here and checking it out.  Very interesting stop on our road trip!

After our visit to the crooked trees, we did a quick stop in Battleford.  Many things were closed for the season, including Fort Battleford, a historic site, and the museums.  We stopped for a few photos and Kim said this is a place we need to come back to, when we have more time to explore!

Time to head back to town and meet up with our buddies at the Whitecap Dog Park.  We walk with this pack almost every day and we love it!  Here are a few of our furry friends! These are just some of our friends, there are over 12 of us most days!

Well folks!  Thank you for joining us on our adventures.  It’s been great exploring in our own backyard!  You just never know what you are going to see.  Especially the way Kim travels – she uses a GPS and we always go down some off-beaten paths.  That’s all part of the adventures….at least that’s what she says.  You know how they say “Those who wander are not lost” – well Kim is lost sometimes. lol 🙂

Later!  Teddy

Wandering in Saskatchewan – Road Trip!

Howdy folks!  Well, as you can see our person Kim is back in Saskatchewan!  And…..while she was on her solo trip in the Maritimes she said she had an Ah-ha! moment (all Oprah-esc, isn’t it?!?  lol). She said that she hasn’t really explored her own province and it’s time to do some good old wandering and explore new places.  Surely they have cinnamon buns and great coffee too?

So – check it out – this is our adventure today.  As you can see I”m her co-pilot navigator – Frazier and Levi are in the back seat – I like to look out the window and stand on the console.  Don’t worry everyone – Kim wasn’t driving – we were parked when she took these photos.

But, first things first folks……Kim said we have to find  coffee for the road and a cinnamon bun (oh boy!).  She tried a couple of places first, but I think people in Saskatoon love their coffee!  She couldn’t find a place to park and run in…….but after the 3rd try – success! She stopped at City Perks, and ordered an awesome Americano and she was very excited to find an equally amazing cinnamon bun :). She said they were as good as the ones she had in New Brunswick!

So today, we were off to Elbow Saskatchewan!  The weather was awesome, so we decided to take a road trip and walk a portion of the Trans Canada Trail (The Great Trail).  The trail is 6 kms in total from Tufts Bay along the shores of Lake Diefenbaker taking you to the marina and the Golf Course clubhouse.  We had the trail all to ourselves! :). Don’t tell anyone we were off -leash – I think we broke the rules!

 

After our walk, we took a quick tour around the town of Elbow.  This is a place Kim said we definitely need to come back to – she spotted an art gallery, a museum and an ice cream place.  Sounds like this town checks all her travel boxes!

Well folks, that’s a wrap for today.  We did also spot this old century farmhouse on the side of the road, and you know Kim, she always has her camera on her… this was pretty cool.

Kim said we are going to head out early tomorrow to see some crooked trees?  The reason for starting early?  Finding a parking spot  for more cinnamon buns.  Heaven help us!

Later folks!

Nova Scotia – North Shore to South Shore

Well folks, the Maritime trip has officially come to an end!  But not before Kim spent a couple of days on the North Shore of Nova Scotia, using Wolfville as her base, and then a couple of days on the South Shore of Nova Scotia, staying in Mahone Bay.   Although the weather was pretty windy and rainy, Kim made the most of it!.

She loved all parts of Nova Scotia, and here are just a few of the highlights!

Let’s start with the North Shore.  Kim made her way from Halifax and drove all the way out to Digby, Nova Scotia.   On the way there, she stopped in the town of Annapolis Royal.

Annapolis Royal is steeped in history.  It evolved from the 1605 French settlement of Port Royal and was renamed in honour of Queen Anne following the Siege of Port Royal  The town was the capital of Acadia and later Nova Scotia for almost 150 years.  While the historic site of Fort Anne was closed for the season, Kim still took the time to wander the site as well as take in the self-guided walking tour of the historical buildings.  She also visited the historical gardens.   Here are a few of the beautiful spots she saw.

After wandering the town, Kim made her way to the town of Digby. – to partake in their famous Digby Scallops.  She stopped in at the restaurant Crowsnest, for scallops 3 ways – 3 ways delicious!  Deep Fried, Pan Fried, and Bacon Wrapped 🙂

This was a pretty windy and rainy day…….so Kim headed to Wolfville where she was staying for two nights.  The sun started to “peek out”  – time to head to Hall’s Harbour , about 30 minutes away, to check out low tide.  While there, Kim stopped in for lobster dinner at the Lobster Pound.  She heard the lobsters from the Bay of Fundy were the best ones!  She tried them out – and she said it’s true!  They were out of medium lobsters so they gave her a large for a medium charge.  Really folks?!?  Shouldn’t I have been there to help her finish off that lobster – I love fish!

The next day, I think Kim figured she had better burn off some of that food she ate!  Lol :). Time to head 30 minutes out of Wolfville to hike Cape Split.  This was a 12 kilometre hike – 6 kms in, and 6 kms right back.  Her “ticker” was glad that it was mostly flat, with little elevation gain.  The hike was mostly in the trees, but she said it was beautiful with all the fall colours.  The reward was at the end……steep cliffs.  Kim said this is no place to take selfies – haha!  She found a kindred spirit to take her picture.  It took her about 3 hours in total to finish this hike – she said it deserves paws up!

The next day Kim was off to the South Shore.  She was a bit nervous about the drive, because there was a massive rainfall warning.  That darn Hurricane Michael was to bring 40 mms of rain to Nova Scotia.  Kim decided to drive early in the day, to try to beat the rain.

First stop…..she drove to the town of Birchwood to visit the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre.  She spent about 2 hours touring the centre, which is dedicated to telling the story of the world’s largest free African population outside of Africa, in the late 18th century in Nova Scotia.  This was an incredibly interesting centre, and Kim gives it thumbs up!

While on the South Shore, Kim also visited the Unesco town of Lunenberg.  She visited the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, learning about the history of the fishing industry (and the importance of the cod) and she also took in a walking tour, which expanded upon the history of this town.  Lunenberg was designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995.  This designation will ensure the protection of it’s architecture – it is the best example of a planned British colonial settlement in Canada.   It’s a beautiful site, very historical. And she did some shopping “damage” there.  There are a lot of great galleries and artisan shops.

And of course, no trip to Nova Scotia would be complete without a visit to Peggy’s Cove.  Kim said it was cold and windy here – but that meant that the waves crashing in were spectacular.  You can’t control the weather folks, but you can control the appreciation for the power of Mother Nature!  And….different weather means pretty cool photographs – wouldn’t you agree?

Well folks……That’s the end of Kim’s 3 week solo trip.   She said she is so grateful for the opportunity to visit our Maritime provinces.  She met so many wonderful people along her trip and loved travelling on her own.

But……..she also is very grateful to be home.  John picked her up at the airport today and they came straight by to Marge’s to come and get us!  We loved our time with Marge – she took such great care of us, walking us every day and making as look all handsome – baths and all!

We are all back home again and have already gone for our daily walks – we are one big happy family.    Thanks for sharing our adventures with us!  Where to next?  Time will tell……

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Triple threat at the Golden Hour

 

 

Halifax – it’s top 4 on destinations on the rise! Way to go Halifax!

 

 

Hi Folks!  Did you know that Halifax is on a list of the Top 10 tourist destinations on the rise around the world?  They are actually number 4 on the list complied by TripAdvisor as part of it’s Traveler’s Choice Awards – pretty cool!

Well, Kim found this out during her stay there, and she can see why.  Halifax is steeped in history, has great restaurants (for all you foodies out there) and is a great spot for day excursions.   Kim spent 4 days in Halifax and enjoyed her time there!

Part of the highlights of her stay included 3 tours – A food tour with Local Tasting Tours called “Night Out in Halifax”, a winery tour called “Grape Escapes” and a Halifax History Tour with a company called Halifax Titanic Historical Tours.

First up:  A food tour!  This tour was a great way to experience different places in downtown Halifax.  Their guide Rachael is also the owner of the company and she had a passion for her business and was very knowledgeable.

There were 5 stops on this tour:

  • Primal – for a great homemade taco with Chorizo and a local craft beer
  • Doro’s Japanese – some sushi (Kim understands this is a popular lunch place)
  • Le Bistro by Liz – for a great house martini and a risotto dish
  • Lemon Tree – Lemonade and some Turkish food – chicken, carrot slaw
  • Middle Spoon – for dessert and a surprise – a Speakeasy

Kim enjoyed all of the restaurants, and would recommend any of them.  Her favourite was the Lemon Tree.  And…..if you are looking for an experience, she suggests you visit Middle Spoon and ask to go to “Noble” (their secret bar).   Middle Spoon started off as purely a dessert bar, but quickly realized they needed to add some “beverages” to their menu.  It now has an extensive cocktail menu….pages and pages….  But – the real surprise here is that they have a speakeasy.  You need to provide a password, and you are taken into the back room.  The ambience is amazing – you feel like you really are in a “prohibition era, in a “scotch” room”.  There is a different menu in the secret bar, and it feels like you stepped back in time.  If you are in Halifax, do this!

 

The next tour took Kim about an hour north of Halifax to winery country around the town of Wolfville.  This tour company was called Grape Escapes, and her tour guide Colleen led the way!

Over the day the stopped at three wineries (Nova Scotia has 24 wineries in total)

  • Benjamin Bridge – This winery has been featured on Anthony Bourdain’s show Parts Unknown (the episode where he travelled to Newfoundland), and it also had one of it’s wines selected as the Canadian feature in Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant.  Kim enjoyed their Nova 7 wine
  • Luckett Vineyards – the group enjoyed wine tastings here as well as lunch.
  • Grand Pre – Kim purchased a red wine here “Castel”. She thought it tasted like a mulled wine (but she isn’t an expert – ha!)

Kim enjoyed the winery tour – she learned that their wines are improving with time (they admitted they weren’t very good a few years ago), and they are getting to be well known, particularly for their white wines, and their “signature” Tidal Bay”.  She recommends this tour if you like wine – which we all know she does!

 

The last tour Kim took in Halifax was with Halifax Titanic History Tours.  This was a whirlwind tour, and Kim would recommend that you take this tour the first day you arrive, if possible.  It takes you to many different historical places in Halifax and helps you “get your bearings” of the city and give you some ideas of where you might want to go back and explore some more.  Their guide Paul has a passion second to none of the city and knows so much about the history.  Kim learned more about the Halifax explosion in particular…..but they also quickly visited the University campus, the Citadel, the burying grounds, the Titanic burial grounds, a park dedicated to the explosion, old churches…….you can see what I mean!  It was a whirlwind!  And they also visited Dartmouth and a quaint village – the Fishing Cove.  Paul supplemented his driving tour with Heritage Videos and photos that he shared in the van on a TV screen – it brought everything to life!  If you like history, this is the tour for you!

 

Well folks!  These are just a few things to do while you are in Halifax!  Kim also enjoyed spending time at the Pier 21 museum.  She spent over 3 hours there, and highly recommends!  She found the refugee exhibit particularly moving and she also sat down with someone to find out a bit more about her family history.  It has inspired her to learn even more.

Kim also took time to walk along the waterfront and visit the farmer’s market.  The market is a great place to pick up local produce, and also support local artisans – which you know Kim always does!  I think she is going to need another carryon bag to take all of her treasures back with her!  Oh…. and take some time to walk through the Public Gardens – it’s free and beautiful!

That’s all for now folks!  Kim has moved on to the North Shore of Nova Scotia, and I hear she’s eating her way through town – seafood, seafood, seafood!  I’m so jealous!

She’ll be home soon though – she misses us furry kids (and maybe John too!) only a few days left to go!

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Cape Breton Island…..captivating scenery, music, ceilidhs, hospitality

 

 

 

 

 

Well folks, Kim has now made her way to Halifax after 4 days on Cape Breton Island. She said Cape Breton is a very special place and  loved every minute of it. Kim spent two nights in the Acadian village of Chéticamp and the next two nights in the town of Baddeck. She had to make a few adjustments to what she did during the day, based on the weather, but she certainly kept busy.

She had a long travel day getting to Cape Breton Island from PEI, which included taking a ferry. When she arrived on the island, she stopped at the visitor Centre for some suggestions on what to do on the way to Chéticamp….and off she went!

First stop, the Celtic Interpretive Center for lunch and Celtic music entertainment. This was Kim’s first “live” Celtic music and it was awesome. Two musicians…one playing fiddle, the other piano, which is the classic, Cape Breton tradition. Kim spent a couple of hours here,

Next…off to Inverness beach.

The guide and the internet told her this is where she can find a lot of sea glass…..but I think she just found a bunch of rocks.😜 well, maybe a couple of pieces of seaglass. A storm was coming in while she was on the beach…photo opportunity!

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Inverness Beach, Cape Breton Island

The weather looked promising the next day, so Kim decided it was a good time to drive the Cabot Trail and do the Skyline Trail hike. Between the length of the trip, road construction, the filming of a Nissan commercial and numerous photo stops, this was a full 7 hour day…..and she still went on a guided sunset hiking tour in the skyline trail.

Here are just a few photos along the Cabot trail

 

The Skyline Trail is in Cape Breton highlands National Park and the hike started at 4:30. The weather wasn’t cooperating to see the sunset…that’s okay…the skyline was still beautiful and the guided tour provided a good overview of the park and their conservation efforts. It was very cold though and part of the hike back was in pitch dark. Kim said it was a little scary and a bit “Blair witch” project.

 

 

Well…the next day promised rain….so this was a shopping day! There are many talented artisans on the island and Kim supported their efforts :). She also found an amazing bakery in Chéticamp ….the smell of fresh baked bread …mmmmmm…..the pastries, croissants and cinnamon buns…..she needs to take me with her!

Onwards to Baddeck….a bit further south. She stayed at a wonderful guest house called the worn doorsteps. The owners were so nice, and gave her some good recommendations..they also gave her big hugs when she left…isn’t that nice!

So….the next day the weather was pretty good…and after some debate, Kim made the decision to make the 2 hour drive to Neil’s Harbour to do a hike called White Point. She overheard someone talking about it and it had great reviews online. It didn’t disappoint. The entire walk was on the top of the cliff with vistas of the coastline. If you go here, do this!

 

 

After the hike, she stopped in at a restaurant called chowders in the small village of Neil’s harbour and had a lobster blt…..

 

That night Kim went to a kitchen party! This was one of her favorite experiences in the Maritimes so far! Also know as a ceilidh (social gathering), in Cape Breton there are 2 musicians…fiddler and piano player, and people get up to dance. This ceilidh takes place every night in a small hall in Baddeck. They stop between sets to take questions from the audience, and we all learned more about the history and culture. Kim loved this!

 

The next morning before she headed to Halifax, she went to the Alexander Graham Bell museum. Now, Kim isn’t always excited about museums, but this one gets enthusiastic paws up! We all know that he invented the phone…..but he also invented many other things, or improved on other inventions.

 

Kim also signed up for a white gloves tour. It turned out to be a private tour, because she was the only one! Donna, her guide really brought to life the history of Alexander graham Bell. Kim was able to see and handle the artifacts.

 

Kim said one of the coolest things was seeing the “records” that Bell recorded for playing on the old phonographs . He recorded them in grooves in wax. Unfortunately they were so cracked and damaged, they couldn’t be played…..until 2012 when a university figured out a way to digitize it. Kim heard the recording Bell made in the 1800s….surreal! If you go here, make sure to sign up for this tour!

The trip wouldn’t be complete without lunch and a lobster sandwich on rye…..she told me she is still enjoying all that seafood. Lol! I get it….fish and seafood are my favorite thing too.

 

Later folks! Teddy

Prince Edward Island – Leads to Kim’s only regret on her Maritimes trip

 

 

Well folks – now that I have your attention!  Lol – Kim’s only regret is that she didn’t plan more time on Prince Edward Island.  She absolutely loved PEI – What’s not to love?  Great food, Great scenery, Great Beaches, Great People!  She had a jam packed 2 and a half days.

But first, let’s start with how she got here….. She spent her last evening in Alma, New Brunswick at the Falconridge Bed and Breakfast.  The B and B was in a beautiful spot, high on the hill, overlooking the Bay of Fundy.  The owners were lovely people and prepared a wonderful breakfast for her.  Unfortunately the day turned out to be one filled with rain…but Kim made the best of it.  First up – sticky buns at Kelly’s bakery – of course!  She then headed to Hopewell Rocks to walk the ocean floor.  It was cold and pouring rain, but when you only have one day “suck it up princess! ”  lol.  Check it out!

 

 

Time to keep moving….onwards to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  Kim made her way across the 14 km Confederation Bridge…..she couldn’t see anything past a few feet ahead of her, it was raining so much.  But….she made it to her Air B and B in Old Charlottetown which was a great find.  It was walking distance to great restaurants and shops…..and very close to the tour she had planned for the next day.   You guessed it – a food/walking tour.

Kim loved this tour.  It gave her a good history of Charlottetown and she met a great group of ladies from Ontario.  They adopted Kim for the day ……  and it turned out they were headed to the same event she was planning to attend that night – bonus!

First…..here are some pictures from the walking/food tour:

 

That evening Kim and her new Ontario friends went to Harbourfeast….  part of PEIs September Fall Festival.  They were treated to some amazing food – starting with seafood tasting stations and followed by a sit down 3 course meal.  The celebrity chef for the evening was Chuck Hughes.   (truth be told – Kim didn’t know who he was….but the others did and they schooled her!  Good thing they did – picture opportunity!). Kim loved this event – what could be better than great food and great people.  Turns out there were a group of great ladies sitting beside them – all from Saskatchewan.  It’s a small world folks!

 

That was a busy, fun filled day.   One more full day left….what to do?  Jump in the car and drive around central PEI.  Kim didn’t have time to tour the entire island (she is determined to go back to PEI one day and take it all in…..) so she had to plan out her destinations.

So… she enjoyed the places she did see…all along the Central Coastal Drive.

A few highlights:  PEI National Parks – Brackely, Dalvay and Cavendish.  Amazing views and beaches!

 

Kim stopped for lunch at North Rustica at a great restaurant called the Blue Mussel Cafe – where their motto is “the seafood is fresh within hours, not days” and they literally harvest the mussels less than a mile away.  Amazing seafood chowder – Kim said the blueberry ale (made from blueberries in PEI) wasn’t too shabby either.

Kim also stopped at some artisan places along the way and of course, bought some pottery – her other “vice”.

But, she said she really enjoyed this shop along the way – they make their soap with goat’s milk – very cool.  Thriving business that sells online all around the world.

 

I know, I know, you are wondering where are the Ann of Green Gables pictures.  Here they are for you die-hard “Anne with an “E”” fans:

 

 

Next up – teacup rock.  It is like “Hopewell Rocks” lite :). Beautiful spot – short walk to see it and the last stop on the driving tour.

 

 

A trip to PEI wouldn’t be complete if you don’t make it to New Glasgow and have their lobster supper.  This has been a tradition for years and years…..order your lobster, put on a bib, and make it happen!

 

 

Well folks – I can see why Kim said this was the only regret so far on her Maritime trip – she needs more time to explore PEI.  So, she will be back!

Today she headed to Cape Breton Island, where she will stay for a few days. She took the ferry from PEI to Nova Scotia….. but before she did, she made one last stop to the beautiful Port Prim lighthouse.

 

Later folks – thanks for joining us on Kim’s adventures!  Stay tuned – I can’t wait to hear about Cape Breton Island – paws crossed for good weather!

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Have a paw some day! Teddy 🙂