Sunday, September 3, 2017

The Puffins on Bird Islands in Cape Breton

Perhaps the most fun Jen and I had when in Cape Breton recently was on the boat trip to Bird Islands to see the Puffins and other birds.  We toured with Donelda's Puffin Boat Trip, and I highly recommend this tour if you are ever in Cape Breton.  Donelda was the perfect tour guide, and she and her husband Captain John  know just the right places to go to see the birds.

We enjoyed the scenery while waiting for the boat to come in.
Get your tickets and souvenirs in this little shed.  
Lots of lobstering in the area. 

Enjoying the view across the bay while waiting for our boat to come in. 

While on board Donelda threw fish overboard and the eagles came in to devour them.
Eagle coming in when it sees the boat. 

Eagle diving for fish. 

Those eagles know when to look for Donelda's boat.
Jen on deck.

Jen enjoyed the trip from out on the deck.

Puffin swimming.  (Photo from Donelda's Boat Tours.)
Puffin taking off.  (Photo from Donelda's Boat Tours.) 

We saw lots of seals and puffins.  I wasn't able to get good photos of the puffins or seals.  The puffins were so fast in the water.  So I've snagged some from Donelda's Puffin Boat Tour.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Gadding About in Nova Scotia with my Friend Jeanette

Our house in Marble Mountain as seen from our beach.
A few weeks ago my friend Jeanette traveled with me to our place in Cape Breton.  It was the first trip to Eastern Canada for Jeanette, and we tried to take in a lot of sights.

The first of the trip was very frustrating because we missed our connection from Toronto to Halifax because of bad weather and we were stuck in the Toronto Airport for most of a day.  I used this as an opportunity to introduce Jeanette to Tim Horton's, Canada's Krispy Kreme.  The maple frosted donuts are particularly tasty.
Maple frosted donuts. 

We spent a few days along the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  Blue Rocks, Mahone Bay, and Peggy's Cove are all worthy of a visit.

Blue Rocks. 
St. James Anglican Church in Mahone Bay.

Mahone Bay on the South Shore.
Peggy's Lighthouse. 
Dan's cousin Bruce and his wife Becky provided us lodging for the one night we were in Halifax.  It's always fun to see them, and we especially enjoyed their three Huskies.
The Huskies. 
Our main visit was to Cape Breton and our place in Marble Mountain.  It is such a pretty place that we need not have ventured away from there, but we did make a few day trips.
Full moon over the Lake with reflection on our pond.
St. Peter's is a pretty little town on the east coast of CB and has several little restaurants that I like to frequent.  While in that area we drove over to Isle Madame and enjoyed the scenic views from the Acadian Villages.

Jen and Christene having lunch in St. Peter's. 
Isle Madame

Jeanette is a native of Australia, so a trip to Sydney, Nova Scotia was certainly on the agenda.  On the way over there is a lovely view from Kelly's Mountain looking down on the Seal Island Bridge that we traverse to reach Sydney.  A main attraction at the Sydney Port is the Giant Fiddle.

The Seal Island Bridge that we crossed to get to Sydney.
The Giant Fiddle in Sydney, NS. 
I believe Jeanette's favorite part of the trip was the visit to Bird Islands.  (Check back later for a blog on just the Bird Islands.)
Jen on the boat to Bird Islands. 
The last day we went to the Cabot Links Golf Course over in Inverness and up the Cabot Trail for just a bit.  A trip all the way round the Cabot Trail will have to wait for another time.
Looking out over the Cabot Links Golf Course. 

I hope I have whetted Jen's appetite for more trips to the Maritimes of  Eastern Canada for she is a gungho travel companion.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gadding About in First Grade at BSE

Boiling Springs Elementary School*
I've just turned 80 and I can remember my mother referring to an elderly person as being "old and childish".  It is said that we return to child-like behavior when we get old.  When I become "old and childish" I want to return to first grade and not any first grade but first grade at Boiling Springs Elementary School in NC.

I was in Boiling Springs recently for lunch with my sister and two of her daughters one of whom is a Teacher's Assistant in first grade at BSE, and because they were having a work day before the children arrive we were able to visit and see the wonderful welcoming art work that awaits the children.  All the first grade teachers on the hall where my niece, Kelly, teaches had chosen books by Eric Carle as the theme for decorating their hall.
Kelly's room.  
One of the parent's had made this for Kelly to keep on her desk. 

My niece Kelly loves her work here. 
This was so different from my first grade where I remember there was a flip chart at the front of the room where the teacher could flip from "See Spot" to "See Spot Run" or maybe "Run Sally Run".  Now whole halls are decorated as well as rooms.
Another first grade teacher had chosen this book. 

Another had chosen "The Grouchy Ladybug" as her book.

Don't you just know that the little first graders are going to wide-eyed with wonder as they enter their classroom next week!

Each grade chooses a different theme.  I was glad to learn that the decorations are left up for more than one year, because it certainly requires a lot of imagination and hard work to decorate.

The fourth grade hall teachers had chosen Dr. Seuss as their theme.  Here's an example of one room.

So when I get "old and childish" I'm going back to first grade at BSE.  Get ready for me teachers!

*All photos courtesy of my niece CeCe Grigg, Kelly's sister, who also worked at BSE before she retired.  My Iphone died and I couldn't make pictures.  Thanks CeCe.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Hiding Painted Rocks in Shelby, NC

Lately painted rocks have been turning up in Shelby and other places in Cleveland County, NC.   When found these painted rocks can be kept or rehidden around town to provide joy for others to find.  Families and folks of all ages are enjoying this.

The beach at our summer place in Marble Mountain, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia has beautiful flat rocks.  Knowing that I would be visiting in Shelby upon my return from Marble Mountain, I collected six nicely shaped rocks and had my friend Iris paint them.

Now I have hidden these in Shelby on or in the block around the Court Square. I have included my email address and if the person who finds one will send me a photo along with their address, or you can post a photo of it on Cleveland Strong Rocks facebook page, I will mail them a Loonie (a Canadian $1) or maybe a Toonie (a Canadian $2.). * The one dollar is called a Loonie because it has a loon on it. And of course Toonie rhymes with Loonie.

I hope you have as much finding them as I had hiding them.  Post your pics on Cleveland Strong Rocks on Facebook.

*The Loonie and the Toonie have no monetary value in the US.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Jen and My First Airbnb: Beach Glass Retreat ~ Seaside

Airbnb looks out over Lunenburg Bay. (Photo from the Airbnb Website.)

On our recent trip to Nova Scotia, Jen and I booked our first Airbnb.  We stayed with a lovely family in Lunenburg Bay on Feltzen South Road.  Check out the website here.
Welcoming front door with nautical accoutrements. (Photo from the Airbnb website.)
View from our bedroom window on a foggy morning. 
Jen looking out over the bay. 

One of the baths. 

One of the bedrooms. 

We were greeted with a happy red door and nautical collections on the stoop. Our room was lovely with a spectacular view over Lunenburg Bay.  The nautical theme was apparent throughout the house.  Barb was a gracious host and served the most delicious breakfast.  The mango was served so that it looked like a flower with petals opened up.  There were other guests there, and it was nice to meet other travelers.
A wonderful breakfast and so beautifully presented. 

Living room looking down from the upstairs. 

Our bedside table was an old sea chest. 
Nautical artwork. 
Linens are line dryed when weather permits.  Fragrance is wonderful. 

Lovely backyard. 

Jen and I on back deck. 

If all Airbnbs are this special, then I will be booking more in my travels.