Thursday, August 4, 2011

I spy with my little eye... Halifax, Nova Scotia!

Man, I am visiting this place left, right and centre!

On Monday morning, EDP and I packed up everything (including the dog) and headed out.  We left shortly after 10 (Ontario time) and got here pretty much right at 8 (Halifax time.)  Originally, we were making great time.  Then, when we hit Montreal, a thunderstorm hit us.  It was insane.  I've never heard rain so deafening.  There were inches of water on the road.  Everyone had to slow right down and we lost all the time we gained in Ontario.  Not long after getting out of Montreal, we stopped for gas, dinner, and a bathroom break for Penny.  It was still pouring.  Penny was not a fan.  She was soaked right through.  I had my umbrella to keep me dry but my shoes were not so lucky.  Once we got on the road again, the skies cleared up and things were looking great.  Until we realized we were 20km from the US border.  Neither of us had passports with us and I certainly didn't have the documentation customs would need to allow Penny into the country.  So we turned around and headed back the way we came.  

This little detour only added about an hour driving time and was a really good way to learn that not only does the GPS have no regard for international borders but you also can't tell it to map around them.  Getting back on track wasn't hard and I settled in for a nap.  I dozed for a bit but then EDP needed a bit of help navigating so I was up for a few minutes and I think that's when the next bout of crazy rain happened.  The next few hours were pretty dull - EDP drove in and out of rainstorms, I dozed and Penny supervised.  Around 1:30, we pulled over to switch drivers so that EDP could get some sleep.  There was no more rain and soon we were in Moncton, getting gas by a McDonalds that was advertising the McLobster.  A few hours later, we were in Halifax and checked into our hotel.  We took about 21 hours to do the drive - without our detour and if we hadn't gotten bogged down in the storms, we probably would have been closer to 18.  But we were happy with 21.

We got settled into our room, found a doggy daycare for Penny to get some exercise after being in the car for a day and headed back to the room for a nap.  Once we were a bit more rested, it was down to the waterfront to explore a bit.  We headed all the way down to Pier 21 and took a gander at the Immigration Museum.  It was a much more positive experience than the museum at Ellis Island.  From there, we were planning on wandering down to see the tall ship Silva when the rain hit.  Within seconds, EDP was drenched from head to toe and water was dripping off his nose.  That seemed like a good cue to head back to the hotel so off we went to change and grab some dinner before picking Penny up from daycare.  

The evening was a quiet one - we had grabbed a bottle of wine so we opened that and enjoyed some of the channels we don't get at home before turning the light out fairly early.

Wednesday was a day just for Pug and I.  We walked EDP to his course and then we toured around campus a bit before meandering back to the hotel via the Public Gardens.  That walk tired Penny out for a bit so we did some lounging in the hotel before taking off for another walk down to the waterfront.  Penny seemed to enjoy that and we walked the opposite way that EDP and I had taken the day before so I got to see some new sites.  There wasn't much for a pug to do, aside from walk, so we headed up towards the citadel and walked all around that before heading through the Public Gardens and back to the hotel.  After that, it was more specialty cable TV while we waited for EDP to get back so we could have some dinner and relax.  

This morning, Penny went back to doggy daycare.  EDP went back to class and I was on my own.  I did some light shopping before deciding to go on a whale watching tour.  This was a two and a half hour boat tour along the Halifax coast, out to the mouth of the harbour and back.  In theory, I was going to see whales.  In actuality, I saw a lobster.  And the top of a seal's head.  But I did get some really great photos before it got so misty that I had to put the camera away.  I also froze my butt off.  And that is the kind of experience that is worth paying for.  Tonight, we had dinner with a few of EDP's classmates and soon, it'll be time to turn in to make sure I get a good sleep tonight and get ready for all that driving heading home.  Tomorrow, we're planning on checking out the Halifax Citadel before driving to New Brunswick to see Grand Falls.  Then, we'll see how far we can get before we need to stop for the night!  Should be a full day.

So, I can officially consider Nova Scotia visited.  I had pondered a day trip out to PEI today to cross that one off, too, but apparently, it's a bit far for a day trip.  I'll cross New Brunswick off tomorrow and maybe Quebec on Saturday.  And, with all the walking I did with Penny yesterday, we put a dent in our 200 km, too with 9km of walking (I feel like it was more, though.)  Oh, and I sent two postcards, which I'm going to count as my handwritten letter this month because well, they were handwritten and although they were short, they were very detailed and wonderful notes.  And after I put stamps on them, I put them down the fancy mail chute by the elevators.  Fancy!

Anyway, I have lots of pics but I'm too lazy to post them now.  I'll do a picture post when we get home.  

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