Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vacation Pics

Malcolm and I set off on vacation on the 15th of July.  We drove  northward to Cape Breton, home my lovely friend and host for the week, Sharon.  Cape Breton was first settled by the Scottish and is known as "little Scotland" because of the similarities in terrain.  Gaelic is still spoken there, traditional music is played (with it's own Cape Breton twist), and you can find a ceildh (pronounced "kaylee" -- music & dancing) every night of the week in the summer.  

The day after my arrival, we hit the beautiful Cabot Trail so we could do The Skyline Trail, a 9.2 km return trail of gorgeous woodland and spectacular views.    

The next day we drove into Inverness where we bought the most wonderful loaf of raisin/orange bread & Cape Breton oatcakes and wandered into gift shops.  Then we played tourist and visited the Glenora Distillery.  The tour finished with a wee dram of their famous malt whiskey (smooth and yummy) and our own picnic at the back of the property next to the river.

We had lazy mornings sitting on the cottage porch with tea and toast; and wonderful afternoons and evenings full of beach walks, swims, drives through the highlands and valleys; and nights of card games and dice with a glass of vino & a bowl of peanuts.  Every day the scenery just took my breath away!

The food was pretty darn good too!  We'd start with a hearty breakfast; and if we didn't take a picnic with us, we'd forgo lunch altogether.  

But we never forgot dessert!

This is dessert at "The Red Shoe Pub" in Mabou, home of the singing group The Rankins.  We indulged in chocolate date sticky pudding and gingersnap vanilla-bean cheesecake, both with homemade ice cream.

We'd often purposely try to get lost, but Sharon would eventually come upon some place she recognized.  In our travels, we came across great little places like this one -- "Bellemeade Farm", a working dairy/sheep farm run by 2 young women in their late 20's; they have a quaint little shop which sells handcrafted wool products created on the farm -- knitted, woven, felted and the wool itself -- as well as their own honey and candles.  (I ain't saying anything, but there just may be a package under a bed for a certain birthday this fall!)

We took a day to drive into Sydney and visit a thrift shop and Value Village where I found the prices to be cheaper than Halifax.  I had a most productive shopping trip finding some vintage glassware and a few tidbits for my girls.  Then we stopped in beautiful Baddeck, summer home of Alexander Graham Bell, for a seafood dinner.

On my final morning, Sharon treated me to breakfast at "The Dancing Goat" - oatmeal, eggs and sausage and the tastiest 7-grain toast.  Armed with an extra loaf for home and some oatcakes for the return journey, I drove back  along the southwestern edge of The Cabot Trail (stopping for a walk on Port Hood beach); cut across country at Antigonish and drove the Eastern seaboard of NS (because I'd never done most of that coastline before).  Once I reached the city, I got back on the big ole' highway and reached home many, many hours later .....

..... tired yet happy, relaxed & full of wonderful memories.

If you ever have the opportunity, come visit Cape Breton.  It's one of the most beautiful places on the planet, and the people are so warm and welcoming.

As an aside to this post, I've started a new part-time job so will be posting less than usual.  I'm going to try to post once a week because I don't want to lose my bloggy friends.


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I'm so glad you had a chance to get away for a great vacation. If you are working another job plus the one you already had, you are going to need it for sure. The sights were just beautiful. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Sharon said...

Loved this post and the pics. We are seriously considering this area for next years Summer Adventure!

Congrats on the new job. Will miss most frequent posts, but will certainly look forward to them when they come!

Terra said...

Your words and photos inspire me to want to visit Cape Breton.

Pamela Gordon said...

Sandy you took some wonderful pics of the beautiful Cape Breton scenery. We have been there but it was almost 30 years ago when the kids were little ones. It is beautiful! And I need to return someday. I'm glad you had a relaxing vacation and enjoyed some good food and fun. All the best with your new job and I'll be watching for your posts. Blessings, Pamela

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

It looks like you had a perfectly wonderful time and of course, had some good food also


What a lucious landscape. Cape Breton sounds enchanting. And all those places you visited, divine. I want some of that raisin /orange bread. Bet it was scrumptious.Glad you had a chance to getaway and have some fun. You won't lose your blog buddies. Good Luck with the new job. Take care.

Diana said...

What a beautiful vacation Sandy! It sounded and looked wonderful, wish I was there too!! That cheesecake sounds so good, I could go for a slice right now.
I'm so glad you had a fun time and I'll be watching for your weekly posts. Hope the new job is interesting at least!
Love Di ♥

Marguerite said...

That sounds like an absolutely wonderful vacation. We have been debating about visiting Cape Breton this summer and I think you have convinced me!