Saturday 21 October 2017

As the wind blows

It's been an up and down kind of week both weather-wise and personally.  On Tuesday evening we had a wind advisory, with winds reaching 119 km/hour.  I'm told that is level one hurricane force winds.  Thankfully, we had no real damage here at the house, just a few small branches off the trees and a chair blown over.  However, in one of the newer subdivisions a couple of properties under construction were entirely destroyed.  Seriously I wonder how well they were being built?  

The last couple of days have been absolutely lovely with temps well above normal (20-22C).  Today (Saturday) we're below normal at only 7C, but with slightly warmer temps forecast for tomorrow.  At least there is none of that four letter word yet being talked about. My cousin posted a long range forecast on FB that suggests we're in for a cold, snowy winter.  Yuck!  Hopefully that doesn't start until at least January.

I may have jinxed that though, as I took my car into the shop on Friday and changed over to winter tires.  And, of course, Halloween will be here soon and it is a rare year when we don't have snow or at least cold weather for the little trick or treaters.   I picked up a box of miniature chocolate bars last week. So far no one has gotten into I hope they'll last until the 31st.  Last year I was on my Halloween cruise to the Caribbean so I'm not sure how many kids to expect.  I'll hand it out until I run out and then shut off the lights.

On the home front, as the wind blew Tuesday night, it brought D and Eli with it.  She says she is finally finished with J.  I won't share what he did, but I have to say, I certainly hope this last escapade is not forgiven.  So I have my son, daughter and grandson in my home again.

Fingers crossed, she seems to be resolute this time and the weeping and moping that she exhibited the last time she came here has not been evident.  D has been considerate and helpful and seems much more involved with Eli.

And Eli, what can I say.  He keeps getting bigger and smarter, and more fun every time he's here.  

Last night his mom dressed him up in his Rider gear.  Whether he truly likes watching the movements or it is the noise and colors, he certainly pays close attention.

He was pretty happy too, when they scored a touch down!

He's started army crawling or creeping and can bend over and pull himself back into a sitting position.  Still can't do it from a prone position but he's getting close.  His favorite foods are sweet potato, creamed corn, arrowroot cookies and banana. His mom has this mesh thingy that the banana goes into - it looks similar to a soother, except with the mesh in place of the soother.  He gets that into his mouth and sucks like a mad man.  Far less messy than giving him the pieces of banana.  

Sheldon, it turns out enjoys cookie too.  Often, when Eli drops a piece, Sheldon is right there to gobble up the leftovers.  Earlier today, Eli was fussy at nap time and when D went in to check up on him, Sheldon jumped into the crib, curled up beside Eli and the baby settled right down.  

I don't have a photo of the two of them together, but Sheldon is very patient with the baby, he allows Eli to pat and pull at him.  I suspect that won't last forever, but for now it's so cute to see.

For now, I expect the two of them will live with me until spring but I'm not holding my breathe - J has a way of convincing her that she cannot live without him.  I'm hoping she'll realize there is no truth to this, that rather, he finds it difficult to live without her - most of all her financial support and easy access to a vehicle.

Sigh, if I just had a magic wand I could wave.  J would be somewhere far, far away with access to little Eli only through Facetime. My daughter would find the strength and resolve to know she can be a single mom and do a great job of it.  My son would have a permanent placement at work, and I'd be retired.  But I know that only one of those dreams are in my control...the rest I must let go of and simply pray for the best.

Most of all, I'll enjoy every minute I have with little Eli, watching him change and grow.  

Have a great rest of the weekend, everyone.

Sunday 15 October 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

It's been a busy weekend, with lots of fun with friends and family (Eli) and productive as well.

Friday, after I dropped Sheldon off at the vet's office, I came back home to do some housework and make some phone calls.  I've booked my tire change-over for next Friday, a dental appointment (yuck) for later in November, and followed-up with AirMiles.  If you recall, I had to pay for my hotel room in New York as they could find no reservation.  I had called a couple of weeks ago and was assured the hotel would reverse the charge but it hadn't happened yet.  I spent about 35 minutes on hold, during which time I cleaned both bathrooms, did the breakfast dishes, took out the garbage and started a load of laundry.  

When the service agent got back on the line, she advised that the third party booking agent they use had made a reservation for me....for February 16, not September 16.  As a result, the hotel wouldn't reverse the charge but the third party had now agreed to reimburse the hotel....I should think so!  I have to wait another 7-10 business days but I've been assured I will get reimbursed for the costs.  And if it hasn't been reversed, you bet I'll be calling again.

After a few more household chores, I headed out to do a few errands before I picked up my friend K for lunch.  It is her birthday in a few days, so lunch was my treat.  We went to a local Boston Pizza and I was impressed with our young waiter.  I told we hadn't seen each other for several weeks so we'd likely be some time talking and we definitely did.  He kept our water glasses full and only brought the bill when I asked for it.

She and her partner J were just back from several weeks of a road trip to the States.  They visited a number of states and met some friends in Washington, D.C for a few days.  They managed to get in lots of golfing too which they both enjoy.  She was interested in my cruise as well, as they haven't done a Canada/New England.  I brought my photos but we talked so much, she didn't actually look at them until we were in the car on the way to her house.

On the way there, we stopped at the Casino to pick up tickets for a Corb Lund show in November. We've made tentative plans to meet for dinner that evening before the show but I expect we'll get in another visit before then.  We never run out of things to talk about.

I joined my regular Friday night crew for dinner that evening.  Lots of laughs that evening and then it was home to watch the Riders snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  :(

Saturday, I had Eli from about 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. while his mom was working her part-time job.  He is such a character, so happy and content.  

He and I shared a breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast..that is, until he dropped his bit of toast and Sheldon decided he wanted it.

Despite having no teeth yet, this child is quite capable of gumming pretty much anything.  He definitely likes his food.  He went down for a nap about 11:30 and slept until 2 p.m.  I fed him again, about a half jar of sweet potatoes and he finished his lunch with an Arrowroot cookie.  (There wasn't any sharing with Sheldon...he loves his cookies).

While Eli napped, I decided to start knitting a pair of mittens.  I finished one before he woke up, and discovered this little guy isn't so little anymore.

I've since knit another larger mitten and will finish the second today.  We're definitely getting colder weather so he needs these....and sooner rather than later.  

Eli spent the rest of the afternoon playing on the floor. Most of the time I sat with him, though managed to get supper in the crock pot while he amused himself.  His mom showed up about 4:30 to pick him up.  He was so excited to see her.  She's working again on Monday evening and his useless twit of a father has balked at caring for him has asked me to care for him again.  I enjoy our time together, though it will mean I'm up later than normal as her shift doesn't end until 10 p.m.  For Eli, I'll give up some sleep.

Today, I've been taking it easy with one or another of the cats settled on my lap.  At the moment, it's Saku.  I did get a pot of soup made with the leftover turkey from last weekend.  Very simple recipe - saute onion and garlic and chopped up turkey in olive oil.  Add a container of chicken stock, and chopped potatoes and carrots and spices.  The original recipe called for tarragon which I didn't have so I added an Italian blend and some salt and pepper.  About 20 minutes on medium heat and it smelled and tasted great.  It will make my work lunches easy.

I do need to do a bit of grocery shopping as we're out of staples. I plan on using the leftover cranberry sauce and some blueberries I had frozen to make muffins this afternoon.  I brought out some hamburger patties from the freezer I'd made earlier this summer - we'll have those bbq'd with baked potatoes and corn on the cob for supper.

On that note, my coffee is finished and its time to go do my shopping.  Have a wonderful week everyone!  Hope you all had a great weekend too.

Saturday 14 October 2017

Saturday night with the cats

Thanks for the kind words - my health seems to be restored.  Most definitely my appetite and just in time for the weekend. ;)

Friday was Sheldon's surgery day; I sort of wondered if I weren't tempting fate by scheduling it for Friday the 13th, but it all worked out just fine.

He wasn't permitted food after 10 p.m. the night prior which, of course, meant neither Saku nor Sasha were allowed food either.  I fed them all a second small supper just around 9 p.m., hoping that would stave off the hunger pangs the following morning.  Of course they were all up in my face by 6:30 a.m.  I managed to keep them entertained until it was time for Sheldon and I to leave the house at 7:15.

Of course, that was about the time that Sheldon decided to make a dash for it.  As it turned out, he's a good boy and was simply using the bathroom before we got in the car.  He's a good traveller too, he curled up in the cat carrier and only had a few words to say in the last few blocks before we arrived.  He was a little more anxious in the office while I filled out all the paperwork.  

Around 10 a.m. I had a call from the vet's office letting me know things went "purrfectly".  He'd been neutered, vaccinated, micro-chipped, and had his pedicure completed.  The vet told me he was sweet boy and didn't seemed fazed by everything that was happening.  Since he was finished so early, I could have picked him up by noon, but had plans for lunch with a friend so he stayed until mid-afternoon.

When I picked him up, the techs were gushing over how good he was.  I guess he was busy playing in his cage with the blanket, and when the tech brought him out to me she said, he'd leapt out of the cage and given her a hug.  He wasn't upset when he saw me and rode home in the carrier without a peep.

Of course they gave me the instructions that he wasn't to jump or run. Also, I was to watch to see if he drank and ate okay, and to call if I noticed if he was in any discomfort.  Well, let's see - upon release from the carrier, he went to the water fountain and had a good drink.  He then raised down the basement and back up again, leapt over a hissing Saku, and jumped onto the back of a chair in the sunroom.  I reminded him he wasn't to run or jump but he wasn't listening.  Next thing I knew he was having a snack at the kibble bowl.  Yep, he was doing fine.

Saku has had the hardest time with the return of Sheldon.  He hissed and growled, paced back and forth, and it seemed we were back to the place we were when Sheldon first arrived.  When I went to bed for the night, Sheldon startled Saku when he came into the room and I thought there was going to be a fight.  So I ended up tossing poor Saku out of the room with Sasha and Sheldon spending the night with me. There was some whining in the middle of night but I ignored it as much as possible. (Some of it came from me....kitten's can be a real pain to sleep with...every movement means playtime.) 

When we were getting the two accustomed to one another, I found the best way was to feed them together.  So this morning I put their bowls down on the mat; it worked somewhat but Saku was still "grumpy cat" whenever Sheldon looked his way.

This behaviour continued for most of today, but I think it's finally over as evidenced by this photo. I've never seen Saku allow any other cat to touch him even when he's sleeping.  As I was typing he woke up, looked at Sheldon and turned so his back is to him.  No hissing, no fuss.  Yay!

On that note, I've off to bed early.  I suspect it won't be long before there is a parade of cats joining me.  I assume Sasha is in the basement with his boy.  He usually hangs out with C until the house is quiet and then shows up just as I'm about to go to sleep.  If you read John's recent post of cat visitors in the night....well, that description fits my nightlife as well. (If you haven't, you'll want to, it's hilarious and I think every cat parent will nod in agreement).

I'll be back tomorrow with another post - I had my grandson today and have lots of photos to share.  He is so stinking cute!  But G'ma is tired - he's a busy boy.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Enough Already!!!

This is a post with much whine (no cheese) so if you feel the desire to pass by, go right ahead.

I had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend and with a short work week ahead, all looked well in my world. That is, until yesterday morning.  I woke up with a headache which is never how I like to start a day.

But I figured I'd power through, took some meds, a shower, dressed and got ready for work.  As I went out to the garage, I thought perhaps it wasn't a good idea, but I had a meeting booked with part of my team so after a few minutes of uncertainty I headed off down the street.

I made it about half way to work before I had to pull over.  I'll leave it to your imagination, but suffice to say I'm sure a few of my fellow commuters were a little shocked by my quick exit from the vehicle.  Once I felt up to it I headed back to the house, called my boss to advise I wouldn't be in, texted one of my staff to let the others know, and headed back to bed.

I slept for a few hours, then got up - with my headache feeling worse.  I attempted some additional meds, with food and within 20 minutes all of that lost.  That pretty summed up the rest of the day....lots of sleep and occasionally try to have something to eat or drink...I even tried an anti-nausea drug...nothing stayed down.  When I wasn't sleeping I was curled in a ball on the bathroom floor or writhing in pain on the couch.  

I seriously thought about having my son take me to the doctor, but I figured once the headache dissipated I'd feel better.  It took until nearly 10 p.m. before I felt any real relief.  I was certain I wouldn't be able to sleep but by 11, I was fast asleep and slept until nearly 5:30 a.m. 

At that point, I was still feeling wobbly on my feet and definitely dehydrated.  I now have a fool proof method to lose 3 pounds in one day....just not one I'd recommend.  I decided to test my tummy with a sip of milk and it stayed down, hallelujah!!!  I called into work to say I needed another day, I felt like I'd been hit by a Mack truck, every part of body ached (except my head, thank goodness).  

I napped for another hour or so, then got up and got a little breakfast, just peanut butter toast and a glass of milk.  I've spent much of the day tucked in my bed, watching multiple episodes of Flipping Vegas, and Flip or Flop (various locations), reading and cuddling with the cats.

The older I get, the more difficult I find being ill.  When my children were young, either I never go sick or I simply powered through it.  There was no one else there to help so I had to manage.  To be honest, I don't think the cats would have been fed last night if my son hadn't been here.  I could barely move between the bed and bathroom, and I suspect the smell of the cat food pate would have been more than I could have handled.

And being sick twice in less than a month is too much.  I haven't quite kicked the mother of a cold I came down with shortly after my trip. I'm feeling beaten up, hence the whine - I just want to feel normal again.  

Okay, enough of that.  Tomorrow will be a better day.  Not least of all because I have Friday off, so I'll only be at work one day this week. I'm thankful I have paid sick leave (lots of it that I won't ever use or be paid for); I'm grateful my son was here to help, and the cats made the best napping buddies. 

If you made it this far, thanks for listening!

Monday 9 October 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a cool, sunny day here in Saskatchewan  a lovely fall day.  We had our turkey dinner yesterday and little Eli enjoyed tasting most of the meal.  The turnips weren't to his taste though.  He and his mom spent the night and I got to cuddle with him this morning.  Such a special little guy!

Happy Thanksgiving! Wishing you all a wonderful day however you choose to spend it. 

Friday 6 October 2017

Last Post

For the cruise that is..

On the final sea day (Sept 23) I woke to fog and cool temperatures.  Later in the day, the sun came out briefly and it was lovely.  By evening we were back in the fog again.

About 8 or 10 of us, met for breakfast in the buffet.  Conna, Cheryl, Valerie and I had won a bottle of champagne a few evenings before.  The contest was called, "What men really think, what women really think".  The same questions were asked with points awarded for coming with the correct (or in some cases, nearly correct answer).  It turns out that four single women may actually know what men think.  Though to be honest we barely scared over was good enough to win.  We drank (mimosas) to our wonderful trip, good health, and the budding friendships that I'm sure will continue into the future.

From there I headed off to the Princess theatre for the cooking demonstration featuring the executive chef and the maitre d'hotel. 

Hilarity ensued when as the maitre d'hotel created his own version of the pasta dish the chef had created in a just a few minutes.  Some of the more interesting ingredients included Purel hand cleanser, whole eggs, and about 30 cloves of garlic. No one was willing to taste it!

I did, however pick up a couple of practical suggestions.  First, put the cheese grater in the fridge or freezer before use - it will make the cheese easier to grate.  Also add shredded carrots to tomato sauce rather than sugar.  The carrots add sweetness without the extra calories.

After the demonstration was complete, we were escorted through the hall into one of the dining rooms, to the galley.  I know the kitchen has two levels - the one we were shown was quiet so I suspect there was much more activity elsewhere.  This group of bakers were busy preparing desserts for lunch and dinner.  

Not long after the tour was complete, I met Lyn at the Crown Grille for the pub lunch.  It's a favorite of mine, with fish and chip and mushy peas.  Karen and Loretta showed up just as we finished so we joined them for a gabfest while they ate.  

Then it was time to finish packing - I have a tendency to pack as the week so I don't have a lot to do on the last day.  I'd done a load of laundry earlier so that was in the bag already.  I decided what I needed for the rest of the day and the following day.  As an aside, it is humorous how many cruisers forget to leave out clothing for travel it isn't unusual to see someone in a dress or suit from the previous night's dinner.  

I took the book I'd brought with me (and finally finished), The Shipping News, by Anne Proulx to the library.  Princess is great as they keep a shelf or two of books for passengers to exchange.  I picked up J. D. Robb's Echo in Death to read on the way home.

Then it was time to meet Loretta at the International Cafe to see Christopher Watkins, violinist for the third time this cruise.  He's an amazing musician, charismatic and so much fun to watch.  I didn't have my camera with me, took some cell phone pics but nothing worth keeping.  The place was packed to the rafters - it was clear why he was chosen Entertainer of the Year in 2016.  Pam joined us, and I enjoyed a visit with the two ladies, a chai tea and a sweet treat.

I did another walk about the ship (by now the sun was out). This view always takes my breath away and a I feel a sense of peace and calm.  It convinces I'm meant to live by the water.  

Before I close the post, I thought I'd share the group photo we had taken on the first formal night.  Only one person was missing, David, from New York.

This group made the trip the best ever, so many wonderful, interesting (and unique) personalities.  All had cruised previously but two were relative newbies on their second cruises.  One of the Maureen's has 24 cruises booked over the next 19 months.  She wins!

Six were retired, the rest of us were envious.  The other Maureen and I were the only Canadians in the group, Matt and David were the only men.  Several of the women are widows, some have never married and for those with children there were lots of stories to share, including those of our grandchildren.  One of the group was expecting their first great-child with days of the end of the cruise.

In any event, I hope I have the chance to cruise with such a group again.  There was never a fuss when I wandered off on my own, and there was always someone to meet with for meals or other activities.  

And so ends my latest cruise.  I won't bore you with the details of the travel day.  It was long and mostly boring (thankfully).  I left the ship at 10:30 local time (8:30 Sask time) and arrived home at 11 p.m.  I'd slept all the way from Toronto so had no difficulty making it to work the next morning with visions of the sea in my head.

Time to start the countdown to the next cruise...19 weeks and one day!

Thursday 5 October 2017

The many faces of Eli

I'm not quite ready to close the book on my cruise...when the lost post is written it will be truly over. Isn't that the truth of anything one anticipates, it takes forever to get there but when it's over and we look back time speeds up exponentially.

This is especially true of the time since Eli joined our family.  "Bubbles" as I've taken to affectionately call my grandson (since he loves to blow spit bubbles) is growing up so quickly.  He's becoming less of a blob and more of a little person.  He can sit unassisted for some time, though still can't sit up from a prone position, he gets up on his hands and knees and rocks, but hasn't quite figured out how to move forward.  Instead he spins on his belly and backs his way into spots requiring assistance to get turned around.

Here are a few of the recent photos of the Larva (my son's nickname for him)

Taken a day or so before I left on my trip.

Eli was just starting to sit with some assistance.  He continues to refuse to smile at the camera.  

 The hat photo was taken the two days after I returned.  It is one of my favorite of him so far.

That teething ring looks far to big for him but he tries.
 It's not in focus because I was laughing at the face he made.  I'm pretty sure he was telling me he was done eating.

Now that he's mastered the face, he makes it often.  What a character!

And there it is, a smile for G'ma!  

It amazes how much he's grown in just 7 months.  Weighing in at 20 pounds and measuring 25 1/2 inches in length, he's fast on his way to becoming a toddler.  I'm looking forward to this weekend, as he and his mom will be spending some extra time with us.  I foresee lots of snuggles and baby kisses coming my way!  

The trip was definitely fun, and life with this little guy in it is pretty fun too.

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Day 5 - Halifax, Nova Scotia

Since I'd been to Halifax (September 2015) I had already planned not to do an excursion.  I'd seen those buses pull in and out of Peggy's Cove while we were there and knew I'd be disappointed in the short time.  Besides which there were several other ships in port that day and I knew things would be hectic. My goal was to visit the Citadel and walk the wharf, and maybe find Alexander Keith's brewery for a beer.

We arrived about 7 a.m., and since I had no excursion planned, I met Pam in the dining room for breakfast at 8:45.  It was so nice to be waited on!  I left her with her coffee and went back to my cabin to shower and get ready for the day.  I finally left the ship about 10:30 - no long line-ups to disembark. 

My goal was to walk to the Citadel and I had in my head where it was generally so off I went.  I walked along to boardwalk until I thought I was would run into as I climbed uphill.  AND it is mostly uphill (as Kim can attest).  I was running out of steam about a half hour into the walk, stopped at a hot dog vendor and he assured I was only about 2 1/2 blocks from the base of the hill to the Citadel.  One foot in front of the other, and when I get there to the top, it's all down hill from there I kept telling myself.

When I finally reached the top of the Citadel I was so happy I'd made the effort.  The view was incredible!  It took me nearly 45 minutes to make the trek and I arrived in plenty of time for the noon gun.

I climbed to the top of the wall (using the stairs) on the opposite side of the gun.  From there I was able to get some awesome photos.

Once the gun was loaded, the two volunteers took a minute for a brief chat.  It was obviously and enjoyable one.

While the one on the right disappeared it was the responsibility of the other to light the gun and set it off.
Good thing for ear-plugs!

I was fine from my vantage point but I'm certain it's pretty loud.

 Then it was time to head downhill to find some lunch.

The clock tower building is beautiful!  

Along the way I spotted the art work on the side of a building.  Beautiful too, in a different way.


When I got down to the waterfront I walked along the boardwalk and was thrilled to see the Bluenose II was docked there.  We saw the ship in Lunenburg when we were there in 2015.  

That time, I took a photo laying on my back on the deck of the boat looking up towards the masts.

This time I stayed upright.  I would have appreciated if some of the other people would have given me a clear shot but as I noted, there were several cruise ships in port that day.  

I made my way along the waterfront until I came to a series of food vendors.  I spotted the poutine place and decided what could be more Canadian than that?  With my poutine and a Sprite soft drink I sat on a bench near the water, watching the traffic - both on the water and on foot.  I'm a people watcher at given time.  It was fun because there was a discernible difference between the locals (either jogging, returning from yoga class or walking with purpose dressed in workday clothes) and those from away (from the extreme t-shirt/short crowd to the raincoat or even winter jackets).  It was cloudy and a bit damp but it never really rained.

On my return to the terminal, I stopped to browse the craft shops and picked up a onsie for Eli (the only gift I brought back) then headed back to the ship.  I decided some time in the hot tub was in order.  

That evening I met Pam, Matt, and David at the Crown Grill for dinner.  There is an additional cost to eat there but so worth it.  We all had the filet mignon for our entree, I started with black and blue onion soup and a goat cheese and green salad.  With our entrees we also had asparagus, spinach, mushrooms and mashed potatoes served family style.  For dessert I chose the lemon tart, while the others had the trio of chocolate desserts.  After such a big meal, I was happy I'd done as much as I had that day.  

In total, it was another wonderful day.  I love cruising, I unpack once and wake up somewhere different every day.  Of course, the last day is always a little sad.

Tuesday 3 October 2017

Day 4 - Saint Martins (Saint John) Part 2

Although I was looking forward to every port we were scheduled to visit, I was really looking forward to the excursion to Saint Martins from Saint John.  Earlier this year, I had seen an article on the CBC news site that mentioned the twin covered bridges in Saint Martins.  At the time one of the bridges had been shut down to traffic and my hope was that I would be able to walk across it.  Did I manage to do so?  You'll have to wait and see.

The bus trip took about an hour and 15 minutes, but Barbara kept us well entertained with interesting facts about New Brunswick and especially about Saint Martins where she resides.  The village was founded by Loyalists who left the U.S., and was the home of several shipbuilders who found the lumber they needed to build their ships right in their backyards.

I've since forgotten the details, but one of the stories Barbara shared was that of a shipbuilder who had gone out to sea, and was presumed as he was away from home for longer than expected. He was surprised when he returned that his wife and children had managed, without him, to finish the building of another ship.  What a story of resiliency and tenacity.

On the way through the village, Barbara pointed out some of the older homes but unfortunately I wasn't able to capture decent photos through the bus window.

Once we travelled across the covered bridge, we stopped down the road at the Caves restaurant.

We had a choice of seafood chowder or minestrone soup with a homemade biscuit or chicken strips and fries with dessert and a soda or coffee for lunch. I chose the minestrone which was wonderful...but the biscuit was even better!

On the way, Barbara had shown us a few rocks that had a line of color through them - she called them wishing rocks. 

At the beach we were told we could pick up as many as our pockets could hold (or six).  I found three that I thought I'd packed but I haven't found them just yet.

The restaurant is named for the sea caves nearby.  The lighting was not great but I did get a few photos.

Because the tide was rising we were unable to walk out to the caves.  Another reason to return!

I wonder if this little boat was anchored there as I suspect it would likely float by the time the tides were highest.

To the right is little waterfall...not certain at all it's source.

Finally (at least in my mind) it was time to board the bus and return to the covered bridges.  

 It was almost impossible to get the photo of the two bridges as there were so many of us attempting to get the same shot.  I wanted to yell at everyone to move but I didn't.

Barbara told us the second bridge and the little red house to the right of it had been featured in a Disney film.  She couldn't remember which one, and I've yet to find any reference to it.

 Both of the bridges seemed to be in use by vehicles, so I checked with Barbara as to which was out of commission.  It was the one we had crossed earlier that morning (the closest one in the upper photo).  At the time, they had to have passengers on the bus use the pedestrian walkway and the bus would cross empty, load the passengers on the other side and carry on.

So I didn't get a chance to walk across the vehicular portion of either bridge...though I did take the chance to stand on the roadway for this shot.  

What a scenic spot!  I can imagine it might look a less appealing in the winter when the snow flies.  Barbara assured us though that the Bay of Fundy never freezes.  As a result the snow that falls in Saint Martins disappears almost as quickly as it arrives.  

We were a little early for the fall colors, but I did spot this little bit walking along the path to the second covered bridge.

It was such a lovely day, the sun was warm with a light breeze.  So while my dream of walking the covered bridge was thwarted, I have such wonderful memories of the time we spent in Saint Martins.  

Next up - Halifax

Monday 2 October 2017

Day 4 - Saint John, NB Part 1

Feeling better today, thanks to Buckley's liquid gels, Vick's VapoRub, Fisherman's Friends lozenges and about 48 hours of sleep over the past 4 nights and afternoon naps.  I made it through the entire workday without feeling the need to crash under my desk for respite. (Not that I've ever done that....oh wait there was that one time...).

This is going to photo heavy post, so I'll break it into two parts.  First, Saint John itself and the second part, the excursion to Saint Martins.

We arrived late evening on September 20 in Saint John New Brunswick, about 11 p.m.  Once the ship was cleared, guests were able to disembark.  I don't if anyone did...I was fast asleep.

The following morning, I did a wander on the ship with my camera. I bought a new zoom lens from my camera this summer and I appreciate it's ability to zoom in on objects in the distance. 

The sign is to the left of the tall building in this second photo, and I was on deck 15 of the ship.

I found it interesting that the heliport has lighthouses.  I wonder if they aren't simply decorative.  

These houses/townhouses were so pretty. I love the architecture and their location near the water.  

Later I had breakfast with Conna before she left for her excursion at 8 a.m.  My excursion was scheduled for 9:30 so I puttered around for bit for a bit before I headed down to the lounge to wait for the call to disembark. 

We made our way through the terminal to waiting buses.  Our bus had 44 passengers plus our guide, Barbara and driver, Joey.  Both were wonderful ambassadors of Saint John.  Barbara was especially knowledgeable and brought a basket full of items for "show and tell".

Our first stop on the excursion was Reversing Falls.  Barbara suggesting it should be the reversing river, since there is an underwater cliff not visible from the river's edge.  The Saint John river empties into the Bay of Fundy, however when the tides in the Bay are at high tide, it actually stops the flow of the water from the river and reverses the flow.  It's truly amazing to see in person.  Here are several photos from the morning stop.

We had about 15 minutes at this stop before we left the city for the drive to Saint Martins. (see part 2)

When we returned to Saint John that afternoon, we had a stop at the market.

Barbara explained that all the hanging artwork was created by the elementary school children in celebration of Canada 150. Later this year the artwork will be auctioned off with the funds benefiting charity.  What an awesome idea!

Pretty pumpkins!  

And less pretty (at least to me) is the live crustaceans available for sale.

I made a quick dash through the market before heading over to King's Park and the Loyalist graveyard. 

This structure is a two-tiered gazebo.  I can imagine it must be fun when there are activities going on in the park.

This is a lousy photo of the cemetery due to the lighting but it was pretty clear the stones were old.

None that I saw were legible.

The gates that bordered the graveyard were gorgeous, but I bet at night, it would be very spooky!  Great place on Halloween, perhaps.  

We only had about 20-30 minutes so it was hurry up and get a few photos and get back to the bus for our return to the Saint John River.  
Before the bus stopped at the site, there was an audible gasp from the passengers.  The river truly was flowing in the opposite direction.  Obviously photos don't do it justice, but I think the distinct change in color is the result of silt flowing back into the river.

We only had a very brief stop, as it was nearing 3 p.m. and all-aboard was 3:30 p.m. with sail-away shortly after.  

As we left the port we received a salute from the pilot boat. 

It was a fantastic day, sunny and warm, and so very interesting.  I definitely plan to return some day to explore this beautiful province.  A day was simply not enough time.