Nova Scotia - part four


My heavy suitcase really messed things up. Somewhere between carrying it down the flight of stairs at the Cavendish Breeze Inn and hoisting it into the back of the rental car, Andy's back got bent out of shape. Like, really bad. So bad it was even painful for him to be a passenger in the car. Today was Day 6 and we'd be taking a plane back home to Boston tomorrow - but there was still so much adventuring to do! We needed to drive over 5 hours to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia...like, right now if we were gonna remain on schedule. This could get rough. We made it a few miles into New Brunswick before stopping for breakfast at a truck stop sort of place called the Timber River Country Restaurant. We hesitantly entered - there wasn't another customer in the place. A cheerful lady greeted us, telling us to come on in. She poured us some coffee and Andy took some Aleve. She stood in the kitchen and chatted with us while she made our breakfast. Soon, she produced two beautiful plates of eggs, homefries, bacon, and toast. It sounds so simple - so easy. But there was something really special about these plates of food. It was like coming home to mom's house. The Aleve kicked in and Andy was able to sleep while I drove on toward our next destination, Ovens Natural Park back on the east coast of Nova Scotia. We stopped to gas up the car a couple hours later. While Andy was paying inside the gas station, I looked up into the sky and spotted a bald eagle. I knocked on my window and yelled in Andy's direction, but he couldn't hear me. Other customers threw me concerned looks. I decided to just get to work preparing his camera so he could get a shot when he emerged from the gas station.

It was the last full day of our trip and I'd be damned if he didn't get at least one eagle photo! This photograph was the outcome. Not the perfectly composed majestic eagle photograph he'd been hoping for, but one nonetheless. Andy: 1 Bald Eagle: 2

I silently wondered if exploring something called "sea caves" was really the best idea for someone with terrible back pain. I figured we would know by looking at it if he was up for it. The sea caves were pretty close to Lunenburg, which is where we'd be spending the night, so it wouldn't be a big deal if we didn't do it. I turned at a sign for Ovens Natural Park. The road was narrow and there were trees everywhere. As I rounded a curve, there it sat. A huge bald eagle atop a scraggily tree. It was casually looking down at the road, presumably for a meal. Andy had his bald eagle photo protocol down pat by this point: camera in his lap, proper lens affixed, lens cap off. I pulled off of the road as best I could - sorry, line of cars behind us, I'm sure you understood once you passed this majestic bird! Andy walked closer to the tree and I rolled down my window to get a better view. In reality, I probably spent more time watching Andy photograph that eagle than I did looking at the eagle itself. It was just such a pleasure to see him get to do what he set out to do. He really powered through all the pain and got some awesome shots. Andy: 2 Bald Eagle: 2 A tie score seemed poetic.

We were just minutes from the Sea Caves when the whole eagle thing happened. Andy was running on some serious adrenaline and was down to check out the sea caves so we started walking along the cliffside path.

Along the path, there would occasionally be staircases down into the caves. The water was such a spectacular color.

The Sea Cave walk had us pretty tuckered out. We both needed a nap. We headed up the coast about 20 minutes to the historic port of Lunenburg. Checking into the Brigantine Inn and Suites was interesting. We had to go down into the restaurant under the Inn, the Grand Banker Bar & Grill, and get our room key from the hostess. Although I felt refreshed after taking a short nap, I knew Andy needed more than a catnap. So I let him sleep and ventured out to wander around. Pro Travel Tip: Even when traveling with a partner, take some time apart to experience something solo. It will enhance your own experience and give you something new to talk about over dinner. Lunenburg has such colorful buildings. I really do wish I lived in a neighborhood this vibrant.

While out discovering this town, I came across the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. It's impossible to miss - a huge red building right on Lunenburg Harbour. It's got everything you'd ever want to know about fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia - and then some. Tucked away upstairs in the museum is a restaurant called The Old Fish Factory. I took a look at the menu - partly because I needed to find a dinner location for us close to our hotel (check), and partly because I thought the menu from a place calling itself The Old Fish Factory might be hilariously gross (not so much - the food actually sounded great). We had planned out a 6 month anniversary dinner for tonight, our last night in Nova Scotia, and I was hoping Andy was still up for it. When I got back to the hotel, I was pleased to hear he still wanted to go out to dinner. So we made our way to the restaurant and had ourselves a delicious meal of scallops with bacon jam, fresh steamed lobsters, and brownie a la mode. I gave my lobster a parsley hat.

We woke up. Day 7. I couldn't believe how fast this trip went. I had read some good Yelp reviews about The Savvy Sailor and, since it was next door to our hotel, thought it would be a good spot to grab breakfast before hitting the road. Andy and I still talk about the bacon we ate there. We're pretty sure it was the best bacon either of us had ever had - and that's saying something (we dig on lots of swine). Muffin Tangent: Going out for breakfast usually means starting things off sharing an appetizer of a grilled muffin - you know, cut in half, buttered on each side, and slapped onto a flat-top grill. Corn, blueberry, chocolate chip, cinnamon - we're open to flavors. But grilling it is key. The Savvy Sailor waitress looked very confused at this grilled muffin request but said she'd ask the chef. The chef obliged. Both waitress and chef said they'd never heard of such a thing. We like to think we enlightened the culinary scene of Lunenburg with this suggestion. Today, we just had one stop to make before getting to the airport: Peggy's Cove. You can read a million things online about Peggy's Cove. Mainly, there's a lighthouse here that tourists flock to. We were going on a Saturday, so there was sure to be a good amount of tourists. For me, the village was more interesting than the lighthouse. It's still an active fishing village. Many times, areas like this get overrun with kitschy shops and cafes. Not here. While there were a few shops, they were kinda cool - not just magnets and postcards, but locally made art and woodworking. I dug it.

We rounded a corner and walked up a slight hill and there she was. Peggy's Point Lighthouse. As we approached, the bagpipes got louder. It made for a very cool vibe.

Andy and I found a grassy spot near some breaking waves and sat down. We reflected on all the things we had experienced on this trip - the natural wonders, the incredibly friendly people we'd met along the way, and, of course, the potato chips.

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, you gave us some unforgettable experiences...until we are forgetful...then we'll just read this blog and get to live it all over again. NEXT