Camping with Friends

Camping with Friends

A few weeks ago, a friend and I reconnected, and we decided to plan a camping trip. Labour Day weekend was only two weeks away when we got together, and we wanted to take full advantage of the long weekend so that we could enjoy our escape into nature.

We booked our lots at the Seaside Campground in Saint Martin’s, New Brunswick, Canada. One lot had water and electricity, while the other was without. As we planned to share our camping adventure, naturally, we agreed to share the utilities between ourselves.

Check-in was at 3 pm on Saturday, so we started packing on Friday night. I had the idea to make homemade pizza and pack the leftovers. It was great to be able to sit at the picnic table after pitching tents and have cold pizza ready to eat. We planned to camp from Saturday to Monday.

When you camp over three days, you really only have the middle day for the full camping experience. The first day is busy setting up the site, and the last day is when you tear it all down to pack up and go home. As a result, the middle day becomes the highlight of the whole trip.

Coffee

I love 2-3 cups of coffee every day because I need the coffee to do all of the things. Me packing coffee for this trip is not a surprise, however, packing Bailey’s Irish Cream to have in my coffee was a treat. On Sunday morning, I discovered that I did not pack my french coffee press. (It was still home on the kitchen table, waiting to be packed). Consequently, this created a dilemma.

There were options to go get coffee on the site and at Huttges General Store, across the road from the campground. I am known to be a bit stubborn at times and was ready to cry when I realized I had left my coffee press at home. Determined to make my own pot of coffee, I trudged over to the store to see if they had any way to help me out.

We had a kettle and a pot. We had already started boiling water on the camping propane BBQ when I discovered that the coffee press was missing. I went with a plan to see if there was a way to buy a sieve and some paper filters. Not only did the store have the very items I went looking for, but they also gave them to me without charging for them. The coffee dilemma was resolved, and I happily made a pot of coffee. I was also delighted that my friends packed some Jamieson’s Irish Whiskey to create a true camping Irish Coffee experience!

Two walks on Sunday

After a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and blueberry pancakes topped with pure maple syrup, we cleaned the dishes before heading down to the beach. A short walk from our tenting site brought us to the shore, and the beach is not very sandy when the tide is in. It is a rocky beach.

My friend Pat walking his dog Logan along the shoreline.

My friend Kayla and I sat by the water to chat for a bit. I am not in the best physical shape of my life, and I appreciated the rest. The rocks were warm to sit on, which we did until the tide got too close to where we were sitting.

I also tried to film ocean waves while we were sitting still. I learned earlier this summer that I should not be near people who are talking when I do this. This time, I learned that the wind can be picked up on the mic louder than the sounds of the ocean. In the future, I will try to get my ocean waves video again next year. One of these times it will work.

Roy did not join us for this walk, as he had gone to the beach by himself before anyone else was up. When we came back, we found him waiting at a picnic table.

Roy waiting for us to return from the beach. There were bumblebees in the flowers behind him along the fence all weekend.

After we were all together again, Roy, Pat and I decided to walk to an ice cream parlour. Along both walks, I had my camera, and I decided to take pictures of whatever inspired me throughout the day. Here are some of those pics.

An evening hike

Kayla, Pat’s wife who is the friend from the beginning of this blog, wanted us to go on an evening hike. She wanted to show us where the Caves of Saint Martins were. We decided to drive closer to the destination, and as we found a parking spot, we saw tourists all over the area. There were also tourist shops, a cafe, a restaurant, a food truck and another ice cream parlour.

We could see the Caves from the beach at our campground, but it was really neat to explore them more closely. After crossing a stream and finding our feet all wet, we had to pick our path carefully as some of the rocks were slippery. It had been a few years since I had been rock hopping on the coastline, and never at this location.

Now that we were committed to exploring after walking through the stream…we were able to get into the caves and take some pictures. If you aren’t familiar with what the locals in every area call tourist traps, it is very difficult to get a picture of what you are there to see without other people being in the shot.

I did my best to not take pictures with people in all of them.

We did pose for a few pics as well!

Even though we had a very busy day, we made time for relaxing and for fun. If you don’t make time for these things, consequently you will be less likely to want to pack up and go on another adventure.

Pat, Logan and Kayla at the beach.

You can camp all year round, however, it is a different type of adventure after the snow is on the ground. Personally, I prefer to camp in the summertime, when the nights are not so chilly. It is also nicer to camp for a longer stretch, although I was really pleased with how well our trip went over the long weekend. As a result of reading this blog, I hope this inspires you to go camping too. If you want to see what I packed in more detail, you can read all about it on the Coffee House Writers website. My article will be published there on September 9th, 2019. Here is the link for 7 Categories Of What To Pack For A Short Camping Trip, to help you start your own list of what to pack when you go camping!

Do you enjoy hiking and camping? Have you got any great stories about your own experiences? I would love to read all about them in the comments ūüėČ

The sun sets on the end of our Vacation in Nova Scotia

The sun sets on the end of our Vacation in Nova Scotia

We booked a week and planned our vacation to visit with both sides of our family. That means we needed to plan to drive from Fredericton to Cape Breton which is 6 to 8 hours, depending on speed, and the number and length of stops along the way. We did spend the majority of the week in Cape Breton, Chez Edmond Vacation House. It was a wonderful way to catch up with my family. You can read all about it in my previous blog post, Salt Water Therapy.

On Friday, we left a day before the rest of my family and headed for the mainland of Nova Scotia. We were going to visit Roy’s mother in Pubnico, on the South Shore, and had decided to make an important stop between Cape Breton and Yarmouth County. We wanted to be able to make a little visit with Roy’s father, and of course, the always delightful¬†Nanny Webber! I did not take any pictures during the visit, but when I got home, I was surprised to find this news interview on my wall. She has since turned 110 in July, and you will see Nanny Webber and her son, Roland Webber, speaking to a reporter about her upcoming birthday celebration a few weeks ago in the following link.

Nanny Webber and Roland Webber on the news

I am glad to be able to share this here. She really is delightful.

The next day, we got in the car and headed for Yarmouth County. If you do not know about the geography of Nova Scotia, Cape Breton and Yarmouth County are on the opposite ends of the province. If we wanted to drive it in a day, it would be 8 to 10 hours, easy, and there would have to be rest stops, and a break for at least 1 meal. We stayed in Dartmouth Crossing in the middle to have a place to sleep on either side of the travelling.

When we arrived in Pubnico, Roy’s mother was not around. We went to his Aunt & Uncle’s place, and while there, Roy’s mother called. We went to visit. Roy’s Aunt had told us that his grandfather had suffered a mild heart attack, and things were a little off kilter because of this. We decided to climb back into a car and drive to Yarmouth to visit Roy’s grandfather at the hospital.

Before going to see him, we decided to find supper on the way. We ate at¬†The Dinner Plate Family Restaurant. If you aren’t from the area, you might miss this place. It was amazing! I didn’t get a picture, but I highly recommend their Lobster Poutine. I know, it sounds unappetizing but there is no gravy on it. It has french fries, lobster and mozzarella. The sauce is similar to what is used in that part of the province to make ‘creamed lobster’ which is served on toast. It is a sauce that is not thick like gravy but does use lobster, butter and cream for the base. Similar to a broth used for lobster chowder. I really enjoyed this meal.

We made our visit at the hospital and stopped at the Bulk Barn before heading back to Lower East Pubnico. Roy and his mother got in the vehicle the family calls the bug and went up the hill across the road to check on the garden and orchard. I went and found my camera, and snapped a few pics while I waited for them to return.

Sunset Teaser from the backyard.

Sunset Teaser from the backyard.

A Little Brown Sparrow in Lower East Pubnico.

A Little Brown Sparrow in Lower East Pubnico.

Trees as seen from the Backyard in Lower East Pubnico.

Trees as seen from the Backyard in Lower East Pubnico.

Wildflowers in the backyard in Lower East Pubnico.

Wildflowers in the backyard in Lower East Pubnico.

Wildflowers and a tree stump in the backyard in Lower East Pubnico.

Wildflowers and a tree stump in the backyard in Lower East Pubnico.

A bench with flowers in Lower East Pubnico.

A bench with flowers in Lower East Pubnico.

Roses in Lower East Pubnico.

Roses in Lower East Pubnico.

Flowers and bushes in the yard at Lower East Pubnico.

Flowers and bushes in the yard at Lower East Pubnico.

Flowers in the yard at Lower East Pubnico.

Flowers in the yard at Lower East Pubnico.

Flowers in front of the house at Lower East Pubnico.

Flowers in front of the house at Lower East Pubnico.

A close up of the red roses in Lower East Pubnico.

A close up of the red roses in Lower East Pubnico.

I did want to capture some sunset pictures that night, as the sun was setting on the end of our vacation. I took my time and tried some new techniques with the camera. I had a friend review them with me, and she recommended the best sunset picture of the bunch to be:

Sunset in Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset in Lower East Pubnico.

I am not a professional photographer, but I am having fun with the camera that I have borrowed to practice with. One day I might even know what all the different settings do.

From Lower East Pubnico, the sun is setting¬†across Pubnico Harbour, which separates Pubnico East from Pubnico West. There is a rivalry amongst the two sides as to which one is better, especially if you grow up in that area. I didn’t, and have the distinct pleasure of taking in all of the views from a creative artist’s point of view. I will share some other pictures here to close this post. I hope that you enjoy the pictures because I do enjoy being able to share them with you!

 

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico. I know the sun is blurry, but I like this picture.

Sunset at Lower East Pubnico. I know the sun is blurry, but I like this picture.

West Pubnico Church across Pubnico Harbour.

West Pubnico Church across Pubnico Harbour.

Dusk at Middle East Pubnico.

Dusk at Middle East Pubnico.

Last glimpse of the sun on the horizon.

Last glimpse of the sun on the horizon.

After the sunset.

After the sunset.

Down the trail, after sunset.

Down the trail, after sunset.

What did I learn about taking pictures on this vacation? A great camera can help you to take amazing pictures. There can be a perception of depth to the photograph if you focus on the grass in front of the scene you want to capture with your lens. Not every picture is worth keeping. It is really hard to take sunset pictures without flies in them. Finally, the horizon should be straight to make the picture perfect.

I hope that you enjoyed the conclusion of my vacation blog story for this summer! Do you have any photos or blog stories from your own summer vacation? Feel free to send me a link in the comments so that I can check it out!

Salt Water Therapy

Salt Water Therapy

Salt Water Therapy is what is known to other people as beach time. It does involve the Atlantic Ocean and the coastline of Cape Breton Island, for me. This year, I was able to take a camera with me that I have on a long-term¬†loan from a friend. I am grateful that I have been trusted to take care of the camera, and have been learning the craft of amateur photography since borrowing it. It is fun to take nice pictures. I can’t wait to share some with you all!

The featured photo at the top is of Margaree Island. I went out one afternoon to take pictures for the blog. It was the best of the bunch and my mom helped me decide which one to choose. I love taking pictures, but I do not always know which ones are the best, and which ones are not. I ask different people for help with different projects. This one was perfect for Mom.

We went back to Chez Edmond Vacation Home. I wrote about visiting my family there last year, and this year we all were able to stay in the same location. As much fun as it was last year to be staying with my friend, it was equally fun to be staying with my whole family under the same roof.

You can read about last year’s family vacation trip in a guest post on another blogger’s website.¬†Homesick for the Home of my Heart¬†was written to be shared on Mohamad Al Karbi’s blog specifically for his Around the World category. I encourage you to check out other stories and categories on his website, as there are many other authors who write as guest bloggers there. You can see more pictures from last year’s vacation that blog and also in the introduction blog post I wrote for my own blog,¬†Sun Kissed and Salt Licked. Both posts were a little different and they both have stunning photography, contributed by myself, friends and family. I am blessed to have such a beautiful location to call my home.

We did enjoy wonderful weather all week long. I did venture into the host’s home to check out another business on the property. K Rugs LeBlanc creates her own custom designed,¬† unique traditional rag rugs. Located in the same driveway as the vacation home, it was a stop I was glad to have made. If you would like more information about the rugs or other art in the pictures of the next group, please send an email to¬†giggleskleblanc@yahoo.ca

She uses the traditional rug hooking known in that part of Cape Breton. It is a French Acadian hobby. She also recycles t-shirts into her work. It was very interesting to talk to her and to see the project she was working on while we were there. She was using a picture to create the design. I hope to see the finished rug next year.

 

 

We did have some plans to go to The Dancing Goat. We made it a ladies day out, and also went to a gift shop after.¬†The Dancing Goat Cafe & Bakery has a very good reputation for being an upscale cafe in Margaree, not far from Margaree Forks. I may not remember exactly what we all ate, but I did snap pics of everyone’s meal. There were 7 ladies there, and we all chose something different to eat!

Other food was prepared by different family members all week long. Here are a few of the highlights. I made the deviled eggs for a potluck barbeque birthday party. Same 3 people as last year, not as surprising for me to be included this year. My Dad and cousin share the same birthday, and mine is a few days earlier.¬† They tricked me into asking my Aunt to make the cake last year. I didn’t know that it would be for me too.

Most of us love lobster, and it is a real treat to have it cooked fresh. My dad and uncle set up a propane burner to cook them in a large pot outside at the farmhouse. If you go there for your vacation, you will not find this outdoor lobster cooking assembly. It was brought over by my uncle, who took it home after the lobsters were all cooked. As we have friends that share pics of their lobster all cooked and ready to eat, I wanted to take a picture to share of our fresh cooked lobster too. You will find this and the deviled eggs in the next slideshow.

I know. You are looking at these pictures, and reading my words, and wondering where the beauty of Cape Breton is. Wonder no more. I will share some pictures of some birds and flowers in the next group. It is a hint of what is to come. I am an amateur photographer, but having a really nice camera makes me feel like I know what I am doing! I love taking random pictures of things that I think are beautiful, or things other people might not think to take a picture of. With so many pictures to share, I thought it made sense to separate them into groups.

I spent a few hours at Chimney Corner Beach. With so many things planned within the week, it was the only day I was able to get to the beach and dip my feet in the ocean. Some of my nieces and nephews braved the chilly ocean waters, but it was not as warm as it had been the year before. I did not go in past my knees. It was literally bone-chilling, as the water had not had enough time to warm up for the swimming season yet. I decided to go for a walk with the camera. I made a video which has yet to be edited and subtitled for my YouTube channel, Tishspiration Station. I will get it worked on soon, but this blog post kind of took priority. Here are some pictures of my afternoon at the beach.

I was sitting on a towel, after my walk, when I heard people hollering for Daisy. When I finally turned to look, there was this lovely dog heading in my direction. She promptly laid herself down beside me and snuggled right up to my leg. I gave her a little attention before her family collected her. She was on a leash but made a beeline for me. Her owners apologized and explained that they think she is losing her hearing. Maybe it is selective. Unbeknownst to them, they were at a gift shop at the same time as me a few days later. She escaped from the family vehicle, and I heard the shouts for Daisy again, pleading with her to get in the car. The heat wave had not hit yet, at that point, and people don’t spend hours at the gift shops, so Daisy was not in any danger if she was waiting in the car for a few minutes.¬† This just confirms to me that it is definitely time for me to get a dog. Daisy seemed to like me, that’s for sure!

Finally, we have arrived at the space for the scenery of Cape Breton Island. I will not have to explain most of the pictures here, as they focus on the Cape Breton Coastline. There are a few other pictures mixed in here, but I feel that they are also worth sharing, a bit of the everyday mixed amongst the raw beauty. Enjoy. I enjoyed learning how to take better pictures, and I am really proud to share them with you all.

There you have it! I am really glad that I went. I am really happy for the memories we made on our family vacation. I hope that you enjoy the story, but even more, I hope you can see the beauty I tried to capture with my amateur photography skills. Someone with more training will likely see flaws and would edit or touch up some, I am sure. I have not taken any courses in photography, it is just another hobby which I love to do. Just like my writing and web page design; it is something else I am learning to do as I go. Since I am having fun, I hope that you can see this when you take a look at the results of my efforts.

Part 2 from the overnight visit to the other end of Nova Scotia will be ready soon. It will be a shorter story, but I felt it was worth a separate blog post of its own.

How is your summer going?