Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Beautiful Wedding!

Within the vintage architecture of a country church this lovely couple was married on August 22nd, 2015. My son Joel and his wife, Alicia said their vows before about 150 family and friends, accompanied by their devoted attendants. Below is a photo of them at the rehearsal dinner happily anticipating the big day!

Preparations for the reception began days before as vintage china and antique wooden chairs were assembled for the dinner.

The dinner plates at the head table were the groom's grandmother's!

The location offered a spectacular view of the Bay of Fundy and there was lots of space for outdoor fun and "merriment" after the ceremony!

These two sweeties anxiously waited for their moment to walk down the aisle. 

At last! The happy couple exiting the church.

Time for photos! Outside the church Thaddeus Holownia, teacher of photography at Mount Allison University, takes a large group photo of everyone at the wedding using an old fashioned camera (I'm sure there is a special name for it). Can't wait to see the final product!

Let the fun begin!

While the newly weds had photos done, the guests entertained themselves with lawn games, popsicles for the youngsters, and some delicious appetizers and refreshments for everyone. 

So nice to have friends and family to share this happy day!

My good friends (the Fundy girls minus two), Cathy Wareham, yours truly, Diane Ridley, Nancy Splane)

Ross and his buddies "The Dannies" Dan Wareham and Dan Splane

Ross's brother Nelson and his wife Marianne

Ross's brother Jim and his wife Linda

Ross's sister Phyllis and her friend Louis

The couple's first dance to "I Can't Help Falling in Love With You" by Elvis!

More Photo Ops! 

While family photos were taken by the photographer after the wedding, we caught a few more later in the evening. Too bad my poor little smart phone doesn't take a better photo in the dark!

Ross, Joel, Candice, Scott, me

A Day to Be Recorded With Both Images and Words!

My wrist corsage made by Alicia!

Weddings these days always seem to be more about the photos than anything else. With almost everyone carrying a cell phone/camera and the ability to instantly share pictures on Instagram, Facebook etc., every detail of an event can recorded by images and video. However, there is a lot to be said for the written word. The atmosphere, vibe and specifics of an occasion such as a wedding deserve equal attention with words.

Below is a newspaper clipping of my parents and my aunt's weddings (held on the same day in May 1934). I marvel at the written description of the flowers, fabrics and music. (What the heck is a "swagger suit"?) I also love the detail about the "motor car trip" and the couple "taking up residence in their summer home on Lake Nipissing" ..... sounds like something out of the Great Gatsby! 

My Dad, Mother, aunt Greet (Gretta), Uncle Ray

I wish I had the eloquence to create a written description of Joel and Alicia's wedding. There was so much more to it than the mere images! I wouldn't even have the vocabulary to point out the unique flowers and plants in the bouquets and decor, the vintage fabric in the wedding gown and bridesmaids' dresses, the antique patterns on the dishes and the variety of delicious food, lovingly prepared by family and friends. 

Here's a thought ...... as well as a photographer, couples should engage a writer to eloquently describe the day!

A unique plant that appeared at our table at the rehearsal dinner. This delicate plant also appeared in the wedding flowers and bouquets that Alicia designed and created herself!

Congratulations Joel and Alicia!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Time to do Some Serious Research

Last evening my "partner in crime" and I got all geared up for a BIG walk (training for the Camino de Santiago). There had been showers, but they passed and the sky looked clear. We brought umbrellas just in case. About ten or fifteen minutes on to the trail it started to rain. Nothing too serious at first. Besides, we thought, when we are on the "Camino" there will be rainy days so we may as well get used to it. However, the light rain soon became a torrential downpour and up went our umbrellas. Thank goodness, because that rain turned into hail and there was no immediate shelter to run to. If it wasn't for the umbrellas shielding us from the pellets of ice we might have ended up looking like we were targets for a BB gun! (or at least felt like it) 

So our big walk was cut short since we were soaked. My hiking boots were not only wet but filled with water like a couple of sinking boats! I think they will take at least a whole day in in the sun to dry out (certainly longer if it's cloudy). The experience did zero for our fitness level, but inspired us to do some serious thinking about what to bring on our "pilgrimage" especially what to wear on our feet!

My wet duds ... a sad sight.

From what I have gleaned so far, footwear is the most important consideration when doing the Camino. There are a variety of opinions on what is best .... hiking boots? trail shoes? hiking sandals? On the link below, they recommend taking two pair so that you can change periodically, allowing the other pair to dry out thoroughly (from sweat as well as water). Since we will encounter a variety of terrains, hikers may be good at times and a lighter weight option for gentler surfaces. A good pair of flip flops is a must as well for wearing around the "auberges" (especially in the showers) and to give your feet a well deserved bit of freedom! The site below "Travel Past 50" has some great info.

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Power of Images

National Geographic was a staple in our home when I was a teenager. At that age I knew the lyrics of all the songs on the radio much better than my school work and I spent hours in front of the mirror putting on makeup and teasing my hair. So as you might expect, actually "reading" an article about some endangered species in the jungles of Cambodia or cultural traditions in Peru was highly unlikely. The images, however, had my full attention. Exotic looking women in traditional dress, the grandiose architecture of European cities and the mysterious photos of narrow streets in a Turkish bazaar captivated me! Travelling to those places seemed like a remote possibility, but those images planted a seed and that remote possibility eventually became a reality.

Here I am with an actual "Long Neck" woman in Thailand. These women are refugees from Myanmar (Burma).

So, for me, images are very inspiring! While, I still get the travel bug when I see pictures of exotic places, I may have to be content with Pinterest to inspire me to embark on new experiences closer to home. Perfecting a new recipe or transforming a piece of furniture with a coat of paint can be an adventure! Can't it??

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Large Day on the Fundy Coast!

I'm sure that where ever you live in Canada, or in most places in the world for that matter, there are beautiful and interesting views to behold, but really ..... I think it's hard to beat the spectacular scenes we have here on the Bay of Fundy. On Sunday morning around ten o'clock we set out for a drive and within thirty or forty minutes we were exploring the uncrowded coastline of a few tiny villages, rugged cliffs and empty beaches.

Enroute to St. Martins via Gardner Creek we came upon this great view. Lucky people who live in the house at the end of the driveway on the right!

We headed for the village of St. Martins, taking the route through Gardner Creek and Tynemouth Creek. Between these two places we took a detour down Duck Pond Road that brought us to a huge beach with only a couple of people on it out walking their dog.

As we continued our journey, enjoying the scenery, we were also able to pick up some tips on decor for the yard. Apparently moose antlers on your shrubs is the new thing!

Fishing boats in the village of St. Martins
About 7 or 8 miles past St. Martins we entered the Fundy Trail Parkway. It costs $6.00 per person and worth every penny. The paved roadway along the coast is 16 kms. but there are hiking and biking trails, lookouts, picnic tables and a nice interpretive center. The wilderness trail along the coast actually continues for 41 kms. to Fundy National Park. By 2018 the road should be complete up to that point as well.

A stunning view of the coast.

Near the interpretive center (the building in the background above) we explored a small sawmill museum and saw the foundation of an old school house. This seems to be the only evidence of settlement east of St. Martin's (other than the Hearst Lodge, once own by the US Newspaper magnate Randolph J. Hearst). From here to Fundy National Park the coast line is completely undeveloped and you can see why. The rugged terrain and steep variations in height make development (or settlement) very difficult, not to mention expensive. With both provincial and federal funding the extension of the road will cost about $22,000,000! It is hoped that the drive and trails etc. will be a big tourist attraction.

If We Build it - Will They Come? .... Do we want them to come?

In our poor, economically deprived province, it seems that we are always looking for prosperity and development. I guess we need it, but I must say that there are times when I do enjoy the lack of development. On a sunny Sunday afternoon in July we visited the Fundy Trail and it seemed like we had the whole place to ourselves! Parking lots were almost empty, traffic was nil and we rarely had to share a lookout with another visitor. On our coastal drive to the park, we were able to explore and enjoy the sights encountering only a few locals here and there.

On our way back we stopped at the beach and caves at St. Martin's, mainly to get a bowl of "world famous" seafood chowder at the restaurant there. This was the most "touristy" spot ... funny how beer and french fries attracts a crowd! Although the parking lot was full and the restaurant was busy, we got our delicious chowder right away and enjoyed it on the seaside deck as we watched some foolish tourists almost get stuck in the caves by the tide.

View from our table!
All in all it was a very "large day" and we were home in time to mow the lawn and have a cool one on our own deck. Now my next project is to try to make a seafood chowder as good as the one I had in St. Martin's! Stay tuned for the recipe!

Fundy Trail Parkway

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Grand Manan

An island adventure with good company is always great therapy! A recent trip to Grand Manan Island began in the rain and fog but eventually gave way to sunshine as we began our coastal adventure.

Waiting to board the ferry in Black's Harbour

A little windswept but happy and looking forward to the day ahead.

Kathy and Ray .... awww so cute!

Swallow Tail Lighthouse

While the rugged coastline and water views were beautiful, we found a certain charm in these old smoke houses. The weathered buildings sparked some discussion among us about the diminished popularity of smoked fish, which led to reminiscing about things we ate growing up. There was no shortage of material to prompt a good "chin wag" !

I get tingly just looking at this picture .... can't believe I actually got close enough to the edge to take it!

The above photo was taken at Dark Harbour, where just a few weeks ago a "dulser" ( a person who harvests dulse) drowned. One of the locals told us about how he had found the body of this man, who had worked on the ocean all his life, but was not wearing a life jacket, and waited for three hours with it until the authorities arrived. 

While our accommodations were somewhat in need of an update, the location was terrific. Above is the view from the door of our motel room. A short walk across the lawn brings you to the beach where you can find lots of sea glass. Below is what I found during my short stay.

View of North Head Grand Manan from the deck of the ferry.

Sea, sun, a ferry ride, beach walks and good company are ingredients for a relaxing retreat (especially sunshine!) Definitely have to do this more often!