first, we needed fuel. we tried out a place in the north end for lunch that turned out to be really cool. the place was called FRED and the building is one half hair salon and the other half is an art gallery with seating and food (dont worry, the hair area is separated quite well from the food area). the art and atmosphere are actually really awesome and i love that the cafe is called "the whet cafe" (on the website, at the end of their cafe description it asks "are you whet yet?" love it.).
anyway, dave and i split the bacon corn chowder to start. it was really flavorful and came with a homemade biscuit. yum. then came our sandwiches. i got a croissant sandwich with prosciutto, mushroom, and gouda and a side barley and bean salad. dave got an open faced meatball sandwich with a side mixed greens salad. for dessert, we split a lemon cupcake. yikes. i did a phenomenal job with my food all week, and this was how i rewarded myself...
(me ready for soup at FREDs; dave is cute)
now loaded with gourmet goodness, we went off in search of some local activities we had heard about. actually, last night we were at the garrison brewery picking up some specialty beers for dave and while he was sampling their stout a dude wandered up and starting chatting with us. he is a halifax local but his wife is from virginia and he had lived for several years in DC. blah blah blah, and hes pulling out his iphone showing us pictures of two places he recommends we check out: fort york redoubt and duncans cove. okay guy, here we go...
(i love maps and i dont put enough on here. so, this one shows you the red dot where york redoubt is (and duncans cove is not labeled, but its a little to the right of fort york). it also helps you visualize the halifax area better. halifax is actually a small peninsula, so all aspects of the city are crammed in that small space. as you ooze out of the peninsula you start to get into the more shopping and suburb areas. you can also see the two areas where bridges go across the harbor to dartmouth, our first home here.)
driving along purcells cove rd (which we had driven several times in nicer weather) we actually did notice the small canada beaver signs this time that denoted we were near a national site. we turned toward fort york redoubt and parked inside the tall stone walls. built in 1793 it was a military command site because it has a panoramic view of the harbor which means its a good lookout spot. there are underground tunnels, cement bunker-type areas, cannons strategically located, and military barracks. they have retained these features in the site which is now open to the public. but, while the sun was out to make things look inviting, the wind was also there (50+ mph gusts) which made it unpleasant, especially when you are in an elevated area without any tree protection. the only people who seemed to be enjoying themselves there were the kids who were sledding. for me, the panoramic view on a clear sunny day was not enjoyable because i was frozen. we will come back in warmer weather to try again.
back on the road we continued south to duncans cove. we parked in the tiny village of about a dozen homes and started on what we believed to be the duncans cove trail. we had hoped with the slight change in locale that we might somehow be avoiding the wind, or the direct influence of the wind at least. wrong. when we came up to the top of the trail we were basically in a flat, open, barren area that was totally whipped by wind. we somehow missed the part of the trail that cut down to the water (where we heard tales of gorgeous coastal rocks and families of seals with their babies) and continued on this open top part. i think this is a bog area in nicer weather, but it was just ugly, flat, scrub at this time and there was nothing to see or enjoy, especially with the wind stealing the breath out of your chest. we made it to some ruined military outposts and collected our sanity to turn back into the face-blasting wind. back in the car, i still somehow hoped to come back in warmer weather and have a better experience.
(the only sign of life at duncans cove)
defrosting in the car on the way home, i was motivated to stop in to a new place on our route that sold comfort food: pot pies. the place is called heppys pies and the woman who runs it is of acadian heritage. their traditional food is very hearty and basic. she had several types of meat pies and dense quiche-like pies but she also provided a lovely array of organic turkey, chicken, and beef pies. we were able to nab four little individual-sized low sodium organic chicken pies for $14. she also made a smattering of other goodies and had samples out to try. we picked up some hermit cookies that were sinful.
then, i was ready to spend the evening in, bringing my body back up to warm temperatures, but we found a $30 glider chair on kijiji that an older couple was selling and they happened to be available that night to pick it up...so, back in the car. but, we did score a decent and cheap rocking chair for when monster comes, so thats good. and then we stayed in...eating pot pie and playing yahtzee. nerds.