daves boss and wife have owned their cottage for 20 years. its on the malagash peninsula (2.5 hours north of halifax) right on the coastline of the northumberland strait. they invited their research group(s) up for the weekend and most everyone said yes. really, youd have to be silly to say no. it was also a nice way to ease ourselves into camping with X. with a fully equipped house just steps away, it took the guess work out of that "first time" experience.
-packed. ate breakfast in the car. made a lengthy odds-n-ends stop at the gas station (note: do that the day before next time!). finally got on the highway. X watched videos until we got to earltown for a sugar moon farms (maple syrup farm) visit.
-the sugar moon farms restaurant (serving pancakes, syrup, bacon) was hoppin but the retail area was weak (we thought it would have had more). so, we walked the lovely trail on their property instead.
-once enough X energy was burnt off, we got back in the car to drive the short distance to the lovely town of tatamagouche. we tried the charming train station inn but they didnt have dairy/soy-free stuff. :( so we drove down to the foodland grocery store and parked. we saw next door was a place called the "dino wagon" and thought we'd give it a shot. good, cheap food that was basically a food cart with outdoor dining. they even had raspberry sorbet for dessert. while "dining", we heard a lady saying she was from st clair shores, michigan. hilarious. tatamagouche was definitely an upper michigan kind of town, buzzing with life in the summer, yet still friendly, quaint and relaxed. no one would drive this far off the main highways if they werent looking for a little r&r. i loved the town!
(trains at the train station inn)
(lunch at the dino wagon)
-after picking up some items at the grocery store, we did the last bit of drive up the malagash peninsula to the cottage. they had some nice property: decent-sized cottage, open green space off the porch, screened-in gazebo, wooded privacy all around, and a private beach (aka mud flats). the tide was up when we arrived, so people swam. a bit later the tide was down so the kids squished, splashed, ran, and jumped in the mud. we watched hermit crabs racing around and found other critters. the mud flats were messy to be sure, but so much fun. X was the last to come up to get ready for dinner, she loved the muddy beach so much. for dinner, she chowed down a chicken breast and two slices of salmon, leaving me hardly any bites. thankfully the men cooked all manner of animals (salmon, shrimp, chicken, pork sausages...cow was the only one missing), so i could get a bit more food once she was satisfied. later X seemed to get a bit of a grumpy tummy, though it was hard to tell if it was the salmon or just from gorging. we milled around outside until the bugs (mosquitos and no-see-ums) had devoured half of my butt (no joke more than 12 bites on my left cheek alone). the province is under a fire ban because we havent had rain in forever, so we didnt get to do smores on the fire. :( and thus, it was time for X to go to bed. it was slow going in the tent but she didnt protest, and finally closed her eyes. she slept better than expected overnight, though i definitely found her in some random positions when i would wake up periodically. i had a headache and went to bed shortly after X and missed seeing a fully darkened night sky, free of city lights. :( dave stayed up chatting and boozing until im not sure when (among other things, he imbibed a local apple schnapps, similar to the french calvados, from new brunswick).
(dave and his boss, chris)
(mud flat fun)
-had breakfast with everyone on the porch
-made another exploration of the beach (during mid-tide)
-then X started whining about wanting to go home. we packed up the tent and headed back.
-stopped in truro (thankfully, X slept on the way there). we played in the towns victoria park until we needed to look for lunch. we went to a nice health food store and found some X-friendly snacks but the girl choked back a laugh when we asked if any other restaurants were open in the downtown on sunday (we had the same problem in the town 2.5 years ago). so we got back on the road and headed home.
*summary notes: X and car driving went well this time. "camping", in general, went well. however, the bugs ate.me.up. ive never felt so abused. thankfully dave and X fared well, what the hell was i exuding that made me the target? normally im the one who stays relatively bug-free. ugh.
* link to the full album of pics from the weekend *