After a couple busy months have passed, it’s about time we post this awesome trip we had in Nova Scotia this summer. We’ve been to NS many times but usually only stayed at either Big Hill Retreat on Cape Breton Island near Baddeck or at Mersey River Chalets near Kejimkujik with the cats. DD had a train trip with Mama D and Dami to Halifax on The Ocean on two separate occasions and it was just awesome! But this time, we wanted to do things different and tour the whole province skipping the Cabot Trail. We planned on buying a provincial Museums Pass and visit all of the museums except the ones we had already seen before. We traveled from July 5th to 16th, counter clockwise leaving from Moncton and it was pretty intense; Not quite The Amazing Race Canada but still!
Our first stop on Day 1 was in Pugwash which wasn’t planned but it looked like such a quaint little village. We were curious about the Thinker’s Lodge National Historical site but time didn’t permit so we will have to visit another time. Our first museum was Balmoral Grist Mill where we bought our year pass. We were told on specific days where the mill is running, it is possible to buy fresh ground Scots oat flour; the mill was being repaired so we will have to go back. Our second museum was at Sutherland Steam Mill where we had lunch in the scorching sun; we could have had lunch at the bucolic Grist Mill where they had picnic tables down beside the river but there were lots of mosquitoes so scorching sun it was! We watched the swifts come and go from their nests above in the original water barrels. There used to be a train station across the road but it is gone now and nobody knows when or where it went; whatever happened to it is a complete mystery. We wrapped up our tour with the McCulloch House Museum that was just lovely! Our first night was spent at the Best Western Truro where we decided to pay extra to be in the main building.
We left Truro to arrive at Lawrence House Museum at 10 but as usual we were a little late and got there just before 11 and got a guided tour with Art… We had just been bingeing on the TV series Warehouse 13 on Shomi, and our tour guide reminded us of Arty in the series, who is in charge of the warehouse’s billion artifacts. He didn’t quite look exactly like Arty who is shorter but had something in his voice and in the way he talked about the “artifacts”. We only realize what his name was near the end of the tour when some other patrons asked him a question starting with him name… Oh my goodness we thought it was so freaky! Art didn’t know about the series when we mentioned it to him but said he was told he looked like one of the Lagina brothers from The Curse of Oak Island on History Channel. We’re still wondering if Arty’s character in Warehouse 13 was inspired by him? I mean come on, Art, Arty, Artifacts…
Our next Museum was supposed to be Prescott House but we didn’t have time because we wanted to visit the Oaklawn Farm Zoo and stop by Wolfville. It would definitely have been worth it to spend and extra night or two in this area. We parked at the information center and walked through Willow Park to the Wolfville’s Community Museum where our guide was able to give us a super quick 15 minute tour and then we went for a walk on the riverfront trail. We visited the Oaklawn Farm Zoo in two hours including our picnic and headed to Queen Anne Inn in Annapolis. After checking in to our room # 12 in the carriage house, we went to the Royal Annapolis Gardens from 7 to 8 where we had the whole place to ourselves; It was so romantic! What a long day this was!
After a delicious but frugal 3 course breakfast – 3 times the dishes for the dishwasher and 3 times the steps for the waitress – we drove two hours to get to The Nova Scotia Acadian Village. The weather wasn’t nice, it was windy and it started to rain but at least there were buildings to hide in and warm people to chat with. After our visit and a walk, we stayed for lunch in the main building that was packed for the Strawberry Festival. There was a band playing traditional and popular songs. DD got to talk about her Acadian ancestors. We had corn chowder with rappie pie and biscuits looking at the dessert buffet table and DD couldn’t resist; There were mini strawberry desserts everywhere. She bought a ticket for the dessert buffet and got a plateful. It actually took a month to get rid of the weight gained from that trip! With a full tummy, we headed back to Yarmouth to the Firefighter’s Museum and then to our home for the night at the Best Western Mermaid in Yarmouth.
We started our day in Barrington at The Barrington Woolen Mill where we talked about our cats with the ladies, then we walked to the Old Meeting House; we saw a lot of graffiti, some dating back to 1812, and because they held all kinds of events there recently, I’m wondering if maybe some were fake but I hope not. At the Seal Island Lighthouse which was moved behind the Meeting House, we were lucky to be able to get a tour just before they were starting to paint. We found out later in Halifax that the curtains were there to block the sun rays which could ignite a fire; there’s a gigantic magnifying glass in there!
We continued on to historic Shelburne where we visited the Thompson House and the Dori Shop. We learned later that some scenes of the TV Series Haven were shot in Shelburne and the movie The Scarlet Letter was filmed here as well.
We had lunch at The Islands Provincial Park where we were able to use our super cool car trays . We were ahead of schedule so we decided to go to Liverpool which was on the next day itinerary. Unfortunately the Perkins House Museum was closed for the entire season but then we got to do an impromptu visit to the Hank Snow Museum which is also a train Museum! DD had never heard of him and we listened to his famous song Ghost Trains while driving there on Spotify. After all those activities we were so happy to get to our hotel Best Western Plus Bridgewater which was our 2nd favorite of all.
Another big day, with a visit to the Ross Carding Mill in Bridgewater where DD bought some wool for her step father who likes to knit. Then it was off to the Des Brisay Museum still in Bridgewater, with all the artifacts collected by this judge, Mather Byles DeBrisay. We then went to Lunenberg, listed as a Unesco heritage site, to visit The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic that turned out to be a lot bigger than we expected. Next time we would plan more time to visit as they have an aquarium section, movies, and ships that we can tour outside. Our last stop of the day was at The Ross farm Museum that is a small village with interpreters and animals and buildings to visit: it was awesome! We love those villages were we get to immerse ourselves and go back in time! After another long day it was time to return to our nice suite at the Best Western Plus Bridgewater.
Stay tuned for the second part of this amazing trip to Nova Scotia.
One of the great things about having an annual pass to the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton is that now we can go anytime the weather is nice and we have the time. It’s a perfect spot for a picnic and a walk and it usually takes us 2 hours to do a nice tour to see the creatures and stop for a lunch.
There were some new faces at the zoo when we went this week! The zoo has two new residents, well actually four; two young dromedary camels and a pair of African Servals! The dromedaries are behind the lion enclosure where the nice horses used to be and the Servals are beside the mountain goats near the lemurs.
The servals are beautiful cats, and the serval has the longest legs of any cat, relative to its body size, which was quite evident when we saw one stand up! Wow, she had long legs like a greyhound. A beautiful cat. I didn’t know but the Savannah cat breed is a mix between a serval and a domestic cat! You could tell they were just getting used to their new environment having only arrived a few days before to the zoo. There was a family that approached and when the serval saw the little girl at the fence near her cage she bared her teeth and made a growl like she would like to have a bite out of that little treat with chubby cheeks who wouldn’t stop calling her a cheetah. “I’m a Serval, how dare you call me a Cheetah!”
The dromedaries are real sweeties; they were both relaxing in a hay pile and cuddling each other. Like camels, and unlike most other animals, dromedaries move both legs on one side of the body at the same time when they walk. Dromedaries have one hump as opposed to the camels two humps. They seemed to be quite happy in the large expansive pasture they inherited from the horses who had been their prior. The sun was toasting them and they were rubbing necks together and just being contented. The lighter colored one was yawning or doing some cud chewing movements and was quite cute. It looked a bit like she was singing!
The zoo at Magnetic Hill is the place we like to visit the most in Moncton!