Friday, August 30, 2019

Quick Takes #281: Canada, O'Canada

  1. In a bit of a departure from our usual August vacation, thanks to the generosity of my MIL we as an extended family have recently returned from a Canadian Maritime cruise.  Which in summary was wonderfully exhausting and hopefully have left us with many, many memories to reflect back on over the years.
  2. It all began very familiarly with driving to Maine which actually went fairly smoothly with minimal traffic for a summer Friday; the next morning we quickly repacked and headed down to meet up with the rest of the family and head to the port. Boarding the ship involved the excited nervousness of having never done this before and being unsure of how independent the kids would need to be with holding their own passports and answering security questions.  In the end it all went very smoothly and we found our room which was very nice and well set-up for four people (Elisabeth was staying with her TCBFF in Gma's room).
  3. Bar Harbor was our first port of call and our first experience with the process of getting off & on the boat made more interesting by having to take a tender (small boat) to the port as the Zaandam had anchored off-shore.  Bar Harbor is a lovely old seaport town where we found tasty sandwiches and a wonderful park to eat them.  After while some of the party went shopping the rest of us followed a walking trail along the coastline. Beautiful rocky coast, with evergreens right down to the shore line and lovely old homes.  Other highlights were the cannons the kids could climb on and the ducks by the tender dock.
  4. Halifax allowed for a wonderful and unusual welcome; as we walked down to breakfast we heard a bagpiper welcoming us to Nova Scotia otherwise known as New Scotland.  On our walking tour we saw the Government House, a beautiful old church, the Citadel overlooking the city, and the Public Garden.  After a lot of walking luck smiled on us and we found a playground for the kids to blow off some energy and the grown-ups to sit a spell. Then back to the boat to prepare for our first fancy dinner on the ship.
  5. Sydney was our stop in Cape Breton Island (also a part of Nova Scotia); and we were again greeting by a bagpiper.  After all the walking of the day before I decided to hang back with the kids and we explored the shoreline while the rest of the group headed into town to shop and sightsee.  During our wandering we found a fun ice cream spot that we returned to later in the afternoon while others enjoyed an American Taste Kitchen demonstration.
  6. And so as to not cram too much into one post I will leave the overview here with one lovely hint ~ our next port of call allowed me to visit the house that was the inspiration for Green Gables!!
  7. Photos: 

    Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!

Friday, August 9, 2019

Quick Takes #280 ~ August Daze

  1. Happy August! How is your's going? Feeling the panic yet to soak up all things summer before school starts?
  2. Before I tell you about our recent road trip I need to document how awful the traffic was; because it was awful ~ the worst I've experience in quite a while. Which has the unfortunate outcome that siblings stuck in a car together for too many hours fight, and jump on their mother's last nerve.  On the upside said traffic did not in the end effect our ability to do any of the things we had planned and so in time can fade from memory.
  3. Now on to what we did in Virginia ~ wonderful family time started first with a wonderful brunch hosted by one of my sisters where I got to catch up with my heading off to college nephew and beginning to think about college niece and the kids got in some cousin time.  Later that afternoon we headed to a local pool where in addition to more quality cousin time; Lisbeth and Liam were able able to work on their front flip technique off the two diving boards.
  4. Sunday the kids and I headed west to Monticello.  First spending some time in the Discovery Center the kids enjoyed many of the hands-ons exhibits demonstrating different aspects of life at Jefferson's home. We then caught a shuttle bus up to the mountaintop and explored some of the outer buildings before the start time for our tour of the mansion.  I had signed up for the family tour and the tour guide did a wonderful job catching and holding the attention of all the kids on the tour; while still happy to answer any questions from the adults.  
  5. Thanks for a major traffic jam we arrived at the hotel too late for any swimming that night but did manage a swim after breakfast the next morning before heading home.  The way home including the kids first views of West Virginia.
  6. Life now largely consists with looking over school supply list; finishing up summer reading and trying to sneak in a few more pool trips around the pop-up thunderstorms we have been having all week.
  7. Pictures: 

    Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Open Book ~ August '19

The Mistress of Husaby by Sigrid Undset is the second book in the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy and picks up the story as she travels to her husband's home after their wedding.  I enjoy this book even more than the first as the writing continues to be very good and the story itself moves from the angst of early love into the deeper sustaining love of growing a family and building a life together.  I also appreciated watching Kristin mature into womanhood making peace with the mistakes of her youth, making amends to those she had hurt but also trusting in God's mercy and learning to let go of guilt and shame.

Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather is a wonderful work of fiction based on the real lives of Father Lamy and Father Machebeuf; the actual first bishops of New Mexico and Denver.  Covering the time from when Father LaTour is named Archbishop to his death, Cather tells an amazing story of time and place. Sharing stories of settlers, Mexicans, Native Americans and how their experience of faith and land shift and change over time. The wonderful through line being the friendship of the two French priests who differ in personality but share a common missionary commitment to do the hard work set before them in  this new and foreign place.

Please head over to Carolyn's for more Open Book.