a few months before we bought our bungalow, pierre and i spent two and a half weeks honeymooning in nova scotia and pei. even though my grandmother was raised in charlottetown and i had a few family members still living there, i’d never been to the maritimes. but since i love ships, anything nautical, lobster, cow’s ice cream, the beach, picturesque highways, and joel plaskett, nova scotia and pei quickly became two of my favourite provinces.
while we were there, we wandered through small towns, looking at the listings posted on real estate office windows, wondering if we could be the type of couple who could move to mahone bay, buy a tiny clapboard cottage for $109,000, and…do what? at the time, i was just three years into my career in children’s publishing, and couldn’t imagine doing anything else. as a geologist, pierre can live pretty much anywhere in the world, but only if he’s willing to accept field placements that keep us apart for months at a time (which suck, trust me!).
so we flew back to toronto, bought a tiny brick bungalow for significantly more than $109,000, and settled into a good life by the water, if not right on the beach. but i still pine a little bit for the salty sea air and a home where i could track sand in and hang a lobster trap on the wall. (though my grandmother assures me i would hightail it back to ontario after spending one winter on the island.)
this back story is to explain why, a few months ago when my friend erin told me she was running the bluenose marathon in halifax over the may long weekend, i totally invited myself along. it also explains why i decided to run the half-marathon instead of the much shorter 10k event — 21.1k of seaviews! lighthouses! it does not, unfortunately, explain why i completely did not train very much over the last few months. (that probably had something to do with the whole applying to grad school / getting a new job thing.)
we flew into halifax last wednesday after work — my last day at owlkids! — and one of us was totally prepared for the race and one of us was wondering if she even remembered to pack her running shoes (i did). even if i’d forgotten them (i didn’t!), i still would have had a great time though. after all, i was there to take pictures of ships more than anything:
but, actually, the race went really well, despite my forgetting how hilly halifax is! i ran 1:56.56, which works out to 5min and 33sec kilometres for 21.1km. must have been the salty sea air! we also visited point pleasant park on two occasions — one day for a leisurely stroll and another day to climb its hills as quickly as possible on our way to the finish line.and checking out the halifax seaport market in its new location was a must, of course. pierre and i went in 2010, when it was still in the brewery. i bought pierre some nautically named coffee beans from this lunenburg roastery, which had a stall at the market. we did a little bit of shopping in between the otherwise all-consuming tasks of running, eating scallops, and complaining about the incline. i wanted to buy all of the things from biscuit general store, but restricted myself to a cardigan with a ship print, a black floppy hat, and tea towels with waves and whales all over them. we encountered this other strip of cute, used clothing stores after checking out the nscad graduate exhibit at the anna leonowens gallery. erin had a little more success than i here, but the silk scarf collection in elsie’s is worth noting here.
we also ventured up to the hydrostone market area for lunch one day, where i found a store called the rusty hinge selling my antique doorknob/rusty wire picture holders for $19 a pop.
big thanks to the balser family for letting me crash their family barbeque, driving me places, making pots of coffee all week, and giving me a title for this post. finally, as much fun as i had in my week “between jobs,” and even though a rob ford crack scandal broke while i was away, i’m really happy to be home in toronto. i always am, in fact — no matter what any other place i’ve ever visited has going for it, toronto is still my favourite city in the world.