Friday, August 21, 2009

Days 12 and 13

Well... this is it. On our way home now after being in the Maritimes for the past twelve days.

Day 12 - Wednesday the 19th

Our last day in Halifax. We decided to just do whatever comes to mind and do as many little things as we could to wrap things up in town. Our first stop was at the Dalhousie bookstore as Ashley decided she wanted a poster or something to pin up on the wall to 'inspire' her to keep her goal of attending Dal. Found a pennant and a Tiger (Dal's mascot) stuffed animal for her, plus a few other small knick knacks for the boys.

After Dal, we headed on over to the Halifax Public Gardens, a formal Victorian garden encompassing an entire city block, surrounded by four streets. Lush gardens, plants, trees, ducks, swans named Horatio and Nelson, homeless people, senile seniors, office workers enjoying their lunch breaks - it's got them all! After an hour or so, we strolled down Spring Garden Rd. to check out the boutique shops and grab various ice cream delicacies at Dairy Queen. I still mourn the demise of Swensen's, which was a great ice cream place before Dairy Queen took over about a decade ago - my father used to live in two places a mere block away from there, so my childhood saw numerous trips over to Swensen's.

We then drove over to Point Pleasant Park. It was startling to see how it had changed since Hurricane Juan destroyed about 70% of the trees there about five years ago - gone were the lush forests that you could walk through to explore some of the ruins of old British forts. There's a reseeding process in place though, so it should be about a decade or so before it's fully forested again. Saw the memorial for soldiers that perished in the two World Wars, with my grandfather's name on it - he was a surgeon lieutenant on a ship based out of Halifax that was torpedoed in 1943 in the Atlantic Ocean.

As it was still in the midst of a heat wave, we elected to head back to the house and go for a swim in Chocolate Lake (I was disappointed to see it was a bright teal colour). Had gourmet pizza for dinner and then split up to do different things in the early evening -- the little boys went to a movie with my father, Zack went to a different movie with my stepmother, and Ash/Pene/I went down to the waterfront to score a BeaverTail dessert (and a MooZoo blueberry-banana smoothie for me). We walked along the waterfront for a spell, it was nice to not have any crowds around for a change as the previous few times we had been there earlier in our stay, there were always huge crowds around for the Busker Festival. Saw an artist displaying some nice Nova Scotia scene paintings, so picked up three to bring home.

Day 13 - Thursday the 20th

The time is here. It was time to pack up the van, drag the kids into there, and hit the road for home. Easy drive to Fredericton (decided to skip the Hopewell Rocks as it appears the kids and Pene were a little burned out from everything). After checking into our hotel, we decided to go for a little drive to see what restaurants were out there and to check out the historic Garrison district - Fredericton was the place where the British garrisoned their soldiers for nearly a century. It was a bit of a letdown as we didn't find much interesting down there - walked around for a bit and not really seeing anything we liked. So we bailed out and headed back to the hotel to veg out for a bit, before picking up some dinner and going for a swim in the hotel pool.

Tomorrow... the odyssey continues to home.