Saturday, August 15, 2009

Days 5 and 6

Day 5 - Wednesday the 12th

For the first time in four days, we had a sunny morning to wake up to. We quickly gobbled up some breakfast in the hotel lobby and packed up the van to get as much as we could get done in downtown Charlottetown. Yesterday was a day for catching up with relatives - today is our chance to do some real sightseeing before we hit the road to Halifax.

We found a parking spot right in front of Province House in Charlottetown - it's the building where the Charlottetown Conference meetings were held in 1864, and the work started from these meetings eventually led to Canada becoming a nation on July 1, 1867. We then walked down from there to the waterfront and our first stop was at Founders Hall, a museum documenting the steps undertaken to set up Canadian Confederation and the years afterward when other provinces later joined Confederation (interestingly, while Charlottetown was the host of the conference, PEI declined to join Confederation until a few years later in 1873).

Afterwards, we just walked around the waterfront shops, exploring the various stores and bagged a loot of souvenirs to bring home. The big kids finally found some PEI shirts that they liked, and Pene got some things for herself after spending so much looking for other things for the kids so far on this trip. There was a mini aquarium on the dock with lobsters, crabs, starfishes and other sea life - interesting to see a number of starfishes bunched together in one corner, seeing how flexible they were.

On the way back from the waterfront shops, we walked up to Province House and I got a good look inside the old building, seeing the historic chambers where the assembly met and viewing a film, "A Great Dream."

We had lunch at a great family diner, Sam's. I found this place as one highly recommended by the locals and not well advertised in the tourist books, and it showed as we might have been the only 'tourists' in the entire restaurant during a busy lunch hour (judging from the way everyone else were dressed). The food was fantastic, which is typical for a local joint - they tend to have better food than the big name fast food places that most people go to.

We were all feeling somewhat tuckered out from the up-and-down walks around the waterfront, so we elected to go on ahead a little early to the Wood Islands ferry and grab a primo spot. Arriving a hour ahead of schedule, we drove over to the lighthouse by the ferry site and explored the area. The view was incredible - it's easy to feel serene in such a setting.

The ferry was a treat - it's about my fifth or sixth time on the ferry, but this was the best weather I've sailed on. We also discovered that they now had a Cows ice cream shop on the ferry - if you're ever in Nova Scotia or PEI, be sure to check out Cows as the ice cream is second to none, as voted by an international panel of travel experts.

Upon arriving in Caribou on the Nova Scotia side, it didn't take long to get to my father's place in Halifax. Had a mini-dinner as we were still full from the huge portions during lunch at Sam's, took the boys over to a playground and just vegged out without having to worry about what we're going to do next or what attraction we're going to see, etc.

Day 6 - Thursday the 13th

Today was a real easy day. My father took the boys to see the latest Ice Age movie in 3-D, while the older kids, Pene and I went down to the Halifax waterfront to take in some performances during the annual Busker Festival. Our favourite was an Australian duo who performed incredible juggling tricks and contortions such as one standing on the other's shoulders while both juggled flaming pins. In this picture below (click on it to see it in full size), the girl is actually standing on the guy's head while juggling.

On the way back, we picked up some lobster and enjoyed a feast back at home.

Oh, and while we were at the Busker festival, I discovered what suspended baseball players do when they can't be around their teams for five days:

A Kevin Youkilis-lookalike in the crowd.

Be back later with some stories of our day-trip to Peggy's Cove.