Tag Archives: Nova Scotia

Chinese Dragon Emperor, Part 2 (Or, Our Summer Vacation Video)

Several of you have mentioned you would like to see more of our summer vacation photos (well, okay, two people vaguely said something about this in passing). We took 100s of photos while on holidays, most of which feature much the same elements: sand, surf and blue skies. So I thought it would be far more fun to show you “our summer vacation video”. Technically, I can call it “our summer vacation video” because my daughter Hayley and her friend Heather filmed it on location at the beautiful oceanfront cottage in Nova Scotia where we stayed during our holidays.

Trust me, this is a lot more interesting than any video Ward or I would have taken: it’s got a plot, some funny bits and a fight scene at the end. What more could one ask for? And a bonus: you can even see the Atlantic Ocean in the background. Enjoy!

Back from Holidays!

I’m back! And of course, feeling rather like I could use a little break. Isn’t it funny how that works?

I had a grand time in Nova Scotia, and it was fun blogging about it occasionally. Thank you to everyone for your comments – I can’t tell you how lovely it was to hear from each of you. It was almost like you came with me on holidays.

The air conditioning people have just left; our new air conditioning unit is now installed! Our old air conditioner died on us when we turned it on for the first time this year about a week before we left on holidays. We had to endure a bit of a heat wave during that week; it wasn’t very pleasant, so it’s so nice to know that we’re prepared again for whatever temperatures summer might bring us.

Traveling with Audiobooks

Audiobooks made our 19-hour drive back from Nova Scotia (spread over two days) a rather fun event. While we were away, my husband had picked up a small battery-operated iPod dock. So, while the kids were engrossed in their movies on their portable DVD players, we listened to Bill Bryson’s I’m a Stranger Here Myself (Notes from a Big Country) together.

We could only listen for a couple of hours at a time, though; my face would start to hurt some time around the two-hour mark, probably because of the giant grin I wore more or less the entire time. This is a very funny book, and a perfect choice for audio.

We also listened to several BBC Radio productions of Agatha Christie mysteries: Hercule Poirot in Death on the Nile, Miss Marple in A Murder is Announced and then Poirot again in Five Little Pigs. These dramatizations are perfect for a road trip, as they are well acted mysteries each about two hours long.

I would have liked to listen to Janet Evanovich’s Finger Lickin’ Fifteen during the drive, but that had to be done through headphones (the language not being appropriate for certain little ears) and it was much more fun sharing the audio experience with my husband during the drive.

I did, however, start Finger Lickin’ Fifteen last night, and so far it’s off to a good start; I must admit, though, these days I enjoy the series only in audio. Lorelei King is a suberb narrator, and her reading of the Stephanie Plum series has made the more recent books fun for me again.

My husband enjoyed the audiobooks so much, he started listening to Tilt-A-Whirl by Chris Grabenstein at the hotel we stayed at part-way through our trip home. The audio version is read by Jeff Woodman, who is a very good narrator (he does such great voices, and even his female voices sound, well, like women).

This Week at Ms Bookish

I came home to a rather large stack of new books still patiently awaiting their Incoming! posts, plus some new additions, so I’ll be buckling down this week in an attempt to make a dent in the pile. I also have a few reviews to write (for example, I’ve finished all of Chris Grabenstein’s John Ceepak mysteries but haven’t written any reviews yet).

I’ll also be getting back on track with my daily writing goal of 2000 words. I didn’t write at all while I was away, despite early intentions to do so, but I’m itching to get started again.

And I’m looking forward to getting out and about in the book blog world again. I’ve missed reading everyone’s posts and the fun of commenting and Twitter!

[TSS] More Beach Reads, Movies and Writing (Not Really)

CIMG2225Not very original, I know, but I can’t believe how this week has just flown by. I seem to be caught up in a routine of eating, drinking, reading and relaxing, not necessarily in that order.

My husband is on his way back from the fish market right now, with fresh lobster and deep fried clams, and I finally managed to snatch my netbook out of the hands of my daughter, so the time feels perfect for blogging.

This Week’s Reads

The Blue CastleAfter finishing The Strain, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, on my first full day here in Nova Scotia, I decided the atmosphere was perfect for some L.M. Montgomery – we aren’t that far away from P.E,I., and the sand beach near us has red sand in it, which reminded me of the Island. I have almost all of Montgomery’s works on my netbook in ebook format, so I decided to re-read The Blue Castle, one of my favorite Montgomery works. Unlike Anne of Green Gables and Emily of New Moon, The Blue Castle is the story of an adult heroine, Valancy Stirling. It’s a wonderful Cinderella tale, and I’ve read and re-read it many times. I’d forgotten that it’s set in the Muskokas in Ontario, rather than P.E.I., so I will probably read Emily of New Moon sometime this week just to get my Island fix.

Hell HoleAfter The Blue Castle, I started Jim Butcher’s Storm Front, Book 1 of the Dresden Files series. I’m about halfway through – I love the concept of a wizard detective in current-day Boston, and it’s a fun book, but it wasn’t quite fitting my mood, so I also started listening to Hell Hole, by Chris Grabenstein, the fourth book in the John Ceepak and Danny Boyle series. I am quite addicted to this series now, and finished Hell Hole yesterday while we were at Crescent Beach in Lockeport, N.S.. Jeff Woodman, who narrates the series, is a superb narrator, and if you’re wanting to get started with audiobooks and like mysteries, I’d definitely recommend the audio version of this series. Just make sure you start with the first book in the series, Tilt-a-Whirl, not because each book doesn’t stand on its own, but mainly because characters from previous books do show up again (or not, as the case may be), which can give clues to the mysteries in the previous books.

Rounding up my reading for the week, I also started Wayne Dyer’s Excuses Begone!. It’s a great read so far; I like in particular its emphasis not on our feelings or desires, but on our identity.

Movies, Movies, Movies

It’s turning out to be movie night for the family every night here at the beach cottage – there’s just something really nice about gathering together after a great seafood dinner to watch movies (especially since it’s pretty bug-heavy outside at night).

So far, we’ve watched Music & Lyrics, The Dark Knight, Dirty Dancing, Miss Congeniality, Disturbia, He’s Just Not That Into You, and Gone in 60 Seconds. My older son did excuse himself to play the Sims 3 on the nights we watched Dirty Dancing and He’s Just Not That Into You, but otherwise our movie nights have been perfect family time (the little one was in bed, of course).

Writing (Or Not)

I think I must have been dreaming when I last blogged that I was thinking about writing 6,000 words a day! The only writing I’ve done so far has been in my journal; not only has it been tough to lay my hands on my netbook, but the ergonometric keyboard I brought along in order to, well, write, isn’t working very well – the “o” and the “b” keys don’t work at all.

And really, the days have been so lazy and idyllic, I just haven’t felt like doing much except (have I mentioned?) eating, drinking and reading.

Pictures!

I finally started remembering to bring my camera with me when we went on our our outings, which have been mainly to beaches so far, although next week we plan on heading out for day trips to Yarmouth and Mahone Bay. A visit to Peggy’s Cove is also planned, although the days are slipping by so fast, I’m not sure we’ll have time to do everything on our list.

The beaches here in Nova Scotia are just gorgeous – many of them are white sand beaches, and if it weren’t for the weather, you’d think you were in the Caribbean. I don’t actually like to swim, and I love cool, windy weather, so it’s been perfect for me. While they’ve been calling for clouds and rain every day we’ve been here, the weather has been beautiful and sunny  so far (just not particularly hot).

CIMG2165 Sandy Point Lighthouse Beach

CIMG2160 Red Sands at Sandy Point

CIMG2204 Dylan & Daddy at Crescent Beach, Lockeport

CIMG2206 Oops! Forgot My Sand Bucket!

CIMG2234 Beautiful White Sands

CIMG2302 Bit of Sand Beach at Our Beach Cottage

CIMG2322 View from the Side of the House

[TSS] On the South Shores of Nova Scotia

We arrived yesterday at the beach house we rented in Nova Scotia – we are on the South Shore, right on the scenic Lighthouse Route. The house is beautiful – there’s a screened in veranda so we can sit outside at any time and not worry about bugs. We’re about 100 metres from the ocean (my husband tells me that’s about 300 feet), so the beach is just a short walk away.

The only glitch to our holiday? We’re supposed to have high-speed Internet access. The beach house has a router with a DSL connection but that beautiful little light on the router marked Internet? It flashes on and off.

So I’ll only be able to post sporadically instead of regularly as I’d hoped. I blog using Windows Live Writer, so I’ll keep writing my posts and saving them as drafts, and then when we go into the nearby small town for provisions, I’ll be able to upload my posts (with thanks to our USB modem – unfortunately, our location is so remote we don’t have cell phone access either).

My brand new hand-me-down BlackBerry (my sister got a new one so she gave me her old BlackBerry Curve 8310) also died (the Universe is telling me, I think, that it’s time for a break from everything online – what do you think?); in the few days I’ve had it, I’ve come to really like it, so I will miss being able to access my emails and Twitter as we’re driving about!

As to what to do about three teenagers who had been promised their MSN and Xbox Live abilities during the two weeks we’re away (they’re not particularly outdoorsy kids …), thank goodness the girls have their camcorder, my son has Sims 3 on his laptop, there’s a gorgeous ocean and beach in front of us, fresh seafood galore and satellite radio and TV, and we brought a ton of board games for family fun.

Currently Reading

During our nineteen hour drive (which we split over two days), I finished Mad Mouse and Whack-a-Mole by Chris Grabenstein on audio. I get motion sickness if I read in the car, so the audiobooks are perfect.

Today is our first full day, and the weather is cool and foggy, so it’s a perfect setting for reading The Strain! I am very glad I packed so many books – over the next two weeks I expect to be able to get through a lot of them. We will do a little bit of sightseeing, but mostly we are here for rest and relaxation, which to me always means tons of reading.

Pictures

I haven’t had much time to take pictures – it’s cloudy and chilly outside right now and we arrived late in the evening last night; here are some shots of the view from the veranda (you’ll be seeing the view through the mesh):

CIMG2064

Ocean View

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The Side Yard

Posting Schedule

I should be able to upload posts every few days; I will definitely miss being able to check out everyone’s blogs, though – not to mention Twitter.

And of course, there’s always the possibility that Internet access will be fixed!