I drove home to Nova Scotia with my housemate Diana last weekend, and we did all. the. things. It’s a three-day drive, if you do it like sane people and stop when you get tired, but we turned it into a two-day drive by sleeping and driving in shifts.

On Monday, we went to Cora’s with friends, then headed down to Seaport Market (which wasn’t there when I worked at the Writers’ Fed, more’s the pity, since it would have been an amazing place to eat lunch regularly) to watch the Parade of Sail, as the Tall Ships left Halifax Harbour (the island in the background is Georges Island):

We spent the afternoon at the Public Gardens, and I had grapenut ice cream (oh, how much do I miss grapenut ice cream!) from Sugah, with some other friends, and then went to The Fireside to meet Kimberly Walsh of the excellent Fierce Ink Press to compare notes about e-publishing. I stayed there for dinner with friends, and had some seafood (which I also miss—Tennessee has some good catfish and tilapia but isn’t otherwise much of a seafood mecca), and actually pretty much had seafood every possible meal the whole time we were there, so if I die of mercury poisoning, you know why. Tuesday we spent the day doing family stuff. But Wednesday we went whale watching! It was (*Archer hands*) a-mazing!

A view of the ocean from Brier Island.

An inuksuk somebody built overlooking Seal Cove,
where we went for a walk before getting on the boat.

A calf tail breaching.


On their Facebook page, Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises identified the humpback whales we saw: “After a day ashore, we were able to get back out and enjoy the whales. It was still a bit bumpy but it was enjoyed by all nonetheless! The highlight of the day was Colorado’s calf who tail breached continually next to the boat! Champagne’s calf was entertaining as well, rolling next to us, allowing us to see his white belly and tail. Great opportunity to capture fluke pictures for fiture identification. Also sighted on today’s cruise were Luna, who has separated from Sunburst having been constant companions for about three weeks. We also saw Sockeye, Lagoon, Solo, Shark and Paravane.”

After the whale watching tour, we took the ferry back to Long Island from Brier Island and drove to the Balancing Rock, a basalt column balancing (apparently precariously) over the Atlantic:

Thursday (our last day in town) I visited my grandmother again, and then we went to Conrad’s Beach (where I briefly went swimming, to re-up my Canadianess), followed by Peggy’s Cove (which I figured out for the first time is so named because it is part of St. Margaret’s Bay):

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