Nova Scotia

  • 1383 km travelled
  • 02 lobster dinners
  • 01 first shave

With the kids getting older, this was likely the last full family trip we would have together. So across the pond we went with Nova Scotia as our final stop. And you know what? It was even better than expected. We biked, kayaked off the coast of Louisburg, goofed around like we did when the kids were little, and ate lobster until we thought we’d burst. Colin even talked his cousins into surfing in the Atlantic. No, the kids aren’t little anymore, but exploring this open country together made us realize that no matter how we change and grow as a family, we’ll always be best friends, too.

Day 1
Road to the Cape
The road lines flew away behind us in the rear view as we left Halifax for Cape Breton. Peter had heard of a market that was supposedly great for lunch in Auld’s Cove, so that was to be our first stop. We walked and checked out all the fresh seafood before settling on some chowder to tide us over. We drove into the late afternoon before reaching Louisbourg — an idyllic town where the perfect buildings looked like they belonged in a movie set. Before we lay down for the night, we couldn’t resist hitting the Lobster Kettle for fresh oysters and lobster — both caught minutes away from our quaint little inn.
Day 2
Cycling back in time
Time for a little French history lesson at the Fortress of Louisbourg. We walked through the mist to the old fortress, meeting all sorts of characters from soldiers to engineers. After we’d had our fill of history, we prepped our kayaks for the next morning and saddled up on our tour bikes. We stormed the streets, bays and meadows of Louisbourg, jockeying for position. Margaret thought she had it won, but dad showed he still had a little steam left in his legs. We took a well-deserved rest for sunset. Just before it dipped down entirely, we heard the welcome honk of our tour truck coming to pick us up. Lucky for tired Dad.
Day 3
Life aquatic
We rolled the drowsy teenagers out of bed and hopped in our kayaks as the sun rose. The water was calm and beautiful — perfect for paddling. We kayaked past the fortress into the late morning before deciding to hit dry land for lunch and mini golf. After, we ventured into Main-à-Dieu to enjoy the boardwalk and beach. Once we’d gotten the sand out of our toes, it was back to the kayaks for a last jaunt. The light slowly began to fade as we passed an old church and finally our trusty inn — a place that now felt just as familiar as home.5 kayaks well loved
Day 4
On walkabout
We saddled up once more and hit the road. Our first stop was Baddeck in Cape Breton, where the kids took a brief catnap on the dock … and we followed suit. Then it was back in the SUV and en route to Mabou and Whycocomagh (Oh, these Canadian names) for treats and a good chat with some locals over a delicious pub lunch. After all the eats and treats, we decided a little activity was in order. Luckily, the local terrain of rolling grassy hills, lighthouses and shipyards proved more than rewarding for our hearty group of well-fed hikers.
Day 5
Soldiers and breweries
From a fortress to a citadel. It seemed the French had no shortage of battles to be wary of back in the olden days. The whole family got right into it, signing up to be soldiers for the day. Costumes, trumpets, rifles and marches made the afternoon feel about 200 years older than it really was. And what best to bring us back to reality? Ice cream followed by fish n’ chips, of course. Before we did our planned brewery tour, I dared Colin to pop into this neat old barbershop for his first shave. It was an obvious photo op. After seeing the brewery, we decided it was time for dinner in one of the oldest buildings in Halifax — and some laughs at the shaving photos.
Day 6
The Coastal Life
Our last day in Nova Scotia was decidedly marine-themed. We began at the local surf shop checking out their wares, then ventured out to the Blue Rocks. We browsed the shops and galleries of Lunenburg for a chance meeting with a boat builder and a lunch of the best mussels we’ve ever had. Later, at a distillery we happened upon, we found Dad taking notes and drawing plans — we had to drag him out. Capping off the afternoon was Hirtle’s Beach. We rode horses, and the kids surfed — both once-in-a-lifetime thrills. Finally, we said goodbye to our trip and Nova Scotia in the most apt way possible — aboard a sailboat.