August 29, 2013

We ended up in Nova Scotia because it's always sounded so magical and remote, like right out of a pirate tale, The Great North of hunters and woods and wild animals. The kind of place you'd see two bears high fiving on the banks of some rushing river. The capital city alone, Halifax, is a name that beckons my adventurous heart with the likes of Anchorage and Whitehorse and Helsinki. Don't worry, I would tell my young soul, gazing at a map of Canada. You'll get there.

We got here at this moment because our generous friend Kate and her beautiful kiddos kindly offered her newly re-built cabin to us, a miraculous gem of wood and windows and decking that's somehow simultaneously in the woods and by a stream and near the salty waters of the North Atlantic. It has a bed and some chairs and a desk, all dressed in white with darkly stained wide plank pine floors.

She made this with her own hands, crowbar and hammer, scrapers and brushes. Apron around her waist, sleeves pulled up to her elbows. Dismantling, rebuilding. A cabin for her, a refuge for others. She's gifted but down to earth. Cooks mussels with ease. Liam and Margot, our grief shared as easily as the meals she prepared for us. Courageous, twice. There is a poem that hangs in her bathroom, the words painted on canvas, and I think to myself that is her. And us.

So we embarked upon Nova Scotia with a map and a cabin and the knowledge of a local and found ourselves some trails and lakes and rivers and set out on our seven days without children.

[ we ate LOTS of haddock ]

[ queensland beach + scots bay ]

[ halifax public gardens ]

[ hiked out to cape split for stunning views of the bay of fundy ]

[ wine country + cape split ]

[ one night stay in a cozy cabin near keji national park + LOTS of canoeing ]

[ the delectable lahave bakery along the north atlantic coast ]

[ morning coffee, dockside ]

[ fishing village on bush island ]

[ hike in keji national park seaside ]