Friday, April 24, 2009

Melmerby Beach Provincial Park

"The warmest water North of the Carolinas" - Melmerby Beach is located along Nova Scotia's Northumberland Shore. Along the Sunrise Trail and minutes from New Glasgow.

Ever wonder why the water at this mile long beach is warm? I set out to find the answer and after some digging, here's what I found. Wikipedia says that the Northumberland Strait is shallow in depth and that likely explains why water in some areas can heat up to 25C in the summer months. "It's just like bath water," we'd say as kids.

Here are a few pictures from a recent visit:

Melmerby Beach Provincial Park

Melmerby Beach Provincial Park

Melmerby Beach Provincial Park

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jost Vineyards

"Wine is bottled poetry."
- Robert Louis Stevenson

The welcome area at Jost Vineyards in Malagash, Nova ScotiaI love wine. That's why, when my sister suggested that we take a trip to Malagash to visit Jost Vineyards, I got excited. I've heard great things about visiting this winery, especially in the summer when they let you stomp grapes in a barrel. In April though, this visit would be purely sampling wine and visiting their showroom and gift shop. Fine by me.

One time I asked a manager of a wine store in Halifax did he have a wine that was his personal favourite. His answer amazed me. He said, "Any wine made here in Nova Scotia." When I asked why? He said, "Because I can taste the soil, I can taste Nova Scotia." Neat response eh?

I can't say that I've tasted salt water or blueberries but I'll keep trying :)

Jost Vineyards IcewineBack to Jost, since moving to Nova Scotia from Germany in 1970, Hans Jost and his family have been gaining a lot of success. In 1999, Jost's Vidal Icewine received accolades at the All-Canadian Wine Championships as Canada's Wine of the Year. Jost Vineyards was the first winner outside of Ontario and British Columbia since the competition began 20 years earlier. Also, in 1999, the Vidal Icewine won the Andy Brandt Trophy for Best Dessert Wine.

When traveling around Nova Scotia, stop into one of the many wineries and have a taste of Nova Scotia.

Winery Association of Nova Scotia

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tatamagouche: The day the women went. Part 2

Tatamagouche, Nova ScotiaMy last post was about a day trip to the village of Tatamagouche. From holding adorable baby bunny rabbits at the farmer's market to an impulse purchase of earrings at Holly's Jazz and Jewels later, my sister and I stepped into The Chowder House for a quick bite. Judging by the lunch crowd, we thought for sure we'd be in for a long wait but were pleasantly surprised with efficient service.

Raven Gallery in Tatamagouche, Nova ScotiaBefore leaving town and onto our next stop, we took a quick jaunt into The Raven Gallery. At the front door we were met by owner/director Sharon McKenna who hurriedly hung up the phone to welcome us. The collection of local art was impressive and Sharon spoke with passion about how, after 6 years of opening the gallery, she is proud to say that 95% of the art on her shelves and walls is from Nova Scotian artists. In fact, Sharon likes to concentrate on works from artisans from the three counties of Pictou, Cumberland and Colchester.

Also impressive was the wall of "Young Artists" who are given prime space near the front of her store. This demonstrates how serious Sharon is about teaching art to budding artists. She said how, as a dyslexic student, her teachers encouraged young Sharon to use art as a way to learn and express herself. As a result of her artistic expressions, Sharon gained a scholarship and formally studied art thanks to resourceful educators. Now, this national award winning artist and book illustrator wants young
children to see art as a communicator and a confidence builder. "I want to give these kids a place to show their work, to be proud of what they've done".

In case you were wondering about her dog, Sharon said it was at the vet.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tatamagouche: The day the women went. Part 1

Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia signLast weekend, my sister and I decided to take a road trip. Even though we had a day jam-packed full of errands, we wanted to venture along the North Shore and brake for whatever caught our eye. My daughter groaned and reluctantly agreed to come with us.

Tatamagouche is where the hit series The Week the Women Went was taped last summer and aired on CBC-TV this past winter. After stopping for a quick picture of the village sign, we realized it was Saturday morning and the Farmer's Market would still be open.

The Tatamagouche Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings in TatamagoucheWe entered "Creamery Square", a new heritage development, that houses an interactive heritage centre (re-opening summer of 2009) and the weekly Farmer's Market. Once inside one of the big red buildings, you were greeted by tables of homemade soaps, jewelery, fresh baked pies, meats, clothing and the most enormous brownies I've ever seen. I was told that a local woman combines cake and brownie recipes. As with many Farmer's Markets across Canada, it is a regular meeting place for locals and a place to stock up on tested-til-perfect food items.

Holding a bunny at Tatamagouche Farmer's MarketAfter my daughter drew a picture at the kids art table (they gave a prize to each young artist), my sister noticed bunny rabbits near the front entrance. The owner had black, white, and brown bunnies for children to hold gently and pose for a picture. Instantly, what my daughter was convinced would be a boring day, turned into an awesome one.