Thursday, May 28, 2009

HRM Bike Week 2009

I love my bike. Last summer I even did a tribute to "My new love". The challenge of climbing a hill, the thrill of screaming down. Gearing down, gearing up.

Biking to work can be tricky. Halifax streets can sometimes be tough to maneuver but the reward of arriving to work on pedal power feels nice. Coffee tastes better.

So when I heard that HRM Bike Week 2009 is May 29th to June 7th, my pulse quickened like I was biking up Quinpool Road from the Rotary.

There are all kinds of interesting things planned. Like ride your bike to participating small businesses and receive discounts or board any Metro Transit Harbour Ferry or MetroLink bus (certain routes apply) with your bicycle and travel for free during Bike Week. There's even a Family Picnic on the Commons that's free from 12:00noon – 2:00pm for people and kids who enjoy cycling in Halifax and those interested in cycling as a family.

Here's the full schedule for HRM Bike Week 2009.

Watch for the 2009 Edition of the HRM Bike Map - Bicycle Routes and Trails

See you on the street!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NS Eastern Shore boats and buoys

I grew up in a small fishing village along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. There where four fishermen in the bay, Guy Boutilier, Jackie Borgel, Guy Power and Peter Connors. Just as the buds on the trees are a sign of spring, so was the launching of the fishing boats in the bay. Men from our community as well from the neighbouring bay were called to help launch the boats from their winter berths to slide down the wooden ramps into the water. Another season had begun.

As kids, we'd set the alarm for 4:30 a.m., head down to the government wharf to meet the fishing crew. My first time was when I was 12. It would also be my last time. I was never so sick in my life. An appreciation for the life of a fisherman was gained that morning as I thought to myself "this must be what it's like to be near death". Guy Power was a kind man who thought if he stopped the boat and let me jig mackerel awhile, that I might feel better. Nope.

Driving along the gravel road to Taylor Head Beach lobster buoys dotted the rocky coastline. Locals could tell which buoys belonged to whom by their colour and number.

Two fisherman have since passed away (the two Guys) and younger men have taken on the livelihood. Now there are only two boats and they exclusively lobster fish.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

April Showers Bring Mayflowers

The Mayflower (Epigaea repens) or Trailing Arbutus, is the provincial flower of Nova Scotia.

mayflowers in Nova ScotiaEarly spring you can find these tiny pink flowers in many areas but they are very hard to find. It seems like you have to know where to look for them and when you do, you need to move away the foliage to see the flowers. My sister and I always go to the same place where we are guaranteed Mayflowers because it was where our mother went to pick them.

As a child, early May meant that Mayflowers would be arranged in a bouquet on the kitchen table. Their sweet aroma can really fill a room. I remember one time my parents heard on TV that Mayflowers were good to eat. Soon after wards, I'd pop a bloom or two into my mouth. One time I polished off an entire bouquet (except the leaves).

mayflowers in Nova ScotiaThe name comes from early American settlers, after their ship which carried them to North America in 1620. It was the first flower of spring to welcome them after a long, cold winter.

They grow along the east coast of North America and I've always seen them in wooded areas or cemeteries.

Friday, May 8, 2009

2009 Summer Camps in Halifax

Do you have any plans for the kids this summer while you are at work? Are you a bit like me and panic at the thought of "what am I going to do?" Well, since I don't have the benefit of an 8 week vacation, here are ideas I've gathered and am sharing with you. BTW, this format is similar to one I put together for 2009 March Break Camps.

If I am missing any camps, please let me know and I'll add it to the list:

Halifax City Soccer Club
Mini Soccer Skills Camp (U6yrs, U8yrs & U10yrs)
Soccer Skills Camp(U10yrs & U12 yrs)
Full day and half day camps at Wickwire Field
Contact: Halifax City Soccer 453-0741

Canadian Parents for French - Nova Scotia
Camp du Soleil - CPF-Dartmouth
Registration info:
Camp Grenouille - CPF-Eastern Passage / Cole Harbour
Registration info:
Camp Lac Chocolat - CPF-Halifax Peninsula & Mainland South
Registration info:
Camp Joli - CPF-Bedford/Sackville
Registration info:
Residential camps are being held out of town.

Halifax Recreation
These camps fill up super fast.

Pier 21
Walking the Line
Choose from morning or afternoon (or both) half day camps. Multicultural crafts, games and activities from the hottest countries near the equator.

YMCA Day Camps
Sports, games, and outdoor activities to creative art and special events. Weekly themes add a special touch
Phone: 902-425-9622 ext. 235

Dalhousie Summer Camps
Their recreational camps have been expanded this year to include a variety of climbing camps in addition to the favourites: Aquatic Adventure, Mini University and Shakespeare by the Sea theatre camps. Spaces are limited.
Phone: 494-2002 or 494-2049

SuperNOVA at Dalhousie
I like how these popular science and engineering camps give you their registration status (i.e. 75% full)

Armdale Yacht Club

Youth Sailing Programs
Phone: 477-4617

Saint Mary's Camp of Champions
Summer Camps for boys and girls
Phone: 420-5429

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
Summer Art Classes
Students can attend week-long sessions of full or half-day classes. Organized lunch time supervision at a nominal fee is provided for students attending full days.
Phone: 424-7542

Artech Camps at Dalhousie

State-of-the Art fun and high-tech creativity! For kids and youth from 5-16 years old. Choose from adventure camps, video game design, robot camps, animation/ claymation and Flash animation camps.

MSVU Athletics and Recreation
From Holiday Hoopla to Ready, Set, Get Wet!
Phone: 457-6420

Unicorn Theatre
Summer Drama Camps
Campers will take part in numerous creative activities, and will perform in one of two musical plays for parents and friends each Friday afternoon.
Located at Head of St. Margaret's Bay
Phone: 857-2121

Discovery Centre
Hands-On Science Camps
Your kids will not only have fun but get a funky yellow bucket hat!
Phone: 492-4422

Mad Science Summer Camps

Calling all Junior Scientists
Phone: 454-0863

Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron Youth Sailing
Junior Sailing Programs
Phone: 477-5653

Bedford Basin Yacht Club
Youth Sailing Program
White, Bronze, Silver Sails
Phone: 832-2292 or 835-3729


Summer Camps
Week-long camps include 3-themed ceramic, pottery projects that inspire fun & teach a variety of pottery painting techniques.
Phone: 443-6300

Maritime Conservatory of the Performing Arts
Summer Music Camp
Music Theatre, Young Ensemble, Chamber music, flute, musical mischief, voice, the joy of singing and much more.
Summer Dance Camp
Art and Creative Drama, Dance Intensive, Beatrix Potter Ballet and lots more.
Phone: 423-6995

Camp Fusion
Presented by Green Choi Kwang Do- a self-defense focused martial art. Camps also include swimming, yoga, crafts and games.
Phone: 441-3469

Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development (CEED)
Break Into Business Camps
Held in Hammonds Plains, Cole Harbour Place, Spryfield Library and CEED office, Halifax Shopping Centre
Phone: 209-4504

Alderney Landing
Children's Fine Art & Theatre Camp
Art Camps - The Creative Ocean and Pirate's Week
Theatre Camps-Stage presence, voice props, and all aspects of theatre.
Phone: 461-8401

Euro Futbol for Champions Soccer Camp
An elite soccer training camp in HRM this summer. They are affiliated with the world famous AC Milan soccer club of Italy and their coaches come directly from Milan to deliver their training technique and philosophy to the youth of Nova Scotia.
Phone: 832-1470

Let's keep this list growing, send your additions and I'll add them to the above list. Thanks!