east coast

My dad and I had such a lovely time the last 6 days in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Beautiful fresh air, forested hills for miles, and the blue ocean. We started off in Halifax…
 

Spent a morning at the lovely Peggys Cove…

Before heading to picturesque Lunenburg, where we took a whale-watching tour.

The whales were too quick for my camera, I’m afraid, but here are some beautiful harbour seals…

Spent some time watching the tides at Hopewell Rocks off the incredible Bay of Fundy.

Drove over Confederation Bridge to the breath-taking Prince Edward Island, where we visited the Green Gables and met…Sir John A.?

And finished back in Halifax, at the Maritime Museum.

All in all, it was just awesome: awesome sights, awesome food, and awesome locals (especially a lovely 80-year-old great-grandmother we met just as we were leaving the ship in the last photo, oh my). Thank you, Canada’s beautiful East Coast, for your hospitality.

peace

Photo by Ryan Coleman

Shortly after returning from my vacation, I was invited up to my boy’s lovely camp (Northern Ontario slang for cottage) with his family and family friends to celebrate his 19th birthday.

Up there on shores of Lake Huron, I spent five peaceful days without neither internet access nor running water. I finished three books (finally catching up with my yearly reading goals), floated on the lake, and just sat on the porch listening to songs from the 70s. I even woke up before 8am without an alarm! Bliss — well, except for the mosquitoes.

But I am back home now, a bit more tanned and a lot more rejuvenated. And the good news is I do have a few posts of things I want to share, including those East Coast photos I keep talking about!

Let’s make August a good month.

nyc: day 3

Last day in New York!  We took a ferry out to Liberty Island and Ellis Island, and a jaunt around Chinatown before doing some shopping at Macy’s. 

We were really lucky that the weather stayed so nice throughout our trip.

A beautiful synagogue in the middle of Chinatown:

And thus ended my three short days in NYC — there’s so much more I wanted to see, including Purl Soho! Arrived back yesterday afternoon after another delayed flight (definitely going to stick with Air Canada from now on) and a much-needed nap.

nyc: day 2

The second day in New York was pretty great — I got to cross off two items from the 100 things list. First was visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a treasure trove containing some of the greatest objects and paintings in the world.

I definitely sought out the van Gogh paintings…

Seeing a painting in real life is so different from seeing a picture or a poster of it — it’s the chance of intimately getting to know them, to see their brushstrokes, each dab of paint applied, and thus then to imagine the artist doing so.

I also had the chance to pose with the great man himself!

The Met has an enormous collection of beautiful objects, a larger variety than the paintings I took pictures of, and unfortunately we had neither enough time nor stamina to see all of them in one day. It was definitely a worthwhile visit.
We then took awhile to recuperate, did a little bit of shopping around Times Square, before heading off to see Wicked!

What a tremendous show. Elphaba was played by Teal Wicks, and Glinda by Katie Rose Clarke, both of whom were great leads in their own ways. I didn’t expect Glinda to be such a great comic character, but she definitely brought lots of laughs, and both were amazing singers. Wicks in particular sent chills down my spine with her rendition of “I’m Not That Girl”. Really, really glad we got to see the show; the rest of the cast was also very good, and the special effects went off without a hitch.

After finishing at 10:45, we walked back towards the hotel and had a late dinner at Ruby Foo’s. It’s the first Asian restaurant I’ve been too which is darkly lit, but it did provide a nice atmosphere. The food was tasty and obviously made with fresh ingredients. A yummy end to a long day!

nyc: day 1

Wow, New York City was an experience. We arrived on Thursday at around 2pm, and got to experience the city first with an open-top doubledecker bus tour. I truly marveled at the architectural beauty and range on this island; there’s beautiful neoclassicalism, but also very intricate Gothic and Art Nouveau influences, as well as some  iconic modern sculpture.
Tiles for America:
And we can’t forget the fire escapes!

We had dinner at Sapporo, a Japanese restaurant just off 7th Avenue. The veggie ramen was savoury, chewy, and the service was quick! I sadly forgot to snap a picture of the nommy deliciousness, as I couldn’t wait to dig in.  We then took a horse carriage ride around Central Park just after the sunset, and it was nice and cool. We passed by a group of people working out in the park, doing push ups on their yoga mats; my mom saw them and asked, “Are they filming a TV show or something?” Ha!
We stayed at Hilton Times Square, which is surprisingly affordable if you book ahead of time, and definitely in the middle of an action. I’ve lived in cities my entire life and seen plenty of others, but NYC was still a breath-taker. The pace is ridiculously fast, but even after just a few days, mildly addictive — I can imagine why people may find it hard to live anywhere else after experiencing New York.

 

Times Square is, of course, a magnet for hustlers. People are trying to make a living any way they can — pushing bus tour tickets or comedy show tickets, doing caricatures (or even 3D clay sculptures, in just 15 minutes!), or selling hot dogs, these people are trying to make it in this mad, mad world. And I have such respect for them.