Spring Trip Memories: 2019

Since we’ve been enduring day after day of rain, drizzle and fog here in Newfoundland—along with a touch of the white stuff yesterday—I thought it was high time to drag out photos from our last vacation off the island. Hard to believe it’s been almost two years since we flew to sunny Cuba for a week. 

The weather was particularly hot and humid this time, but we found ways to keep cool with the help of pools, shady spots, a la carte dining, and lots of cold drinks.

This cloud looked like a curtain being drawn over the resort. The inevitable shower was short, sweet, and refreshing.

The bus arrives for an afternoon excursion to the town of Varadero.

And no trip to Varadero would be complete without an al fresco meal at our favourite “restaurante.”
(Photos from a previous visit in the link below)

Who knows if we will ever see the Caribbean again?
At least we have the Memories!

More from Cuba: A Spanish Purr Sounds Just as Sweet

Road Trip 2: Beautiful Bonavista

Last weekend, Paul and I took another work trip, this time to the town of Bonavista. Thankfully, it was a much shorter drive than the last one—3.5 hours to our destination, compared to nearly 8 hours to St. Barbe and Flower’s Cove on the Northern Peninsula‘s Viking Trail, and we only needed to stayed one night instead of two.

And Spring happened! The weather was much nicer on our trip to Discovery Trail, although there was still plenty of snow around. We arrived at our Airbnb accommodations early on Saturday so Paul could get a jump on his work at the school there. Check out the beach home where we stayed:

The house was exceptionally clean, warm, and charming. I loved its shiplap walls and beadboard ceilings. The ceilings were low, though. I’ve never felt so tall in my life!

The next morning while Paul worked, I took a stroll around the block to see some heritage saltbox and vacation homes. The day was crisp, cool and gorgeous, and it was hard not to take too many pics.

Of special note: a “Seaside Loafers” bench, a potential fixer-upper, a fence made of branches, a seawall, and a family of Labradors.
This was our second visit to Bonavista. I blogged about our fall trip here. If you liked what you saw above, you’ll love the photos in that post. Was it really eight years ago??

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” -Henry Miller

Road Trip to the Great Northern Peninsula

Mountains around the Western Brook fiord

Last weekend I accompanied my husband on a work trip to the Great Northern Peninsula. Also known as the Viking Peninsula, it is a large rural area in western Newfoundland, located north of Gros Morne National Park and extending to L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site, a former Viking settlement at its northern tip. The region is known for its Long Range Mountains, the most northern section of the Appalachians.

Both the park and the Viking settlement are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Having visited the region several times in summer, I was excited to travel to the west coast for my first opportunity to see the mountains covered in snow. Lucky timing too, as it’s been an odd winter. Most areas off the Avalon Peninsula didn’t get any amount of snow until late February and early March. Marble Mountain skiers didn’t hit the slopes until March 4th, due to lack of snow and the new Covid-19 variant. Strange times indeed!

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Paul’s work will soon take us to the lovely town of Bonavista, another locale I look forward to seeing in the off-season for the first time. Stay tuned for more photos! Perhaps they’ll be more spring-like.  🙂

Once Upon a Time*

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Last week while I was sifting through old papers, I found this piece of writing from decades ago. Thankfully, we have all made peace since then . . .

Once upon a time, there was a girl from St. John’s.
At the age of fourteen,
she moved around the bay with her family.
She hated her curly hair,
adored her Persian cat,
and loved to get lost inside stories and songs.

When she grew older,
she fell in love and got married.
She was happy.
She had a beautiful little daughter.
Not long after,
she gave birth to a handsome son.
She liked to tease him and call him
her little “curly boy”
because he so much reminded her of herself.

A few times,
when she and the husband had terrible fights,
she had to take her girl and boy
to her parents’ house.
But the husband would always tell her
how sorry he was,
and she would go back because she loved him,
and wanted to believe him.

Eventually, she stopped believing.
She moved back to St. John’s
and started a new job and a new life.
She still had her beautiful daughter,
but she lost her curly-boy
to his dad.

She found someone
who reminded her of her love
for stories and songs.
She loves her cats,
still hates her curly hair, and
misses her son
with an ache that never goes away
and leaves her pillow wet with tears
every night.
Still, she knows
she is doing the only thing she can.

She hopes someday he will understand
how, once upon a time,
there was a girl from St. John’s
who couldn’t fight anymore,
and only wished for
a happily ever after.

~ Jennifer Kelland, 1995

picnic table in a winter garden

*Evergreen post from 2014

Sunday Snaps: Perspectives on Creativity

Do you agree with this quote?

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”
~ Osho

But then, what of the following quote? Can a person who is low in spirit also be in love with life and create anything worthwhile?

“Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Many have theorized that there may be a correlation between sadness and creativity. Great talents such as Van Gogh and Virginia Woolf come to mind. The romantic poets described suffering as a precondition to writing anything of literary merit.

Angst has a creative upside! That said, I believe joy, heartache, or any strong emotion can stimulate creativity, just as one’s mindset can influence the mood of an artistic piece.

To look through the lens of a somber, troubled mind, one may imbue his or her own state of melancholy onto the subject. . .

Black and white image of Anglican church in Newtown, Newfoundland

. . . whereas, if the emotional perspective and attitude is lighthearted or happy, one might frame it in an entirely different light.

Anglican church in Newtown, Newfoundland framed by an outdoor bench in winter

Sadness and happiness are simply two sides of the creative coin.

Sunday Snaps: Pink Clouds

“When we feel stuck, look at the sky. The clouds remind us that everything changes.” ~ unknown

Nancy Merrill’s Photo Challenge: Something Pretty
Photos taken June 26, 2020

Sunday Snaps: the Old and the New

Most communities exist in a balance of the old and the new. Newtown, like every Newfoundland community, is no exception.

Friday was a bright and beautiful day, giving me the perfect opportunity to capture the contrasts.

First, the old:

This is the front view of a century-old fishing stage. If you think it looks ready to topple over in this photo, take a look at the side view:

I’ve shared this little shed on my blog before. It’s still hanging on to that rock for dear life!

A decrepit fishing boat reminds me of a beached whale.

Now for something new—a pretty spot to sit and enjoy the seascape:

A miniature lighthouse makes a picturesque addition.

Check out the new bird blind, a part of our wetland wildlife habitat:

A bird-watcher’s delight

Inside the blind

“There is magic in the old and magic in the new: the trick is to successfully combine the two.” ~ A. D. Posey

Thanks for tagging along!

Cityscape: the Big Apple*

In June of 2002, husband Paul and I took a trip by car to New York City. We were attending my cousin’s wedding in Nova Scotia that month, so we settled on a plan to extend our vacation afterwards and to take in some of Maine and Massachusetts on our way to the Big Apple.

View of Manhattan Skyline on our Liberty Cruise Boat Tour

With our plan already in place when 9/11 happened, we thought about cancelling the U.S. leg of the trip, but ultimately decided to go anyway. No trouble to notice the absence of the Twin Towers in the photo above, as well as the absence of the new Freedom Tower.

I will never forget our visit to Ground Zero.

View of New York from the Empire State Building

Atop the Empire State Building

In retrospect, I’m glad we didn’t cancel. It was a memorable experience all around.

*Photo Challenge: Cityscape by Nancy Merrill Photography

Sunday Snap: Giving Thanks

I know 2020 has been a year like no other, but still . . .

I’m thankful for my health.
I’m grateful for my home and who I share it with.
I’m thankful for a world of diverse cultures, colours, and wonders.
I’m grateful for the people who fill my life—and have filled my life—with love, sunshine, and warmth.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

“The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.” – Mary Davis

♥ ♥ ♥

 Happy Thanksgiving,
Canada. 

Sunday Snaps: Buoys of Summer

In a fishing village like Newtown, you will often see brightly-painted buoys adorning fences, rails and walls, particularly in summer.

While buoys of all types are still used for fishing. . .

. . . many are adapted solely for decoration.

As fall approaches, most of the buoys will be put away until next summer, but some embellish the landscape all year round.

buoysWhen creating the title for this post, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the Don Henley song, The Boys of Summer.

“I can tell you my love for you will still be strong
after the boys of summer have gone.”

Of course, if you are from anywhere besides the U.S., my play on words makes sense.
All other English-speaking countries pronounce buoy like “boy”, whereas most Americans pronounce it “boo-ee”. I wonder why.

And if that’s the case, how do Americans pronounce “buoyant” and “buoyancy”?

How do you pronounce buoy?
Do tell!

(And can you tell I’m not
ready for summer to end?)