Playing Tourist in my own Hometown

Ahhh…Home Sweet Home!

After two busy weeks in our fair capital city of St. John’s, my husband and I are once again happy to be back in our house on the Point. Make no mistake, though, I always enjoy our extended summer jaunt revisiting my birthplace, even though husband has to bring some work with him. Time spent with the kids and grandkids is always a great thing, as were the walks around Mundy Pond and Quidi Vidi Lake, not to mention the dining out, the shopping, and celebrating husband’s birthday. We even managed to take a couple of side trips to Grates Cove and Portugal Cove while we were there.

the drive up the Hill
Cabot Tower








My trip would not have been complete, however, if I had not taken a spin up to Signal Hill.

Is it any wonder one of my favourite spots has a spectacular view of the ocean? I know, I know. I live by the sea. You’d think I would have had my fill of huge bodies of water by now. But no, when the yearning for the sea beckons, I must respond.

sunny and warm on Saturday
sunny and warm on Saturday
partial view of the walking trail
partial view of the walking trail


husband enjoying the view
husband enjoying the scenery


Fort Amherst
boat entering the Narrows
view of Cape Spear in the distance
Deadman's Pond - urban legend would have you believe it is bottomless
Deadman’s Pond – urban legend would have you believe it is bottomless
cannons guarding St. John's Harbour
cannons guarding the Harbour Narrows
the warmest visit I can ever remember on Signal Hill
the warmest visit I can ever remember on Signal Hill

I expect to be extremely busy over the coming weeks, finishing the first draft of my novel (but I will be checking in here too!). I’m hoping to have it completed by the time my daughter and her family come to visit in the latter part of August. Wish me luck!

Further Reading:
Sometimes I’m Still that St. John’s Girl

Grates Cove

My husband and I are enjoying our second week away from home, spending most of our time in my birthplace, St. John’s, the capital city of Newfoundland. This past weekend, however, we took a short trip to Grates Cove.

Entering Grates Cove
View from the walking trail running along the cliffs and barrens

This little community is the most northerly one on the Avalon Peninsula, and is my mother’s hometown.

Mom as a schoolgirl
Mom as a schoolgirl
Mom, out and about  ;)
Mom, out and about 😉

My father’s maternal roots are also here, so most of my relatives originated in Grates Cove. Some of them still live here, and others have summer homes.

Grates Cove is actually a National Historic site, recognized for its acres of rock walls.
From the last of the 1700’s to the early 1900’s, local residents used the rocks to define spaces within their environment. The rocks were thrown, stacked and piled into more than 160 acres of land to set aside fields, create gardens, store vegetables, protect livestock and to use as cemeteries. (source:

Beautiful day on Saturday

Like many of the coastal communities in our province, Grates Cove was a desirable place because of its prolific fishing grounds. First settled in 1790, its population has shrunk over the years, but it still supports the livelihood of a number of local fisher-persons, and is a popular tourist destination.

Many of these tourists have loved the place so much, they bought property of their own and put down roots. It has been reported that Grates Cove has the highest per capita in all of Newfoundland of “Mainlanders” buying up houses to live.

If you are ever in the area and get a chance to visit this picturesque little fishing village, I am sure you will understand why the “come-from-aways” fell in love with it and made up their minds to stay.

Have you ever visited tiny, out-of-the-way communities like Grates Cove? Are any of your relatives still living in places such as these?

Heritage Fishing Village


Come along with me as I revisit my community’s Living Heritage Village. It is a major tourist attraction in this part of our province, providing a historical look back at the old days for our visitors, and seasonal employment for some of our locals.

Templeman House, a registered heritage home
Templeman plaque
Benjamin Barbour House

The heritage homes also boast a treasure trove of antiques and other artifacts.

I just love this door
Fishing Stage
Fishing Supply Building
Alphaeus Barbour House

Old Shoppe restaurant
St. Luke’s Anglican Church is also a living heritage site
The church received the Southcott Award, for preservation of Newfoundland and Labrador’s architectural heritage.

During the summer, the Village provides guided tours by staff in period costumes, as well as dinner theatre and concerts in the buildings I have shown here. Also featured are a craft shop, art gallery, tea room, and a restaurant.

So if you are ever in my area, do drop in and check it out. For more info, visit the website: