Sunday, December 28, 2008

Canada - Day 9

Here it is - finally - the concluding installment of our trip to Canada. I don't know who will be most pleased about this proclamation - you or me!??
We awoke to another beautiful day. We packed up our belongings one last time. Joshua discovered that he had left the hanging bag with all his white shirts at the Thompson's. Sigh.....wouldn't have cared, most of the shirts needed to be retired, but some were brand new!
We ate breakfast and visited a little with the Kearleys, then it was time to head off again. Joshua wanted to go and say good-bye to a few more families before we left for the airport.

We stopped at the Halifax temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so we could take some photos. We stopped by the night before, but the pictures didn't turn out so well. We had been looking forward to attending some sessions in the temple, but it was closed for renovations. Joshua did get to go with the other missionaries who were going home, they opened the temple for a special session just for the missionaries.

We stopped at McDonalds for a quick bite and then headed off to the airport.
The above picture is not McDonalds. It is the Halifax Temple.

This ended up being more of an adventure than I cared to experience at the end of our trip!
Jim dropped us off and then went to return the rental car. Where he dropped us off was a very, very, very long walk to where we needed to go to check in. There was a lot of construction going on, so things weren't terribly well marked inside the airport or outside the airport. After hauling bags, perpetual motion Sam, "could I possibly walk any slower" Jessica and "I need to walk 100 yard in front" Joshua to the check-in counter, I discovered..........
Jim found us and then ran back, through all the construction, to the other side of the universe to retrieve my purse.

Samuel checked in and had a ticket
Jessica checked in and had a ticket
Sally-Ann checked in and had a ticket
Jim checked in and had a ticket
Joshua checked in and they wouldn't give him a ticket

They had changed our flights a week or so before we left for our trip. They notified us of the changes, but not the travel office in Salt Lake City that handles the travel arrangements for the missionaries. As a consequence, the funds to pay for Joshua's ticket had not been released. Joshua had a seat on the plane, but because it had not been paid for, they would not release it to him.
The people for Delta were very, very nice and helpful. The people at the travel office in SLC were very, very nice, but not very helpful. After several loooooong calls, nothing was resolved. After Jim had a conversation on the phone with the very, very nice people in the travel office, things were still not resolved.

Sally-Ann announced that she was not leaving Canada without Joshua.
We still had not gone through customs.

Jessica kept asking when we were going to eat.

Samuel kept spinning, spinning, spinning and going up and down, up and down the escalator.

Jim said he would just pay for the ticket.

Sally-Ann had to get Samuel, Jessica and herself through customs and to the departure gate - quickly!
The ticket agent promised Sally-Ann that she would rush husband and oldest son through customs etc., and safely deliver them to the departing airplane.
Samuel chose this exact moment to have a complete meltdown in front of the customs window.
Customs agent was a stern fellow, but thawed out a little when I told him my sad tale of woe.
Dragging Samuel down the corridor by one leg and a arm, we made it to our gate.
Jim and Joshua made it to the gate - just!

We got on the plane, flew a few hours, had a layover, lost the 2 older kids, found them just in time to catch the next flight, flew a few more hours, changed planes, arrived in Tampa..........

Excuse me while I lift my hands from the keyboard so I can happy dance around the study a little!
I have finally finished telling you about our trip. I hope that you have enjoyed our adventures! Nova Scotia was absolutely beautiful and I wouldn't hesitate to visit there again.
We love to travel, meet wonderful people and see parts of the world that we haven't seen before....but, we also enjoy being here in our home.


Belated Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Canada - Day 8

Whoo hooo! I am actually finding time to blog twice in a week!!! I am determined to finish telling you about our trip to Canada - only one more day after this one!!

Here we are standing by the lake at Tranquil Times B & B.

Now I know we took a photo of the Thompsons, but, it has vanished! Or maybe we took it with Joshua's camera??? Anyway, if I had a photo, I'd put it right here!

On our way back to Halifax, we stopped at the "Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic." I enjoyed it very much, suprisingly! Also, suprisingly, did everyone else! Here is Samuel enjoying a rocking boat. Sam loved exploring all the different types of boats they had there.

Here are the children trapped. I know they have some pretty big lobsters up here, but........

Still trapped. Samuel is trying to make a break for it, but big brother has a firm grip on him.

I think it is a case of, "If we have to sit here in a giant lobster trap, so must you Samuel!"

This is a place called "Peggy's Cove". Nothing here but a lighthouse.
It is very pretty.
Very windy, cold and pretty!
Couldn't believe how many people there was milling around. Bus loads of tourists.
Bus loads of tourists climbing all over the rocks, all over the rocks that had big signs posted about how dangerous it was, that fatalities had happened as a result of climbing all over the rocks and being swept out to sea.

When we left Peggy's Cove, it was a case of all roads lead to Halifax!
Which way do we go???
We were a little confused.
We chose the right.
The left would probably have been OK as well.
But, we turned right.
That is what Joshua told us to do and we know Joshua never goes the wrong way!
We arrived in Halifax around 6pm. Our last night in Nova Scotia we stayed with the Kearley family. A very nice family filled with teenage girls, birds, a small black whirlwind of a puppy, various pets and a very calm and collected Mum and Dad. We went to eat at a place called "Boomerangs". Kind of like a "Outback Steakhouse". Samuel wasn't very co-operative when it came to sitting and eating, so I walked him up and down the strip mall. He tried to open every single door on every single lap of the mall. At least we weren't going up and down hills!!!
So ended our 8th day in Canada

Monday, December 15, 2008

Canada - Day 7

After a delicious breakfast of bacon, omelet and fruit, we headed out for the day. It was very overcast and drizzly, but that wasn't going to stop us from enjoying the day!

After a beautiful drive into town, our first stop was Annapolis Royal Botanical Gardens. When Joshua was serving here as a missionary, their apartment was in the gardens. The missionaries would go and help out as volunteers in the gardens one day a week. Joshua took some beautiful photos while there and actually won a photography contest with several of his photos. I'm not as good with my artistic shots, but I hope you enjoy them anyway!!!
I found this plant fascinating!

Quite pretty, I suspect it would not grow very well in Florida. It was still thriving here in Annapolis and it was very cold.

Same plant, different colour.

We were lucky enough to find some of the roses still blooming.

In the following shots I was trying to be "artistic".

I love roses.

Unfortunately, on the day we were there, they were in full "winterizing" mode. The benches were even being whisked away to winter storage. It was still very lovely to walk around.

There was a little cottage that showed how the Arcadians lived way back when. Here is Joshua modeling some wooden shoes.

Here is Joshua and Jessica strolling down one of the paths. I think they are plotting again!

There wasn't any hills of significance for Sam to run up and down -
so he twirled around and around instead.

After strolling and twirling around the gardens, we headed to the Fort Anne National Historical Site. For more information on Annapolis Royal, especially the gardens and fort, check out this web site

Samuel is in a well,
Samuel is in a well,
Hi-Ho-the derry oh,
Samuel is in a well.

Samuel loved this well. If we had known what a merry chase he was going to lead us on, we may have left him in there for 15 minutes or so!!!!

Joshua standing on top of one of the defense embankments surrounding the fort.

Jessica standing on top of one of the embankments - after going down one and then back up to her current location.
This photo doesn't really do justice to just how steep they are.

I think you have probably guessed which member of our party insisted on running up and down, up and down, up and down, up................
the very steep embankments.

Do not let his feet touch the ground, I repeat, do not let his feet touch the ground! We can't run up and down anymore. Stop him at all costs!!

Samuel is in the well,
Samuel is in the well..............

When I looked out in the bay I got quite excited. It looked like there was blocks of ice floating around. But was foam from the Tidal Power Generating Station.
All that running up and down made us hungry, so Joshua took us to "Norm's World", a place that served one of his favourite Canadian foods. This restaurant is in Cornwallis and is owned by a member of our church. Here we had the culinary experience of tasting donair and poutine. Poutine is french fries with cheese curds and gravy. Donair is ground meat that is mixed together with spices until it is very smooth, it is then cooked at a low temperature until it is very tender. It is can be served with green pepper and onion. It is also served with a sauce made of evaporated milk, sugar and garlic. It may not sound very appetizing, but it is gooooood!
We went back to Tranquil Times, did some laundry, relaxed. After supper we stopped by to visit some families that Joshua wanted to say good-bye to.
To rainy for a hot dog roast tonight!
Good night!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Canada - Day 6

Day 6 began with packing up our suitcases again. Today we are headed to Annapolis Royal. Joshua spent several months of his mission in this area.
On our way to Confederation Bridge we passed by a spot where Joshua had quite a adventure while serving his mission.

We wanted to see where this adventure took place, so we took a slight detour down this road.
That road led us to the following road..............
Did I say road? Joshua claimed that it looks a lot different than it did on that fateful day twenty-something months ago. Every now and then the missionary companionships go on "splits" with missionaries from another town. This is what had taken place on this particular day and Joshua and the other Elder were on their way back to meet with the other missionaries. They had a map of roads that were "shortcuts" on PEI and decided to take one of the so called "shortcuts" to save a bit of time. Excuse me while I take a moment to chuckle here.

This took place in the winter months, so this "road" would have looked a bit different then.
They travelled down the road and as it narrowed and grew steeper, they realized their mistake and looked for a place to turn around. There wasn't one. The road became very steep and icy and as a result, they slid down a hill and came to rest just before a 6 foot drop. They couldn't go back and they couldn't go forward, so they had not choice but to walk to where they were supposed to meet the other missionaries. They walked and walked for hours. On the way they came to a fallen down bridge with a sign that said "bridge out". They finally came to civilization and a place where they could use a phone, but couldn't get hold of the other missionaries, so they called the mission office and told them what had happened. They continued to walk and walk and walk.........
Finally arrived at the meeting place, but the other missionaries were not there.
A policeman pulled up along side them and asked if they were OK. They used his phone to call the other missionaries.
With the help of a member of the church, they tried to get some tow-truck people to get their car pulled out, but they all refused to go down there. A local farmer commented that they hadn't seen a car down that road for 50 years of so! Finally, the church member paid a farmer a case of beer to pull the car out.


This photo is of the view in the other direction of the "road".

The road we were travelling on kept on going past farms and Joshua said we should just stay on it because according to the short-cut map, it would eventually join the main road again.

Mmmmmmhhhh? How hard do you think we thought about continuing down that road? Not long and not to hard!

This is the beginning of our journey across the Confederation Bridge. It was very, very long. I wish I could remember how long and more details, but I can't. If you want to know more, Google it!

This is Jim driving across the bridge.

This is Joshua and Jessica sitting in the back of the van, driving across the bridge.

This is Samuel sitting in the back of the van, in his car seat, driving across the bridge, on the lookout for buses, trucks and airplanes.

This is what it looks like when you drive across the bridge.

This is some scenery as we were getting close to the other side of the bridge.

Same thing a few seconds later.

Samuel and Dad taking a walk at a rest stop.

Sam's first photo of some flowers.

The long, long, long bridge. aka Confederation Bridge.

Blue blob, Joshua. Red blob, Jessica. Some creative soul had made animal sculptures out of driftwood.

It was very windy.

Say "cheese" Samuel!

Jim took the following 2 photos.
Not sure why.

I think the one below because of the flags.

This one.

Not so sure why.

We stopped for lunch at a town known as "The Blueberry Capitol".
Here we are with a very large blueberry.
It was covered with ladybugs.
Had the worst Subway sandwich of my life for lunch.
The big blueberry was fun however.

This was the view across the street from the Subway/Petrol station.

They also had clean gasoline and it was very expensive.
We arrived at Tranquil Times B & B in the late afternoon.
It is owned and run by Adele and Bob Thompson. Joshua got to know them while serving in this area. They are members of our church and fed the missionaries very frequently. In fact, Bob is the Branch President of the church in that area.
In the evening they have a hot dog and marshmallow roast. That is why the above picture is so dark and you can't see anyone or anything. Wanted you to get the feel of the hot dog roast!
This is a better photo. Jessica is enjoying some S'mores.
Adele and Bob are wonderful people and we enjoyed talking with them by the bonfire.
If you are ever in their neck of the woods and need a place to stay, we would thoroughly recommend their B&B. First rate hospitality, delicious breakfast and very comfortable rooms.
Good night!!!!