Bus and Beer at YHZ

I finally rode a Halifax bus, going to the airport to fetch my parents-in-law from a flight. For some reason trying a bus system in a new city always gives me a bit more anxiety than with rail-based transit — possibly because a bus requires more human contact. In any case it was trivial to drop coins in the box and request a transfer ticket from the bus driver, then transfer to a 320 bus at Dartmouth Bridge Terminal. Extra payment is needed boarding the 320: it’s a higher fare than the regular bus.

Dartmouth Bridge Terminal Interior
On the 320 Bus to YHZ

Their flight was delayed a couple of hours, which I was actually thankful about, as I could while away the time with PokemonGO, and try my first pint of that famous Halifax beer, Alexander Keith’s, with a plate of airport-priced wings, followed by my usual Tim’s Medium Regular, for wakefulness.

Alexander Keith's at YHZ Alexander Keith's and Buffalo Wings
Tim Hortons Medium Regular

More on my parents-in-law’s visit to NS.

Ezra Update: 3 Years

At three years of age, Ezra can speak in complete sentences, do simple addition, count to four in French, walk a mile unaided, rebel against authority, formulate extremely rudimentary knock-knock jokes, and is now undergoing the rite of passage that is potty training. He enjoys watching Dora and Diesel Ducy and listening to The Kiboomers.

Ezra’s Third Birthday

For his birthday weekend — his first birthday in Canada! — we went to the beach, where it was finally warm enough to sunbathe. The Atlantic water was rather frigid but he still enjoyed playing at the edge of the waves.

Rainbow Haven Beach

He also received his first backpack, a shout-out to Dora, and a promise of adventures to come.

Ezra’s Third Birthday

Happy birthday, kid. You’re gonna go places.

Heritage Farm

Some shots from a visit to the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum, a real live farm right down the road from us, with crops and animals and a historic house and a tearoom. We saw various animals, had lunch at the tearoom, and Ezra got to play a bit with some farm toys.

Ezra at the Rose & Kettle Tea Room
Ezra on a rocking horse Ezra sits on the Potty Toss seat Ezra in the Giles House

The sheep were extra woolly and due for a shearing the following week.


Adult and juvenile chickens looked at me inquisitively.

Inquisitive Juvenile Chickens

Me when there are people:

Please -No- People

More photos from Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum here. It’s close by, so I think we’ll be going there a lot. Admissions are by voluntary donation.

Peggy’s Cove: Fish Hash and Lobster Paste

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

Spent a sunny, breezy Saturday morning at Peggy’s Cove so Amy and Ezra could see the historic lighthouse for the first time (I’d already been there last November), and explore the distinctive granite outcrops along the shore (staying off the black rocks, of course).

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

We had lunch at the Sou’Wester, where I tried some Nova Scotia fish hash with baked beans and green tomato chow. In a corner of the gift shop, a box of tomalley was for sale. I also picked up a Nova Scotia souvenir baseball for my collection, even though baseball is barely a thing around here.

Fish Hash and Beans, Sou'Wester, Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Wow! A case of lobster paste
Nova Scotia souvenir baseball

Ended the day with some Dee Dee’s ice cream and a long look at the boulder-strewn landscape.

Dee Dee's Ice Cream, Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia
Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia

More photos from Peggy’s Cove here.


East Coast Amusements carnival at Forest Hills

East Coast Amusements opened a traveling carnival in our neighbourhood for Victoria Day weekend, complete with rides and games and carnies, so we brought Ezra over so he could experience his first funfair, including his first ride on a ferris wheel (Expo Wheel) and a roller coaster (Orient Express), plus a run through the SpiderMan-themed obstacle course and a spin on the carousel.

Ezra even won an inflatable duck from the duck pond game.

East Coast Amusements carnival at Forest Hills

More photos from our new life in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Lawrencetown Beach

Visited Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park for a bit last Sunday. It’s a bit startling how quickly the landscape switches to rural seaside after driving east of Cole Harbour.

Lawrencetown Provincial Beach, Nova Scotia

The beach was rough and steep and rocky, with a few surfers riding the cold Atlantic breakers. Joggers and couples picked their way carefully over the stones, some of those stones speckled pink with ancient granite, or layered into buckled, twisted lines of reddened sediment and pearly quartz. Sometimes rays of sun would peek through the low clouds and cast a faint, crepuscular glow over waves and hills, all grey and rolling into each other till land and sea and sky felt like the same turbulent, restless, unsteady thing.

Lawrencetown Provincial Beach, Nova Scotia

In the softer, wet sand down by the surf my wife and son built a circle of pebbles, running off and laughing when an especially strong wave came up to wash over the stones, later sitting to watch the Atlantic as the tide receded.

Lawrencetown Provincial Beach, Nova Scotia

It’s not the best beach for a kid; I had to stop him from wandering over an especially steep rocky slope. He cried about that, and about leaving. Maybe we’ll come back when he can handle a surfboard on his own.

Halifax Gardens and Library

Last week we ate at Smitty’s in Halifax after church, and I forgot Ezra’s sippy cup there, so I came back the next day to pick it up and used the opportunity to walk around Halifax a bit, visiting the Public Gardens and Central Library.

Halifax Public Gardens

The Gardens were smaller than I expected, really just about the size of a large square city block, but still a decent urban oasis with views that nicely hid the city setting.

Halifax Public Gardens

The Victorian history of the space is well in evidence, and I would not have felt out of place walking about while wearing a waistcoat and monocle.

Halifax Public Gardens

Nearby, just down Spring Garden Road, is the new Halifax Central Library, recently finished in 2014, with architecture highly evocative of a haphazard stack of books.

Halifax Central Library
Halifax Central Library

The cantilevered top floor has lovely views of the city and harbour — as well as the full science fiction/fantasy section.

Halifax Central Library

As always, I’m gathering photos related to our new Canadian life here in the Halifax photo album.

Memento Mori at Cole Harbour Heritage Park

Came across some reminders of mortality and impermanence as I was hiking around Cole Harbour Heritage Park last week.

Cole Harbour Heritage Park

Overlooking the sea were these crosses marking the graves of dead Halifax Poor’s Farm residents.

Cole Harbour Heritage Park Cole Harbour Heritage Park

Farther down the shore and a bit off the trail, the decaying remnants of some vehicle, a car or a truck, rusting to pieces among the muddy rushes.

Cole Harbour Heritage Park

And most sobering of all, Papyrus headers on park signs and displays.

Full photo album from Cole Harbour Heritage Park here.

Easter 2019

Easter Morning

Amy filled some plastic eggs with goodies and I hid them around the living room for Ezra to go on a quick indoor Easter egg hunt before church on Easter Sunday, ending with a gift from grandpa and grandma: his first tricycle.

He had a lot of fun with that, although he seemed a bit confused about being told about the Resurrection of Christ, which I think he may have associated with the elevator at church or something. Will probably have to instruct him in more complex theology later.

NS Art Gallery and Maud Lewis House

Visited the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, where we saw the work of famed folk artist Maud Lewis. Her painted house sits in the gallery, where it was moved in 1998, so I got a panoramic interior shot.

Maud Lewis House Interior Pano
Maud Lewis House

Also it’s worth noting that there’s a whole other wing to the Art Gallery that we totally did not notice till later; it’s where all the older non-contemporary/non-Maud Lewis art is, and is not accessible from the outside, only via a basement passage.

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia

That’s where we saw Arthur Lismer’s watercolors of dazzle camo ships.

Arthur Lismer Watercolor of WW1 ship in dazzle camo

If you’re visiting Halifax and want to see all this for free, Art Gallery of NS has BMO free access Thursday nights from 5-9PM (admission charged all other days). More on Maud Lewis in the 1976 short film “Maud Lewis: A World Without Shadows.”