Friendly Neighbour Cat

While we were out for a walk by Settle Lake a neighbour’s cat came out to meet us, all affectionate and nose-bumpy.

Neighbour cat outside
Neighbour cat outside
Neighbour cat outside

I couldn’t help comparing her to Pandora, though this one lacked the blue and green heterochromia so distinct to our old cat, and Pandora never really went outdoors.

Grand Time in NS

Some shots from my parents-in-law’s visit, their first trip to Nova Scotia. It was great to have them over to see our new Canadian home, and heartwarming to see how happy Ezra was to see Grandma and Grandpa for two weeks. We took them out to see some sights: Discovery Centre, Rainbow Haven Beach, Cole Harbour Heritage Farm, Fisherman’s Cove, and Atlantic Splash Adventure.

Rainbow Haven Beach
Dinner at Boondocks
Paul, Amy, and Ezra on Carousel

I was especially looking forward to seeing Atlantic Splash Adventure (formerly Atlantic Playland), a classic amusement park with rides, water slides, a haunted castle, and a Go-Kart track — and soon, a roller coaster acquired from New Jersey. Here was the view from the top of their ferris wheel, Big Ellie:

View from Top of Big Ellie Ferris Wheel

More in the growing photo album of our new life in Nova Scotia, just photos from Atlantic Splash Adventure, and a video of our visit to Atlantic Splash Adventure.

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.