Summer. A time for vacation. A time for fun. A time for relaxation. Relaxation? Who are you kidding? Summer is probably the most stressful time of the year. Seriously. Between having family and friends home, constant activities and outings, cold beers with your name on it, etc. you’re run off your feet by the time Canada Day comes and it’s exactly how I feel as a result.
If you can’t tell by the tone, I’m a little overwhelmed with summer and it’s only just begun. These feelings stem from endless possibilities and activities daily mixed in with a wild seasonal workload – where is the balance? Unfortunately, it’s hard to find a balance when you have a day job, an actual job and a wandering soul.
I am lucky to reliably get two days off during the week as my weekends don’t exist until wedding season is over near October. I had Wednesday and Thursday off this week; days I needed more than I knew. On Tuesday, I put a feeler ad out on my Facebook to see if anyone wanted to accompany me on a road trip on my days off. I enjoy having someone with me so I don’t eat all the road trip chips on my own, talk to myself the entire day and mainly so I don’t have to set up my tripod on time lapse to capture my activities. As it would turn out, no one committed to joining me on my road trip day. Obviously, it hurts a bit. Maybe I need to use a new deodorant, get new jokes or get a new taste in music OR maybe I’m the only one lucky enough to get days off during the week – I’m not so sure but it was almost a blessing in disguise. I needed the day by myself to clear my head and just be with myself. A date day with me if you will. It’s healthy and by no means did I feel like a loser bombing around in my Tiguan eating my chips and jamming out to tunes that others might not like.
Thankfully, I feel refreshed after two days and 700kms on the Tiguan (who is 6 weeks old now and has 8300kms on her. Oops!) I hiked 8km along some trails in Cape Breton. I went paddle boarding for the first time. I ate some amazing food (also good for the soul.) Overall, I had a few killer days off where I made sure I addressed my stresses head on and made sure my heart was happy! I highly recommend taking a day or two when you can and just do what you love and do it just for you.Port Hood Beach is directly next to Route 19 and is the perfect spot for a dip while you’re cruising along to the Cabot Trail. It boasts a gorgeous sandy beach where you can wade out for ages and a beautiful boardwalk!My happy place: adventuring with my new Tiguan. Have I mentioned I’m obsessed with it yet? Love my Vdub! Took a stop at West Mabou Beach. The view takes my breath away with every visit. It’s out of this world and just in our backyard! I’m not usually one to post about food but sweet baby Jesus my lunch at The Red Shoe Pub was out of this world. I enjoyed their daily special which to my humble surprise was a tarragon, lime and lobster salad sandwich paired with a carrot, curry, orange and ginger soup. It was to die for! I washed it down with some Jost l’Acadie – also a favourite for me! If you’re driving along Route 19 in Mabou, The Shoe is a MUST!Frig, I love my Tigasaurus Rex.Inverness. AMAZING.Channeling a little Jon Brown with this one – big scene, little person.Sometimes bae & I just sit and take in the views. Uisge Ban Falls Provincial Park is seriously like Nova Scotia’s Narnia. I experienced such a sense of peace while winding through the rocky trail. I enjoyed the waterfall but I enjoyed the hike a lot more. It blew my mind. Seriously. I walked out with a smile on my face that couldn’t be wiped off.Day two of my days off involved taking my favourite fellow photog, Jon out for an early birthday adventure. We headed off to D’Escousse to The Groundswell on recommendation from a friend and enjoyed it immensely. For $50, we got to rent equipment for 2 hours and float around on paddle boards or kayaks. We did an hour of each and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun adventure! All in all, an incredible & much needed few days off. I’m left feeling recharged, relieved and relaxed!
When Dave Matthews announced his 2016 tour, I knew I had to get to the nearest concert. Tickets were purchased and I set my sights on Bangor early Tuesday morning. With my new Tiguan packed up with food, friends and all other essentials, we started what would turn out to be an 1864 kilometre road trip.
I did a quick bit of research on places to visit within reach of our Bangor destination and stumbled upon some incredible stops. While two of our three days were travel days, we made the best to incorporate stops along the way. I’m not one to plan road trips – I’m more of a person who just gets in the car and ends up wherever. I love it this way.We quickly realized that New Brunswick is the most boring place to drive through. Every time I drive in New Brunswick, I think of David Myles’ song “Don’t Drive Through.” The highway through Moncton was easily the worst section of road we had been on – It’s hard to believe that such a main piece of infrastructure is in such poor condition. To top it off, it rained our entire time through New Brunswick.Bangor is a seemingly quiet little city. Nestled in next to the Penobscot River, the downtown core streets are lined with quaint little shops and bumping restaurants. We didn’t spend any amount of time downtown as the coast is where we wanted to invest our time. I wanted to get touristy and see what the Atlantic is like further south. I’ve seen Dave Matthews before and the performance they put on is arguably better live than their albums can allow. The chemistry between the band members is contagious. Their smiles radiate, telling you they enjoy sharing their music with you and that speaks for itself. There are few people in this world that get to make a living doing what they love but it’s evident that these guys love it! Katie, Katie & I spent the evening belting out familiar songs and dancing in the Amphitheatre as the clouds parted, letting the stars shine above us. The highlight of my evening was when the lower clouds parted as “Satellite” began to play, letting the “sliver moon” shine through. For the readers who don’t know me, the “sliver moon” is where I believe I’ll go when I pass on to another life. I’ll perch up on the edge of the moon like the little fishing fella on the Dreamworks movie openings and look down on those I love. This moment was where the smile on my face couldn’t get any larger! It’s moments like these that truly make life worth living!Along the way, we spotted a building that had a very “Lemony Snicket” vibe to it. The driveway outside was littered with antique cars, trucks and memorabilia – all things that typically catch my eye. It was a neat stop for sure. We even had the owner tell us a little bit about the property.As we continued, we hit Bar Harbor. This little town was so picturesque it was almost too much. It’s the kind of spot that if I was the kind of girl to ever want to get married, I’d picture a cute honeymoon here. The streets are lined with adorable shops, restaurants and touristy stops. I only wish we had more time to explore here. Three days certainly isn’t enough time to enjoy the “Downeast” segment of Maine.We made our first pass through part of Acadia National Park. It’s similar to Nova Scotia’s flagship The Cabot Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands. I use the term similar loosely. Acadia National Park coasts along mountain sides, the Atlantic coastline and weaves itself through the forest. It takes you off the main road and onto a tourist route where I’m sure the scenery is at it’s most optimal. With that said, we managed to do a pass on the main road as well where the views are debatably just as pretty. Signage isn’t as helpful as I find it is in Canada. It was the only thing I found frustrating as we were trying not to use technology to find things – we faired out really well with this by the way! You should try it sometime. It’s kind of fun to see where you can end up! Hard to hide my love for anything coastal.So. We found Hot Dog Heaven. Happy doesn’t begin to describe it.Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse was worth the extra few mile drive! It’s a must see! The hiking trails at Jordan Pond in the Acadia National Park were pretty incredible. These planks are set in place to reduce damage to their forest floor. This not only preserves nature but it also helps guide people just a little bit better! The Bubble’s – I still think they should be called The Boobs but that’s just me and my gutter mind.How cute are these two? Katie and Katie made this road trip pretty fun for me & I’m thankful for their company! When I had initially looked up Bar Harbor, I had found out about a neat restaurant called “Route 66” and knew I had to find it. After a long morning of adventuring through Acadia National Park, we decided we’d eat in town. We had tried to find it the day before but I’d secretly took it upon myself to find it for the next day. The look on the girls faces was worth it all! The outside is so unique but the inside is where the fun is at. I can’t begin to describe everything but the collecting for the interior began over 30 years ago and continues today. There are features from an old church inside which makes the building itself stand out. Put all this together with delicious food and I’d say you’ve got a win! I got a lobster quesadilla and a blueberry sangria and was certainly not disapointed! Leave it to me to find another ‘Nisher in Bar Harbor! Hope you had a great trip, Ian Tate!! I snapped this when I pulled in my driveway last night. I bought my Tiguan brand new a week ago and it’s nearly rolling 4000kms already. In total, we drove 1864kms in three days and had countless amazing experiences within those days. I’m so so happy, so so tired and so so excited to see where my next adventure takes me! Over the next few weeks, I’ll be exploring the east side of Cape Breton – if anyone is interested in tagging along, let me know!