Summertime in Nova Scotia

We had a bit of a whirlwind start to our summer vacation here at the Belgravia. The last day of school occurred on June 28, while I was still at Cornell. I arrived home late (2 am) on the night of June 30 and my cousins arrived from Portland, Oregon, a few hours later. Phil & Susan are the same cousins whom we spent this past Christmas with. His younger brother, Richard, arrived with his wife, Aletha, from Mobile, Alabama, the following day. They stayed with my parents, and on July 5, Phil’s daughter Lori, her husband Adam, and their four children arrived from Florida for a week. The next few blog posts I make will attempt to chronicle our travels around the province while they were here. Because we are usually working full-out at the B&B, we don’t often get the chance to explore our backyard at this time of year.

We started off on Canada Day with a trip to Pugwash, to the Festival of the Gathering of the Clans where our daughter, Sarah was competing in the highland dance competition. This is an interesting competition which takes place in a beautiful setting, on a wooden stage with the water in the background. There are street vendors, a midway, and a parade throughout the day. It was fun for me to run into a number of my childhood friends who were also visiting. Sarah danced well, winning a 1st place ribbon for her Highland Fling, and 2nd place for her sword dance.  Afterwards, they rode two rides on the midway and got some cotton candy before we left to drive along the Sunrise Trail to Tatamagouche.

The dancers line up, waiting for their turn on stage.

The dancers line up, waiting for their turn on stage.


Sarah, #201, awaits the music for the Sword Dance


Proud of her two medals and second stamp





My maiden name is Clark and the Clark family homestead is located in Tatamagouche, which is a beautiful little town on the Northumberland Strait, along the North Shore of Nova Scotia. Between the cousins, we still have somewhere close to 100 acres of farm and wooded property along the French River, which is the perfect place to picnic. One thing you should know while traveling in Nova Scotia is that certain parts can be buggy on certain days. If the wind is breezy, they usually aren’t too bad. On Canada Day, however, there was little breeze and we all had to use bug spray and put up a mosquito tent to avoid being bitten while we picnicked.


Playing in the French River


How many people does it take to set up a mosquito tent?


After we had a late lunch, we stopped in at the newly opened Tatamagouche Brewing Company and picked up a couple of growlers of their Hippy Dippy Pale Ale and Butcher Block Red to take back home. Phil and Susan had to be at the airport to pick up Richard & Aletha at suppertime, so we drove straight home.

We ordered pizzas for dinner, I got in the pool for the first time this year and everyone came back to join us around the fire for the evening. We climbed out onto the roof to watch the Canada Day fireworks – even my mom!


The Canadian “wannabe” from Oregon. 😉


Happy Canada Day!!


Roasting marshmallows while waiting for the fireworks


My parents, Dave & Deanna, enjoy their family


Our American cousins – Phil & Susan from Oregon and Richard & Aletha from Alabama



We were lucky to have our family in town for almost two weeks, and took the opportunity to travel around the province a bit with them while they were here. I will chronicle these travels in my next few posts.

Belgravia Bed & Breakfast website

Dance, Dance, Wherever You May Be . . .

Quarta-feira, Março 19

Today is Saint Joseph’s Day – Dia de São José.  St. Joseph is the patron saint of workers and in some Brazilian communities it is a holiday. It was explained to me that if it rains on St. Joseph’s day then it will be a good year.  Well let me tell you it rained pretty hard here today.  A good year lies ahead.

Dancing is a great way to celebrate the prediction of a good year and today we were fortunate enough to learn the basic steps to a Brazilian style of dance.  The students were keen to try and the steps were sometimes hard to follow.  But, by the end of it, our guys had the basics down.

On our way to Dance class.

On our way to Dance class.

One, two, three, four ...

One, two, three, four …

Our instructor.

Our instructor.

five, six, seven, eight, ...

five, six, seven, eight, …

Heavy rain. It's going to be a good year.

Heavy rain. It’s going to be a good year.

How it should look.

How it should look.



After with more expression.

After with more expression.

Maybe when we return, Alex will teach you a few moves.

400 Years of History

The following post was written by Lorieann, the female chaperone on the exchange:

Thursday, March 13

Today, we all went to visit the Lion Palace. It is not only the residence of the governor (technically governadora who is a woman. Her father used to be the president but is now a senator) but where they would entertain any dignitaries who would visit. It was very interesting to see the articles (paintings, vases, wardrobes, etc.) which have been collected since the “palace” was open almost 400 years ago. You won’t be seeing any of those things though, no pictures and no touching the articles allowed. We also have to wear protective wear over our shoes to keep the floors from being ruined. This meant the beautiful wooden floors were INCREDIBLY slippery!

Palácio do Leão

Palácio do Leão

One of the lion statues in front of the Lion Palace.

One of the lion statues in front of the Lion Palace.

Heading upstairs for the tour.  No cameras allowed after this point.

Heading upstairs for the tour. No cameras allowed after this point.

After the tour was completed.

After the tour was completed.

After we were finished our tour we had a little free time so we were taken on a tour of the local art area. There were many very interesting shops with lots of different gift ideas. Some bought gifts and some bought gifts for ourselves.

Heading to the Market.

Heading to the Market.


Checking out some shops.


Moving along.


Street scene.

That evening we experienced a “Tambor de Crioula” workshop. Tambor de Crioula is African drumming and dancing. Many of them took part in the drumming (both boys and girls were able to drum while girls could dance).  Not so many of the girls were brave enough to take part in the dance. D’Arcy jokes he would have liked to try the dance but was sad it was just for girls.

Tambor de Creole

Tambor de Crioula


One of the teachers for our activity.


Getting lessons.




Jimmy getting lessons.

Private lessons.

The girls also had fun and even by the end of the evening they were able to convince all the girls to try…

Emma and Hanna dancing.


Random Photos

IMG_3643  IMG_3645 IMG_3668   IMG_3771(2)

The Truro Farmer’s Market

Every Saturday, local farmers & artisans gather at the Truro Farmer’s Market from 8 – 12.  I love going to the Farmer’s Market to shop and to visit!

A few weeks ago, about 90 people from the dance studio that our daughter belongs to staged this impromptu performance at the Market.

You just never know what’s going to happen on a sunny Saturday morning in Truro!