canadian maritimes | travel scrapbook

This summer we decided to explore the Maritime provinces of Canada.  I went to university in Nova Scotia (Acadia University) but we've never traveled there as a family so we decided to stick fairly close to home and explore the east coast of Canada. We covered quite a bit of ground during the week we were away.  We flew to Bangor, Maine, rented a Dodge Ram pick-up truck on the advise of the car rental lady who said we were heading into moose country.  I should note .. we never saw a moose.  Grrr..  

Our first stop was St. Andrews by the Sea, New Brunswick which is a charming seaside town.  We then travelled onto PEI (Prince Edward Island), all throughout Nova Scotia and eventually back to New Brunswick where we flew home via Maine.

Nova Scotia's picturesque coastline.

The Bay of Fundy is one of the 7 wonders of North America.  It has the highest tides on earth and the red coastline is because of a high level of iron.  I recall in university people going tubing in the water and coming back with thick red mud all over themselves.  I never took part in the tradition, but now I wish I had.

Acadia University is located in Wolfville, NS about an hour from Halifax. We toured the small, idyllic campus and I was able to show the family my old dorm, where I took my classes and most importantly where my friends and I hung out.  The crazy thing is that after 20+ years not much has changed.  Walking back into the town bar was a blast from the past!  What had changed though is a beautiful vineyard that is only a short drive from Wolfville.  The winery is called Luckett Vineyards and their fun English phone booth located amongst the vineyards is not to be missed.  You can make a free call to anyone in North America and the kids right away picked up the phone to call their Grandma back in Vancouver.  

Peggy's Cove is a small rural community located on the eastern shore of St. Margarets Bay in Nova Scotia.  The lighthouse is what everyone comes to see and it does not disappoint.  Every angle that you turn is like looking at a picture postcard.  The lobster and seafood is the freshest and so delicious.  On our last night we realized that for seven straight days we had only eaten seafood and not one bite of meat.  

One one of my favorite parts of the trip was discovering a small town called Summerville on Nova Scotia's south shore.  The Quarterdeck was right up my alley in terms of design and aesthetic.  It was perched on a mile of pristine white sand and so relaxing.  I did not want to leave!

Two summer staples in Nova Scotia is the ice cream store Cows and a special "only in Nova Scotia" flavor called Moon Mist.  It is a surprisingly delicious flavor mixture of banana, grape and bubblegum.  I'm not one for crazy ice cream concoctions but it actually isn't that bad.  

london | travel scrapbook

London in April is pretty spectacular.  I could just roam around with my camera shooting spring blossoms and pastel color houses all day long.  Come to think of it ... I basically did that!

Oh London town, how I love you!

Seeing old friends for brunch and then having ice cream sundaes at Harrods is always fun!

I definitely was in "spring flower heaven' as London was a few weeks ahead of the east coast with their spring blossoms.  My oh my were they ever gorgeous!

We visited the London Eye one afternoon and enjoyed the views of the entire city.  Travel note:  if you ever are trying to buy tickets for it, definitely order them online because we bypassed the huge lines and were able to walk right on.

The Eurostar is a fantastic and fast way to get from London to Paris and back.  Before you know it you are pulling into St. Pancras Station.  Also, a good book helps to speed the time away.

A visit to London wouldn't be complete without a trip to The Tower of London.  We also visited Churchill's War Rooms which I highly recommend. 

Pastel colored homes in Chelsea, yes please!

Cheerio London!  Can't wait to come back.

paris in the spring | travel scrapbook

Audrey Hepburn said it best, "Paris is always a great idea" and I couldn't agree with her more.   We went to London, Paris and then back to London this Spring Break.  As always it was an amazing trip and I didn't want to board that "United" plane home ;-)  

One of our highlights while in Paris was surprising the kids with a personalized sidecar tour by Retro Tours.  If you ever find yourselves in Paris I HIGHLY recommend them.  It is one of the most unique experiences you can have there.  These guys are real Parisians and know their city.  They want to show you lesser well-known areas of Paris, rarely seen by visitors.  The secret Paris they like to say.  We told them the general district of where we wanted to go (Montmartre and the Sacré-Couer) and they truly showed us streets and areas that we would never have found ourselves or read about it guide books.  They are so knowledgeable and constantly telling you little factoids about the areas that your are driving through.  We planned it so at the end of our time together they dropped us off at the Eiffel Tour where we were having dinner that night.  Such a fun and cool experience that I know the kids will never forget!  

The Eiffel Tower is truly such a masterpiece and an engineering wonder.  You can't help but gaze up at all that metal and wonder how it all fits together.   After dinner we stayed around to watch the sunset, which of course was stunning.  

Visiting museums is a must when in Paris.  We bought the Museum Paris Pass which was a huge time-saver because it allowed us to bypass the crowds, line-ups and head straight to the Fast Pass lane.  A win for us!

I loved capturing the kid's first glance of the Mona Lisa.  I told them they might be surprised at her size ... and I definitely was right.

The Rodin Museum did not disappoint.

Parisian scenes ... 

Au revoir Paris ... until next time!