Tuesday, June 20, 2006

New home (sweet home this time)

Last Friday Greg and I finalized the lease on our new apartment. We move in on August 1st! Our new place is much, much, much better than our current apartment. It is a suite on the main floor of a house (this is known as a 'flat' to Haligonians). We have a two bedroom again. It has a nice modern kitchen and bathroom, a bay window in the living room, a little deck, a parking spot, a storage closet and unlimited laundry in the basement. It is on a quiet street with lots of trees two blocks from school. As well we can have pets there so there is talk of a kitty. On the right is the view out our new backdoor. (I hope we get to keep the hammock!)

Also last weekend Greg and I went hiking to Kejimkujik National Park in the interior of the southern part of Nova Scotia (locals call it Keji because its just so impossible to say the whole thing). The area is very popular with canoeists since it is a series of interconnected lakes but it was hiking we were after since we need to get prepped for our hiking trip to Newfoundland. We brought along Ritchie and Geniva who will also be hiking in Newfoundland with us, as well at Geniva's friend Yoko. We had a great time even if the hike was a little wet in places. The boardwalk in the picture is supposed to keep us out of the water! So far the scenery was some of the nicest we have seen in the backcountry out here (but we haven't been to Cape Breton or Newfoundland yet so we'll see).

We are really looking forward to some visitors in a few days. Bill is coming, as is Emily thanks to an awesome seat sale from a new airline called Sunwing. I'm sure we'll have some adventures to post about from their visit.

Today's Halifact: We just had a provincial election here in Nova Scotia. We previously had a Conservative minority government and now we have one again. Rodney McDonald is still premier. During the election one of the opposition parties ran "Rodney's Believe it or Not" attack ads that were quite humorous. The Green Party also ran a full slate of candidates and ended up with a few thousand votes. The low voter turn-out and lack of general interest meant it was a pretty uneventful election.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Today's Weather

From this article on the CBC,

"The Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge Commission warned drivers of high-sided vehicles to be careful crossing the two bridges spanning Halifax harbour."

That's just how windy it is. :)

I feel sorry for the cyclists!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Summertime in the Muggy City

It is finally summertime here in Halifax! The leaves are finally on the trees, there are flowers in everyone's garden, the muggy weather has returned, and it is BUG season (as you can see by the photo at left).

The warm weather comes a little later to Halifax than it does to Vancouver, and technically it is still more like spring here so the cooler weather and rain mean that we haven't been out hiking and backpacking as much as we would like. When it isn't busy raining and being cold it is very muggy here which takes a lot of getting used to for me.

I've also been really busy at work in the past few weeks doing my 2 weeks of intensive product knowledge training. It was pretty cool to get paid to run around an orienteering course, set up multiple tents inside each other (Big Agnes Seedhouse SL1 inside MSR Hubba Hubba inside MEC Wanderer 4 inside MEC Funhouse 6), and taste test the various freeze-dried backpacking foods on a variety of stove models (I recommend the Black Bart Chili or the Kung Fu Chicken with Rice but definitely NOT the Cashew Curry Chicken with Rice).

So far we have only been on one overnight backpacking trip. We took my friend Lori, a Newfoundlander from school, on her first backpacking trip to the Bluff trail, a wilderness trail only 15 minutes from our house. Greg wrote up a trip report for that outing and posted it on clubtread.com here if you want to check it out. I am really itching to get out backpacking again after that trip. (Although despite the headnet I was literally itching after that trip as well.)

We are also planning one big trip for our summer vacation: we are going to Newfoundland! We plan to take the ferry to the western side and then drive up to Gros Morne National Park to do some backcountry hiking. Then we'll drive up to see the Viking site at L'Anse-aux-Meadows, then we'll drive east across the Island to St. John's and take the ferry back to Nova Scotia from Argentia. Our whole trip will be two weeks long and we'll stop lots of other places as well. We're both very excited. I've even been learning the additional verses to "I's the B'y". (Did you know there is one about maggoty fish AND one about maggoty butter? Good stuff.) As well, they have actual mountains in Newfoundland... up to 815m worth of mountains!

Also, we are expecting a visitor at the end of the month! Bill, Greg's dad has the honour of being our second houseguest ever. We're looking forward to showing him around Halifax during the short 4 month window when it is green!

Today's Halifact: The local franchise of the Simmons Mattress Gallery is owned by three crazy Brits who do their own low buget and cheesy commercials. During the winter they had some sort of tropical promotion going on where they were all wearing Hawaiian shirts in the ad. We just saw their new one today. For their 10 year anniversary (or something) they are having a Thank-You Nova Scotia Sale. To celebrate they all dressed up in fishermen's bright yellow rain slickers and promised that you get free lobster with your mattress purchase. That's right, FREE LOBSTER! They were each waving around a live one during the ad!