Off-Season Adventures

January 23, 2015 28 Comments

Off-Season Adventures

I haven’t talked about resolutions on my blog, but one of my goals is to continue to get outside as much as possible. We did a lot of exploring last year because everything was so new and I don’t want that to stop now that we’ve been here for awhile. While I’m not crazy about the cold, winter is actually one of my favorite times to explore the beaches and trails because they’re so quiet and have a different kind of beauty this time of year. I shared Duncan’s Cove with you earlier in the week and now I’m going to share three more of our favorite adventure walks that make getting out in the winter a little bit easier.

1. Atlantic View Trail – Lawrencetown Beach

Lawrencetown Beach is where you’ll find all the surfers. It’s also the starting point of the Atlantic View Trail where you can climb your way to an amazing view. This is the first hike we ever did in Nova Scotia and it’s still one of our favorites. You can see more of Lawrencetown Beach from our camping trip last summer.

Brooke Koda Lawrencetown BeachLawrencetown Beach WinterLawrencetown BeachBrooke Koda Atlantic View TrailAtlantic View Trail


2. Crystal Crescent Beach

Crystal Crescent Beach is a collection of 3 white-sand beaches. There are boardwalks connecting the first two beaches and a hiking trail that covers 10 km of wilderness each way, so there’s plenty of opportunity to explore both the coastline and the woods.

Cyrstal Crescent BeachAaron Crystal Crescent BeachCrystal Crescent Beach walkwayBrooke Koda Crystal CrescentBrooke Koda Crystal Crescent1


3. Martinique Beach

Martinique Beach is the longest white-sand beach in Nova Scotia and also the best place to do a little beachcombing. We’ve picked up a few things that are now proudly displayed on our book shelf, including our first and only sand dollar.

Martinique Beach Brooke KodaAaron Koda Martinique BeachBeachcombing Martinique BeachMartinique Beach SeaweedMartinique Beach Winter

Do you have any adventures planned for the weekend?


7 Signs Your Dog Is Living Like A Boss

January 21, 2015 37 Comments

7 Signs Your Dog is Living Like a BossIt’s no secret that Aaron and I are a couple of suckers. Koda figured us out a long time ago, but we don’t mind because, well, just look at her!


1. They wait for you to come and boost them onto the bed. They could jump up on their own, but why would they?

2. They sleep with a pillow, preferably yours.

3. You sleep in strange positions and stay very still so that you don’t disturb their sleep.

4. You drive to the farther Tim Hortons because the workers there give out extra Timbits and sometimes even bacon!

5. They walk away from their food bowl when given dry kibble. Their palate is much more refined and you can do better than that.

6. They don’t get up from the couch when you get home. Bosses wait for their people to come to them.

7. You were going to have peanut butter on your toast, but there was only enough left for the Kong. You didn’t really want peanut butter anyway, or that full slice of cheese.

Does your dog live like a boss?


Duncan’s Cove, Nova Scotia

January 19, 2015 24 Comments

Duncan's Cove Brooke

Duncan’s Cove is one of my favorite places in the entire world. It’s also one of the best coastal hikes in our area. It’s a little bit off the beaten path and we didn’t actually find it the first time we went out there last year. If you feel like you’re trespassing, you’re on the right track! The landscape is beautifully rugged and barren and the surf crashes next to you on the rocks and granite cliffs. It’s especially barren in the winter, but I kind of like that. There’s something almost haunting about it. In the spring and summer it’s a lot more colourful and a prime place to take in some marine life. Whales can often be spotted (although I’ve never seen one) and last summer there were always seals hanging out on the rocks, which puzzled Koda greatly!  There are also some old bunkers from WWII that you can explore. Our goal is to finally make it to the farthest bunker this summer. It takes a long time to get there when you stop to take pictures every few steps!

In other news, I finally started a Facebook page after reading Cat’s great tips. It’s looking a little barren right now too, but I’m working on that. You can visit my page here!

Duncan's CoveKoda Duncan's CoveAaron Koda Duncan's CoveDuncan's Cove1Koda Duncan's Cove 4WWII bunkerBrooke Koda Duncan's Cove1

What did you do this weekend?

5 “Oh Shit!” Travel Moments

January 16, 2015 36 Comments

Oh Shit Travel MomentsI feel like I need to defend myself a little before you read on. All I’m going to say is that I was very young once, but I still can’t guarantee that these things will never happen again.


1. That time I almost got tranquilized with a blowpipe and kidnapped in Italy. OK, so this is all speculation, but hear me out. My brother and I were taking in the sights in Rome when a man approached us and asked if we’d like to take a quick look at an art exhibit in the building next door. Not wanting to ruin the friendly Canadian stereotype, we said yes. The door was wide open so we let ourselves into the building, which was really more of a small room. We immediately noticed that we were the only ones in there, but we weren’t concerned until we heard the door slam shut behind us. So there we were, trapped in a small room in Rome all by ourselves waiting for a scene from Taken to ensue.  Fortunately, there was one other door across the room that we lunged towards and thank goodness it opened and we were saved. I’m sure there are other explanations, but mine is the most logical.

2. That time I found out I was allergic to red wine while lost in Rome. After surviving our near kidnapping, my brother and I decided to venture out of the tourist area to try some real Italian food. We were the only non-Italian people in the restaurant and our server was not impressed with us (not that I can really blame him). I had red wine with my meal and it wasn’t until we were lost on our walk back to the room that I noticed something was wrong. It wasn’t long before my entire body was covered in huge red welts. It turned out to be the worst allergic reaction I’ve ever had. At this point I sort of felt like Rome was speaking to me and saying, “It’s not me, it’s you.” But I still love you, Rome, and I’ll be back.


3. That time I drank too much wine in Paris. Let’s just say I found lots of reasons to celebrate while I was in Paris and things got a little carried away one night. I woke up the next day with the worst hangover of my life. When you think of Paris, you might think of romance and macarons. Well, from now on, I hope you think of me, hunched over on a street curb while eating McDonald’s like a wild animal…and then going back for more. Oh, I also had to fly back to London that day and I ate them out of Pringles like it was my job.

4. That time I got lost in Paris. I’ve travelled to Paris a few times by myself and on one of those visits, I got completely lost in the wonder of the city, literally. I had absolutely no idea where I was and this was way before GPS and smart phones. I couldn’t even remember the name of my hotel, but I did know the street and district. After getting bad directions(or following them poorly) a number of times, I found a bench and attempted to pull myself together. I was a mess, but at least I had the dignity to sit on a bench this time instead of the curb. It was getting dark and I didn’t have a lot of money, and that’s when I finally taught myself how to use a map book (it’s not that hard). The best part was that on the way back to my hotel, someone stopped me and asked for directions.


5. That time I drank too much wine in London. Are we sensing a pattern here? I  moved to England for one year and lived in a small village about 40 minutes outside of London. The train to and from the city stopped at a certain time each night, so it was always important for me to keep an eye on my watch. I was out in London one night having some drinks, but being the responsible nanny that I was, I managed to get back to the train station on time. But then I “fell asleep” on the train ride back and ended up in an unknown town in the middle of the night with no trains going out until the morning. Oops!

Do you have any “Oh shit!” travel moments? 


Interactions With Strangers #3

January 15, 2015 34 Comments

A few years ago, Aaron and I were on a road trip in Saskatchewan when we decided to take the road less travelled. It wasn’t long before we came across a roadblock.

Cow Saskatchewan

I named him/her Clint Eastwood because it was like all of Clint’s best characters came together in the form of one badass cow. At first the cow was Blondie quoting Dirty Harry: “Go ahead, make my day.”

Clint Eastwood1

And when that didn’t work, the cow channelled Walt from Gran Torino: “Get off my lawn.”

Clint Eastwood2

The Wild West is no joke, my friends!

Have you had any interesting encounters with animals…or Clint Eastwood?

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