Sunday, June 29, 2014

Music in the Pines - Part III

The Sunday morning I woke up again at the crack of dawn, but didn't get out of my tent until a reasonable hour. I went to hang out next to the Octopus Garden booth again.  On Sunday I went swimming more often and realized it helped with my allergies if I dunked my head in the lake.

I also had my very first poutine, that was on the Saturday.

My first first poutine. It was a curry poutine, and delicious.
I enjoyed listening to the Sons of Scotland. Surprised I did not end up with Scotland the Brave stuck in my head, as it was their first song.  I always enjoy listening to bagpipes. Acquired taste I'm sure.

Vietnamese Spring Rolls
 Then I really enjoyed Onionhead. Though I didn't sit and listen to the set, I was swimming for a while and washing dishes for a while, I heard him sing and enjoyed it.   He did great renditions of songs I liked, like "Love me 2 times" from the Doors, and "Where did you sleep last night" which I like from Nirvana Unplugged, as well as "Foxy Lady" from Hendrix.

The group that got "Farewell to Nova Scotia" stuck in my head was Mason's Apron.   Ever since I heard the song I've been missing Cape Breton more.

I left the festival around 8pm and was back home around 9:30pm

Music in the pines - Part II

This song has been stuck in my head since hearing it on Sunday afternoon at Music in the Pines.  It also stayed with me, because I've been missing Cape Breton from the moment I left it. I'm melancholic. I want to go back.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Music in the pines - part I

I drove to Curran Ontario, to the whispering pines campsite, to attend Music in the pines. Part of the reason I did it is I just had to get away from the city. The other reason was that I could see my friends a bit, though I knew they were going to be vending food and busy.

I arrived around 8:15pm. I had made a pit stop in Hawksbury to fill my gas tank. Car empty went ding just as I got to the Hawksbury exit, so it was perfect.  I payed $1.345. It was $1.469 in Montreal.

I found my friends tent, and went to look for them to make sure it was the right tent. I had maybe 45 minutes of daylight and wanted to make sure my tent was up in that time frame. I put up my tent, and then went to find my friends on the beach, they had just closed their kiosk for the night. We sat and listened first to Jamfola and the sound crew get the sound just right for a good 30 minutes before we were treated to Jamfola.  They were a lot of fun. They had also included Eric Mandala.  It was fun listening to the drums along with all the different instruments. Lots of good beats.

They stopped playing on the stage at roughly midnight but continued to play drums around the fire for some time. Around 1am we retired to our tents but I heard the beat of the drums as I fell asleep.

Lake at whispering Pines.
The next morning I was awake at dawn but didn't get up until 9am. Then I took ,my new neon green folding chair, parked it right next to Octopus Garden Kiosk, in the shade of their tent.  From there I could see the lake I can hear the music and/or performers, and I got to see some of the members of Jamfola and their significant others, children and friends interact. It's fun to see them as people not just as performers, they were interesting to listen to. Sometimes it's fun to be a fly in the wall.

My allergies were really bad, with  the trees that pollinates with giant white airborne fluff balls. Between those and grass pollen I was worn out by about 6:30pm and went for a nap. I lay in my tent just enjoying the music of first Party Fusion Groove. Loved their cover of Riders on the storm and a few others they did were awesome.  Then I enjoyed the Mosquitoes playing. Music stopped around midnight and then there was the drum circle. I fell asleep shortly after the drumming started.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Grand Vitara has brand spanking new shoes

Today at lunch, my friend came with me and introduced me to her mechanic. He's a friend of her bf's.  I hate going to garages and going to a new garage is always somewhat traumatic for me.  I probably wouldn't have felt comfortable going to this garage alone. Perhaps it was just a fluke but everyone I saw there was male.

 Anyways we went at lunch time and my car was ready by 4:30.  The tires were changed to those almost new Firestones I picked up in Pointe Calumet.  I asked to look if there was a problem as the tires seem to wear unevenly. His comment was, that these type of tires, once they get bald they wear even faster. That there did not seem to be a problem with alignment or suspension causing the tires to wear unevenly.

We'll see how well these tires do. The previous tires, the Dunlop 225 60R18 99H, from what I read were High performance tires, which adhere well to wet pavement, and ride quietly, are also softer rubber and they wear faster.  The Firestones are 225 60R18 99T. Not sure if the T stands for Touring, but if I understand correctly they are rated 20 miles per hour slower and are made of harder rubber. They are a bit noisier, but they should last longer for the type of use I make of my vehicle.. where a percentage of the time in the summer, I'm riding on gravel or dirt roads.

I also got an oil change, always a good idea after a 2 week road trip where we drove almost every day.  They also changed 2 of the filters. 

The only thing I don't like about my grand Vitara is that I'm not as sensitive to it's engine sounds as I was to my prior Protege. It had that small Japanese engine sound, that I could tell if it was even slightly unhappy, and the engine always had a nicer sound after an oil change.  I do like the V6 and the fact it can take off like a bat out of hell, if I gun it... but  I can't tell the engine is happier after an oil change.

Monday, June 23, 2014

New Brunswick home of some of the most addictive potato chips

What more is there to add, LOBSTER chips!!!!

Covered Bridge chips. If you get your hands on a bag, try them out.  These things are so bloody addictive. And so many flavours, so little time.  I really like the lobster ones, but I must have the whole bag. Zero self control. Nom nom nom nom....

There's the Dill pickle ones.  Mmmmmmmmm

And there's just plain ones with really cool bags when sold outside of the maritimes

Covered Bridge kettle chips with sea salt..
They have Montreal steak spice flavour and sweet BBQ. They also have Sea salt and cracked pepper. All their chips are certified to be gluten fre too.

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper

A friend would argue that the best ones are the sweet potato chips. Yes they make chips with sweet potatoes. They are orange and all.  I picked up some bags of Covered Bridge potato chips at Winners and also at Tau. Last time I was at Tau they were 2 for $5, which is a real steal.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Not a fan of World Cup

This had me giggling. I have to admit I did enjoy little league soccer, when it was still fun :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Got a good deal on tires

My friend drove me to pointe Calumet to get them, but I got some inexpensive tires, as new. Their claim wasn't bullshit, there's still paint on the tires, and you can still see the little pieces of tire on the sides that get worn as tire uses.

The cheapest I found the Firestone 225 60R18 99T all season tires, was $150 per tire at Walmart. I got all 4 for $300. I was very thrilled.

Now I have to decide where I want to go to get both my oil and tires changed.

Not going back to Mr Lube that's for sure.  Oh and those idiots broke sunglasses in my glove compartment going to play around with some filter I told them NOT TO TOUCH.  I had to ask them to put it back together and then the idiot argued about dust.   Yes but if I told you NOT to touch my car other then the tires, then do not touch my car.  Yes really not a fan of Mr Lube.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Sunset from Gouin, in Roxboro

Gouin blvd in Roxboro at Sunset.  Taken with my cell .

Strawberry Extract revisited

I blogged about a month ago about Strawberry Extract

On my trip I found some in the drugstore on the main street in Baddeck. It was in Stone's PharmaSave on Chebucto street.  I found 2 bottles of Rougier's Strawberry extract.  This tells me that anywhere I go in cape Breton I can find my favourite anti-diarrheal and stomach ache medicine.

Back in Montreal I went to Walmart twice in one day. I went to the Walmart in Kirkland, where of course I spotted a Mercedes parked in the fire lane. It's almost always those with expensive cars that seem to think they have the God given right to park anywhere, because they are so special.

Walmart in Kirkland, on the Island of Montreal, with a Mercedes in the fire lane
Anyways since I was at Walmart I decided to check if they had the Strawberry Extract, and they did. I also checked the Walmart in Ste-Dorothe were I was also dragged the same day and found some there too.
Now I wonder if I can find it at all the Walmarts in Canada?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I've been a Noxzema girl since my teens.

I was introduced to Noxzema in my teens at summer camp after getting a bad sunburn. It worked for my sunburn and I was impressed. It did not make my greasy pimpled teen aged face worse.  So I started using it for sunburns.

It wasn't until my first pregnancy that I started using it as the only "soap" to ever go on my face. I was taking a shower and used soap on my face and when I exited the shower I could not believe how dry my face was.

From that point on  I slather a good amount of Noxzema before getting into the shower or bathtub and use a facecloth to remove it .  I also put another coat of it on after my face is washed if it has been very dry or I have a sunburn, which is generally rare.

Over the years the women I've run into that swear by Noxzema like me have been women with sensitive skin that cannot use most beauty products lest they break out into rashes and allergic reactions.

I recently introduced a friend to Noxzema, and also did some research. It seems to have gotten it's name because some of the first users said that it also got rid of their eczema. Which is where it got it's name.

I still use it daily when I clean my face and sometimes more frequently if I have burned my face.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mr. Lube isn't touching my tires no more

Mostly because I had waiting at garages I've been going to Mr Lube to get my tires changed if I have no other need for a garage at the same time.

Big mistake. The one in DDO on the corner of Brunswick and du Marche is staffed by a bunch of incompetent assholes. For starters they should have told me that my tires were not safe to put on if the thread is worn.

Secondly for some reason during my trip my back tires got used so unevenly that there's a huge strip that is now showing metal. This had us stressed out during the trip we weren't even sure we'd make it home on the tires that were on my truck.

What kind of incompetent twit puts tires that are going to wear this badly in less then 2 months

It's not just me. My gf also went to Mr Lube to get her tires changed. Other then the fact they seem to charge more then other vendors, one of her tires is now bald to the metal, and she's not sure how much longer her tire will last.

Not sure either why my tires were finished. These are Summer tires. My SUV has only 54,000km on it. Half of the year it has winter tires, so say it did 34, 000km... most tires are good to 50,000 and these are no exception....

Now on the market to find new tires. Sadly because my truck needs 225 60R18's the cheapest I could find new are $150 per tire. Plus I have to get them installed.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

MIghtyMug = Mighty crappy

Mughtymug with broken lid
MightMug makes mighty claims, like it's spill proof, which could be true, if the thread on the lid would not have stopped fitting the mug after maybe 3 or 4 uses. I didn't have the mug long enough to destroy the thread.

It doesn't even look destroyed but the lid does not stay on. That makes the cup dangerous because once you can finally get to unsuction itself from your table, it could spill all over the place.

So I spent nearly $20 on a crappy cup that lasted less then 2 months.  Mightymug gets several thumbs down for being an ubber crappy product.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 15 - We drive all the way back to Montreal

It started to rain at 4am, and didn't let up. It was more of a drizzle when we packed the truck but we didn't care. We got so little rain the last 14 days that this rainy day didn't phase anyone.

If anything we were more comfortable driving in rain, we thought we had a better chance of making it back to Montreal without my rear left tire blowing up.

We left Murray Beach around 10am and drove towards Moncton. We stopped in Moncton to fill with gas and again in Edmunston. I have figured out that I can make it from Edmunston to Drummondville on one tank of gas and these are two of the cheapest places to gas up.

We were at my place by 9ish. We took the tunnel into Montreal and were lucky to get almost no traffic crossing Montreal. It's amazing how quick it can go from the Tunnel to my house when it's unclogged.

It was an awesome trip. My travel companions were awesome, I really enjoyed travelling with them.  Heck I didn't even get vaklempt in Sydney never mind frustrated or mad!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 14 - Murray Beach Provincial park, Cap Pele, Aboiteau Beach

Murray Beach Provincial Park - The beach
It threatened to rain but didn't rain. We walked the beach and then decided to drive down towards Cap Pele . On our way we stopped along a road and walked the beach there, where we found 3 golf balls.

Lupins on seafront, on a small road near Shemogue New Brunswick

We found Aboiteau beach behind Aboiteau wharf and the Restaurant and fish store.

Aboiteau Wharf, restaurant and fish store, Cap Pele, New Brunswick

We spent several hours walking the beach and though it wasn't as much polished beach glass as Inverness beach it was a close second.
Sunset at Murray Beach Provincial Park

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Day 13 - Baddeck, Wagmatcook, Port Hawksbury

We packed up our stuff and left Mira River Provincial park and drove through Sydney to go back and take the 105, which drove us down past Baddeck.

Blooming tree in Baddeck, Nova Scotia

We wanted to souvenir shop and Baddeck has 5 gift shops. We also stopped in various other artsy shops.

We stopped at the tourist information, not so much to get information but because they all have washrooms and they are generally in far better shape then the gas station toilets or the outhouses in some of the provincial parks.  Most big enough towns I've been to in most of the Canadian provinces I've travelled in have tourist information. I've seen them in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, & Nova Scotia.  I'm sure I've seen one or two even in PEI.  Usually signalled by a large ? on a brown sign, with arrows to show where it's located.  Also good place to get free maps and find out what's around the town you just stopped in

We also stopped at the RedBarn gift shop at the cross roads of the Cabot trail, and we left the Cabot trail for good.

Wagmatcook giftshop in Nova Scotia

We also stopped in Wagmatcook in a gift shop to get Micmac souvenirs.  I found this dream catcher type piece of art really interesting.

Artwork in Wagmatcook gift ship.

 Our last stop before leaving Cape Breton was our beginning point, Port Hawksbury. We stopped at the Canadian tire to pick up a part for my Coleman propane stove. Which I found no problem. Would you believe I know the layout of the Port Hawksbury Canadian Tire?

MacPuffin Motel in Port Hawksbury, Cape Breton
Driving out of Nova Scotia and into new Brunswick we saw many different sunsets. Most of the photos I took are filled with bugs on the windshield. Despite having scrubbed the windshield an hour or two earlier when we last gassed up.

Border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick at Dusk.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 10, 11, 12 - Mira River Provincial Park

We didn't spend that much time in the park because during the day and as long as it was warm, it was filled with mosquitoes and black flies.

Panoramic view of Mira River, from Mira River Provincial Park

The first night we went to shower in the new bathrooms, the one they were updating last year.  We did like the idea of the unisex bathroom. Basically a large room with a large shower at one end, a toilet, a baby changing table and a sink.  This way if you are travelling with 2-3 small children, you, your significant other and all the kids can use this one bathroom to cover all your needs. 

What we didn't like was the fact the shower was way too hot and with no way to adjust it... well it was way too hot. You don't want to stay under it and rinse.   I'm not against gadgets but this idea of the human will not adjust,  will mean people get water that's too cold or too warm...  not everyone likes their water at the same temperature.

Campsite 141 in Mira River Provincial Park

The 2nd night, that bathroom complex was closed for repairs. Hopefully they adjusted the water from scalding to acceptable.   The bathroom available was in an area that is  under renovations, to make it available to camper-trailers but they had added a path to make it findable. It was closer to our campsites, and the showers, while not new, were a good temperature and acceptable.

Blue Jay in Mira River Provincial Park
It was a quiet campsite, and I had wifi at the bathrooms. At our campsite the wifi was come and go.

Day 12 - St Peters & Isle Madame

Mira River seen from Mira River Provincial Park Campsite.

We drove from Mira River Provincial park following Bras d'Or lake road, down to St Peters. Passed next to Battery provincial park.  Ate a a chip wagon.

Chubby's Lunch in St Peters, Cape Breton

Wandered around Isle Madame. Walked on the shore several places where there was parking and easy access to the shore.

Lighthouse on an island part of Isle Madame

Saw a nest of Ospreys on a light post in front of this church which faces the pier.

Eglise St Joseph on Isle Madame

 We talked to a lobster fisherman that we met at the NSLC in  another part of Isle Madame. This was the place where he and his friend docked.

Lobster pound and pier in Isle Madame.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Day 11 - Louisbourg and area

Saw the old fortress from distance.

Louisbourg Fortress

Saw the current town it's one of the bigger ports we saw, but we didn't go to the port of Sydney.

Louisbourg Harbour

Went to the lighthouse and took photos, walked the harbour both commercial and pleasure.

Louisbourg Lighthouse

We had dinner at Lobster Kettle after spending half of the day looking for it. Was just a bit past the main pier where we had been.

Lobster from Lobster Kettle Restaurant in Louisbourg

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Day 10 - Mira River Provincial Park

We expected Mira River Provincial Park to have a functional laundromat but sadly because they had just opened a day or 2 before their laundromat was not yet opened. Much like the bathrooms, showers and laundromat at Meat Cove.

Mira River seen from our campsite, Mira River Provincial Park
 So we went looking for a laundromat. We stopped at the XTR in Albert Bridge, to ask where the nearest laundromat was and she sent us to Louisbourg. We had no problems finding it.

The most amusing thing is that at some point we realized the woman washing clothes at the same time as us was a German tourist travelling with her husband in a Canadream winabego, and had been at the same place as us in Corney brooke and Meat Cove. It amused us to no end to realize that we met in a laudromat in Louisbourg.

We went looking around Louisbourg for a decent grocery store and were told to go back to Sydney. So we ended up at the Atlantic Superstore in Sydney River, we also stopped at the McD's that was there and the NSLC, just because it was there.

Newfoundland Screech.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Day 9 - Neils Harbour, Wreck Cove, Ingonish Beach

Neils Harbour, Nova Scotia
Our first stop after leaving Meat Cove was Neil's Harbour. It's a quaint town on the North east side of Cape Breton and is scenic.  The multiple coloured fishing boats always lighten up a photo taken under grey clouds or even rain.

We stopped at a few lookouts on the Cabot Trail, and also at Broadcove campsite, so I could show my friends the beach there, it's pretty. 

Ingonish Beach

'Then we stopped again at Ingonish Beach and walked the beach for beachglass. 

Wreck Cove, Nova Scotia

We stopped at Wreck cove to walk the beach there, which is not sand but pretty much all round rocks. By then we realized it was getting late in the day and used the GPS to head to Mira River. It decided it was faster to go by the Ferry in Englishtown, so we took this tiny ferry.

Lobster Roll with Gluten free bread at Cedar House Restaurant
As we're driving down the 105 towards Sydney we were all peckish and I notice a bakery restaurant, called the "Cedar House" in Boularderie.  We knew it was going to be good as the parking lot was full and it wasn't even 5pm. We had to wait a good 10 minutes to be seated and it would have been worse if we had gotten there at 5:30 for instance.  The lobster roll was delicious and I got it on gluten free bread!!!!

You know you're in suburbs of Sydney, NS when you see this

We drove through Sydney  passing by the iconic "Lick-A-Chick. We also passed by an exit for "Balls Creek" but sadly camera did not catch it . We drove past all of it and went to Mira River Provincial Park. It's a good thing I remember how to get there, as there were zero signs indicating it was going to be there.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Day 8 - Meat Cove

There was fog so the tent was wet in the morning, but not sure it rained. When I opened my tent I had company.

Horses like grazing with a view, at Meat Cove.
We spent most of the day on the beach walking back and forth. it was very peaceful

We camped on top of the hill at Meat Cove

Thursday, June 05, 2014


Meatcove campsite is epic

Day 7 - Cape Breton Highlands National park and driving to Meatcove

We had rain and then drizzle from 9 till we left Corney Brooke. We stopped at the Bog but sadly it rained during our walk through the bog.  We could have gone to a few trails through the park like walking to Benji;s lake and several other trails but on the French Plateau it was pissing with rain. As we moved towards Pleasant bay there was a lot of fog so half of the photos at the random lookouts are full of fog.

Hummingbird in pleasant bay
We stopped at Pleasant bay to eat at this restaurant I went to last year that has wifi and some hummingbird feeders. It's also a motel, and has a small giftshop. Food is always good. But their cola's were expensive.

We stopped at the beach in Pleasant Bay and spent an hour or two on the beach. I enjoy walking on beaches I find it really zen.

Pleasant Bay Harbour
After leaving Pleasant Bay we drove all the way to Meat Cove, the north most point you can get to by car on Cape Breton.

Meat Cove beach at dusk

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Day 6 - Inverness, Cheticamp, West Lake Ainslie

It's our 6th day and so far we have gotten nothing but sunshine!  This is impressive. We arrived at Corney Brooke and it was a bit windy. I was afraid perhaps it would break another tent but the wind wasn't as strong and it weakened at dusk.

I woke up and wandered on the beach for an hour or so. It's just so peaceful here. I loved this spot when I came last year despite the fact it had destroyed our tent!

Delicious Aspy Bay Mussels
 We went to drive through ChetiCamp and along the coast all the way to Inverness. Along the way we stopped at a restaurant by the sea, that offered some awesome seafood.

We stopped at the beach, walked down the board walk and walked the beach for about 2 hours looking for beach glass.

Margaree area view from Cabot Trail
We also drove along a road on the other side of lake Ainslee coming back from Inverness. We stopped at various spots to take photos along the coast.

Posing in front of a Gift Shop in Cheticamp.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Day 5 - We drive to Cape Breton

I'm still chugging Buckleys for my flu and cough and it's getting harder. The stuff is really gross, but it does work. I don't seem to be developing bronchitis.

We pose besides the Iconic welcome to Nova Scotia sign
We left Fundy National park today and drove towards Nova Scotia. We got there by 1pm and continued driving  I got so emotional when we crossed the bridge over the Canso causeway.

The Bridge over the Canso Causeway. 

We stopped in Port Hawksbury to eat at the Fleur de Lis, a local restaurant in the mall across from the Canadian tire. We also stopped in Canadian Tire to pick up more propane and fuel for my friends stove.

We also stopped at Sobeys and bought some food before taking the road towards Cheticamp. Luck would have it that I chose to take fastest route and that  was the road along the east side of Lake Ainslie. The lake is big and does not seem to have tons of homes on it.

We made it to Cheticamp, and continued driving to Corney Brooke. The campsite on the side of the Ocean that had destroyed my tent the year before.

View from Corney Brook campsite
Just before we  got to Corney brook, while driving on the Cabot trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park, we saw a mama moose with her baby moose. Sadly they ran into the bush so fast 3 photographers were not fast enough to point and shoot!