Alright, so Halifax isn’t exactly “home”. My sisters and I were born there, but we grew up in Ottawa. Plus, my cats don’t live there, so…not home. That being said, I have roots there; it’s where my Dad lives and where my Mom grew up. Halifax is also home to Pier 21, the same pier that welcomed my Dad and Grandparents when they emigrated from the Netherlands to Canada.
The whole purpose of this extra long weekend in Halifax was to spent time with our Dad for his birthday. Of course, it’s been a very very…very long time since I was in Halifax (my sisters make the trip much more frequently), so I forced everyone else to partake in some touristy activities with me.
After arriving at supper time, we enjoyed a home cooked meal of steak, calamari, scallops, roasted potatoes and fresh salad from the garden. As well as a delicious Caesar cocktail with an extra spicy bean! After dinner, a quick visit to say “Hello!” to the Cow Bay moose…not sure why it’s not the Cow Bay cow, but I just went with it. Tea was made, air mattresses were inflated and sleep was had.
The next morning after a shower and coffee, we piled into the car and drove to the Dartmouth waterfront. First stop…TIBS! My older sister loves a good hipstercoffee joint and while I like to poke fun at her hipster ways, I reluctantly admit that, more often than not, her choices hold true. And so was the case at TIBS (Two If By Sea…a most maritime name). Delicious fresh brewed coffee and the biggest, baddest, flakiest, most luxurious croissant you ever did taste. Chocolate, Almond, Plain, Jalapeno, Honey Brie…the choices are ever changing and never cease to make you go, “OhhhMehGawd! Iths thso gud!” (you know, it’s rude to talk with food with you mouth). TIBS! Go there.
From there, we walked to the ferry to cross the Halifax Narrows from “the Dartmouth side” to “the Halifax side”. A whole $2.50 CAD for a round trip! We had lots of time to explore the harbour and still make it back onto the ferry before the return ticket expired.
And so, we strolled along the boardwalk, checking out the shops and seaside cafes, finding jellyfish along the docks (“I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly!”) and taking a quick rest in the public hammocks.
We found our way to the market and did a quick walk through, inhaling the smells of handmade soap, locally cured meats and fresh roasted coffee. And of course, fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and cheese! Without fail, Dad always runs into someone he knows at the Halifax Market. Lo and behold, we met two friends outside the market and had a quick chat before taking the ferry back to Dartmouth.
No trip to Halifax (or even just Nova Scotia in general) is complete without a trip to Peggy’s Cove. Its one of those places is so fun to walk around and any picture you take is bound to be a gorgeous. And a hot cup of seafood chowder at the Sou’Wester afterwards doesn’t hurt either.
That evening we had birthday dinner reservations at the newly renovated Five Fishermen restaurant. Little did Dad know, about ten of his friends would also be joining us for dinner. A huge surprise for him and a fantastic meal for everyone.
When you’re on the coast, you have to eat as much seafood as you possibly can, especially when you’re coming from a land-locked province. Beautiful as Alberta is, seafood is understandably not their specialty. With that in mind, we had a lobster boil and barbecue the next day!
At the insistence of my younger sister, we found a bar that evening and watched Sidney Crosby play for the Stanley Cup, while sitting in his home town of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The rest of my time here was relaxed, with a final afternoon spent with family on Rainbow Haven Beach, I left with a smile on my face and a lobster in my belly!