Towards the end of July, T and I went on a road trip to Nova Scotia. We planned two nights in Bridgewater to visit friends and three nights in Halifax to celebrate our first anniversary and visit more friends.
T and I make a great team. He's the navigator and I'm the driver. We rented a car and off we went (after a mandatory stop at Tim Hortons, of course).
I want to remember that even though I was nervous about driving in new places (I'd only visited Halifax once and never driven there), I did great. (I never used to be nervous about driving, but the combo of only driving once a year + rental car + new place, made me anxious.)
We arrived in Bridgewater late in the afternoon and were so excited to meet Tiffany and Nemanja's new baby girl, Una.
I want to remember that on the first night, I asked Tony if I could have a turn holding Una and he said no. I thought he was joking; he wasn't. So sweet to see my husband so enamoured with his best friend's baby.
We drove to Lunenburg and wandered around the waterfront before eating at a wonderful restaurant that I can't remember the name of now.
I want to remember how easy it was to catch up with our friends, even after a year. I want to remember that I felt so at ease, like releasing a big breath of air, ahhh.
The next morning, I finally got a turn to hold Una.
I want to remember that T was pretty comfortable with the baby, holding her and swinging her.
We visited Rissers Beach and even though it was a bit chilly, we enjoyed walking around. Plus, there was ice cream at the end!
Staying in Bridgewater with our friends and their parents was wonderful start to our vacation. We stayed up late talking, slept in, and just felt so relaxed and at home.
On our way to Halifax, we stopped at Peggy's Cove. I'd never been, so it was new for both Tony and I. I wondered if it would be worth it.
It was. So fun to wander around the big rocks, breathing in salty air, hair being whipped around. For souvenirs, T chose a magnet for our fridge and an ornament for our Christmas tree. (We try to get an ornament for every trip we take together, and T has a magnet collection.)
I want to remember that we laughed and smiled the whole time. I want to remember that we shared a big plate of mussels.
We stayed at the Delta Barrington right downtown in Halifax, which was perfect. We parked the car for the weekend and walked everywhere.
I want to remember that we had to drive around the hotel 3 times before we could find a spot to park, but neither one of us got stressed. I want to remember that after getting back to our hotel room that night, we were surprised with this small cheese plate and card.
We didn't realize that we'd be in Halifax for Pride until the night before we left, but I'm glad we were. It was our first Pride parade, and I was so happy to enjoy it with friends.
It was rainy for part of the afternoon, but then cleared and turned into a sunny day. We had beer and snacks on a patio, ate our first Beavertail, and enjoyed Cows ice cream.
In the evening we met up with Kate, one of my friends from university and talked and talked and talked. We ate at The Wooden Monkey and it was perfect—the food, the atmosphere, the company, even the waiter.
I want to remember sitting on the grass talking to Kate. I want to remember that we arrived at the restaurant just as a thunder and lighting storm started, and we watched the rain from our table by the window.
Our last full day in Halifax was our anniversary and we spent most of it with our friends, Julie and Sammie. We took the ferry to meet them in Dartmouth and then spent the afternoon at their apartment.
Julie's parents came over and we had donairs. Can you believe I'm from the east coast of Canada and had never had a donair?! Delicious!
Sammie and Julie surprised us with chocolate pie and a candle. So sweet!
We all talked and listened to music and watched music videos. Then we played washer toss. I discovered that Tony's pretty good at it, I'm really bad at it, and we both love it.
1 for our first anniversary!
Then we headed to a park and fed ducks! This was a first for Tony and so fun, like being a kid again.
I can't even tell you how fun and relaxed our time in Halifax was, especially this day with our friends. I think this is one of the best things about living abroad. You make friends from all over the world and no matter how much time passes in between visits, you feel at home with them.
Other highlights and things I want to remember:
+ We booked our stay at the Delta on their website instead of through Agoda. I checked it on a whim, and for the same price, we got a deal where breakfast was included each morning. We could order anything off the menu! Steak! Omelet! Homemade strawberry jam!
+ We visited the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and thoroughly enjoyed it. Tony especially found it interesting.
+ We also visited the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. I think this was my favourite museum of the two, because it was interactive and I was experiencing it from the point of view of the wife of a Chinese man who will most likely immigrate to Canada eventually. (Fun fact: We both took a practice version of the citizenship test and neither one of us passed. *embarrassed face emoji*)
Honestly, I don't remember very much. I just remember an overall feeling of "life is good"—always a sign of a great trip.
Edited to add: I want to remember what I shared on Instagram the day after our anniversary:
We had the best day yesterday celebrating our first anniversary—exploring, eating, spending time with friends, feeding ducks. And then right before we were supposed to go out for a lobster dinner, I ended up on the floor in our hotel room, puking into the toilet. T was beside me the whole time, rubbing my back. Instead of enjoying lobster, we spent the evening in bed, watching OITNB. All I could think was, if this isn't exactly what marriage is—good times and bad, sickness and health, ups and downs—I don't know what is. Sure, I would have rather been eating lobster than hugging a toilet bowl, but as long as Tony is with me, I'm golden. It really was the best day celebrating our first year married, puke and all.