Friday, 15 August 2008

Happy Holidays!

Sadly, our family summer vacation is winding down. We recently returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Bay of Chaleur in Northern New Brunswick. I spent my summers growing up on these shores and I’m thrilled my little ones are able to share in this experience.

Traditionally, we spend our holiday lounging on the beach, enjoying the lazy days of summer. This year’s uncooperative weather presented us with an opportunity to explore the region, gaining a deeper love and appreciation of its magnificent natural beauty and rich Acadian Heritage.

Although our home base was Youghall Beach in Bathurst, New Brunswick, we ventured on several day trips and expeditions. The New Brunswick Aquarium and Marine Centre in Shippigan was a hit with Chi-Chi and Muffy. They spent most of the time squealing with the seals and delighting in the creatures in the touch tank.

We traveled back in time during our visit to the Village Historique Acadien where we tasted a slice of the life experienced by the early French settlers of the region. A visit to the village is an antique lovers dream and I left feeling inspired to incorporate a simpler back-to-basics approach to life. I’m already drawing up plans for my chicken coop!

Our waistlines all suffered upon the discovery of a gem of a French bakery in Caraquet, Boulangerie Artisanale Grains de Folie . We gorged ourselves on fresh bread and pastries during our numerous visits.

We visited the inspiring studio and workshop of Andrew Ellis and admired his uniquely interesting and natural wood creations.  

Hands down, our favorite vacation pastime was treasure hunting! We spent hours beach combing the shores for sea glass. These ocean gems, worn by the sea and sand are truly treasures. Each one is unique and beautiful in its simplicity. A lover of the past, I’m drawn to the history behind these tiny treasures. As I caressed each smooth piece in my palm, I daydreamed about its origin and the journey it traveled to reach me. It turned out my mother had the keenest eye and found a very rare red piece as well as a pale yellow one. Hubby discovered an uncommon black piece. Even my father, who claimed he was bored about ten minutes into the hunt, set his sights on a shard of blue. I’m lovingly displaying my little gems in a set of antique milk bottles just above the kitchen sink. These pretty mementos will serve as a daily reminder to all of us of the wonderful vacation and the rich experiences we encountered.

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