Where My Shoes Have Taken Me – Apple Picking in the Annapolis Valley

Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent family weekend resulted in us going to Windsor, Nova Scotia for some apple picking. We don’t get together with all three kids too often, so we wanted to take advantage of the situation.

Apple Picking 1
I took a moment once I got out of the car to take a quick pic of my SKECHERS. These are the Men’s Relaxed Fit: Blais-Telen. Without a shadow of a doubt, they are the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever owned. The great thing about them is that I feel as good wearing them with pants as I am with wearing them with shorts.
So we wanted to pick some Honeycrisp apples, as they are our favourite type of apple, by far. We ended up at Mason's Apples, located in Windsor, Nova Scotia. This was a massive orchard with multiple types of apples to choose from. And to top it off, it was a gorgeous day...it was just awesome!
So we wanted to pick some Honeycrisp apples, as they are our favourite type of apple, by far. We ended up at Mason’s Apples, located in Windsor, Nova Scotia. This was a massive orchard with multiple types of apples to choose from. And to top it off, it was a gorgeous day…it was just awesome!
I've seen some beautiful apples in my life, but there were some unbelievably red apples to choose from on this day. The orchard was very busy, but we were able to find a pretty good spot all to ourselves.
I’ve seen some beautiful apples in my life, but there were some unbelievably red apples to choose from on this day. The orchard was very busy, but we were able to find a pretty good spot all to ourselves.
It's not often that you get to really enjoy some perfectly ripe apples at a U-Pick. By the time I usually get to one of these, most of the best apples are already taken. Thankfully, that wasn't the case on this day.
It’s not often that you get to really enjoy some perfectly ripe apples at a U-Pick. By the time I usually get to one of these, most of the best apples are already taken. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case on this day.
The kids were even able to grab a small ladder and pick from the top of some of the trees, which is where the best apples were located. They each got to pick apples on their own and everybody got their turn climbing the ladder. We definitely had some happy campers on this day.
The kids were even able to grab a small ladder and pick from the top of some of the trees, which is where the best apples were located. They each got to pick apples on their own and everybody got their turn climbing the ladder. We definitely had some happy campers on this day.
Sunshine was pretty happy with her haul...
Sunshine was pretty happy with her haul…
...as was I!!
…as was I!!
We had a great time, though sometimes I think the parents end up having more fun than the kids do.
We had a great time, though sometimes I think the parents end up having more fun than the kids do.
So when all was said and done, we had two ten-pound bags full of fresh, ripe Honeycrisp apples. But in addition to that, we had spent some memorable time together as a family. And when all is said and done, that's the main reason we went there to begin with.
So when all was said and done, we had two ten-pound bags full of fresh, ripe Honeycrisp apples. But in addition to that, we had spent some memorable time together as a family. And when all is said and done, that’s the main reason we went there to begin with.

Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Earl didn’t really do much along the eastern coast of the United States. It never really hit land and, while at one point a strong Category 4, it didn’t really get a chance to do much damage.

On Saturday morning, Earl made landfall in Nova Scotia.  As you can see from the blip below, it pretty much went straight through Halifax…which is where we were.

By the time it hit Nova Scotia, it was a Category 1.  However, it had been “down-graded” to a powerful tropical storm by the time it reached Halifax.

Having said that, the winds were sustained at over 70km/h (40 mph) with gusts reaching over 120km/h (75 mph).

Sunshine and I actually went out to breakfast that morning when the outer reaches of the storm were hitting the city.  The rain was incredible and the wind was powerful (gusts up to 75km/h at the time).  When we got back home, we decided to just take a couple of pics to document the fact that we were actually in the storm to begin with…

Hurricane Earl...we fear you! (kinda)
You can't really tell with this picture, but the rain and wind was pretty darn bad at this point. I know...I look like a goof.

At this point (around 10am or so) we went inside.  It wasn’t too much longer after these pictures were taken that the power went out.  And y’know, what’s a couple of kids in love to do when the power goes out in a hurricane?

Heh…

The storm was a fast-mover and the skies began to clear up by mid-afternoon.  We decided to drive around the city to see if there was any damage anywhere.

This is what we saw…

This was literally one street over from us.
And this tree was literally TWO streets over from us.

While there wasn’t any real damage to buildings that we could see, there was a LOT of debris and trees and branches down all over the city.  What was really eerie, though, was that driving around Halifax we noticed that almost the entire city was without power.  And because the sun was out and the day turned out to be quite nice, people were walking along the streets in droves.  It was really a very odd scene.

We found a section of the city that did have power, picked up a couple of things to eat for supper, and then head back to Sunshine’s place for the night.  The power came back on at 11:30pm…not too shabby…and the rest of the weekend was spent as if nothing had ever happened (although we heard the chainsaws cutting up those downed trees last night).

There are still a few hundred people in Nova Scotia without power as of 7am on Monday morning, but we both know that things could have been a LOT worse, so we’re quite thankful for that.

Sunshine’s gift list

As I mentioned on Friday, I got 36 small gifts for Sunshine’s 36th birthday.  For those interested, here is the list of items I got her…

  1. “The World” – As per my “birthday blog post”, I wish I could give Sunshine the world…and that pic was as close as I’m gonna get at the moment.
  2. Morning radio show request – Sunshine always listen to Kool FM, and Fridays have their “all-request mornings”.  So as soon as I saw Sunshine submitting a birthday request, I simply HAD to submit one right behind her.  It was funny, too…because the DJ’s were saying it was her birthday but then said that they weren’t playing her request.  Her face was priceless…lol. They then read my email on the air (it was predictably lovey-dovey) and played MY request for her, “I think we’re alone now” by Tiffany. It was a GREAT way to start the morning…as it was me, Sunshine, and her two girls all enjoying the song together.
  3. Tea & tea mug – I picked up about a dozen different types of tea and put them into one of the mugs she uses when she comes to visit me.  I figured this way she’ll have a part of my house there with her.  Cheesy, I know.
  4. Hot chocolate, mug, & marshmallows – Again, I included one of my own mugs.  Same reason as above.
  5. Birthday card with hand-written love note – The love note was actually a poem I found online and immediately thought it was awesome.  I’m hoping that she likes it.
  6. Fresh rain” scented candle – It’s always been a secret fantasy for both of us to make love in the warm summer rain.  Well, we haven’t done that yet but hopefully this candle will allow us to do the next best thing.  🙂
  7. Toy for her cat – Sunshine’s cat’s name is Bones and I figured he should be able to get something out of all this.
  8. Toys for her girls – I picked up some games from Wendy’s over the past couple of weeks.  I haven’t opened them up so I don’t know what they’re like, but I’ve got Clue, Pictureka, & Twister.  Hopefully they’ll enjoy them.
  9. Mary Kay hand cream – I told my parents about this birthday present plan when visiting with Ankle  Biter last weekend.  Mom thought it was cute and couldn’t wait to offer some help.  She had just won a basket of Mary Kay products and wasn’t going to use them all, so she gave a few to me to give to Sunshine.  And yes…I decided to wrap them individually and have them count towards the overall total.  Heh.
  10. Mary Kay moisture lotion
  11. Mary Kay makeup remover
  12. Mary Kay hand cream (fragrance)
  13. Mary Kay night cream
  14. Mary Kay replenishing serum
  15. I am here!” postcard – This is a postcard that shows New Brunswick and has an arrow pointing to it exclaiming “I am here!”. I decided to be a smart-ass (I know…SHOCKER) and wrote “Wish you were, too!” on the back.
  16. Hopewell Rocks” postcard – This is a pretty famous local tourist attraction that Sunshine wanted to go see last year but we never went.  This summer we’re definitely going.
  17. *US* 2010 mini photo album – We take pictures ALL the time.  I just picked up a cute little 24-picture photo album and put in about 18 pics of us from this year so far.  The point being that we’ll easily complete the album and it’ll just be about her and I…US.
  18. “Couple Coupons” – She gave me a coupon book for Christmas and I figured I would return the favor.  Things like a 30-minute neck rub and a movie of her choice are included.
  19. 36 reasons why I love you…” jar – I wrote down 36 reasons on 36 colored index cards and placed them into a jar.
  20. Royal Lepage stainleess steel water mug – Heh…this one came from my dad, who also wanted to contribute to the cause.
  21. Toothpaste – I just happened to have a spare tube lying around. Just something she can either use at her place or give back to me to keep at my place for her.
  22. Small pewter/glass jar – Not sure what she can do with this, but it looks like a perfume bottle.  It’s pewter and glass and comes from Seagull Pewter.
  23. Pewter earrings – Another item from Seagull.  I don’t know if she’ll like them or not, but I thought pewter jewelery was a bit different.
  24. Personalized CD – I put together some songs on a disc I called, “I think of you when I hear…” that I’m hoping she likes.
  25. Teddy bear – I’ve had this in my closet for awhile and I don’t remember where it came from.  I thought I got it from my daughter, but I can’t remember for sure. It’s a pink teddy bear with a heart on it so I figued there was no better person to give it to than Sunshine.
  26. Bath bombs – I got a string of “bath bombs” from a friend at work who wanted to contribute when she heard about my gift idea.
  27. Shower gel – The same friend donated some shower gel, as well.
  28. Mascara – Another friend from work donated some mascara after hearing about the idea (yeah…my co-workers are pretty awesome).
  29. Bottle of red wine – Yet another friend at work makes her own wine and I bought a bottle from her in the hopes that it’s to Sunshine’s liking.
  30. Blank recipe container with index cards – Sometimes we sit around and wonder what we’re going to eat when we’re together. I thought it would be cute to start keeping track of our favorite meals and maybe create some new favorites together.
  31. PC Organics chocolate bar – Sunshine loves a good organic chocolate bar. I know dark chocolate is her favorite, but the local store didn’t have any so I got her a milk chocolate bar.  Hopefully she enjoys it all the same.
  32. Movie pass – I used some Air Miles and picked up a movie pass that I was originally going to use myself, but figured it’d be much better used on Sunshine.
  33. Crossword puzzle book – Just something cute to keep her entertained.
  34. Fall From Grace by L.R. Wright – I went to the local 2nd-hand bookstore and picked up this novel because it was written by a Canadian author.
  35. Such Is My Beloved by Morley Callaghan – Same as above.
  36. Laptop case – I had a spare laptop case from work and she needed a case for her laptop…so there ya go.