I thought I would share some photos of the busy summer we had after returning from Calgary. Our first real summer water experiences were on the Belleisle Bay near the ferry landing. There is a small public beach there — perfect for an evening swim on a hot day.
We had a couple of great afternoons down at the bay before Sheena took the kids to Cape Breton around the second week of July.
After arrving in Cape Breton they continued the beach-cation experiences, which would continue for a month! The daily schedule usually was: morning of prepping for the evening (supper), lunch and a visit with Grampa at the store, then to the beach for the afternoon and ice cream from the nearby ice cream shop. (4 hours at the beach earns 1 ice cream!). The kids certainly made the most of the nice weather we had. I was able to join them on the third week of July. I brought the double kayak and Willow in the Yaris for the six hour trip to Cape Breton — which was an experience in itself!
A few days later, I took the girls on a kayak around Mabou toward the Harbour. They had fun pulling seaweed from the water and collecting it in the boat.
We stopped for lunch on a little peninsula in the harbour. The girls walked around and explored the beach before we had our lunch.
We headed to the Port Hood beach on another day with our cousins. It was a ball watching all the (third) cousins playing together and all the first cousins resting and chatting on the beach. Rebecca ended up picking up a squid during one afternoon. This photo is just after the squid tried to get away and emptied all its ink at the kids! Rebecca really will pick up anything.
On an evening with Willow, I headed up the Southwest Mabou River from the wharf. Willow prefers to swim most times. It makes for a bit slower going, but she really enjoys the water.
The return trip made for some perfect lighting. It was right around this point (after about an hour and a half) that Willow decided to come aboard. It was at that point how I learned that paddling a double kayak with a roaming dog in the back is a challenge not to swamp the boat!
The sunset was amazing.
Here we are on another beach trip, this time to Mabou Beach on a scorcher of a day. It was beautiful. The kids spent their time in the sand (as you can see) and made their castles, moats and then washed off in the waves.
Rebecca had to have her mud bath first before doing any swimming. It really was neat just to see the kids play on their own.
After one of our beach days, I decided to try the kids out with an evening in the tent in Mom and Dad's backyard. It was 'an experience' to say the least. Rebecca left for the house around 9pm, but Abigail stayed most of the night! Being their first tent-out, it was a good experiment.
In our mornings before heading to the beach, we also went to visit Nana or 'Great Nana' to the kids. At 93, Nana is doing well and continues to crotcheting her afghan blankets – making for conversation during the visits. Here she is with her 129th blanket, just after watching my Mom try a few sections. She is usually able to make one every 2-3 weeks, sometimes quicker and loves thinking and talking about the people that she is making them for.
The girls made a day trip to Sydney for shopping. Here they are at East Side Marios getting fancy drinks. They really look old in this picture!
More beach time for the beach bums, this time at Port Hood with more of the cousins. Abby usually carried Rebecca around on her.
Stopping off on the way back from Cape Breton, the girls picked vegies at Sheena's parent's place. I doubt these lasted very long in the bowls!
Sheena's cousin Karen made it back to Belleisle for a couple of days near the end of August. Sheena and her went for a paddle on the Bay one evening. They are double kayak superstars, ressurecting the boat from it's previous status as 'the divorce boat'.
During that same week, Sheena and Karen took the kids to Fundy National Park for another camping trip. The girls got a real camping experience with playgrounds, campsites, picnic tables and of course, a great big tent to sleep in. They came back to tell me all about the friends they made in the campground. Sheena said it was very neat to hear them running around all day and night until well after dark, chasing each other and other kids with flashlights, only to crash hard for a good night's sleep.
The absolute hit of the trip was Karen's invention of icecream waffle cones, banana slices, chocolate and marshmallows. To make the treat, wrap it in tinfoil and toss it on some hot fire coals. Makes for a delicious treat.
One of Rebecca's classic jumping photos from their time at Fundy Park. Lots of fun to be had.