Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Port Lorne, Nova Scotia

We had a wonderful visit in Port Lorne, Nova Scotia, Friday through Monday morning, with our friends, Milly and Steve.  We've known them since we moved to the mountains 7 years ago, as they live in Ellijay and go to the same church as we do in Cherry Log.  They also have been--and continue to be--some of the most stalwart volunteers for The Craddock Center, where Trisha was the Director until she retired last year.  They are such sweet folks, and two of the most caring and giving people you could ever hope to meet, and they are just the kind of folks it's fun to be with.  They bought this absolutely gorgeous place on the shores of the Bay of Fundy a number of years ago and come up here in the summers.  They had been vacationing there a while and on one occasion saw this place for sale and just fell in love with it.  We've heard them talk about it for years, and once we've seen it, we could easily see why they love it so.  They've been inviting us to come up for years, and we're glad we could finally make it!

Their place is really hard to describe in all its beauty, character and charm, with a cottage that was built originally sometime in the late 19th century, with some additions since then.  There is a garage and workshop building and then an expansive lawn going down to the shores of the Bay.  We got to meet the man they bought the house from, sweet Stanley, who was born in a house just up the road, and who has lived in Port Lorne his whole life.  When he first bought the place the cottage was really tiny, with no indoor plumbing; he took care of that, and as his family grew, added on.  He and his wife raised their kids there while Stanley worked the Bay as a lobster fisherman.  After his wife died, Stanley was too lonely to stay in the house by himself, so he sold it to Milly and Steve and he now lives with his sister up the road.  Steve and Milly have continued to improve the property, with brightly painted walls and the cutest little upstairs bedroom with a view of the Bay and wonderful cool breezes.  Milly has such an eye for decor and painted the stair risers in beautiful pastel colors--very inviting.  And she always had lots of fresh cut flowers from her garden throughout the house--just a warm and cozy place!

They have become quite involved in the community, helping out with their town hall gatherings and helping to lobby the provincial government for road improvements, etc.  They know everyone in the area, and pointed out who owned which houses, along with the history of each house--many of which, like theirs, have been there for well over 100 years--as they took us around while we were there.  Of course we weren't surprised that they have fit in so well, as they can make anyone feel comfortable, regardless of circumstance, they're just such genuine, good folks.  After seeing their interaction with folks, we started calling them the Mayor and First Lady of Port Lorne!

Friday evening we enjoyed sitting out on their front porch, watching a couple of hares running around their lawn, and being cooled by the wonderful sea air.  After one of Milly's delicious meals, we went down by the shore to watch the sunset.  They have some chairs right at the end of their lawn, which ends at a bit of a cliff dropping down to the rocky beach; a creek runs down the side of their property to the Bay, and Steve said after a rain the creek is roaring like the Colorado River!  It was so peaceful to sit and watch the tide slowly rise as the sun set over the Bay--just magical!

Saturday morning they took us to Annapolis Royal for the market and what a glorious time we had!  Another bayside town, Annapolis Royal was originally the capital of Nova Scotia, and is such a quaint, beautiful place now.  We loved the brightly painted colors of the buildings, the interesting architecture, and the market was just fantastic.  In addition to a lovely farmers market, there were crafts and artwork and a band playing folks music--just a whole festive atmosphere, with so many people just having a great time on a sunshiny day.  We found fresh veggies, and some of the most wonderful freshly baked bread we've had.  At all of the stands selling baked goods, they had signs listing all the ingredients, so when I saw kamut/sunflower bread that was all vegan, I just had to try it.  I was by myself at that point, so I bought a loaf and sampled it while I was walking around, and it was just so yummy!  Later, after looking at some of the other vendors' wares, I found Milly and Trisha at the same stand and Trisha had just bought the other loaf of kamut bread, without knowing I had bought the same thing!  This really tickled the woman selling it.  So we all munched some yummy bread while walking around the rest of the market.  One of the most fascinating things, though, was listening to the accents of the people.  This part of the country was settled by people from lots of different places, but a significant number came from the Scottish Highlands--after all, Nova Scotia means New Scotland in Latin.  As a result, you can hear lots of Scottish accents from the locals and it was so much fun.

After the market, we went to Bear River, where they introduced us to a lovely shop called Flight of Fancy, with an eclectic mix of artwork and craft items.  We met the owner, who came from London years ago.  Outside, along the banks of the river, they were having a lively "washer toss" tournament--sorta like horseshoes, but with big metal washers, aiming for boxes where a horseshoe post would be.  Basically, it looked like just an excuse for the locals to come together to drink beer and have fun! Drove to Digby for a lovely waterfront dinner of scallops, for which Digby is famous.

Sunday morning we had a leisurely breakfast and then Stanley came to visit.  He was a lobster fisherman for over 50 years, first learning the trade from his grandfather when he was a kid.  He is such an interesting man, and we learned so much from him about lobstering and the history of the area.  Steve and Milly have been so kind to him and he likes to come down to their cottage and just sit and talk from time to time.  He loved that we were so interested in learning about lobstering, and he told us so much about how it used to be when he started, how it changed over the years.  As you might expect from someone of his age, he was not too pleased with some of the development over the years, e.g., when health concerns led to the discontinuation of lead paint, telling us that the new paint would wear off their buoys much more quickly.  We were so happy to meet him and it was fun to watch how he loves to tease Steve--just a delight for us!

Later we hiked along the beach, Trisha adding to her rock collection, as well as finding some interesting beach glass washed up by the tides.  They showed us the wharf where the lobstermen have their boats--now just two fishermen left--that was damaged by hurricanes since last year; we saw their  little community hall, and had a great hike.  After we got back, Stanley came by again to show us his scrapbook of pictures that pretty much told his life story, including pictures of his wife and kids, now grandkids and two great-grandchildren.  The pictures of him with his wife were so sweet, and to listen to him talk about her was very touching.  He also had a picture of a 19 pound lobster he caught once!  That evening we sat out on their chairs by the Bay and watched another gorgeous sunset--the best one of the time we were there.  Monday morning before we left, another neighbor, Dean, came by to visit.  He can trace his ancestry to folks that came over on the Mayflower and it was so interesting to listen to his description of the local history.  He has written a couple of books about it and has done tons of research.  He, like Stanley, is 82, and is just so interesting, and so willing to share his knowledge.  As we were getting ready to leave, Stanley came by again, as he was quite interested in the RV, how it worked, and wanted to see how we hooked up the car and all.  Just a super, super time we had, and so grateful to Milly and Steve!

Milly and Steve's cottage
 Their garage/workshop
 One of the two hares that frolic in their lawn most every day

 Looking down at the bay, past the workshop
 Here you can see their yard art, created from driftwood and buoys washed up from the bay, and the chairs down by the edge, for watching the sunset

 I just love this solitary tree, against the background of the Bay of Fundy

 Milly found this netting washed up on the shore, and collected all these lobster trap buoys and made the back wall of the workshop so cute!
 Look at her lovely flowers!
 One morning, we caught a glimpse of Mr. Skunk running across their lawn--we could see evidence of his digging holes in the ground, looking for worms known as "leatherbacks"
 First night sunset
 Steve gave Sophie this big stick to chew on--she was so funny trying to drag it around!
 Milly and Jack on Saturday morning
 Mr. Hare, trying to be inconspicuous by the garden!
 They painted the dining room a beautiful peach color, and the kitchen cabinets in the second pic sea foam green--all just brought to life with the lovely flowers she always had on the tables!

 Market at Annapolis Royal

 Some of the most incredible carved bowls from huge burls I've ever seen

 Colorful flower boxes on this bank building from 1884, across the street from the market

 Pedicab turned into a flower display
 In this store called Far Fetched, they introduced us to the owners, who travel all over Asia to find unique furniture and artwork.  Here, the owner had us put this big Tibetan singing bowl over our heads while he struck it with a mallet--it was the most amazing experience!  You could feel the vibrations just flowing all down through your body--was so relaxing I felt like I was going to fall asleep!

 Love the beauty of this hibiscus above and the quote from Picasso below
 Fort Anne, in Annapolis Royal
 Looking across the harbor from the fort

 These are some of the beautifully colored houses in the town, surrounding the grounds of the old fort

 Main fort building
 Love this archway
 Flight of Fancy in Bear River

 These buildings along the river are built on stilts to stay above the high tides

 Thought this little building was so cute!
 Inside Flight of Fancy, some beautiful beach stones
 This is carved from a whale bone
 Turning maple seed pods outside a window in the gallery
 Of course any Santa statue always catches my eye!
 Locals in the washer toss tournament--they have this big trophy awarded at the end of the day

 Some of the spectators at the tournament
 View from the outside deck where we had supper in Digby

 Saturday sunset by the Bay

 Hiking down to the beach on Sunday--they put this crow decoy in the tree!

 Coming up to the town wharf
 Stanley built this boat in the workshop when he owned the house; it's now owned by another local fisherman
 The two remaining lobster boats at the Port Lorne wharf
 You can see how the hurricane blew these huge boulders up onto the wharf deck

 Rose hips along the way
 The old lighthouse was replaced by this light and a GPS system--the locals were none too happy when the provincial government just summarily tore down the historical lighthouse and put this up
 Miniature lighthouse yard decoration
 An old railroad switch in the yard of a friend of theirs, who's a railroad buff--of course I had to get this picture!
 These little churches just are so interesting to us!
 And we love the weathered, wood shingled houses that dot the countryside
 View of the "sunset watching chairs" from down on the beach

 Seal Point, on our Sunday hike

 Their town hall, used for meetings, music jams, and other community activities

 Steve feeding Charlie, a horse owned by a neighbor whose house we walked by
 Sunday sunset over the Bay of Fundy--just love saying that!  I've wanted to visit the Bay for so long!

 Sunday morning, Trisha with sweet Stanley--Steve said he was really taken with how much attention Trisha paid him--we just loved meeting him and hearing his stories
 Stanley's not as spry as he used to, has trouble getting up and down stairs often, but he really wanted to see inside the RV, so I got out our other step to make it easier for him.  When he said he thought it would be nice to travel in the RV, Trisha said, "Well, Stanley, you're welcome to come with us when we go to Prince Edward Island."  Stanley replied, "Well, I've been there," with a look that said, why would I ever want to leave Port Lorne, once I've seen PEI!!  So funny!


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, indeed. We're finding all of Nova Scotia we've visited so far to be very beautiful!