Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bad Choices

It's that time of the week again when I am playing catch up. It's been a busy one for sure. I had Monday off but even so the rest of the week was insanely busy. 

After my last update, I was too tired to go very far at the weekend after all the travelling we did in New England, so Rachael and I stuck to more local locations for a photo outing on Saturday. We headed around the Peggy's Cove Loop in the afternoon in order to catch the sunset at Peggy's Cove, sadly our plans were somewhat thawted by some unexpected fog rolling in as the sun set.

On Wednesday this week I finally took charge of myself and went off to see a dietician. I have to say she was great. It's all about baby steps for the time being, but I will slowly be making some better, healthier choices and less of the bad choices I make all the time. Since seeing her I have been eating smaller amounts of healthy foods and cutting out things like root beer (booo hooo) and chocolate milk which I am very partial to. My lunch at work now consists of a sandwich, with a yoghurt and some healthy snacks, like an egg, nuts and veggies with a small light dip to eat throughout the day. I am hoping in time I will be able to gain control of my weight, but she and I both know it won't be easy.

Friday I had a blood test done to test me for just about everything. I have to say this makes me very nervous. I am worried about what affect my crappy diet has had on me.

On to more happier things and Rachael and I went out again yesterday the weather was gorgeous (as it is today as well). We didn't intend to shoot waterfalls, but ended up doing so at Truro and then at Wentworth Falls. In the evening Rob and I went to a local fair...Not to ride the rides, but for me to try out some fairground shots. I was pretty pleased with the initial results but hope to have another stab at it later tonight. Anne and Smiffy are coming round later and for tonight the healthy eating plan is going out of the window as we are having Chinese (although I will be eating a smaller amount than normal!).

Rob has an early start tomorrow even though he isn't working as he has a blood test in the morning and then has to take Hamish off to the vets to get his teeth cleaned and most likely removed...poor old chap...Hamish, not Rob! Rob starts his new job on Tuesday.

Until next time I will leave you with more images from New England.

Taftsville Covered Bridge, Woodstock Vermont

Corea Harbor, Maine

Vermont State House

Mount Desert Island, Maine

Friday, September 20, 2013

Time in New England

Hello there, it seems ages since I updated the blog so I thought I would make a concerted effort before Sunday to bring you up to speed.

Firstly I have big news...Rob has got a new job. He went for an informal interview before we left for our road trip to New England. While we were away he got an email offering the position and he starts on October 1st. It means more money for him which is great, but he also gets his own van, and the area he will be covering will be more central. As far as the long hours and being on call, we won't know too much about that until he gets started. He is pleased and I am thrilled for him as I really think he was quite put upon in his current role and for very little money.

Now, the road trip...What a superb time we had, so much amazing scenery to take in. I think it's fair to say I am quite smitten with New England and cannot wait to go back. It took us around 8 hours to drive to Bangor in Maine where we stopped for the night. We certainly didn't hurry and I think that was a plus when it came to crossing over the border at Calais, New Brunswick, as I believe it can get pretty busy, however by the time we crossed there was no one there. We got or visa waivers from the office, paid a very small fee of about 6 dollars and across we went.

After spending the night in Bangor we headed on and drove around 5 hours to our main base for most of the week which was a town called Barre near Montpelier (the capital of Vermont) located in central Vermont. I lucked in and found a fantastic Inn there which had the biggest rooms, complete with kitchen area, iron/ironing board and a huge bathroom. The rooms were well appointed and the price was amazing at $65.00 per night. I do think the rate varies depending on the time of year, but I would definitely go back there again. It was so peaceful.

In total we spent 4 nights there and drove out everyday on routes that myself and Rob had already planned which covered many scenic areas and a huge amount of covered bridges. In total we pretty much covered all of central and northern Vermont. The next time I go back I want to do the southern parts and work my way across more of New Hampshire and Southern Maine.

Barre in Vermont is home to the the 'Rock of Ages' Quarry, the largest and I believe deepest Granite Quarry in the world. We took the tour and found it very interesting. The Rock of Ages quarry is the second most popular tourist attraction in Vermont, second only to Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Tour.....Which we didn't do as it looked a bit naff. We did however visit a Cold Hollow Cider Mill which produces non alcoholic cider. Great little place, the gift shop alone is worth the visit. They make and sell cider donuts, which are pretty damn tasty.

Our last full day driving around in Vermont was extremely hot. The temperature reached over 90 degrees and the humidity was shocking. This, it turned out was the beginning of the tropical storm that was about to hit. As we drove back later from Burlington to Barre the sky got darker and darker and we could see a lot of fork lightning. Now if you don't already know this, I have an extreme phobia of storms and this was not good for me. I was getting incredibly panicky and kept making Rob drive in the opposite direction, I think I nearly drove him insane, until we finally got back to the safety of the inn. The next morning the weather was beautiful, we headed off into New Hampshire along the Kancamagus Highway. What was to have been a relatively short 3 hour drive from Barre to Portland, Maine, turned into a stop and go session as this particular stretch of highway takes you though the White mountains and some spectacular scenery. Waterfalls, mountains, covered bridges, Gorgeous!

As we finally got nearer to Portland, once again the skies turned dark. We had to get to a camera store where I had pre-ordered a wide angle lens for my camera. We were only in the store around 15 minutes and when we came out the sky looked like Armageddon, thunder and lightning was crashing down around us and the rain was unbelievable. I was so terrified I was nearly sick. Poor Rob had to try and navigate to the hotel which was about 3 miles from the store in what can only be described as a wall of rain whilst I covered my face with a coat so I couldn't see the lightning. It was so close to us, far worse than the storm in Vermont. I can laugh about the situation now, but I am not sure Rob ever!

The next day the weather was gloomy but it cleared up pretty quickly thankfully as I was desperate to get out to Portland Head Lighthouse and take some photos. Such a beautiful and iconic lighthouse.
After spending time there we headed on our way back to Bangor where we were stopping for the second time, we got there late again...and it was raining hard once again! The next morning the weather was finally back to normal, the sun was shining and we made the most of our time and went to Acadia National Park, visiting Bar Harbor and some other scenic spots including another iconic lighthouse at Bass Harbor.  We then wound our way up the coast of Maine, passing through some very pretty towns and stopping at one more lighthouse in Prospect before crossing back over the border into New Brunswick where we stayed overnight at St Johns before driving back home early last Sunday morning.

All in all we cranked up just over 3000 miles in little over a week. I am still editing images, and hope to share a few here over the next week or two before I get distracted by Fall Colours.

Besides the scenery there were a couple of things that took a bit of getting used to...traveling in miles again instead of kilometers, I swear psychologically it took us longer to get places in miles! And of course the other thing you notice is the huge difference in sales taxes and prices, the taxes are far lower there than here, in New Hampshire there is no sales tax at all. The tax rate in NS sucks and prices are way too high! We paid around $13.00 in Maine for 18 bottles of Bud Light, you can pretty much triple that if you bought the same here.

The cats were glad to see us and have been ultra affectionate since our return. Shakespeare immediately got in the luggage as much to say, next time I am going with you!

An A'Tract'ive Display, Maine

Jenne Farm, Vermont

Martin Bridge, Vermont

Sabbaday Falls, New Hampshire

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labour Day Weekend

Yes it's a long weekend here and even longer for me as I have Tuesday off as well....Hooray. I don't really have any news this week, the weekend has been a total washout.

Rob and I took the cats for their annual check ups and jabs on Saturday morning. Shakespeare was as good as gold (the girls love him to pieces there). Hamish proved a little more tricky. He was so well behaved whilst sitting and waiting on a chair for his turn on the table, but as soon as the examination was under way, he started voicing his displeasure. In the end it took two of them and Hamish wrapped up in a towel to get the job done. His teeth (what's left of them) are in a state and he needs to have them cleaned. We had a blood sample taken and they are first going to make sure he is fit and well to go under the anaesthetic before proceeding. All in all with the blood test, the jabs, consultation fee, ointment for Hamish's sore eye, and other sundries, the bill came to over $400....!!!!! Kids eh? Who'd have em :o)

Rachael and I went out on Sunday to try and an find some new abandoned places, but the weather was so bad with torrential rain, thunder and lightening (which freaked me out), that the cameras didn't even come out of the bags once. All we achieved was driving a very long way for lunch!

Today the weather had been pretty crappy again, not that I saw much of it as I slept most of the day away.
With the camera clubs I belong to starting up once again this week, I have spent most of this evening trying to sort out various images for different themes and submissions.

Revelation of the week: I have started watching Homeland....OMG how good is that series! Such a great show, great plot, and characters, keeps me wanting more.

Rob and I will be away from next Saturday for a week, coming back on the following Sunday, so I think it's pretty fair to say this will be the last update for a couple of weeks.

Until then, I will leave you with some recent random images.

More from Abandoned Nova Scotia....Shame about the add on Garage.

Memory Lane Heritage Village

Colourful Chairs at Annapolis Royal looking across
the water to Granville Ferry


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