Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Nova Scotia

We're going to Nova Scotia and I am soooo excited!!!!!! Can you tell?

Now the back ground. We traveled to the Eastern USA & Eastern Canada in 2000. As most of you know, my husband and I spent 4 years living and traveling in our 30' Jayco 5th wheel, pulled by our 1 ton Dodge pickup. This trip we made in 2000 was joined off and on by our dear friends of 24 years (now 31 years!) Don & Barbara. They were traveling in a Class A Motorhome and pulling a tote (car for you who are not familiar with RV lingo!).

From the very beginning I was most excited and looking forward to visiting Nova Scotia. It just sounded so exciting to me. Our northernmost point of travel, on this trip, was to Meat Cove on Cape Breton on September 9th. While on Cape Breton I picked up a little flyer that was promoting a ship launching they were having at a small town called Pictou. I shared it with my husband, Mickey, and Don & Barbara and said "This sounds fun let's go". So off the 2 RV's and 4 of us go to Pictou.

Now Pictou was somewhere we'd never heard of and I doubt we would have gone there had it not been for that flyer. The ship launching was to be September 15th. We arrived in Pictou on September 12th and stayed 6 days. This event turned out to be the highlight of our trip.

The ship was the Ship Hector and was an exact replica of the original Dutch Ship Hector that had arrived on September 15, 1773 bringing the first settlers from Scotland. Hence the name Nova Scotia (New Scotland). This little town had been working on this ship for 10 years. Being land locked Okie's, I cannot tell you what an exciting time it was for the 4 of us to be part of this historic event. That is one of the most exciting parts of traveling as we did. Not just visiting all the standard tourist sites you have always wanted and dreamed of visiting but all these little unexpected things the Lord blessed us with along the way.

The launching was to take place September 15, 2000. Exactly 227 years from when it had first arrived after its long voyage at sea. Come the 15th it was POURING rain. Thousands of us stood in the rain and they kept waiting, and hoping that it would clear up so they could launch but that didn't happen. We all came back the next day, September 16th, and watched this beautiful replica of the original Ship Hector launch. Oh what a marvelous sight that was and so exciting

One of the festivities of the celebration was a "tattoo". Now I had never heard of a tattoo (other than the type you put on your skin!) before this trip. But as my good Lord would have it, while in Nebraska I was talking to a fellow RVer. When he heard we were going to Canada he said "If you get a chance be sure and go to a Tattoo". I, of course, said "What is that?". He couldn't really explain it to me but he did say it was the most fantastic show and display he and his wife had ever seen. Based on his word I was excited that part of this celebration was a Tattoo on the night of the launching. We had our tickets, it was outside, it is still pouring rain. I don't mean raining, I mean pouring rain. The 4 of us sat, under umbrellas, watching this spectacular performance. Of course all the participants were getting drenched and they didn't have umbrellas!! I kid you not, when we got back to our RV that night we rang the water out of our clothes. But the experience was just fantastic. Here is an explanation of what a tattoo is:

Why It Is Called "Tattoo"It began as a military "last call." In 17th century Dutch villages, drummers marched through the streets summoning soldiers to return to their quarters from evening gatherings in taverns and inns. A drumbeat signaling innkeepers to "doe den tap toe" or "turn off the taps," was eventually shortened to "tap toe" and finally to "tattoo." The phrase now heralds the extraordinary entertainment highlighted by marching bands, hundreds of musicians, and military competitions. What makes The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo unique and one of the world's largest annual indoor shows is the mix of hundreds of Canadian and international, military and civilian performers.

Now, as to our current trip. For Christmas one of the items Mickey and I got was a DVD/VCR recorder/duplicator. Mickey has been busy dubbing our old VCR's onto DVD. One of them happened to be the launching of Ship Hector. We had not watched it in some time. Needless to say it reminded us of the wonderful time and experience we had. Shortly after this we had Don & Barbara over for dinner one night and showed them the DVD. Then the four of us reminisced about the wonderful experience that had been.

When they launched the Hector it was complete except for the masts, which were to be added later. We had always kind of talked about "wouldn't it be wonderful to go back up and see it after they put the mast on it". You know, that dreaming sort of conversation. Toward the end of our evening Don said to Mickey "Would you guys go back up there with us?" We said no we didn't think that was in the play book at this point. I said if I went back I definitely would want to see a Tattoo. It has always been my dream to be blessed with getting to see another Tattoo.

The next morning I got up went to the computer and Googled "Tattoo" Of course I got all the skin ones. OOOPS!!! Then I tried "Scotish Tattoo" and up pops one in Edinburgh, Scotland. THAT would be wonderful but don't think that's in the budget. Then I stumbled onto one in Halifax, NOVA SCOTIA!!!!! AND it's going to be held July 1-8, 2007!!!! I get some air line fare prices and sit down and e-mail Don with something like "Okay, now you've done it. Let's go and here's what I found out about a Tattoo in Halifax". Discussion leads to more discussion and we decide we don't want to fly but drive and enjoy the trip coming and going. Don offers to drive because they have a nice roomy van. I don't think our '93 2 door red Cadillac Eldorado would make a very comfortable ride for 4 people that distance!

Here is a link all about the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo. Our bags aren't packed yet (ha) but we are making plans. We have already purchased and have in hand our tickets. We opted for the Prestige seating. We figured since we're driving thousands of miles to see this we surely wanted the beat seats they had to offer. We have our reservations made at the Residence Inn Halifax Downtown/.

We opted for the July 8th performance because it includes this Pipefest/. This will be something new to us and it sounds very exciting.

After spending the 7th & 8th in Halifax we will travel on to Pictou and view the Hector with her masts. We have no idea what wonderful adventures await us there and on the rest of our journey. The 4 of us always find exciting and fun things to do.


Candy said...

:( Why not Newfoundland??? :) I already told you how much better Newfoundland is!!!! (JUST KIDDING!!!!) Although hope you might get to see Newfoundland someday too.
Hugs to you!!!


Candy said...

One more thing...
You probably already tried TIM HORTONS coffee in Canada before. But if not,you HAVE to stop at one and get a coffee there. Tim Hortons is Canada's favorite.


Penless Thoughts said...

Candy - We would love to add Newfoundland to this trip but I don't think we have that many looney's & toonies!!

YES, we are very familiar with Tim Hortons and have been in them all across Canada. Not only the coffee but the bagels and doughnuts, too!

~ Amy ~ said...

I'm so excited for you guys. The first trip sounded like quite the adventure. Make sure you remember to pack umbrellas and rain gear again - just in case. Is your computer a laptop, if so, will it make the journey as to update us on each days events? I've never heard of the TATTOO thingy before either. Sounds interesting.

Just try to contain yourself until then.

Momma Roar said...

Your upcoming trip sounds delightful. Can I stow-away? :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad people like you love to travel and enjoy the world. People like me need to hold the fort down at home. I hate travel, however, I have grown in this area since my daughter's trips to China, Africa, Thialand, and Costa Rica. She has now peaked my interest for the first time ever. Someday I'll post about my desires and why :)
I AM thrilled for you!

weavermom said...

How fun! I'm with Mommma Roar - can I cooomeee?

Seriously, what a blessing to be able to go - and what a blessing to have such good friends that you travel well with. Sounds like a great time!

Penless Thoughts said...

Amy - No, unfortunate my computer is not a lap top. We did have a lap top when we first ventured out in 1997 but it's bit the dust.

Momma Roar - Of course you can stow away-----and then we'll all get hauled in for free room & board!!

Ginger - China, Africa, Thialand & Costa Rica!!! How that's some serious travel Our only trip across the ocean was to Hawaii for our 20th wedding anniversay. A long time ago.

Just Mom said...

Oh! I want an RV now too so I can travel all over the place.

Penless Thoughts said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penless Thoughts said...

Weaver Mom - Yes, we are truly blessed with wonderful friends. This is just one set of them. I'll be talking about other later.

Aisha - A lot of young couples own RV's and they are wonderful. To have the freedom to travel all over for long periods of time you usually have to get old and retire first. At least we did!! We still have our RV but this time we are going strickly by car and motels!

Morning Glory said...

Oh how exciting!! I did not know that Nova Scotia meant New Scotland and of course it makes sense. I've been to Edinburgh Scotland a couple times, but have not had the privilege of seeing their Tattoo. It was not on when we were there.

Your trip sounds so fun. We talked about going to PEI and that area later this summer, but it probably isn't going to happen this year. I'll be looking forward to your pictures.

Penless Thoughts said...

Morning Glory - None of the 4 of us are very good photographers...drats. Sure with we had you along to take the beautiful pictures you would capture.

Edinburgh Wow. I don't know if I'll ever make it "over seas".

Have you been to PEI? It just reminder me of a fairy land and of course I had to buy the granddaughter an Ann of Green Gables doll and book.

Myrna said...

Wonderful! We spent a few days in Nova Scotia about 10 years ago. We were there in July--beautiful! My husband loves lighthouses so we had quite an adventure looking for out-of-the-way lighthouses. We flew to Boston, spent a week in Maine, and then went to NS on the ferry from Bar Harbour to Yarmouth. I can't imagine driving from OK! Long drive! I know you will have a terrific time. The Tattoo sounds interesting.