Friday, September 21, 2007

Which fork now?

Now I am over the shock of shit...fifty. Oh yes, sooo over it.

So, let's get back to where we left off just before that

On vacation in Nova Scotia in early September. We headed up to Cape Breton Island. It is spectacular and rugged, much of it national park. We hiked in the brilliant, fall-kissed sunshine. Our first morning we hiked to Ingonish beach and around the lake behind it. I have never seen such a beach: Salt water on one side, and a freshwater beach behind the long spit. Except for a few terns and gulls, we had it to ourselves.

Then we took Middle Head trail out to the end of a peninsula for a picnic lunch high on the headland.

Late in the afternoon, with pleasantly achy leg muscles, we got back to our:
Tent? no.....
Backpacker's hostel? no...
Inexpensive cabin?

Because we were staying at the luxurious, decadent, way out-of-our-budget Keltic Lodge. This was a birthday gift from my generous parents. If you ever want to treat yourself, oh man, this is the place to do it. Look:

When the third course of our four course dinner was served B whispered: "Which fork do we use this time?"

I shrugged. Even If I knew, I could not have answered. My mouth was full of lobster. Succulent, pink and white, tender lobster, drenched in fresh squeezed lemon. This was worth turning fifty for! Thanks Mom and Dad.


Dumdad said...

What a brilliant birthday present! The lap of luxury and lobster - perfect. And those beach scenes make ache to be beside the seaside.....

Carver said...

That looks so idyllic. Great birthday trip. Beautiful photographs.

Voyager said...

Dumdad and carver, It was brilliant. The downside is we got a taste of a lifestyle to which we could easily become accustomed. But will never be able to afford! At least not very often.

Big Brother said...

A far cry from tents. When we go trekking in the Parc de la Gasp├ęsie each year we always treat ourselves to a stay at the lodge. There is nothing like coming in from trekking in the mountains for a week, and then having a 4 course meal in the lap of luxury. Tell M that he isn't the only one to not be sure of which fork to use, I never could figure it out.

Ian Lidster said...

What a way to celebrate 5-0. Good for you. Loved your photos and I am ashamed to say I've never been to the Maritimes. Have seen the Atlantic plenty, but always from the European side. Have been across Canada, too, but only as far as Montreal. You have given me thirst to complete the journey to the other side.
And congratulations, dear friend, on entering what will definitely be the best and most beaufiful decade of your life.

Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

I'm thinking I need to get rich so I can relax in the lap of luxury... or maybe retire someday. :)

Voyager said...

big brother, It was a very nice change from a tent indeed.

Ian, Atlantic Canada is so very different from our west coast. I love it. Tamer, older, but no less beautiful. And bonus: Lots of lobster. Even the truck stops and roadside cafes have lobster rolls on the menu (a lobster sandwhich on a bun).

Coffee woman, rich AND retired. That would be great.

Joe Jubinville said...

You had me at Middle Head trail. It beckons primally; wooded trails always do.

My 50th birthday felt oddly anticlimactic, not the milestone feeling I expected. I'm told that turning 60 is a blast - like you've gotten away with something.

What's yummier than lobster, even if it is on the brink of being reclassified as an insect. So plentifiul were they in New England of old, that Massachussetts slave owners ( I guess there were a few) were prohibited by law from feeding lobster to their slaves more than twice a week. I suspect it wasn't accompanied with clarified butter.

Jim Thomsen said...

I really enjoy your travelogues, Voyager. And I am like you — a budget-conscious traveler who recognizes the need to pamper oneself every now and then. I'm glad your parents treated you. But it's just as sweet when you save up for it yourself and make each hour count. If only by sipping mimosas in a bubbly bathtub.

I'm planning on 10 to 12 days of driving around Vancouver Island (with some side excursions to the Inside Passage islands) next summer, and while I'll be living on the cheap for the most part, I plan on a little decadence once I hit Tofino/Ucluelet.

riseoutofme said...

Beautiful photos... makes me want to be there ... the beach one in particular ..

Congratulations on your birthday!

Its all free-wheelin' from here!

Voyager said...

Joe, Glad you dropped in. Welcome! In Nova Scotia there was a similar law for prisoners, they were not to be fed lobster more than three times a week.
I agree with you about wooded trails. They are like a good poem you can't wait to read.

Ninja, I like your style of travel. We do a lot of true budget travel, and very little of the occasional pampering. Now that my old bones have spent a half century in tents that may change a bit.

riseoutofme, Freewheelin' huh? O.K., bring it on!


jmb said...

What a spectacular place to stay. Indeed a wonderful gift.
The scenery is certainly spectacular and that beach is not too bad. It looks like you had great weather too.
That lobster sure looks good!

Ruth L.~ said...

My mouth literally watered when I got to the part about the lobster. Great photos, wonderful sounding trip! You actually took a picture of your meal? Or is that a stock photo? :>)

Voyager said...

jmb and Ruth, I had the camera with me in the dining room, but I was way too intimidated to use it. The photo came from the 'net. The rest are real though. And it was soooo yummy.

Jocelyn said...

I have a huge desire to visit Novia Scotia.

Now I know where to stay.

After I sell that lung.

Jazz said...

You always start from the outside and work your way in when it comes to cutlery. And a lobster fork only has three tines and is quite skinny.

And why the hell do I know this?

I blame my mother in law.

Diana said...

Now that makes turning 50 a treat!

Angela said...

Hooray! What beautiful photos of what looks to be an idyllic place. Triple hooray for you for the hotel and meal. Absolutely lovely. And just for the record, I would have sworn that you weren't a day over 42. :) Hugs and happy birthday!

Voyager said...

jocelyn, I hope my parents didn't have to sell any body parts to give me this. Even more worrying, I hope they did not promise the soul of their first born to the devil. That would be me.

Jazz, I kind of knew the "start from the outside" rule. But there was cutlery everywhere, on top of the place setting, as well as on the sides. And waiters kept removing some, whether used or not, and replacing them at what seemed like random intervals. It was complete silverware mayhem. If I ever win the lottery I'll have to go to cutlery university.

Diana, it would have been an even greater treat if I turned 30 instead of 50!

Angela, thank you for the birthday good wishes.

Gretchen said...

Too beautiful! Looks like a place I could happily spend a few years exploring!

Voyager said...

Gretchen, You are right, Cape Breton is a place to spend years exploring. But so are so many places on this beautiful planet.
So much wonder, so little time.

Rozanne said...


You've just described my ideal day. A nice hike somewhere beautiful that ends with a great meal. And a posh hotel to boot? That's living!

P.S. I really need to revisit Nova Scotia. When I visited I was with a boyfriend I now refer to as the Dumb Dummkopf (redundant, yes, but very apt), who was all about driving and not ever stopping to hike a trail. Grrrr!

CS said...

Wow, stunning! And I'd kill for that lobster. And Happy birthday!