Cup o' Kindness Hodgepodge

I'm really trying to make keeping this blog updated a priority in 2021! The first spot belongs to the Wednesday Hodgepodge hosted by Joyce.

1. Tell us about your favorite moment or share one of the bright spots from the year we're leaving behind. 
As I look back over the year, so many crazy things happened. Here's a bright spot from the year: daily walks with GurlDogg. No matter what the weather, we took daily walks in the park next to our house.

2. What do you wish you'd known at the start of 2020? Elaborate. 
I wish I had known about how this pandemic would turn our world upside down. Even with the upheaval, things are okay. We adjust and we move on. Faith over fear!

3. Best book you read this year? If you did not read any books this year, what's the best thing you ate all year? We've all eaten, right? 
You would think that I would have read books, but I haven't. I saw a book in the lending library station in the park that was pretty good: Pat Conroy's Beach Music and I would recommend!

4. The Pantone Colors of the year for 2021 are ultimate gray and illuminating yellow (a bright shade)...are you a fan? Would we find either of these colors in your home or wardrobe? 
I actually like those colors. As for finding either one:

This is "Joy"!
5. If you were/are making a list of 21 things to do/accomplish in 2021 what is one thing that would be on it? 
More blogging and more time to just be still.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
As I'm writing this, I'm sitting lakeside in Florida. We are on our annual Christmas to New Year's camping trip. (I'll write another post later.) Here's our set-up:
We have some amazing sunsets! Not "The Keys gorgeous", but still really pretty!

Cheers to the brand New Year!!! So long, 2020!!!

Sweet Summer Hodgepodge

From this Side of the Pond
Well! I haven't participated in this in quite some time. Joyce is back at the Wednesday Hodgepodge! She gives us some questions to answer, then invites us to link up with other bloggers to see what we have in common with each other.

1. The sweetness of summer...where have you found it recently? If you're in the Southern hemisphere, feel free to tell us about the sweetness you're finding in winter.

Kicking back, nowhere to be, and eating melons!

2. Take your sweet time, sweet tooth, home sweet home, short but sweet, the sweet smell of success, sweet talk...choose a sweet idiom and tell us how it fits your life currently?

"Take your sweet time". It's summer!

3. Sweet as honey, sweet as sugar, or sweet as pie, which phrase do you use when a sweet phrase is called for? What's the last sweet treat you indulged in?

Sweet as honey. I may have snuck a cookie (just one, though!) after lunch one day. For the past month, I've been trying to eat like I know I should to keep my sugar in check.

4. First thing that comes to mind when you hear the word fidget?

Those crazy fidget spinners that were so popular a few years ago!

5. Share with us one of your favorite childhood travel memories.

We would travel to Texas every other year to see family. One year, my dad had this idea to save money on the way down and camp. It would have been great except that there was a horrendous rain that night and the campground flooded. So, we packed up and got back on the road. It was kind of scary (especially when my mom drove!) but nice to get to my aunt's house ahead of schedule. 

6. Insert your own random thought here.

It's so good to get back into the Hodgepodge! Just in time for school to start back up...teachers go back in a week and the kids come back (staggered for the first week) the week after. I know this is very controversial, but I'm looking forward to seeing my students in school & getting back to a regular routine. Am I scared or nervous? No, not a bit!

A "bonus" random:

I've been slowly (veeerrrry slowly!) recapping our vacation from 2019 to the Canadian Maritimes. To check it out, click on the "NH & Canadian Maritimes" tab at the top of this page. I hope to have several more entries soon so I can start on an adventure we hope to have in 2021!

The Great Adventure of 2019: More Ocean Floor Walking & PEI

After a couple of days in St. Martins, it was time for us to move on to Prince Edward Island (PEI). On our way, we had to stop at Hopewell Rocks for one more walk on the ocean floor. We timed it just about right at low tide. It was raining off and on when we got there; I put on my rain boots and it wasn't a problem at all. We actually arrived around 10:00 (I think it was!) so it wasn't very crowded. When we left, though, people were starting to come in.

Our first glimpse of the ocean floor at Hopewell Rocks.
Another selfie from the ocean floor

Parts are roped off due to erosion of the rocks

Every corner you turn you see something spectacular!


 The rocks in the next 2 pictures were pretty cool. It's amazing how the rocks just fell where they are due to the erosion.

"Flower Pots" everywhere!

We talked about stopping in Moncton to test out Magnetic Hill but then decided to just go on over the bridge to PEI. It sounds cool: when you put your car in neutral, it appears to travel up the hill. A novelty, for sure, but we didn't think it was worth our time to do it.

More empty promises!
We drove over a long bridge to Prince Edward Island. The crazy thing is that you don't have to pay anything to get to the Island, but you do have to pay to leave. 
Our first order of business was setting up camp. CH found the perfect campground for us. We were right across from the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The only reason we weren't in a spot right on the Gulf was because of bank swallows nesting.
Camp was set up just in time...we had some sprinkles right after we finished.
Ready for some bank swallow pictures? They are a tad blurry because they are quick little birds! I basically just pointed my camera and held the button down. I checked the pictures later; I figured I'd get at least one in one of the shots! (You may have to click on the picture to really see it!)
So many nests and this wasn't even 1/3 of them!

The campground had a nice little beach area. I took a walk just at sunset. It was overcast but no beach trip is complete without a sunset picture!

I thought this shell was really looked like it had a snowflake etched into it.
The big attraction that I wanted to see: Anne of Green Gables House.

It was so cool to walk through the Haunted Wood Trail and hear the little girls and their moms talk about the book while they were walking along. 

At the end of our time there we had a snack of Beaver Tails (which were delicious!) and Raspberry Cordial.
I read about PEI Dirt Shirts online and thought it would be cool to go by and see what the hype is all about.
 These shirts are actually washed in PEI red dirt! The owners' son was running the place when we were there.
On our way back to the campground we took a little drive and ended up seeing this:
Not quite Hopewell Rocks, but it was a nice surprise! I wish we had more time on PEI, but we had a reservation at an Airbnb to keep in Nova Scotia. We loaded up the next morning and headed toward the ferry for another Canadian Province.
 We weren't able to get another Beaver Tail on the ferry, but we did get some famous Cows Ice Cream! Almost the best ice cream I've ever had!

Great Adventure of 2019: The Fundy Trail and Sea Caves

We jumped on the Fundy Trail with a packed lunch for a day of adventure.
I'm a sucker for a waterfall; this was one of our first stops in the Trail. It was relatively easy to get to, which made it that much more enjoyable.
Fuller Falls

There is a captain's burial ground that I hiked to. It was a bit more of a hike than I expected, but when I got there I found a quiet, shady memorial to 2 families of shipbuilders who were important to St. Martins in the late 1800's. 

We stopped at the "Interpretive Center" and had a nice chat with one of the workers who grew up in St. Martins.  We made our way over to the Salmon River Bridge. Of course, we had to walk across it!
We had quite the view for lunch:
We saw this guy walking (not running) across the road:
I couldn't get over how beautiful the scenery was. It seemed to be more beautiful with every turn.

When we got back into St. Martins I had a chance to really explore the sea floor and the sea caves.  I'm going to use this picture (that I snapped while we were eating our first night in St. Martins) as a reference picture. This is nearly high tide.
And these are low tide:

The very back of the cave:
This is standing at the point, just as the cliff turns (see 1st picture for reference):

 This is what the other side of the cave looks like.

 This may give you a point of reference as to just how big this area is!
 The buildings in the back are restaurants. We ate at the one on the right for our first dinner and the red roof building for our last.

When we got back to the truck, this is what we found. We looked around but couldn't find the person who wrote it.
I strolled around the village and made my way to the tourist center, which is an old lighthouse. You can walk up to the top and see St. Martins from above.
 Even the walk over to the tourist center was lovely. The rhododendron was huge & blooming.
One of the things St. Martins is known for (besides the sea caves) is the covered bridges. There are 2 that are almost side by side, although sadly, one is in such disrepair that they have closed it to traffic.
This is probably my favorite picture from the trip: a picture of a covered bridge while standing in another covered bridge:

Someone told us that during the winter, the red house is where locals go to get together & have an adult beverage.
High tide:
Low tide:
As I looked through pictures to decide which ones to include, I came across this one of a sign for the Fundy Trail. So I ask you: after seeing the symbol for a hotel/b&b and covered bridge, wouldn't you think the one on the left was for a lighthouse? (See previous post: Chasing Lighthouses.)
St. Martins was a beautiful, quaint little village. The only negative thing I can say about it is that it was lacking a pub. Part of the charm is that it's not crazy busy and everyone was so exceptionally nice. I would highly recommend a stop at this village if you're in the area.

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