Highlands Honeymoon: Part One

More pictures from the wedding week are coming in but at more of a trickle than I expected. So I will post more, but I am hoping to throw a whole lot more. Even my mother has been a bit delinquent in getting me a host of photos. Even pics of Reception 2.0 arrived slowly. It is kind of hard to be snapping a lot of photos when you are supposed to be the center of an event. Thus, Ali and I had cameras that were short on images and long on batteries. Plus, I guess we were supposed to be in most of the photos. It just makes it a bit challenging when you are trying to gather images from half a dozen different people and their cameras. Here are a few choice selections.

Photo: Wedding Preparations Photo: Vince and Ken - Rehearsal

Here we have preparations being made. Who could have known the rain was on its way?! Plus, the two of the most invaluable contributors the MVP Vince and Best Man Ken.

Photo: Pig Head Photo: Cupcake Tree - Reception 2.0

The food is always a huge part of any celebration. Here we find the head of the pig at the end of the evening. Things took a slightly Lord of the Flies turn by the end of the evening, and more than one person kissed this pleasant creature before sunrise. Always the recycler, Ali made use of the cupcake tree again at Reception 2.0.

Photo: Me and Ali with Gifts

Here we are opening some of the wonderfully generous gifts. Once again we cannot thank people enough. Everyone was exceedingly kind!

Also, have a look at the ankle that had me limping for Reception 2.0. The day after the party I felt compelled to make a trip to the Urgent Care facility just to make certain I hadn’t broken the damn thing. Man, that’s ugly! Fortunately, this did not adversely impact the honeymoon too badly. As a matter of fact, I am pretty well on the mend now, but man it hurt at the time.

Photo: Ankle Injury

Since there is a dearth of more wedding pics, I will commense with a recap of the honeymoon, which was quite delightful all the way ‘round. We originally had envisioned a cruise to Alaska, in part because we had an inkling to avoid the normally warmer climes in the middle of the oppressive summer heat. Well, after one nightmarish cruise story after another beaming from television news, we rethought that position. We settled on a trip to Cape Breton, the island part of Canadian Nova Scotia. Having been to the province a year ago, we were pretty confident that we would enjoy ourselves. Plus, we never got as far north as Cape Breton on our last trip, which is supposed to be the lovliest and most Scottish looking part of “New Scotland.”

Driving north to Portland this time, rather than Bar Harbor, we left the Maine coast for a trip on the high speed Cat Ferry. As I have mentioned prior, it is a pretty fantastic vessel. The thing holds nearly 800 people and nearly half as many vehicles: cars, truck, motorcycles, even touring buses. Thinking that it would be easier to leave from Portland was a whole lot less driving stateside.

Photo: Boarding the Cat

However, the ferry voyage from Portland clocked in at about six hours, which we agreed was really pushing the limits of the ship. It is just a long time to be onboard. While it is big, it isn’t that big. Other than the a slim aft deck, there are no other opportunities to get outside along the trip. The food bars started to run out of food and all those little kiddies, with their parents, start getting pretty restless after about four hours or so. Of course we found out first-hand on the way North, as Ali wanted to sit in the section that was showing the kids animated movies in lieu of a paucity of other quality film choices. It was all manageable and we still enjoyed the ride, but it starts to push the limits of what that ship was really designed to do, comfortably.

So if any of you are planning to take the Cat, our recommendation is stay in your vehicle a bit longer and make the trek to Bar Harbor. You will get into port (Yarmouth, NS) a lot earlier too, as we didn’t arrive until about 9:00 PM.

The next morning we jetted north towards Halifax, a city to which I have taken quite a shine, stopping at a couple of spots along the coast on our way. On our previous trip Halifax was as far north as we coud go, so this time we knew where we were going and what we though might be most interesting along the first leg. We tooled through the coastal towns of Lunenburg and Mahone Bay, which are two of the more beautiful little coastal towns, and were hosting an art and old ship festival respectively.

Photo: Port of Lunenburg

Still getting to Halifax before dinner was a priority, for we were set on heading to Henry House, one of our all-time favorite dining establishments. I cannot recommend that place highly enough, for anyone that finds themselves in Nova Scotia’s capital city. The food is outstanding, the beer selection surpasses most micro-breweries of its kind, and the atmosphere, especially in the basement pub, is second to none. Even more, the place just looks beautiful. Make sure you get the bread pudding. It is exquisite.

Photo: Henry House

Photo: Amistad

Before leaving the city and navigating our way to the lodge we would spend the bulk of our time, we wandered along the waterfront and other sites. As you can see above, the historical recreated slave ship Amistad was in port while we were there. Overall, the place just fascinates me, the history, the Citadel, everything. Of course the Explosion that almost wiped it off the map hooked me straight away last time we were there. So this time, I picked up a book. Aside from being the Atlantic Canadian port, Halifax was pretty much Canada’s Ellis Island, which we found as we wandered down to Pier 21, once the immigration nexus and now tourist attraction. Ali is not quite as crazy about the place as I am; but hell, they even have a bus named after me!

Photo: Fred - The Free Trolley

Photo: Halifax Clock Tower at Night

From Halifax it was off to Cape Breton. Driving toward the Canso Causeway that joins the island with the mainland, we travelled through the breadbasket of Nova Scotia. Having grown up in the Midwest, I find something magnificent about coursing through rolling farmland, tracts of crops laid out across the landscape like a monochromatic mosaic. Yet, the landscape that was most captivating would prove to be the Highlands.

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