breathtaking view

I was awake early on Sunday morning and I decided to get out of the house before the day got started with kid activities. I grabbed the camera and my Dad’s jacket that I borrowed from him and haven’t returned yet. (The jacket is a blue rain jacket that is perfect for keeping the cold wind away).  I’ll get it back to you soon Dad!

I headed to Fort Amherst.  As I came upon the path towards the lighthouse and caught a glimpse of the bergs, honestly it took my breath away. It sounds so cliche, but in person it is just so stunning!


It was so therapeutic to be out in the wind, snapping pictures.


Really I don’t have much to say – the photos pretty much speak for themselves. It was a calm way to spend a Sunday morning. Big happy sigh.


There were a few other people out enjoying the view.


Are you tired of hearing me say what a beautiful place this is???


Good for the soul.


Happy Sunday.

iceberg quest

My friend and I booked a boat tour last Friday on Iceberg Quest Tours. They are located at Pier 6, near The Keg on the Harbourfront. When we arrived at the Pier, the gorgeous sun and the live onboard music greeted us. We knew it was bound to be an awesome afternoon!


Taking a boat tour from the St. John’s Harbour, really gives you a new vantage point of the city.  You can see the Basilica, the Rooms, the Courthouse and lots more.


We went by the Battery, with all the houses built right into the cliff.  We walk through the battery when we do the North Head Trail – it is such an interesting place.  According to the guide on the boat, many artists live in the Battery.


This photo above was taken as we were just coming up on the narrows.  The rock is called Chain Rock and the story goes that during World War II, there was a big chain and a net of sorts that was strung from Chain Rock to Fort Amherst on the other side of the narrows, to keep the German U-boats out of the harbour.


When we got out of the narrows far enough we could see this HUGE iceberg right off the coast!  It really is unbelievable when you see these in person!


See the line going down through the berg?  It looks as though a big piece will crack off. These ice bergs are known as growlers because they make growling noises as they melt and air is released.



There was quite a swell on and the boat was a rockin’. We really had to hold onto the rail a few times. So when we tried to get a selfie we were having trouble staying upright!

IMG_3438  IMG_7611

They are so majestic!  When you are looking at them it is so hard to remember that 90% of the iceberg is underwater!  The boat stayed a safe distance away from the icebergs.


The teal colour you see just below the water is from the reflection of the sun.


Huge thanks to Iceberg Quest!   It doesn’t matter if you are a tourist or not, this is something not to be missed if you are in the area!

quick tour of st. john’s

I was lucky enough a couple of weeks ago to have a quick visit from a lovely friend from Ottawa. She had never been to St John’s before, so I needed to figure out where to take her to give her a good tour so she could she what St. John’s is all about.  She was working during the day, so we only had two evenings to fit everything in.

When I heard she was coming for a visit, there was one activity I KNEW for sure I wanted to do with her.  I picked her up at the airport and we made a bee-line to Signal Hill to do the North Head Trail. Amazingly enough, it was 19 degrees and completely sunny!!  GLORIOUS!

20140525-101050-36650323.jpgThere were lots of people out enjoying the fabulous weather on the trail. I was so happy to get to show off this wonderful place!  Truly it is my happy place!  We were cracking up laughing trying to take a selfie near Cabot Tower!


We went for supper at Portobellos on Duckworth Street.  I had never been there before but I had heard the view of the Harbour and the Narrows was beautiful.  The food was good but the view really was incredible!

I was especially glad we had such amazing weather for the first evening, because when I woke up the next morning and looked out my window – I could hardly see across the street for the fog.  I mean it was true pea soup fog – so thick that visibility was really diminished.  My girlfriend was working out at the airport on the tarmac that day and she said they could hear the airplanes close by, but still couldn’t see them in the fog.  HA!  The weather is only one of the reasons this is definitely a unique place.

20140525-101052-36652981.jpgFor our second evening together I really wanted to go see an iceberg with her. It was an opportunity not to be missed – seeing an Iceberg is not something you do in Ottawa regularly.  So I checked out the Iceberg Finder website (LOVE THIS!) and realized there was an iceberg in Torbay.  We took a quick drive (15 – 20 mins from my house) and were able to see one!  I’m sorry my iPhone camera just does not do this justice – It really was beautiful! We swung by middle cove beach on the way back .

20140525-101052-36652317.jpgQuidi Vidi Village is very picturesque and worth a quick photo op. I think the fog made it look even more charming.

20140525-101051-36651366.jpgWe did a little shopping downtown to find some little treats for her to take home to her family.  She was so excited to see all the chocolate at Coffee & Company on Water Street!  She bought some Godiva chocolate to take home and treated K and I to a yummy truffle from the cabinet.  This is a wonderful locally owned and operated cafe – I knew that the coffee was delicious at Coffee & Company, but now I can attest that the chocolate is also FAB! If you haven’t been before, you need to go there!


Honestly, I wasn’t sure about going for Fee & Chee (how do you spell that?) for supper but it seemed like the thing to do in St. John’s. We headed over to the landmark that is Ches’s and I ordered Fish with Chips, Dressing and Gravy (like you would) but my friend was not convinced about adding dressing to a meal.  So she ordered it on the side just to see.  I don’t think she would order it again but at least she can say she did once!

20140525-101052-36652417.jpgAfter doing a carpool run to bring K to dance we decided to end the evening with martinis at Basho.  For the record, the fancy drinks at Basho are the absolute BEST! I would not recommend you go and just order a rum and coke or a rye and ginger, or any run-of-the-mill drink.  You can get those anywhere…..   Pick one of the specialty drinks! They make your entire evening feel special just sipping on one of them!

20140525-101051-36651826.jpgThere are lots of places we didn’t get to visit and things we didn’t do, but considering we only had two evenings, I think we did well.  I LOVED having her visit!!  Next time she comes, we will hit Cape Spear and maybe Fort Amherst…..  Oh and there’s lots more I can think of!

Check out my friend’s blog at




matts concert

Did you go to church as a child? Have you ever been in church and been racked with those chest-heaving laughs that you just cannot let out, because you are in the dome of silence, also known as church? I have specific memories of sitting in the pew with both of my sisters and my mom shooting us dirty looks trying to telepathically scold us and let us know, without saying a word, that we had better start behaving.

I like to blame sister #2. (Ha! It’s my blog and I can blame who I want to!). I think sister #3 was a bit too young to initially be the cause of trouble in the church pew… at least according to my memory, sketchy as it is.

What is it about being in church that just makes you want to laugh when you shouldn’t? It seemed that all it took was one partially funny remark, and that would be it – you’d be biting your cheeks trying not to get noticed, eyes watering and shoulders jumping with internal giggles.

Tonight my son had his school music concert at Cochrane Street Church and I was sitting in a pew with my Mom on my left and sisters 2 & 3 on my right. I’m not even sure what started the laughter, but it began the millisecond we sat down. Once again I found myself attempting to behave in a church pew… and this time my mom was at least partially to blame! Instead of getting the evil eye from a parent, my husband was gazing down the row at the four of us with a confused face, not wanting to even know what was so funny.

We did manage to behave while the students were performing, though it was touch and go there for a while. The concert was lovely. And so much better having my mom and sisters with us.

Happy Sigh <and lots of happy giggles>


dealing with disappointment


For dancers, injuries are a part of life. Every dancer knows this. But knowing intellectually in your head is an entirely different thing than knowing in your heart. Especially when it happens right before a performance.

Our youngest is smack dab in the middle of dealing with this disappointment right now. A partnering injury recently has left her in pain and sore and not able to dance.   So the show this weekend is just not going to happen for her. When you have worked so hard and are so pumped for something, it is like someone letting the air out of your balloon. No fun.

Don’t get me wrong, we are counting our blessings that nothing more serious happened. And she will recover and be fine (thank goodness). But we are all a little sad about it. In the big picture this is really only a blip, we know. But honestly it is still a drag.

I heard this quote by Eckhart Tolle and it seems so fitting right now for so many reasons.

Most people treat the present moment as if it were an obstacle that they need to overcome. Since the present moment is Life itself, it is an insane way to live.

So injuries (and disappointments) are part of life itself. And in the big scheme of things, this one is pretty minor.

Thank heavens for that.

celebrating a life

Hett in seal skin,'59

When I think of my mother-in-law as a younger woman, before she became too sick to enjoy life properly, I think of a force to be reckoned with.  A strong woman who knew her mind and loved her family and didn’t wait for things to happen for her.  She was so proud of her children and in those healthy days, travelled around to visit them, going so far as London, England.

As a mother-in-law, Hettie was initially a little intimidating for a young bride like me, entering into marriage with her only son.  My first time meeting her was when she and Eric came back from a winter in Florida to find me, having spend most of the winter with Chris,firmly situated into his life as a girlfriend.  I was so nervous meeting Chris’ parents that day.  And when we all walked in the front door at Lloyd Crescent, the first thing she did was scan the house to check out if it was clean, keenly running her eyes around the rooms and then taking a finger to run it along the top of a picture frame to see if there was dust, thereby checking to see if Chris had taken proper care of the house in their absence.

 She and I had our moments of typical in-law struggle in those early years for sure, but it didn’t take me long to figure out that she was a strong woman who fiercely loved her family and had only kindness in her heart.

 It wasn’t too long into our marriage that Hettie started to get really sick and from then on it has been a long road for her and her family of hospitals and sickness and pain.

 Instead of focusing on all that, I like to think of Hettie coming into St. John’s for her nursing training from a small town.  I would love to have a glance of her in action back in those days.  Hettie was so proud to be a nurse and loved her nursing friends.


 I like to think of her and Eric as a young couple moving around from Labrador, to Corner Brook to St John’s with Eric’s job as a radio operator.  Hettie acted as a midwife in Labrador and delivered her share of babies, getting around on a snowmobile.  Not for the faint of heart!


 I remember meeting one of the Montreal cousins many years ago, and she recounted to me how she would come to Newfoundland during the summers and she appreciated how loving Hettie and Eric were to each other.  She recalled how sweet they were together cuddled up in bed together in the early mornings.  I love to think of that.


 I like to think of her as a vibrant member of the Hants Harbour seniors community, dressing up in costume and putting on pageants, walking around the harbour with the other Hants Harbour ladies and heading into the seniors center for a sale or organizing the Willow Tree Heritage Museum.

Hett & Chris

Hettie thank you for raising a wonderful son who is an incredible Dad and wonderful partner. You are finally at peace, hopefully having a cup of tea with those who have gone before you.

Much love and respect.

yeah spring!


Honey asked me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day and the first thing that I thought of was the North Head Trail around Signal Hill.  I haven’t done that hike since the fall – it would be a treacherous place to be with all the snow and ice we had this winter.


I was prepared with many layers and a hat and mitts, but it was surprisingly warm!  I had my jacket around my waist the entire hike. I know my Ottawa friends are lounging on their decks wearing shorts with drinks in hand – however it has still been pretty cold here.


I am always in awe when I do this hike! I just can’t stop taking photos and breathing in the salt air.  Although there are a few places on the hike where I need to put away my phone and concentrate so I don’t go careening down the cliff!


The rich shades of brown are so intense – it is stunning during each season in totally different ways!  You can check out a summer hike I did here and a fall hike I did here to compare.


Even the neutral colours of the rocks stop me in my tracks to spend a few moments admiring them.


The Rockstar came with us – I think he loves this trail too!


We could even see a couple of icebergs but my iphone camera does not do them justice.


I love looking over at Fort Amherst.


I was huffing and puffing by the time I got up all the stairs at the top of Signal Hill!  I have some work to do obviously!  I can’t wait to head back there again! Yeah spring!


out of the mouths of babes

As you know, one of my favourite parts of being home in Newfoundland is spending time with my nieces and nephews. I love watching them tap dance (like Sara did here) and when they entertain me with their shows and everything else in between.

Mostly, I love watching them interact with my kids, who are the beloved “older kids”, meaning they are HEROS to the little kids. The downside of this hero-worship, is that whenever I show up with my children in tow, I basically get ignored. Last weekend I popped by my sister’s house with my daughter. As we entered the front hall, two little girls came tearing down the hallway towards me. So I dropped to my knees, whipped my arms open wide and braced myself for the running hugs I was sure were coming towards me and WHOOOSH! They both ran right past me, making a beeline to their idol.

Well, I won’t pretend I wasn’t a little disappointed, although I did manage to get little side-glances of glee as they both knowingly rushed past me. I promised to steal my hugs from them later and managed to get myself up off the floor and dusted off my knees (and my dignity).

Speaking of dignity…. I have managed to cancel two (desperately needed) hair appointments recently because of kid activities/events. This may seem unrelated to the story but as my son would say – “Wait for it!” I got home from work early today and my daughter was babysitting my niece and nephew at our place. I guess the novelty of spending time with my daughter had worn off enough, that my six year old niece crawled onto my lap and then helped me brush the dog. Now this is the same niece who recently made herself a popcorn sandwich with a dinner roll and Smartfood popcorn (ewww!) and is full of twinkling eyes of mischief and love for everyone around her. So I was really appreciating getting to enjoy some time with her as we chatted and cuddled and brushed Rocky. So nice and peaceful!

Until she gazed up at me and started staring at me with her intense squinty eyes, analyzing something to herself. And then she looked at me directly and simply said, “Aunt Marlayne, you have some gray hair. “

Maybe it’s better when they run right past.


a brief interlude

We took advantage of the long weekend to beat it out of town. The Easter break means that there are no dance classes, music lessons or rehearsals of any kind to drive to kids to (is the proper grammar – to which to drive the children??? Sounds weird either way Lol).

Although it has snowed twice since we have been here (in April!!) the sun is shining! A walk along the beach listening to the clack of the rocks and the roar of the waves is just so relaxing. As a child I spent hours on that beach just watching and listening and hanging out.

I wanted to share a quick moment with you. Happy Easter!

opening night

Since we have moved home, my 15 year old son has made St. John’s home, as they say here, “in jig time”. I always knew he was a Newfoundlander at heart, but watching him soak up all the wonderful musical influences here has been incredible to watch. Check out this post I did about him on his birthday last fall.

Many of these opportunities he would not have if we still lived in Ottawa. He is learning to play the Double Bass with hopes of making it into the Newfoundland Symphony Youth Orchestra next year. He has been volunteering with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra and has had the opportunity to see several symphony concerts this year (and LOVED them). He has joined every possible musical group/event at school and spends every single afternoon at school – loving every minute.


Sigh. I’m one happy mama about all this. Mostly because I am seeing his confidence grow.

Back in December he auditioned for a musical and I cautioned him about his expectations at the time. I know that a lot of the kids auditioning have a lot of musical theatre experience and I didn’t want him to be disappointed if he didn’t make it. We were together having brunch when he got the phone call asking him to be Evan – the Lead Role in the musical. Talk about thrilled!!

Seeing his dedication to this group and the incredible friendships he has formed so quickly with the cast, is so amazing. He regularly comes home from rehearsal and gets on the computer to Oovoo with them all again (Oovoo is a video chat if you didn’t know – I didn’t know until recently). Obviously spending 3 hours together on a Sat afternoon is not enough. I asked him the other day if there were a few people that he felt he really connected with and he said, “Mom, they are all really cool.” He is so fortunate to be part of the group. And even if that sounds cliché, I could not mean it more.

Tonight is opening night. I’m bringing a few tissues in my pockets just in case I get a little teary. That’s understandable for a Mom who wants the best for her son, I think. Best wishes to a wonderful cast and huge thanks to Best Kind Productions for choosing him to be part of this
Tickets are still available. You can call the LSPU Hall at 753-4531 or online at