oh what a hike!

IMG_8821We’ve had a really cold start to summer. Some are blaming it on the capelin being late rolling, some are just chaulking it up to living in this unpredictable place. Regardless of the reason for the cold, when we finally do get a good day, you have to take full advantage and get outside.

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One day last week we arrived home from work and it was warm and sunny (well, it wasn’t completely freezing).  So we headed to Quidi Vidi Gut and started up the path for the Sugarloaf hike.  This hike takes you from Quidi Vidi all the way to Logy Bay, but we only did the first part of the hike, up to the lookout at the top of the stairs.IMG_8796
At the beginning of the hike, it is not easy to determine the exact path to take.  There are a few options it seems, but you can’t really get lost.  By the time you get higher up the hill, the path is more clearly marked.

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The view gets more and more stunning, the higher you climb (perhaps that goes without saying but it seems worth mentioning as we kept stopping to take photos and just soak it all in). The trail has a variety of lovely paths – some sections take you through the trees and other sections are on top of the rocks where you look down on Quidi Vidi, or out towards Cape Spear.

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When we arrived at the top of the staircase, we could even see an iceberg in the distance.  My iPhone camera did not capture that very well, but it was a little extra treat for us!

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We both absolutely loved this trail.  I had done it a couple of years ago, but it was Chris’ first time.  It is his favourite hike so far.

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We want to go all the way to Logy Bay next time, but that will take a little more time and planning to drop a car off at the other end.  Definitely do-able though.  Can’t wait!

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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!

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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!

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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 http://vmchick.wordpress.com/

 

 

pottery in quidi vidi

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A lovely friend asked me to join her at the Quidi Vidi Plantation last weekend for A Feast of Pottery. It was a delightful way to connect on a Saturday morning.  The sun was shining in the Gut and it was gorgeous, even though it was a bit brisk. Sidenote: I wonder why they refer to such a beautiful place with such an unbecoming name.  Calling it “The Gut” seems wrong somehow. Perhaps that’s a blog post for another day.

Before I entered the building to see the pottery, I had to take a few photos of the harbour. Doesn’t the scene below look like it should be on a postcard?  Actually, I’m willing to bet it IS on a postcard somewhere in St. John’s.

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The sun was shinning right at me, so not great for a photo, but still such a picturesque place – I couldn’t resist. You can see the Quidi Vidi brewery, which is the green building. I’ll have to check that out another time ;-).

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I tried to capture the sun sparkling on the water – millions of little dazzling diamonds! LOVE!

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When I finally did go inside to check out the pottery – that was a wonderful treat too.  Such incredible work.  People are just so talented – it is truly astounding sometimes. We saw lovely nature-inspired pieces, and many wonderful colours, shapes and patterns. I learned about Raku clay and saw a dozen items that I would love to have in my home. I just don’t have room for anything without ditching something so I managed to hold back from buying anything, but they were positively delicious to behold.

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Upstairs in the plantation, there are different artisans who are working on their craft and selling their wares. If you are in town, it is definitely worth a visit!  One of the artisans had a sign in her booth that I really liked.  It said, “Have nothing in your home that is not useful or beautiful.”  Words to live by.