Following lunch, the party engaged in a stroll along the Digby waterfront.
Read Part 1 HERE !
Following lunch, the party engaged in a stroll along the Digby waterfront.
Clear skies, minimal wind, and ripples upon ripples of brilliant Bay of Fundy waters accompanied our southbound trek on Water Street
Only a handful of pedestrians were spotted during our stay: a few dog-walkers (presumably local) and a small group of camera wielders (presumably tourists such as ourselves).
View the full album HERE !
At 6 AM the next morning, I meekly pried open my eyes at 6 AM sharp. "Morning Flower" sounded a bit different.
I heard faint tapping noises, which I presumed to be rainfall at first. But the sound reverberated from within the room, not on the other side of a glass panel.
For a millisecond, I contemplated the possibility of it being the tapping of laptop keys. But no one else was awake.
Pitter patter. It was unmistakably water droplets.
And it sounded as if it was taking place in the general area of my most valued possessions.
Scrambling with the daunting realization that I may never be able to access the sole device that enabled consistent connection with the world, I grabbed my glasses and a flashlight.
Lo and behold, the sight was jarring: the lightweight, yet heavy duty camera bag I had researched so extensively was soaked to the core, dampened by what I can only presume to be nasty, used bathwater (and whatever foreign material utilized in ceiling tiles).
Somewhat gratefully, the droplets had only missed the rest of my equipment by a mere centimetres. Two cameras and an unsheathed, charging laptop had barely avoided the calamity. The contents of my backpack, though, were tell another tale.
Desperate attempts were made to remediate the inflicted damage. However, the irritable musty smell persisted.
And just when I thought it was all over, crashing down with a bang were the permeated fragments of tile.
My first concern was the potential asbestos content of the tile; it is not uncommon for old materials to rely heavily on the cancerous substance, and once made friable, residents of the room would have been directly exposed to its hazards. Had the piece not given way due to dampening, the compact quadrants would be immediately become a zone of invisible danger.
More alarming was the very fact that these droplets could have easily saturated an area with a live current, and consequently resulted in an explosion with energy contributed from neighbouring electronics.
The overall mood at breakfast time was grim - and could you blame me? I settled for the Matcha Custard Mini Gangs acquired the previous night, then took to the streets of Downtown Halifax once again for coffee. Alas, it was Sunday, and few cafes in the area had opened for business.
We then set off for another adventure shortly afterwards. The trip involved routing through Dartmouth, which involved crossing the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge. It was my first time coming across a toll bridge; Hwy 407 is the only P3 method of transportation involving tolls (or at least that I've used anyway). The fee for the Macdonald Bridge was only a loonie though, making it signficantly more economic than tolls back home.
Our primary destination was Digby, a town on the southwest coast of the province renowned for scallops. En route was Annapolis, where we stopped for a quick tour of the Annapolis Tidal Plant.
The renewable energy plant was grand in scale, and even featured an information seminar and interactive presentation on the upper floor of the Interpretive Centre.
Eventually, we pulled into the parking lot of Rusty Anchor.
Time and time again, it was proven that restaurants could exist wherever tourists left their mark. Sustenance is in constant demand while on the road, and it appeared that many earned one's keep by partaking in the fulfillment of such a need, offering their own version of local specialties.
Rusty Anchor was part gift shop and part eatery. The reception area was brimming with monogrammed apparel bearing the restaurant's name; behind it was a dining hall furnished with nautical decor and plastic tablecloths. Several windows situated about the interior provided illumination.
Drinks were served in mason jars and diner-style gradient glasses. It was a nice touch, should you ask me, and possessed a cohesive vibe to its surroundings.
The party took the Seafood Wrap and Lobster Roll, which came with sides of chips & salsa and spinach salad respectively.
An all-round mediocre dish, the Seafood Wrap was filling but exceptionally fishy in stench. Little can be uttered in regards to the tortilla chips and salsa, for they were clearly storebought and easily replicable.
The night before had been dreadfully cold, averaging a mere four degrees once the sun had vanished. Stargazing and attempts at streaming V Live replays had been benumbing pursuit.
Though the chilliness did carry over to the next morning, clear blue skies and plenty of sunshine welcomed us into the day.
Breakfast was devoured at the Glenora Pub, which was located adjacent to the dining hall we had visited the evening prior. The menu was simple, and the offerings decidedly standard. However, the ambiance was another story altogether: blinding UV rays penetrated through the windows, then were partially refracted by blinds, filling the space with a warm, comforting glow. Interestingly enough, this was also a spot where the Wi-Fi connection remained resolute.
A cup of piping hot black coffee and PB&J toast later, we returned to the suite to re-assemble our belongings yet again. This was a zone of zero signal, so I stood outside for an additional few minutes to ensure all the necessary communication had been made.
We then commenced on what would be remembered as the most scenic road trip of a lifetime.
Cabot Trail was a two-way path that wound around the perimeter of Cape Breton. It curved around mountainous regions - sometimes at very sharp angles, might I add - and featured consistent variation of elevation levels.
Given the spectacular weather conditions, we were able to embrace the entirety of the route while being well-informed of the upcoming twists and turns. (During times of dense fog though, one would consider it perilous to attempt the trail without a shred of familiarity.)
The scene that lay before us was absolutely breathtaking.
Stretching from front to back, then side to side, the sky was a seemingly endless wash of vibrant blue. Paired alongside luscious green forestry and hilly paths, it was a snippet of nature that someone from the metropolitan regions of the nation would not witness on an everyday basis. Moreover, indications of civlization were essentially nonexistent. There wasn't a telephone pole nor streetlamp in sight to interfere with the drive. Mind you, this also meant disconnection with the rest of the world.
The subsequent morning, we awoke to warmer weather and slightly less overcast conditions.
As such, we revisited the waterfront and the touristy red sign. We caught sight of a cruise ship, along with a prevue of the copper-tinged mineral material that we would later witness in abundance.
Receiver Coffee Co. on Richmond St. (Victoria Row?) was my chosen breakfast destination. Nestled between the Anne of Green Gables shop and a series of gastropubs and tourist traps, the storefront was somewhat reminiscent of Maison May, front-facing windows and entrance ramp and all.
In contrast, its interior bore a shocking similitude to My Dog Joe. One could describe the establishment as rustic - very dim with dingy lighting and a chalkboard-like menu board.
Toronto café prices were observed here. (You know, basic Toast for $4 and avotoast for $5 extra at $9.)
The caffeinated drink menu was slightly lacking in labels. Next to each listing was two prices, but it was not made clear whether it pertained to cup size or temperature level (hot/iced).
Similar to many other cafés, hot drinks were served in insulated paper cups sporting café's logo, while iced beverages in disposable plastic cups.
My small Iced Latte (requested with light ice) was four dollars before tax and underfilled a solid. 1.5 - 2 cm under the rim of the cup. My wait time averaged three minutes, which was longer than that of customers who had ordered pour-overs or hot lattes (complete with latte art). But, from what I recall, it doesn't take much to pull an espresso shot.
The final product was unsweetened and, frankly, very, very average. I could have easily reproduced the beverage at home. At least the brew hadn't been overly acidic.
I also picked up a Blackberry Basil Muffin for substantiation. Unlike the latte, it far succeeded my expectations by proving itself a super tasty specimen; a crisp exterior, ultra-moist interior, and two fresh blackberries contributed to its charm. I could not perceive the presence of basil, but the addition of the herb is usually a hit or miss. The subtlety of the culinary plant was probably for the best in this case.
Anne of Green Gables is the quintessential tourist destination of the province, along with COWS (a stop we could not make it due to schedule restrictions). Signage for the Heritage House adopted the form of a federal government fixture with the name of a National Park. The gaudy, colourful signs were not to be observed at all, thus we missed the entrance the first time around.
Soon, we arrived at Confederation Bridge.
We pulled aside to observe the bridge from the north side, then looped into the Cape Jourimain Nature Centre parking lot on the south. A short, rocky trail led us to a wooden platform - the designated lookout point for the 12-kilometre long bridge.
View the full album HERE !
Our Maritimes journey officially commenced the next day. But just prior to departure, a visit to Cafe Taiyaki 52 was requested.
I hadn't expected trendy items such as taiyaki to be available on the East Coast, let alone in the form of ahboong soft serve. We had actually stumbled upon the cafe/dessert shop hybrid the night before after having made a wrong turn. Of course, it was obvious of me immediately include it in the itinerary.
Cafe Taiyaki 52 opened surprisingly early, presumably to cater to the caffeine addicts in the area as well as the late afternoon dessert crews. The interior was lovely and absolutely serene; an abundance of natural light filled the shop from the grey floors to lofty ceilings. With only one other customer in sight, service was expected to be swift. In accordance to the standard Halifax protocol though, it was slow and sweet (read: ridiculously friendly, but all too leisurely for my liking. We were on a time crunch after all.)
It was too early for Taiyaki Soft Serve, which rang in at a whopping $7.50 plus tax (15% HST on this side). Instead, I opted for a trio of standalone Taiyaki: Crunchy with Vanilla Custard, Crusty with Chocolate Hazelnut, and Regular with Matcha Custard. One of these were priced as part of the When Fish Meets Water combo, which included one taiyaki and caffeinated beverage set.
The girl behind the cashier suggested the T-52 Coffee, a supposedly "super sweet" coffee already equipped with milk and sugar. In reality, I craved an Iced Latte, but it was sadly exempt from the combo choices. Despite reeking heavily of granulated sugar, the T-52 Coffee was fine on its own. Consumed in conjunction with equally sweet taiyaki though, it was confirmed excessively sugary.
Taiyaki were offered in three types: Regular, Crunchy, and Vegan (at an additional charge of fifty cents). The "Crunchy" variation is more commonly referred to as Croissant Taiyaki, employing a puff pastry foundation; interestingly, both Crunchy and Regular were priced equally.
As Yelpers had mentioned, the taiyaki was made fresh to order, thus resulting in quite the extensive wait. I hadn't been informed of this ten-or-so minute-duration beforehand - which I would have appreciated - though it was evident that the girl manning the store at the time was making her best effort to speed up the process. Amidst her haste though, my Regular Taiyaki with Matcha Custard had been incorrectly produced with a Vanilla Custard filling. With that said, the quality was not compromised.
Both of the Crunchy Taiyaki were spectacular. Served piping hot, the pastries were wonderfully crunchy and decadent. It differed from Snowy Village's and Sukoi's renditions in that brown sugar granules were substituted with a sweet glaze. Thankfully, the consumption process was devoid of the horrible flaky messy that Sukoi's trio had yielded.
The fillings were average, but the pastry thoroughly impressed. Chocolate Hazelnut was a basic Nutella, while Vanilla Custard could not escape clumps of distinctly orange egginess. Snowy Village still remains superior.
View the full album HERE !
Read Part 2 HERE !
Slowly but surely, we entered Prince Edward Island.
Downtown Charlottetown was the focus of the evening.
Along Queen Street were majority of the main attractions, in addition to sustenance stops. We passed another COWS location (which had closed already by the time we neared the port), a peculiar-looking Canton Cafe offering "Chinese Canadian food" (aka diner-style burgers and Westernized dimsum), Chatime (?!), and many more ethnic-based restaurants.
Braving the chilly blasts, we briefly toured the harbourfront before making stops at the Anne of Green Gables Shop and roaming the area in search of dinner options.
It wasn't until long after sundown that Merchantman was the chosen contender.
The drive was long and, unmistakably, tedious. A collision on the Highway of Heroes encourage us to roam local roads instead. This was fun for a brief while, but ultimately led to prolonged travel times and ceaseless sightings of corn fields.
Most memorable were the cross-highway corridor of the Whitby GO station and short-lived detour of the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Clarington. Otherwise, the ride there primarily consisted of grassy hills, blue skies, and grazing cows. Thank goodness for an upbeat road trip playlist.
Along the way, we stopped at a nearby Tim Hortons for icy beverages and glazed Timbits. I had forgotten why I steered clear of Timmy's until stricken by the heavy dose of sucrose.
Not far away was the Toonie Monument. At long last, we had arrived in Campbellford!
Sources reveal that the monument clocks in at an extravagant 5.5 metre-diameter - roughly 3000 times larger than the typical $2 coin.
We did our tourist loop, then continued onwards. The Ranney Gorge Suspension Bridge awaited us!
Nestled behind a series of OPG machinery was a dusty gravel lot, and behind it the suspension bridge.
Long weekend is the perfect excuse to deviate from regular routine. It enables one to garner an additional morning of sleep while making it possible to include errand-running/personal time into the equation.
Weekend excursions that involve overnight stays are admittedly taxing on me - being Wi-Fi-less is miserable during pre-comeback season - but travelling to places that are seldom visited is always an activity of interest. Day trips happen to be the perfect compromise.
We awoke bright and early on Saturday morning, bound for a destination northeast of the Sauga suburbs. Markham was our first stop, where I pleaded for a stopover at One Zo's Markham location. The popular bubble tea spot had taken over Tendou's old location at Hwy 7 and Town Centre Boulevard.
Having pulled in just a few minutes prior to their opening hours, I stalled outside until a lady with a tiny handbag came up to me, looking rather perplexed I should add. Once she verified that I was nothing more than a mere customer looking to tend to curb an addiction, she unlocked the front door. Opening operations hadn't been completed fully though, so she quickly closed the door behind her and headed towards the kitchen area. A few minutes later, a uniform-clad member of staff welcomed me inside.
The menu did not differ from the North York or Chinatown locations, though, given the early hours of the day, majority of the tapioca options were not available. I settled for a Nature Melon Lemon with Crystal Tapioca (the only variation on offer) and a OneZo Spring Milk Tea.
I hadn't expected to enjoy the Spring Milk Tea as much as I did, since the Peach and Mango Spring Teas tasted sugary and synthetic. The addition of milk - or creamer - was a nice touch; the light floral notes remained without any sort of tackiness. The barista has also managed to attain the requested 25% sugar level without much effort.
Nature Melon Lemon was, well, just as anticipated. There were no distinct variations from my visits elsewhere.
It was odd to think that Tendou had once occupied the space, for most of its original elements had been shed and replaced. Seating area was rather limited in comparison: only a few small tables lined the walls. The west side of the interior had been segmented into a cashier area and tapioca-preparation zone.
I did not visit the bathroom on this visit and thus cannot provide any comments in that regard. On a general basis, the establishment was kept to minimal levels of cleanliness, with the only prominent area of filth being the 4 mm-thick layer of dust atop the fire alarm.
That said, I was very much of a fan of the woodsy aroma oozing from the new decor and the artifical bird-shaped potted plant (ahgase things).
We continued eastbound afterwards, in search of an eatery that would satisfy our collective culinary criteria. The best of both worlds lay with a Hong Kong-style café - Phoenix Restaurant it would be!
Parking spots had gradually begun to fill up in the private asphalt lot. Many of the shaded spaces had been reserved for customers of the neighbouring businesses, which meant those that remained were in direct sunlight.
Prior to noon, there was no need to wait for a table. However, as our meal progresses, more and more patrons began to accumulate about the entrance.
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Who Am I?
I'm the one that talks fashion and K-Pop randoms behind Quirky Aesthetics, the one who contributes honest opinions about commercial beauty items on Review Junkie, the one that obsessively shares photos of food on Pinterest, the one that loves her DSLR more than her own being and the one that wants to work in the transportation sector for a living.