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December 22, 2009

2009 Travel: In Review

Mea culpa. I had intended to get further than I did in my trip dispatches for the year. While I neglected the week-by-week summary of my summer schedule, I'm happy to report it was a busy, beautiful time. And maybe I can make it up to you, dear reader, by this brief retrospective (with pics!) of the Year That Was. As always, you may click on the thumbnails for a closer look.

After the unrelenting winter of January, what a difference: In Miami for Valentine's Day, at a very authentic (no English!) Cuban place. Flamenco dancing. Totally romantic -- except for the presence of my Mom, Dad, brother, sister, and sister-in-law. Yes, it was the launching point for a family cruise: first to San Juan, then to St. Thomas and St. Maarten, doubling back to Miami.

While I'm not sure cruising was really my thing, there certainly were some lovely places to see. Here's one from each island:
img_2996.jpgPuerto Rico
img_0010_sm.jpgSt. Thomas
img_0070_sm.jpgSt. Martin (French side)

Stayed close to home (lest you wonder from the splendor of this retrospective: I am not independently wealthy). Furthest we went was the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park. Here's a picture of some rare -- seriously -- Sable Island horses:

The spring was a relative travel drought; I went to Bangor in April, but that was pretty much all business. So it was refreshing to go island-hopping again. Granted, it was just Tancook Island, but still. (You already knew about that one.) Also toured the mysterious George's Island. (Ditto..) But we also visited Governor's Island in New Brunswick, reachable by car only once a day. That trip included a get-together with The Sweetness's college friends and a sighting of a tree species thought to have died out with the dinosaurs. But the thing that I was the most excited to do (and the thing I will have to shut up about quickly lest this list never get finished)? Had a private tour of the CBC shortwave transmitting station on the Tantramar marshes. The place was just crawling with RF energy. In the switching building, they don't even need to turn on the fluorescent lights for them to work. Took no inside pics, and the outside picture doesn't do it justice -- you gotta go visit yourself:

Ah, summer! We went back to the Magdalens, on which I have blogged previously. Just as lovely this time as before, though much, much windier!

Probably the pictorial highlight of the month, however, was the Tall Ships Festival in my own town of Halifax. My parents came up to see it, too, which made it extra special. Here is the tall ship Virginia:

While we traveled to Washington, D.C. in August, it was mostly business. And totally hot... which made our September trip a relief. The Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, a remote recreational area in mainland Nova Scotia, has long been promising a day-use park, complete with an off-grid interpretive centre. But, much like this list, it was behind schedule for a long time!

This year they managed to open, and it exceeded every expectation we had mustered for it. I want to show 100 pics, but three will have to suffice:
033_sm.JPGAtop the Interpretive Centre
050_sm.JPGEatonville Harbour
076_sm.JPGSqually Point

With the arrival of fall came cooler weather and more work, neither of which is conducive to a lot of traveling. But I will finish off this retrospective with pictures of Duncan's Cove, a popular walking area outside of Halifax. The place has a forbidding beauty:
Duncan's Cove Nov 1, 2009 005_sm.JPG
Duncan's Cove Nov 1, 2009 012_sm.JPG
Duncan's Cove Nov 1, 2009 022_sm.JPG

In December, we stayed close to home and visited family. The Sweetness and I will be in Virginia with my family for Christmas and New Year's. So anyone who cares to look me up, that's where I'll be.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

Posted by The Greatness at December 22, 2009 03:28 PM