(some of) my favourite spots in the annapolis valley. (pt.2)

I think that I could make about 20 parts of this series. I love my home so much and I refuse to stop talking about it! But this will be the end of the series until I go back home, see more spots, and take more photos! :D

4. Ettinger Fall, Three Mile Plains (just outside of Windsor).

This little gem is one that I had never heard of until this summer's visit back home. My sister-in-law showed us these falls and it has now become one of my new favourite spots! I have not spent much time in the Windsor or surrounding area, so it was really cool to go to a pretty secluded spot and enjoy the falls without a ton of people around (something that does not happen often in Ontario). 

5. Hall's Harbour. 

We will end our journey (for now) by the sea. Hall's Harbour is just the best place! The houses are cute, the water is crisp, the rocks are rocky (I am an avid rock collector), and the view is perfect.

My family and I would come here in the summer and have a KFC picnic (yep, we are those people) and just enjoy an afternoon drinking up that salty air. There is a fantastic restaurant where you can get some extremely sought after Atlantic lobster - I have been told that people fly all the way from British Columbia to have this lobster... what I am about to tell you may make you hate me, but... I am not a fan of lobster or many foods from the sea. Yes, I realize I am from the East Coast and apparently we are all supposed to love seafood, but that's not a thing. I'm sorry.

But anyway! Hall's Harbour is a MUST MUST MUST for me! I absolutely love it and I wish that I could live here!

6. Baxter's Harbour

This spot was a slightly random, googled, but had heard of before spot! Baxter's Harbour is a little gem that I had never heard anyone talk about. It is a 20-25 minute drive from Kentville and I am so stunned that I never knew about it before. I have come across photos of these falls in the Winter and man, they are GORGEOUS! I am so sad that we will not be going east this Christmas but if you get the chance to go here in the Winter, DO IT!

Such a great spot for a picnic, adventuring, a bit of rock climbing, fishing i'm sure, photos, and also whale watching! We were lucky enough to spot a whale off in the distance before we left - not my first time seeing a whale but it is always a special and very exciting moment when it happens!

There you have it! These are just a few of my favourite places to go when I am able to visit my home. I would love to know where you are from and where your favourite spots to go are when you are home! And, of all the places I have mentioned, where would you go and visit?

(some of) my favourite spots in the annapolis valley (pt.1)

This post is going to focus on some of favourite spots in the Annapolis Valley - where I was born and raised! If you ever get the chance to go to Nova Scotia, don't skip out on this beautiful part of the province! I know that the Halifax area is fun and gorgeous, and the Southern Shore is just stunning, and Cape Breton is just full of the friendliest folks - but the Annapolis Valley has all of that! Yes, I am biased, but I am also not wrong. Okay, cool!

Here we go!

1. Evangeline Beach, Grand Pre.

This place is like a second home to me. My grandparent's found a little slice of heaven right along the beach and plopped (built) a cottage (I call it a cabin) there and made a space for our family - the Woodworth's - to come together and make memories! The beach itself is a beautiful place to go and swim, walk along or have a bon fire on. It is a tad muddy but who goes to the beach to stay clean, am I right? 

And down the way from our cabin is a cute little campground and a canteen with an arcade and candy! We used to get penny candies there - yes, I am old enough to have been alive to get penny candies!

2. Blomidon Provincial Park, Canning (Cape Blomidon).

Now, let's take a look at another beautiful beach spot right across the same water from Evangeline Beach! 

This place is still quite new to me - my first time going to Blomidon was last year... yes, I have been looking at these cliff from my cabin for 27 years, and I had never been until last summer. Ridiculous. But, I digress. 

This beach is a stunner! It's not as muddy (still muddy but not as bad) and lined along it's coast are some freakin' amazing cliffs! This is a must-see spot - and enjoy the scenery along the country roads.

3. The Look-off, Canning.

This is the iconic view of the Annapolis Valley! No, you cannot see all of the valley from this spot, but you see a lot of it! The Look-off is a spot that I, without a doubt, have to visit when I am home. I need to take in the beautiful place that I was born and raised in. This view keeps me humble and reminds me of who I am, where I came from, and what I have accomplished to be where I am at this point in my life!

It's a pretty outstanding view! And if you are an ice cream lover, there is a great spot across the street where you can grab a sweet treat to enjoy with this incredible view!

(some of) my favourite spots in nova scotia.

As I am sure you have figured out by now, I am from Nova Scotia... and I love it!

Every time I get to go home, there are a few spots that are on my list of places to go. Even though I have been to most of these spots a ton of times - I grew up going to these places - I still love them with all my heart!

So, I wanted to share these little Nova Scotia gems that I love so much with you all!

I have so many favourite spots in the Annapolis Valley (where I am from), so I am going to make a few posts of some of my favourite spots there! Stay tuned!

1. Lunenburg. 

Lunenburg is one of those spots that doesn't even seem real to me. It is such a unique little town on the water with so much happening. From boat tours, to a gorgeous landscape (so many hills - you will get a great workout visiting here!), to horse and carriage rides through town (yes, this is a real thing!!), and to unique little shops and great restaurants - check out Big Red's and the Salt Shaker Deli!

Fun little fact: Mark and I originally wanted to get married in Lunenburg but instead got married in the similarly landscaped province of Newfoundland!

2. Peggy's Cove Lighthouse.

Yes, I went there. Such a typical spot to mention but Peggy's Cove IS the landmark of Nova Scotia. People can identify our province by a photo of this lighthouse without having seen the lighthouse or been to the province. It is such a beautiful spot with a gorgeous landscape and the sounds of the waves crashing... it's just the perfect spot to go, pop-a-squat on a the rocks, and just take everything in. And if you are lucky enough (we weren't this time) you may get to hear the tied-for-first (with crashing waves) most beautiful sound in the world - bagpipes!

3. Bear River (Near Digby).

I found out about this place when I was just a young girl. My friend's Grandparents lived there and we stayed with them and at a cabin deep in the woods. Bear River is such a small town in this deep valley which makes it feel even smaller. Everyone there is so sweet and everyone knows everyone. It's a literal dream spot for me. On top of all of this dreaminess, they have been holding the Cherry Carnival for 125 years!!! I went to my first one yeeeeaaarrrrssss ago, and I ever since, I wanted to go back and watch the infamous "grease pole" - a greased up log that people pay a small amount to try and get the flag at the end of the pole without falling into the water. That's it. That is the "grease pole". And I love it! I find it so entertaining and I could watch it forever - if there was a Netflix series on it, I would be watching it!  

But yes, this place is magical! I haven't been that many times but it has a special spot in my heart!

the memories we keep.

"sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."

- Dr. Seuss - 

 

It is photos like these -  my husband and his nephew with some beautiful evening light in my sister-in-law's backyard forest in Nova Scotia; or of Mark sitting with my nephew in Bear River during the Cherry Carnival watching the grease pole (something I will go into more detail about in a future post, haha!); or of Mark sitting with my nephew and his cousin who also calls Mark "Uncle Mark" - it is photos like these ones, and so many more, why I got my first DSLR.

5 years ago, Mark got me my first DSLR - the wonderfully underrated Canon t3i. I had no intentions of using it to make a "career" (I still don't feel like I am at 'career status' yet with my photography). All I wanted it for was to document our life together. To capture moments like these. Moments that we can both cherish for the rest of our days. We can look at them and remember snippets of those particular days - the funny things that happened or were said (my nephew Wesson say "jamp" instead of "jump", "swamich" instead of "sandwich", and many other hilarious words that make him sound like Bubbles from 'The Trailer Park Boys' (he knows how to say the words correctly, he just thinks too quickly sometimes/ is just cute - and is also 5). 

I guess what I am getting at is it really does pay to have something more than just phone photos. Not that there is anything wrong with them - my phone is jam-packed with photos and videos that I love! But with my DSLR, I not only get to capture these moments, I then get to edit them - add a little magic - and as I am doing that, I think about those days. How we were feeling, the things that we learned, the people and views that we saw, and the ice cream that we ate (we ate SO much ice cream in Nova Scotia! It's a bit ridiculous.). 

Now, I not only capture my own memories, but I am able to capture so many other's! Complete strangers who trust me to capture the moments that mean the most to them. 

And that makes me feel pretty freakin' cool.

What are your favourite memories? What photos do you keep on your phone or computer because you just can't stand the thought of removing them? What is your desktop or phone background? 

the charlotte letter.

and just as the phoenix rose from the ashes, she too will rise. returning from the flames, clothed in nothing but her strength, more beautiful than ever.

- shannen heartzs -

It has been a while.. and if I am being honest, it has felt so great to be away!

I have been, and still am, feeling creatively drained. I don't want to work on photos, I don't want to write. I don't want to do anything really. But, I cannot be a hermit forever (or can it?). And after listening to one of my new favourite podcasts today (Nova Church Podcast), I am ready to get back, give back and rock this life!

I've recently been working on a bit of a project to help me get back to myself, my creativity, and what makes me happy.

I call it "the charlotte letter".

I want to dedicate one day a week (probably Sunday since I am posting this on a Sunday) to get a little deeper with you but also, and most importantly, with myself. Along with this, I will be using the red dress you see below (or different variations along the way) as sort of the "symbol" for this whole journey - hence the play on words with The Charlotte Letter  instead of 'The Scarlet Letter' (just incase you didn't get it - it's totally cool if you didn't!). 

I am really excited to dive deep with you all and get a little more personal (yes, I get even more personal than I already am)! If you are not into this type of thing, I will still be sharing other posts that may be a little more light and goofy. :)

 

Also, as I mentioned above, I am a big fan of the Nova Church Podcast! I was able to attend one of their services while on vacation in Nova Scotia and it has left such a huge imprint on my heart. The people were incredible, the music was incredible, and the message was incredible. I have never been to such a fun church or to a church where you not only see people's love for God and for being at church, but you feel it. I cried a few times from the overwhelming amount of love in the room - and I may be tearing up just thinking about it... my experience there changed my heart for the better.

Even if you are not a believer in God or you believe in something or someone else, I feel that this podcast could relate to everyone's life in some way. Maybe you just need a little encouragement, a little enlightenment, or maybe even a laugh - they are so funny! Definitely give it a listen or share it with someone you think would like it or need it!

Try something new. <3