Friday, July 31, 2009


As some of you know, Isabelle will be celebrating her 5th birthday at the end of August so Paul and I have been discussing what to do for her party. Let me begin by saying that birthday parties are on a whole different level in Greenville, the hot dogs and hamburgers with a few games in the backyard just doesn’t seem to be done here. Also, guidelines like inviting the kids whose parties Isabelle was invited to or only as many guests as she is old don’t seem to be the norm here either.

Since Isabelle’s birthday is in the summer, we have done different things – family at home for #1, family at Oaklawn Farm Zoo for #2, a kayak trip and camping with friends for #3, and last year Paul and I took her on an overnight trip to Columbia, SC to visit the Children’s Museum and Riverbanks Zoo. We also try et the three amigos whose birthdays are within 2 weeks together. In other words, we avoided the whole thing.

In the last year, Isabelle has been to several birthday parties at bouncy play places, horse riding parks, and a private kids party space complete with dress-up clothes, video games and ball room. Isabelle had so much fun at every party that each week she seems to want to do something different for her birthday.P4190023 P4180003 P5092290 P5302666When we started looking into the options, by the time we figured in the cost of the facility plus food, cake and loot bags we were looking at a significant investment. I read some comments on an internet forum about people spending the better part of $1000 on a first birthday party. Maybe I am too practical but the way I figure it in 18 years that $1000 could go a long way towards a year a college.

In the past, Isabelle has chosen veggies over cake, yes I have witnesses. So, one thing I did want to do was to bring/choose our own food/cake so that I could serve things Isabelle likes but most places either provide food, usually pizza, or restrict it to only dry things i.e. chips.

We finally decided on venue and guest list, Isabelle knows what they are doing but I don’t think it has sunk in entirely. Check back in a few weeks to see what we decided. Now, what will we put in the loot bags???

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let’s go to Cape Breton

We are winding up our time in Cape Breton – the weather for the first part of our stay wasn’t the best but the last couple of days have been gorgeous. Mum and Dad were with us for a bit – which gave Dad a chance to go fishing. Isabelle wanted to try her hand at it after he came home with this trout:P7163056 We also were here for the Whycocomagh Summer Festival which was lots of fun. This year the community really tried to revitalize the festival and did they ever succeed! With waterfront activities, a Teddy Bears Picnic, a parade and a fair at the campground, Isabelle has been talking about nothing else since. Hopefully, we will be back for next year’s festival.P7183084 P7183069 P7173064On the rainy days, Mom and I worked on the hardest jigsaw either of us had ever done – we even had to break her cardinal rule of not looking at the picture. It took a week but we finished it! P7203111Between rainy days last week, we managed to get to West Mabou Beach, Cheticamp and the Highland Village in Iona.  West Mabou is now a provincial park so there are more people there than when I was growing up but it is still a beautiful beach. Unfortunately, even the “warmest water north of the Carolinas” was pretty cold.P7203120 P7203115 P7203113We had a clear day for our drive to Cheticamp, but a little chilly. We had lunch at the Co-op Artisanale – fricot for Isabelle, chicken stew for me. Isabelle watched the ladies hooking rugs and even tried it but it was too fine for her, and me too.P7233122Fridays mornings in Iona they have a program for 5 to 10 year olds so Isabelle played some traditional games, learned a little Gaelic and visited the animals including Mira Jean the horse. She has also been taking a few pictures which she seems to enjoy and shows that I actually was there for some of our adventures! She also got to see the Malagawatch Church which she knows from the stories of the mice.P7243140 P7243137 P7243134 P7243130P7243128Since Sunday we have had a houseguest. Dawn arrived and brought the sun so Monday we went to the Red Shoe Pub in Mabou and then back to West Mabou Beach. The beach was pretty windy but Maggie didn’t seem to mind having the wind in her ears.DSCF0001P7273152 P7273148 DSCF0002Tuesday, we went to Whale Cove Beach (I meant to go to Chimney Corner but missed the turn-off) and then to visit friends in Margaree. Although it was cool in the morning, the afternoon was warm and we had lots of sun. Dawn has a great camera so some of these pictures are from it.  Both Isabelle and Maggie have really enjoyed Dawn’s visit – as can be seen in the pictures!    DSCF0025DSCF0044 DSCF0041 DSCF0039 DSCF0034Dawn was out early this morning taking some neat pictures of the house in Whycocomagh. I’m already looking forward to next year! DSCF0008DSCF0011DSCF0006

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Girl’s Night Out

Since we are home in Nova Scotia, I thought I would see who we could see while we are home – funny, some of our favorite bands/singers don’t seem to have Greenville, SC on their tour schedules!

Anyway, Port Hawkesbury has a free concert series on Sunday nights called Granville Green and tonight Lennie Gallant was playing. I know Paul was disappointed that he would miss it but he promised Isabelle I would take her so off we went.

Andrew White from New Zealand opened. He was good but played perhaps a few too many instrumentals to hold Isabelle’s attention and she was ready for the main attraction. Lennie played for about two hours, I think. Songs from every album including his new one – “If We Had A Fire”. My memory isn’t good enough to give a set list but he played Peter’s Dream, Voulez-vous Danser, Pull of the Fundy Tide, Which Way Does the River Run, Man of Steel, Meet Me at the Oasis, I want to Save the World for You and 47 Angels. OK, I cheated a bit and looked at my CDs…

We stayed to the bitter end and Isabelle got him to sign the new CD for her. There were even fireworks in Mulgrave, across the Strait.

All in all, a good night, Isabelle fell asleep on the drive home. The only downside was that Maggie had to stay in the car – no dogs allowed at Granville Green :(P7193088 P7193094 P7193098 P7193102 P7193104 P7193110

Saturday, July 18, 2009


It came to my attention recently that I haven’t posted any pictures of Isabelle lately so here are a few shots from 2009.

Isabelle and Hayley, July 2009

Diving for sticks, Orchard Farms Pool, July 2009

Dinner in Folly Beach, June 2009

Folly Beach, June 2009

YMCA Soccer, May 2009

Artisphere, Downtown Greenville, May 2009

‘Skin the Cat’, Greenville Gymnastics, May 2009

At Home, April 2009

Smoky Mountains, April 2009

Birthday Party, Riverbend Equestrian Park, April 2009

Climbing Wall, Pump It Up, April 2009