July 25, 2010

The Maritimes: Mosquitos, Moose, and Music

Swimming at Ross Lane Beach, PEI.

I just finished up a lightning-quick swing through the Maritimes… In Nova Scotia, my producer Chris Kelly and I attended the Evolve Music Festival where we officially crowned them the #1 Music Festival in Canada via our Searchlight contest from CBC Radio 3. The Evolve Festival is… quite a sight to behold. On the days that we were there, the festival was blessed with beautiful weather, which meant skin, skin and more skin and lots of hedonistic behavior and blissful enjoyment, both of the music and the pure experience that is Evolve. Rich Aucoin was fantastic. Both Chris and I met a bunch of great CBC Radio 3 fans which is always fun. Thanks to Jonas, Jay, Becky, Martin, Moe, Ryan, and the folks at Sea’scape Cottages for an amazing stay in the seashore and hills outside of Antigonish. (When in Antigonish, check out the Tall and Small Café for good, healthy eats. And they play Jill Barber music).

Next up was a return trip for me to Prince Edward Island, Canada’s emerald jewel in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The day was gorgeous as I parted ways with Chris and headed for the ferry terminal. An Antigonish local told me I only had to arrive “one minute” before the boat, so I cut it pretty close. Sadly, it was a little too close as I arrived one minute AFTER the ferry pulled away from the dock, which meant a swing into the quaint Nova Scotia town of Pictou, for a relaxing lunch at Deb’s Hidden Café, owned by Deb, who was quite the character and didn’t mind making me breakfast at 3pm.

Once on and off the next ferry and safely on PEI (what’s with that ferry blasting its horn with no warning for the passengers on the outside deck?! My rock ‘n’ roll ears could barely take it!) I took the leisurely drive across the island to visit family friends in lovely Stanhope, on the north shore, just outside of a stunning coastal national park. I’ve been lucky enough to see plenty of “views of serenity” in my life but I must say I’ve never experienced anything quite like climbing the stairs of the boardwalk at Ross Lane Beach, cresting a giant sand dune, and seeing the spectacular ocean vista that appeared. The beach was endless and the surf was easy, so I wasted no time in stripping down and taking my first-ever swim in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It was incredible. I love swimming and always think that the ocean is the real fountain of youth, and this was one my best swimming experiences of my life. Thanks so much to the Kelly-Roberts family for their amazing Island hospitality.

The next morning it was raining on PEI, but I was able to take another drive through the rolling hills, listening to the Vinyl Café, past Green Gables, as I headed to the Confederation Bridge, which took me through moose country in New Brunswick, then through Nova Scotia back to the Halifax airport, and finally home to Vancouver. When all was said and done, on July 25, 2010, I was in half of Canada’s provinces in one day (Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and British Columbia). In one week I’ve been in six provinces and one territory. Sleepy time now.

Next up, I’ll be guest hosting Vancouver’s CBC Radio One afternoon show On The Coast all of this week. Hope you can tune in!

(3) Comments

  1. John "tb3" says:

    How much money did you get for letting them name the Gulf after you?

  2. Martin C says:

    I had a great time at Evolve as well Grant, great to see you and Chris there. I hope the video of the awards turned out well!

    Regarding PEI, there’s nothing like cresting a dune to head to the beach on a beautiful day…

  3. Glad you enjoyed your swim in PEI – I’ll be going to my place of serenity “my beach” up east – which is a similar stretch of paradise to Ross Lane but with white sand dunes.
    Then back to BC for The Big Time Out fest..still working on some CBC Radio 3 promo …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *