A Hot Day in Halifax

We visited Halifax during our 2 week road trip of New England and Canada. We rented a car in Boston, explored Maine, spent some fun days along the Bay of Fundy, and relaxed in Prince Edward Island (PEI) before heading to Halifax.

We knew that it was a bit out of our way and that it was a long way to go for a short visit, but we were still excited to get into Nova Scotia and to explore the harbor town of Halifax.

We arrived in town by around 1 pm and got set up in our room at Homewood Suites (booked for free with points earned from a Hilton credit card signup bonus). Then we headed out to explore. It was a very hot day!

What We Did

We grabbed a quick lunch in the food court of Scotia Square which was only a few blocks from our hotel. It was a big food court with lots of options. Eric got Indian food and Della a shawarma plate. We hadn’t brought our highchair so Kiddo had to sit in his stroller and consequently didn’t eat much. We were in a bit of a rush though, so it didn’t matter too much.¬†

We roughly used this self-guided walking tour to follow throughout our day. Our first stop was City Hall and St. Paul’s Church, the oldest still-standing Anglican church in Canada. We then headed down to the waterfront. Our first destination was the Maritime Museum…. err.. rather, the maritime themed playground outside of it. In an ideal trip, we would have spent some time poring over the 30,000 artifacts here, but we knew Kiddo was a bit too young and we were definitely pressed for time. As mentioned above, it was a HOT day and playing around the playground got us all a bit red-faced! So, we did the most natural thing – we got some icecream at Cows and relaxed in the shade while we ate it.

Our next stop was the Farmer’s Market. We had intended to do a quick stroll through and at least get to the Pier 21 Immigration Museum, but as soon as we saw the market was indoors, we decided we would spend a little more time there. By this point, we also knew for sure that, to our disappointment, we were likely not going to make it into the museum. Kiddo didn’t seem likely to relax or take a second nap. Unfortunately, while the Farmer’s Market was indoors – it did not have air conditioning! We also were arriving late in the day so many of the market stalls were closing up. However, we stopped a the Ursan Mead stand which was offering free tastings. We tasted several different kinds including spritzer-like fruity meads and, the most unique, a baklava flavored mead. This was a fun stop and we purchased a few bottles! (It was also a good short celebration because we had just found out that Della’s sister had gotten engaged!)

We walked by a couple more buildings on the tour we were following, but didn’t really stop until we reached the Public Gardens. Holy cow! These Victorian era gardens are beautiful! You can easily imagine people wearing lovely dresses and top hats strolling through them. We enjoyed a leisurely walk ourselves, stopping for a Kiddo snack.

Our final stop was the Citadel. Getting up this fortified hill was a bit of a hike, but it was, at least, on the way back towards our hotel. We were all hot and tired at this point and Kiddo actually did end up falling asleep in his stroller. For that reason, and because the Citadel itself was closing quite soon, we didn’t go in. Instead we just enjoyed the views of the city before heading back down.

We took advantage of the fact that Kiddo was still napping and stopped for a beer at a brewery called 2 Crows which was right next to the hotel. It was actually the most perfect timing. It had lovely air conditioning and Kiddo slept long enough for both his parents to enjoy a semi-leisurely pint.

Kiddo was a bit grumpy when we woke up so we decided to stay in for dinner. Eric headed out to grab a local specialty donair which was actually quite a bit like a gyro.

We really wish we had more time to spend in Halifax. While it was quite a drive ultimately out of our way, we are glad we went!

Traveling With Kiddo (Lessons Learned)

Most parents know that traveling with snacks and drinks is a must. We try to mostly keep Kiddo on a schedule where he eats regular snacks and meals, but sometimes a well-timed snack can save an afternoon! On this trip, we found one of the best snacks was little Clementine oranges. You can carry them un-refrigerated in your bag all day, they have a good amount of juice to keep you hydrated on really hot days, and Kiddo LOVES them.

We’ve mentioned in other posts how important the right stroller can be!

We’ve also mentioned how our baby tent helped us out quite a bit. In Halifax, we used cushions from the couch in the room to set him up in the kitchen area of our room. That meant we had a little more distance between us and him after he went down and we didn’t worry about our reading lights disturbing him nearly as much.

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2 Week Itinerary: New England and Canada

This was our first international trip with Kiddo! It was also the first trip we were to embark upon with him where we were not completely visiting friends/family or taking family with us. We were a bit nervous, but ultimately, it worked out really well!

At this point in time, Kiddo was still taking two naps per day – though to be fair, he mostly didn’t need them both. We were holding on to the 2nd nap because we liked it for ourselves! However, it did give us an outline for how we would plan this trip. Initially, we decided to fly to Boston because there was a direct flight on Southwest. (We currently hold a companion pass!) We knew we had a few friends scattered throughout New England that it would be fun to see. We also each had a few states up there that we had not been to. In addition, we saw that you could easily drive up to Canada, and in particular, to Prince Edward Island (PEI). We were excited that Kiddo could cross an international border and Della has been a fan of Anne of Green Gables so has always wanted to get to PEI. We decided to plan around those locations. We knew that Kiddo would nap in the car in the morning but then need something to interest and excite him in the afternoon before he would sleep in the car again in the afternoon. So, our goal was to never drive more than about 3 hours at a time and to always pick somewhere interesting to be in the middle of the day.

The 2 week itinerary was as follows:

Day 1: Arrive Boston
Day 2-3: Explore Boston
Day 4: Boston to Portland, Maine. We spent the middle of the day visiting a friend who we had experienced the Nepal Earthquake with us in Kennebunk, ME.
Day 5: Portland to St. Andrews, New Brunswick (Canada). We spent the middle of the day in Bangor, ME.
Day 6: St. Andrews to Summerside, PEI. We spent the middle of the day exploring Fundy National Park.
Day 7-8: PEI: one day exploring Charlottetown and one day exploring Cavendish
Day 9: PEI to Halifax, Nova Scotia. This was only a 3 hour drive.
Day 10: Halifax to Saint John, NB. We spent the middle of the day exploring Hopewell Rocks along the Bay of Fundy.
Day 11: Saint John to Northport, ME where we met a good friend of Della’s. We stopped for lunch in Machias, ME and then we explored Wild Blueberry Land near Columbia Falls, ME.
Day 12: Northport, ME
Day 13: Explored Acadia National Park
Day 14: Northport, ME to North Conway, New Hampshire. We stopped for lunch and a playground in Bridgeport.
Day 15: North Conway back to Boston via the scenic Kancamagus Highway.
Day 16: Boston with an evening flight home!

We really enjoyed the trip and our strategy of having Kiddo nap twice a day in the car worked almost flawlessly!