Cindy’s Fabulous Nova Scotia Getaway on The CAT High-Speed Ferry
I've always loved weekend getaways and, thanks to The CAT high-speed ferry, I was able to travel to Nova Scotia for a super-fun long weekend.
Gas prices have all of us second-guessing our summer vacation plans. But what if you could get to Canada in 3 1/2 hours and only use enough gas to drive to Bar Harbor? It's true. Sounds great, doesn't it?
Well, that's what I did last weekend. The CAT high-speed ferry set sail at 3:00 on Friday afternoon. You can take your vehicle with you so, once you get to Yarmouth, you'll be able to travel all around the region. We didn't take a vehicle because we were being escorted around by the nice folks with Yarmouth and Acadian Shores Tourism Association. Contact them when planning your itinerary because they'll steer you toward some awesome points of interest. Here are a few of my favorite parts of the trip.
The CAT High-Speed Ferry
Someone asked me the other day what I did for the 3 1/2 hour trip across the channel and I told them there are plenty of things to do. I watched a movie from their comfortable seating, ate some delicious food (hint hint - try the Reuben), and shopped for souvenirs at Scotia Market Gift Shop. The staff on board The CAT high-speed ferry is amazing. They constantly walk around the ship, saying hello, asking if you need anything, and make sure everyone is happy and comfortable.
Food, Fabulous Food
I love great food and Nova Scotia has a wide variety of delicious dishes to choose from. Some of my favorite meals included an ocean-side lobster boil with the most elegant s'mores I've ever had. Think chocolate, marshmallows, and caramel. Yum! Then there was the lobster and asparagus quiche the next morning, all these at the Argyler Lodge. I had my first Korean bibimbap (and now I want more) and even tried some rappie pie. This is a regional favorite that absolutely everyone you meet will ask you about. Seriously. Everyone. It's awesome.
Nova Scotia and the Acadian Shore have a rich history and it's celebrated throughout the region. We learned about how life was for the early settlers from Berenice D'Entremont at Le Musee des Acadiens des Pubnicos, and toured Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Ecosse, which features a community of heritage buildings, including a boat building shop, a blacksmith, and a root cellar. Thanks to Roland for showing us around and answering our questions.
Something you can't miss on your visit is the unique Cape Forchu Lighthouse, which you can see from the CAT high-speed ferry as you pull into port in Yarmouth. But you can't fully appreciate it until you see it up close and climb the 77 steps to the top. It's not for the faint of heart with see-through steps in a tight space. But the view from the top is definitely worth the climb.
Sleeping in the Sky Bubble
One of the most unique parts of our trip was a night's stay in a sky bubble at the Deep Sky Eye Observatory. The history behind this facility is fascinating, starting with the owner, Tim, who was born blind but can see things at night that most of us cannot. After attending his star show during the evening, we retired to our sky bubbles. These units are inflatable tents with clear tops, which enable you to lie in bed and see up into the sky. It was so cool! Tim's wife brought us buckets of snacks for the night and then coffee and muffins in the morning, making us feel very pampered.
Finally, I really enjoyed the creativity of the residents. There were stunning quilts everywhere we went that were so beautiful I'm surprised I didn't bring one home. I did find an irresistible pair of earrings made from green sea glass. That creativity extends to the adult beverages too, including some delicious cocktails at Boatskeg Distilling.
All in all, it was an awesome weekend spent with some of the nicest people I've ever met. And I'm talking about every single person we encountered. The people of Nova Scotia are just generally friendly and welcoming to everyone, and I found that so refreshing.