Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The 99th Voyage coming in to port

The 100th Voyage to depart the 28th

a role model , i read about him in ESPN magazine in May

Kate's Memorables: Canada Edition

Weather: mostly overcast

Stays: Marriott Harbourfront - concierges floor- NICE! I especially loved how friendly the staff was and the fact that they wore kilts.

Coolest Moments-     Adventures
1) going through customs in Toronto: i had to be pulled aside to immigrations for questions, probably because I had a one way ticket.
2) realizing that it will be legal for me to drink for the rest of my life, and taking advantage of that: molesins, alexander keith's, moosehead, and labatts. canadian brews, eh?
3) running to pier 22 along the boardwalk
4) shopping in historic properties afterdark
5) seeing the citadel and the guards change

Top Food
1)**Alexander Keith's Amber Ale- brewed in nova scotia est. 1820 **
2) maple syrup pasta (salty's upstairs next to the hotel)
3) maple dressing on salad
4) Brewbaker Lobster (5fishermen on Argyle St)
5) Labatt Blue beer

Top "Culture Shocks"
1) thank you, canadian weatherman, for showing me the forecast for yellowknife, northwest territories and iqaluit, nunavut... if the names don't give you the eskimo feeling, just know that they are cities close to the north pole. and youbetchya ya getta knoooww alll aboot that weather up ther yaderhey.
2) canadians say 'a bit' after pretty much everything and everyone is 'folks'
3) maple syrup can be incorporated into any meal (see above Food Section)
4) I had no idea about the halifax explosion and enjoyed hearing about that on the tour today
5) Interesting to hear how much pride Nova Scotia has in its part in history- specifically in the Titanic victim recovery.

Current Events
1) Ted Kennedy's death is all over the news... as i am sure he is in the US. Thoughts: Grandpa (conservative) says that he literally got away with murder with the drowning of that woman. The media-we are watching CNN- (liberal) seems to be remembering him fondly. To me his personal life seems to be a red flag, but his progress in the senate appears to be impeccable. But, I don't really follow politics as much as I should.
2) The Brett Favre Goat- This was all over the news the night before I left and all over the news in the airport.. granted I was in and flew out of Milwaukee. I am just not sure what us Packer fans are supposed to think about this, offended? relieved? are we mad about this? is it funny? I heard the lady, who had the goat, speak on the radio and she said that she just bought it to eat.. I guess it just the fact that it was the first time we saw the number 4 in purple.. even if it was on a goat.

Thoughts, Fears, Hopes
1) Cannot wait for the MV Explorer to arrive tomorrow
2) Fun to hear Grandpa's point of view on the history and culture of nova scotia
3) Missing home of course.
4) Wishing my bffs were here to explore the town with me and nervous/ excited to meet people tomorrow.
5) Got my first charm for my semester charm bracelet: a pewter (because nova scotia is known for it) maple leaf! Exactly what I wanted :)

Ohhh Canadaa

Grandpa and I arrived in Halifax on the afternoon of August 25th. It was a beautiful drive from the airport to the harbor. Halifax is properly named the city of trees, it is as if the streets and buildings forcefully pushed aside trees in a deep forest.

I was eager to do as many Canadian things as possible. I tried to adopt their accent, although I felt at home among the northern pronunciations! We are staying at the Marriott Harbourfront. It's gorgeous. We are on the concierge's floor. We made our way over there after we arrived and treated ourselves to some fine canadian beer- molesin and moosehead. We went to Salty's a dinner place we can see from our window, with a marvelous view of the harbor. As we watched tug boats come and go, dusk fall over the industrious skyline, and listened to cannon bangs from a reenacting pirate ship, we treated ourselves to authentic canadian cuisine. Grandpa had the fresh halibut and I had chicken pasta WITH MAPLE SYRUP- i needed to have something with maple in it before we embarked.

The morning of the 26th I went for a run along the boardwalk of the harbor. I was pushed onward and onward by the hope that the MV Explorer would be in port and I may catch a glimpse before boarding. Alas, when I arrived at Pier 22 I was greeted by a sign that said 'only open on cruise ship days.' Jogging the long (considering I was told it was less than 1km (.5mi) away) route back to the hotel I was overtaken by the realization that Halifax is a perfect division between old and new as well as a coersion between industry and residence. There are sea-wary boutiques beneath a modern office building, a scene of a ship refurbished from the 1700s with a cruise ship as a backdrop, and a ferry that has been running since the 18th century represents the steadfast connection between dartmouth and halifax- running the same course and frequency for centuries to connect people and time. As I mentioned before, there is an industrious skyline. There were flames in the sky as oil was refined but below there a small grassy island with a lighthouse, Young Street (the most prestigious address in halifax) is a mere block or two from a huge freight area at the mouth of the harbor, and a representation of the coersion is the farmers market that is under construction between the freight area and some hip apartments.

We went on a greyline tour in the afternoon. Sat next to a worldly couple that gave me some pointers for traveling in Asia. We visited the Citadel and watched a changing of the guards. Our guide presented a brief history: basically, halifax was a mediation between New England and Fort Louis (200 miles away in Canada). Sir Cornwallis needed people to come here to populate the city- after many tries, the most enticing offer was a promise of 1L of rum a day EVERYDAY for a whole year for each man, woman, or child that colonized in Halifax. Our tour also took us to the titanic memorial graveyard- all of the victims + survivors were taken to Halifax, the closest harbor. We saw a few noteworthy graves, most noteworthy (kinda..) - Jack Dawson, Leonardo DiCaprio's character in the movie Titanic.

Tonight we are continuing to soak up the Canadian culture, i.e. we are going to 5fishermen for some lobster, caught today in the Atlantic. I haven't been a fan of lobster before.. but perhaps Halifax and a culture-hungry gusto may be the flavor that makes it the best ever farewell North America dinner.

Tomorrow, I will board the ship between 9-11am with the other work-study students. HOW EXCITING!! I can't wait to be on a cruise ship.

As I said in my final american phone call (to Caitlin) "i love you.. goodbye!..i'm off to see the world!"