The song “Blame Canada” from the South Park soundtrack was in my head the entire time I was in Canada today. Just thought you all should know that, so now that song can get stuck in your head.
Today was our first port, and also
our only port for almost a week. Following today is five straight days at sea
while we sail towards Iceland.
Halifax was founded as a British
military outpost, and was also the birthplace of British Canada. European inhabitants arrived in 1749, when
Colonel Edward Cornwallis led 2500 people to settle there. The average winter temperature is 22 degrees
Fahrenheit, and Nova Scotia gets TONS of snow in winter, my dad is always
watching weather webcams of Nova Scotia in winter on his computer and he always
talks about how much snow they get. In
summer, the temperature averages 68 degrees Fahrenheit, but with the breeze on
the water, I’m sure it feels much colder, I would estimate that it was probably
in the high 40s and mid 50s when we were there today.
There are TONS of bars and pubs in
Halifax. Apparently, in the olden days, when they were trying to recruit
members for the military, Recruiters would hang out in the pubs and slip gold
coins into the cups of young men, and the men would find this gold coin at the
bottom of their cup and think it was their lucky day, so they’d go buy
themselves another drink, and then the recruiters would tell the men “welcome
to the army, you just accepted the first payment” and trick men into joining
the army and that’s where the expression “Bottoms Up” originated. But
literally, as we were driving through Halifax, there was a pub like every other
Apparently in Canada, you can
actually also buy codeine cough syrup without a prescription; they just sell it
in CVS or whatever drug store there. We
didn’t buy any, but I suppose that’s good to know? I did see a Starbucks, but
it was too far away from the harbor, for me to check out, so I didn’t get my
Canada Starbucks mug, but I’ll live.
When I went outside to check the
temperature, it really wasn’t that cold out, so I figured I’d be fine in just a
flannel shirt and jeans. Nope. The second we got on our tour, the cold ocean
air was freezing, and I’m pretty sure I lost feeling in my fingers for almost
the entire tour. We went on a duck tour,
which is a vehicle that doubles as both a truck and boat. So not only did it
drive on roads, it also floated in the ocean. I know now that when we get to
Iceland… Layers are a good thing, and I plan to take full advantage of them.
The duck tour wasn’t very crowded.
There were maybe ten of us, and the tour was about an hour or so long. Our guide was a girl named Krystin, and she
told a lot of really bad jokes and really bad puns, my dad would’ve appreciated
her sense of humor had he been with us.
We got to see the Canadian Navy
fleet, though I think it was just the Nova Scotia Navy because the fleet was
pretty small, and all the different fleet ships were marked by different
numbers. The ships were all different sizes, and they all had different names
and I felt like it was a life-size battleship game.
We also got to see a lot of
historical sites around Nova Scotia. We sailed by Peggy’s lighthouse, which is
apparently one of the oldest lighthouses in the world. It was built on 1914 and
is still in use today although they don’t let people up to see it anymore. We
also drove by The Halifax Citadel, which is an eight pointed star and used as a
barrack, and there’s a huge ditch around it, so people can’t see the military
troops as they first came towards the building.
We also learned that Halifax was
one of the first cities to respond to Titanic’s distress call back after it
crashed into an Iceberg. But technology wasn’t what it is now back then, so it
took them three days to get to Titanic, and they rescued a lot of the
passengers from Titanic, who were in lifeboats and such, and they also helped
recover the dead bodies. Apparently, when James Cameron decided to make Titanic,
he came to Halifax to do his research, and went the cemetery where the victims
were buried, and there was a tombstone named “J. Dawson”, and after the movie
came out, people would come to his tombstone and leave flowers and all sorts of
stuff there because they thought he was the real Jack Dawson from Titanic, even
though he wasn’t, he was just some carpenter.
There was also some explosion back
in the day, it was between two ships, and Halifax contacted Boston to help, and
Boston sent tons of help to them, and as a reward, every year, Halifax sends
Boston their biggest and greenest Christmas tree, as thanks.
After the tour, we went shopping,
well mom went shopping. I got two magnets because Justin and I started to
collect magnets during our road trip honeymoon, last year, from every place we
visited, so I figured… why not continue the tradition and pick up magnets from
every place I visit on this cruise? I
also got some postcards that I probably won’t send until after I get back to
the United States, but at least they’re authentic Halifax/Canada postcards,
even if they will be postmarked in the US and NOT Canada, mainly because I lack
stamps and my addresses are online, and I don’t have internet access, which is
why I’m typing this all in a word document, every night, and will backdate and
post it when I get back from the cruise.
Mom bought a lot of random stuff, not limited to pajamas, a beer opener,
Most people spoke English and they
accepted English Dollars, even though the currency is Canadian Dollar, which is
something like every eighty Canada cents equals one US dollar. And Canadians
really do say “ay” at the end of almost all their sentences. But everyone we
met and talked to was very nice. I also managed to leave Justin a quick message
that I was alive and in Canada since my mom’s cell can make international
calls. My cell has been off since we left New York.
Then we went to get back on the
ship, and went to drop our packages off, and went to lunch at the buffet. I had
half a breaded turkey sandwich, half a Reuben sandwich, some sort of
cauliflower casserole, cheddar cheese, Muenster cheese, and mashed
potatoes. I am happy to say that NONE of
the desserts tempted me at all, though the highlight of my meal was getting a
paper coffee cup so I could get coffee to go and take it back the room with me.
After lunch, I changed into workout
clothes and went down to the gym, which was deserted because most of the people
were probably on excursions. I walked on the treadmill for an hour and started
to reread The Chronicles of Nick was Sherrilyn Kenyon because the most recent
book had come out at the end of April and I was completely confused as it had
been over a year since I read the last one, so I feel like I need a refresher
on that goddamn series, which I like, but MAN does it get confusing and
complicated. I also finished “The Things
We Do For Love” by Kristin Hannah, last night, which was an enjoyable book; I
enjoy most of her books that I’ve read.
Man, I cannot wait to update my goodreads when I get back because I’m
pretty sure this year will finally be the year that I hit my goal of 150 books
read [and rereading books counts].
I came back to the room after that
and we left Halifax, shortly after, so I went on the balcony and took some
pictures of the scenery. Then I played Fire Emblem Awakening until it was
dinner time. I like Fire Emblem Fates well enough, but it just doesn’t have the
same charm that FE: Awakening has for me.
Dinner was casual today, so I just
wore a long green skirt, and a black polo shirt, as well as my gray sweater
because it tends to get cold in the dining room. Our table mates were there
today, they’re a couple from Montreal, Quebec, the man spoke English, but his
wife only speaks French. I don’t know any French. They were nice enough. Mom
spoke to the man for most of the meal, and I just stared out the window. I
really like our junior waiter, who’s from Serbia, who brings me drinks, he
always calls me “Bella”, which I know means pretty, and is really nice to me. I
know it’s probably just to get a nice tip at the end of the cruise, but I
appreciate it nonetheless, our head waiter, Martin, from Bulgaria, is very nice
For dinner I had a shrimp cocktail
as an appetizer, and then a chef salad as a meal. They were both delicious,
especially the salad. For dessert, I had cherries jubilee, which wasn’t as
yummy as I thought it would be. The cherries tasted more like rum than
cherries, and I guess I had been hoping they were maraschino cherries, which I
can eat like candy, but they weren’t, but the vanilla ice cream and the sauce
that it was served in was good, and I also had decaffeinated tea with milk, as
a way to help me hopefully get sleepy tonight, though I did sleep pretty well,
The captain told us that we have to
drive the boat really fast because the icebergs in the sea are further south
than they thought they were, so we need to go really fast to get to our
destination on time. I hope we get to sail near the Icebergs, I mean I don’t
want Titanic, part two or anything, and I’m pretty sure technology is advanced
enough so we wouldn’t have Titanic two… [Speaking of Titanic, did anyone hear
about the guy in Japan, who’s building Titanic 2, which will be an exact
replica of Titanic just with more modern technology and safety features?] But I
think it would be pretty nifty to actually see an Iceberg, in person.
But since we have to sail really
fast, it means a rocky boat ride, similar to the first night I was on the ship;
hopefully I’ve developed my sea legs enough so I can at least sleep through it,
And that was Day Two [or I guess
Day three, since the first day counts, right?]. We have five sea days, and then
it’s off to Reykjavik and Blue Lagoon, and I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE ICELAND, it was
a bucket list item, and I’ll finally get to cross it off.