Vacations are wonderful but they do represent a change. Life has a certain rhythm at home (a completely different one since I’m not working) and there are certain patterns and things that happen. Vacation tosses all that up in the air and forces you to establish a new rhythm.
I am finding that I enjoy the “let’s see what happens” part of this vacation. Today we had two things that I really wanted to do. Beyond that, it was up in the air. I’m scanning through the guidebook and see a fossil museum. Check with the spouse and we agree that is stop #3.
The first was a botanical gardens on a university so you had a greenhouse devoted to various experiments. It wasn’t like other gardens we’ve seen because it was designed to showcase the various habitats in the area so it was all native plants. But I like learning about flora and fauna so I liked seeing how they had created these different environments.
There was also a section of medicinal plants. It was interesting to see what each one was used for. I went through a phase where I considered all that just a bunch of junk. I mean we have modern science and wonder drugs and all that. Now, I’m not as convinced. There were reasons why certain plants were valued and we don’t know as much as we think we do.
Then we toured a historic site. What I love about history is really just imagining what it would be like to live through those periods. One problem with history is that it is filled with examples of people doing bad things to other people and that was a big part of this site. There are just so many times you wish you could go back and talk some sense into people at those times.
On the way to the fossil museum, we saw a coffee place with lots of cars in the parking lot and that was a clue to stop in. I do buy my coffee from the expensive priced chain but I don’t really consider myself a coffee snob. I just happen to enjoy espresso over ice and most of the other fast food places serve milk and some sugar syrup with a dollop of coffee for flavor. But the coffee here was really good.
Had an Oatcake as well. Can’t say I’ve ever had one of these before and I’ve had two since I’ve been here. The history says they came from Scotland and Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland and there were Scots who settled here so I guess it fits. I’ve got some Scottish ancestors so maybe I’m just naturally drawn to the Oatcake.
Then we hit the fossil museum. From the outside, it was a beaten up building and it was packed to the rafters with fossils of various types. The guy who runs the places seems to have spent his life there and fossils are clearly his passion. We talked with him for a great deal (unusual for us introverts but he was really into the stuff and it was fun to hear so much passion). On the wall was a drawing of a larger museum that he must have commissioned at some time but it is likely a dream that will never come to pass.
One problem with the “let’s go check this out” plan is that you often aren’t prepared. There was a beach near the museum where you could look for your own fossils. The beach is really nothing more than a giant shale formation (OK, I may have learned a thing or two about rocks sometime in my life). And little pieces break off and get moved around by the tides so that’s why you can usually find something. We did see a fossilized tree trunk impression but it was in a giant rock so it had to remain on the beach. But if I had known we were going to be walking along a rocky beach, I would have worn a t-shirt and brought more water. Still we had fun walking around and looking at rocks.
So my new rhythm is to come back and write reviews on Trip Advisor for everything we saw and every place we ate. That puts me in the writing mood and that’s why you are getting a post tonight. In one way, it is a bit odd that I would do this since I’m not one to give recommendations. I mean what I like may not be your cup of tea and I don’t want to disappoint anyone. But I guess I’m primarily doing it for the various places. I mean if people see a glowing review of the fossil museum, maybe it drives more traffic and maybe that is more donations and, who knows, maybe the guy gets his dream museum.
Probably not, but you never know.