On the Road Again: Comings and Goings in Eastern Canada

So here we are back in Canada again, this time for a very specific purpose in addition to catching up with friends and family. As you know by now, we have applied for a Portuguese Residency Visa which is a requirement prior to getting a Residency Permit. We will explain the full process in a later post, once we have received our visas (fingers crossed).

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Arriving at the Halifax Airport after a long day of flying

Probably the first thing we noticed upon our arrival in Nova Scotia in late June was how clean and green everything was! It is quite a contrast to the previous five months.

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Backyard in Yarmouth at Tim’s family home

The first three weeks of our time here has been pretty hectic but there were several things we wanted to / needed to get done. With the help of a large rental van we said goodbye to our storage locker in Dartmouth and have stored all of our remaining possessions at Tim’s parents house in Yarmouth. This frees up $145 a month which we will enjoy more at the cafes in Lagos.

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She’s thinking of wine at the cafes!

Our driving started by making the trip to Yarmouth in the van with a stopover in the Annapolis Valley to visit Anne’s Mom and sister. Every time we are back in Nova Scotia there are a plethora of logistics to look after, mail to sort, and appointments to book. This time will be no exception but much of what we are doing now is in preparation for the move to Portugal in late August, so with a clear goal it does make some of the tedious bits more enjoyable.

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One of the footpaths at Cape Forchu, Yarmouth County

After a down day we headed back to Halifax where we loaded the van with the remaining stuff from the locker and headed to Sackville, New Brunswick where our son is currently attending university. This is also where we will be based for the time we are here. It is an older home he is sharing with four others, but everyone is away for the summer and it has everything we need. The town itself is very pleasant and has all of the basics within easy reach.

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Nova Scotia – New Brunswick border

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Our home for the summer in Sackville, New Brunswick

Another drive back to Halifax to exchange the van for a rental car which we will keep until we leave. Then it was off to Ottawa, a 1225 km drive each way to apply for our visa at the Portuguese Embassy. The applications have to be done in person at the Embassy or one of the three Consulates in Canada.

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Chateau Laurier and Rideau Canal – Ottawa, Ontario

One of the big differences in Canada from both Europe and Latin America is that most travel is done by car. Eastern Canada in particular is not well served by train or bus and air fares are expensive. So it didn’t seem unrealistic to jump in the car and drive across three provinces for our appointment. Road trip! The highways are all good, the traffic is light and we are very comfortable traveling here.

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Sadly the only moose we saw was dead on the side of the road

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An Eastern Canada highway icon – The Big Stop

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A Quebec pit stop after all of the Big Stop coffee

This wasn’t a sightseeing trip and we had a purpose so we stuck to the larger but less scenic highways through New Brunswick and Quebec. Buoyed by good tunes and coffee we had a great time even with the many hours of driving. The hours passed quickly enough with a few pit stops along the way and we were soon in Quebec City. This attractive city makes a wonderful place to visit for several days but we have been before so we turned it down in favour of a small village a little further on.

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Anne & Erik in Quebec City – 2007

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We splurged for the Chateau Frontenac when we visited in 2007

Fortune smiled on us and we found a wonderful B&B, the Auberge de Manoir Dauth in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade, a small village we had never heard of along the Riviere Sainte-Anne.

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Great room, great price and an excellent breakfast – we practically had the place to ourselves

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On the banks of the Riviere Sainte-Anne

We chose the less busy route along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River mainly to avoid the busy traffic and summer construction around Montreal.

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On the outskirts of Montreal

Returning to Ottawa for something other than work was a treat, and we arrived amidst the preparations for the big Canada Day celebrations the following weekend. We loved our suite at The Albert at Bay Suite Hotel which we have stayed at before and highly recommend as a downtown hotel. The city was bright with flags and Canada 150 signs everywhere. We are always proud to be Canadian but walking on Parliament Hill with the busloads of tourists did give us a lump in our throats. A large plate of ribs also filled our stomachs that evening.

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From the balcony of our suite

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Getting ready for the big day

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The National War Memorial – site of the tragic shooting in 2014

We won’t say much in this post about our meeting at the Portuguese Embassy except that it went very well, and we left very excited and positive.

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Portuguese Embassy

So much so that we stayed an extra night to enjoy the city, our suite, and a great Thai meal. The extra costs were justified by driving the entire way back home to Sackville in one day – 13 hours. Good planning or happenstance, that day was Sunday so we enjoyed light traffic and absolutely no highway construction the entire day.

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Lac Temiscouata, Quebec

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Rainbow over Grand Falls, New Brunswick

As most of you know 2017 is a year long celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Canada’s Confederation known as Canada 150. Being back for the summer months during this year has been an added bonus for us. There are many events to take in, but more importantly it has already reminded us of how fortunate we were to be born Canadians and to spend most of our lives here. Extensive traveling has also driven home that fact and we won’t forget our native country and the tolerance, acceptance, and generosity that are such integral parts of the Canadian way of life.

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Tim’s Dad and a Filipino Canadian entrepreneur at the Yarmouth Farmer’s Market

So it was very fitting to spend the Canada Day weekend with family. A short three hour drive and we were back in the Annapolis Valley to spend the afternoon with Anne’s Mother and sister at the special Canada Day celebration at the Evergreen Home for Special Care where they both live now. Walking into the large dining hall with Canada balloons, flags, tablecloths and everyone dressed in red and white was truly beautiful. A local band appropriately named “The Fogies” had everyone clapping and swaying right through to the closing with Oh Canada.

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Anne enjoying the music with her Mom and sister

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“The Fogies”

Yarmouth is often described as the tropics of Nova Scotia, and while it enjoys milder winters the down side is the damp and cool conditions experienced in much of the summer. Oh and did we mention the fog? Tim grew up here and Anne grew up in St. John’s, Newfoundland so neither of us are strangers to fog and damp weather. But it would have been nice to see the sun on the holiday weekend. That wasn’t to be however.

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Enjoying the view through the fog at Cape Forchu

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There are strong ties between Nova Scotia and New England that continue to this day

Regardless, we enjoyed a barbeque, hanging out in the garage, a few glasses of wine, seeing friends and family and overall just relaxing together. The fireworks were cancelled as was the pancake breakfast but the farmers market went ahead and overall we had a great weekend poking around this historic seaside town, seeing the sights, enjoying good food and just being Maritimers again for a few days.

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Tim’s family home in Yarmouth

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Yarmouth Bar in the fog. Lobster fishing is a major industry here.

We are back in Sackville again and feel as rested as we have in a long time. We are thoroughly enjoying our temporary house and home town, getting organized and feeling very excited about our upcoming adventure and move to Portugal.

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About timannehall

We sold almost all of our belongings and left our home in Nova Scotia in April 2016 to experience as much of the world as we could. We spent over a year slow traveling in Latin America and Europe. For the next stage of our journey we are going to be based in Portugal and traveling from there.
This entry was posted in Canada, Preparations and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to On the Road Again: Comings and Goings in Eastern Canada

  1. Bette Summers says:

    Really enjoyed reading and looking at your Post Tim and Anne —enjoy the rest of your stay- and Happy Travels !! Bette S

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks Bette, we’re glad that you enjoyed it. We are having a good time here and it is a great chance to get caught up with our families. Hope that you have a good summer.

      Like

  2. We have really got to do a road trip in Canada one of these days – it really is beautiful. Loved the “Watch for moose” sign. (Nash has a great story of a moose alongside a Montana road you’ll have to ask him about when next we see you.) You have definitely put on some miles and a lot of work in anticipation and preparation for the move to Portugal. Just a few more weeks. Enjoy your downtime because I have a feeling that you’ll be busy once you get here. Hey, and bring some of that Yarmouth lobster with you! 🙂 Anita

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Canada is made for road trips and we know the Eastern provinces very well. You could easily spend a whole summer poking around the small towns along the coastal regions. As for the moose (and many many deer) New Brunswick has put up fencing along the major highways in most areas which keeps the majority of them off the roads. We are enjoying ourselves but are continuing to be surprised at how much preparation there is, especially as now it is more of a permanent move. Try not to get overwhelmed by all of the throngs in Lagos now, it will soon be the quieter months of fall. All the best to you both and see you soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. kemkem says:

    I was just as thrilled when we emptied our storage locker. You logged some major miles but l’m sure it will all be worth it in the end when the visas are in hand. Good luck with everything and enjoy the rest of your time in Canada!

    Liked by 1 person

    • timannehall says:

      Thanks Kekem. We are enjoying ourselves here and have gotten through most of things we wanted to get done. A little bit of dental work left and then its just waiting for our Visas which we are hoping will be here by the end of the month. Cheers, Tim & Anne

      Like

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