*heavy, heavy sigh*

Well, this vacation did not go at all as I had hoped.

Michele got the car back on Friday which was a full week after when we had planned to take off. As indicated in my last post, it really was the skidillion-billion dollar repair to the steering column.

So sad.

And as much as I love everybody on our list of visits, I am heart-broken that I didn’t get out to see Bev (Power) Martin, Karen (Sweet) Cantwell and Patti Jones. It’s been y.e.a.r.s since I’ve seen them.

So sad.

Michele retreated to Jim and Colleen’s and recuperated in resplendent luxury.

(Photographic evidence →)photo

But! here are all the things that turned out great!

  • We get to do the trip next year…. consider yourselves alerted
  • Wade figured out that there is an impending class action suit on BMW steering columns, so Michele might get the repair costs back!
  • We were home with Danielle when the medical system finally figured things out and we could all do the happy dance
  • I was home when we found out that Wade is pre-diabetic and I was able to drive him insane with massive lifestyle changes
  • We were not driving when the steering column failed  and as a result were not stuck in Thunder Bay for a week waiting for a part, or alternatively, and more importantly, did not go over a cliff because the steering failed.  (Sandy Graves says this is proof that the Christopher medals and beads worked)
  • Michele gets to spend a week in Toronto helping Nicole get ready for her wedding in September and helping Miss Danielle get ready to return to school at Queens.  Yay!

So, all in all, life is good.

You will all be subjected to another round of posts a year from now.

With love from the Chicks 


Car goes over cliff, Thelma and Louise jump to safety

So, the car thing….

It turns out that the steering column is gone in the convertible.

This is a serious issue, and the road to getting it fixed is a bit circuitous. That’s a nice word for “*&%$ show”

Michele noticed something wrong as soon as she picked the car up. She dropped it at the dealer who announced it was a serious steering column issue which would cost multiple thousands of dollars to fix.

Cue all men in the vicinity expressing concern that Michele was being ripped off (granted, this does happen). The car was removed from the dealer and sent for a second opinion. Second opinion person announces it is not serious and can be fixed for less than $500.  Joyous celebration ensues and Michele and I work over a revised itinerary.

Just as I am about to post a new schedule, the bad news comes. It is in fact the steering column. Booo!!! And! it has to go back to the dealer who now has the only available part in Canada. Hiss!!!

And, we have lost our spot in the Fixit Queue. Insert appropriate swears – you all know me – use your imagination and historical knowledge.imagesCAWLBEUI

At this point we do not know when we are getting the car back.

The trip will be abbreviated.

I am verklempt.

More to follow.


The best laid plans…….



So, there’s been a slight change of plans.2013-08-24 Loiusbourg 002

When Michele arrived in Halifax last Thursday it turned out the car may have steering issues. Undeterred, she popped it in the shop and we borrowed Yvonne’s 14 year old Jetta to make the trip to Cape Breton. There was no air-conditioning, CDs weren’t invented when the car was minted and my hair was not fashionably blowing in the breeze…… but it got our butt’s there and I was GRATEFUL!!  And hey, it was very peppy and it’s still a stick.

We expected to sneak back into town today, pick up the car and whisk off on our cross-country tour. It turns out, not so much.

The car won’t be ready until Wednesday, possibly Thursday. And the Chicks Tour will resume.

It means the itinerary is getting bumped around. Michele is working on the deets now. Will post as soon as I have them.


Well we had a time!

What a time we had!

August 24, 2013

So, first things first.  We arrived en masse at the Point of View Cottage in Louisbourg.  Amazing view of water and sky and overlooking the Fortress of Louisbourg.  Can’t say enough about the accommodations!


Then off to the Fortress, with just a few minor mix-ups. We had to go one mile………  We did not arrive together.   Suffice to say the whole lot of us would be very poor caravan participants.

Pause for shameless promotion : For those who may not know, we are  celebrating Louisbourg300, a grand fête marking the 300th anniversary of the1234804_10153159310695125_1310645411_n founding of Île Royale — known today as Cape Breton Island —  and its capital, Louisbourg. There has never been a better time to experience history coming to life at North America’s largest historical reconstruction

We gathered at a Wigwam to participate in a ceremony and story-telling.  A Mi’maq Elder spoke about the long history between the First Nations and th1236721_10153159309695125_828353434_ne English and French.  It was an inspiring tale of the generosity of the First People.  He also told the Legend of the Eel and then invited us into the Chapel for a feast of baked eel and beef stew. We were treated to period music and costume.  The whole event was awesome.


Hosting the event was Chip Bird, Superintendent of Louisbourg.   We were also joined by the CEO of Parks Canada, Alan Latourelle, and several members of the audit committee including Dave Steuwe.

At the dinner, I had the opportunity to rekindle my friendship with Catharine Arsenault.  You never know who you might meet 🙂

581530_10153159310045125_554866559_nNext up, a quick tour of the grounds.

We then hustled over to the concert grounds to prepare for the evenings entertainment.  First  up was JP Cormier.  Holy smokes can that man play a  guitar.










Twenty 1233975_10153159315005125_1109440000_nfeet from the stage!

Of course we were on our feet for Matt Anderson!  Jim Gourlay remained un-phased while the Pow Wow’s inappropriately fan-girled Matt.1230075_10153159315940125_2011660395_n

For those of you who may have never heard Matt before, here he is singing So Gone Now.  Last year he won an international blues competition in  Memphis.  He’s the real thing.  Yes he is.


We were then treated to an amazing fireworks display.

Stragglers were rounded up and we headed back to the Point of View, where we imbibed and discussed deep important things.  At least they seemed so at the time.

August 25, 2013

The next day we headed out to Seal Island for breakfast.  The Cedar House Restaurant and Bakery is a must stop.  There was literally a line-up to get in.  Very worth the waicedar-houset.  After an awesome breakfast we proceeded down to the St. Anne’s Look-off on Kelly’s Mountain to have a group photo.

2013-08-24 Loiusbourg 046

In order, The Pow Wow’s : Ella, Michele, me, Mary, Linda, Yvonne and Katharine and then Devon, Jim, Evan, Danielle and Dorianna.   Magnificent!

From there, half of the crowd headed off to the Right Some Good Festivities, and Michele and I accompanied our offspring and their friends around the Cabot Trail.  Every time I see it I find it wonderous.  Go again and glory in the views.


Michele and I parted ways with the kids at Cheticamp and headed off to Inverness to stay at the incredible Cabot Links.   Ben Cowan-Dewar and his wife, Allie, have created the only Cabot-Links-Hole-4e-1153x801golf course ever to have been featured on both the front page of the Travel Section and the Sports Section of the New York Times.  It has the distinction of being Canada’s only true links course.  So, worth the visit.

This morning Michele and I walked down to Inverness beach, such and amazing piece of heaven here in Nova Scotia.

The Chicks tour has kicked off with a bang.   Many, many thanks to Mary Tulle for the incredible week-end!

More news to follow. ♥

565024_10153159354800125_1032625748_n(Most of the photos in this post are courtesy of Evan Furey)

We’re off!!


Day One – off to a celebration at Louisbourg organized by Miss Mary Tulle, famed CEO of Destination Cape Breton and affectionately known to us as “Tulle Travel” when she whips up itineraries like she has for us tonight!  We start off at a Mi’kmaq Celebration and wrap up an awesome concert.  Details below.

Saturday, August 24th THE LEGEND OF THE EEL

 5:00 pm:        

  • Please arrive at McLennan Centre (via Gate 2 and back road)
  • You will be directed from the McLennan Centre to Place D’Armes by Parks Canada employee

5:30 pm:        

  • Gather at Wigwam (Place D’Armes) with M. Guillaume Delort, Superior Council
  • The Eel Legend by Elders Albert Marshall and Charlie Dennis

5:50 pm:        

  • Gather in the chapel

6:00 pm:

  • Mi’kmaq representative to offer a prayer for the Meal.

Baked Eel or beef stew

Kings Bakery Bread/Louskinigan (Bannock)

Dessert, Louisbourg1713 Coffee, Tea and Water

7:10 pm:

  • Leave Chapel and walk down to waterfront for LouisRocks Concert

7:30 pm:

  • LouisRocks concert featuring J.P.Cormier and Matt Anderson

9:30 pm: 

  • Fireworks

10:00 pm:

  • Return to hotel/ Inn

Notes:  Chairs will be provided to guests who wish

Guests can rendezvous at the Frederick Gate for guidance in returning to cars – if


Weather conditions can change quickly.  It is suggested to dress in layers and have comfortable footwear.

We are being joined by Danielle (Michele’s daughter), Devon (Danielle’s boyfriend) and Evan (my son) on this first leg of the trip.  Can’t wait to get started !


We leave in the morning!

So, a big thank you to Linda Gourlay and Sue Nowell for the luggage solutions.

I really had to share!

Chick Luggage from Linda Gourlay

Linda provided the perfect size suitcase, just squishy enough to jam into an impossibly small trunk

Chick Luggage from Linda Gourlay

Then Sue Nowell showed up with an ultra small!  Fortunately she didn’t expect it to handle my luggage.


It’s jam packed with goodies for the trip  🙂

Including a personalized luggage tag.


Air fresheners………… I actually didn’t know they made these anymore!


Compact laundry detergent and clothesline that can fly behind the car… you don’t see that everyday!


Chick Entertainment, a whole book of   CD’s!

Halifax-20130823-00211Michele knows every word of every song ever written ………and Sue has recorded them all.


Sue even included a book for me to do some research on a new adventure.  Sue and I plan on hiking the Camino when we retire.  Michele says she’s up for it too.  Anyone else up for coming along for the 800 km trek in 2017, should sign up now.



So, packing tonight.  And, off tomorrow!




The Junior Years


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