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French Coast

Aug-Sept. 2022

The history of the Acadians (French settlers hundreds of years ago and the peoples from whom the Cajuns of Louisiana descended) is found at many places in Nova Scotia. During our week in the south we got a real taste of it - literally in several cases! Our first stop was at the excellent Rendez Vous de la Baie visitor center and museum on the campus of Universite’ Sainte-Anne in Church Point. There was much on the history of the French as well as the original inhabitants. The Acadians were often uprooted and sadness fills many stories but I particularly liked the quote from a 19 year old girl, tired of the sighing and crying, who rousted the rest to pick themselves up.

One day we drove around the point to Le Village Acadian near Pubnico. This area, long settled by the French, was one where the Acadians were allowed to return so the village presents as if it was the early 1900s. The inhabitants were fishermen and farmers and that is what is presented. The costumed interpreters go about their day in one of the most authentic of such experiences - in one case I interrupted their lunch which they had just cooked in the kitchen I walked through. I especially enjoyed chatting with the man making nets in the waterfront shack about lobstering. The lead photo at top is a view of the salt marsh hay stacks there. Before we left we had lunch in the cafeteria and I ordered rappie pie - a very filling somewhat gelatinous dish of chicken and potatoes very traditional to the Acadians. I said yes to the molasses on top which earned me an approving nod.

Before that we had exercised the dogs by walking them out around a point. The numerous windmills spooked Jackson at first. The trails yielded some fun statues and interesting rocks as well as conversation with friendly Canadian Grandparents.

On our travels we had often passed by a boat dry dock so one day I had Jim drop me off while he combed a beach and I ended up quite satisfied with the resulting painting.

We also spent a brief time in Yarmouth which seemed an interesting town with some fascinating ship captain house architecture but we only took time for me to run into the area’s art museum.

In one of the guide books I read about the Old Stones Cemetaries. An organization is taking the time to research the ‘inhabitants’ - many old Yankees come up from the Boston area - and link online bios to QR codes placed by each grave. For an old graveyard aficionado like myself this was heaven.

We also went out one evening to eat at La Cuisine Robicheau. It was one of their kitchen party nights and we had no reservations but since we were early they let us eat as long as we were done and out before the crowd reserved for the dinner entertainment. Jim had an excellent seafood lasagna and I had yummy mussels and we both had dessert!

We also stopped one day at Smuggler’s Cove Provincial Park but the tide was up so there was no walking the beach down at the bottom of the steep steps.

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Sher Brown
Sher Brown
Mar 18, 2023

Another great trip. Again, your painting is stunning, you are so very talented. Is the restaurant in someone's private house?

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