Nova Scotia glory
Behold, the simultaneously elegant and rustic Bluenose II, floating ambassador of the Province of Nova Scotia, and permanent star o' the back of the Canadian dime.
There is an undeniable mystery and charm to my home province. I'm blogging from here while visiting my parents in Halifax, the capital city. My father turned 70 on September 8 (also the Blessed Virgin's birthday) and I surprised him by showing up at the surprise birthday bash. Poor guy; almost keeled over.
Had two rounds of golf, and took in the Nova Scotia International Air Show. I was stunned to hear the air show commentator use the term "War on Terror" in his remarks about the US Air Force F-15 Eagle fighter jet performance. How refreshingly un-CBC. He sounded...pretty much...admiring of the great iron bird's prowess and the nation she protects. It's nice to see that not all of Canada is anti-military, or anti-patriotic. Ask a Canadian about his patriotism, and you'll see a bit of spittle form on the lip, a slight tremble of the hands, and then you'll hear some sputtering about not being a flag-waving American. Not that there isn't plenty to love about Canada, but Canucks themselves tend to get tongue-tied when saying what it is.
The people of Nova Scotia are almost preternaturally friendly and hospitable. My soul's coggles are warmed anew with each return: The light salt scent of the sea; the crunchy cool air of the evenings; the soft aura generated as summer reluctantly gives way and surrenders to fall (or autumn, as it is more often called here).
Halifax was founded in 1749, a full 25 years before the United States came into being. It feels that way somehow. The downtown area bears the faint whiff of Europe with its tony pubs, cobbled streets, 18th century-era Historic Properties, and ubiquitous images of sailing ships recalling a past intertwined with Maritime legends and ties to the sea. The stormy Atlantic brought our British and French co-founders here, and it still holds sway in the local imagination.
What can I say? I highly recommend Nova Scotia to any and all visitors. Ask Dom Bettinelli (see link at right). He and his new bride honeymooned here last month.
By comparison, Los Angeles lies 6100 miles -- and a whole mindset -- west of this quiet, down-to-earth patch of land.
But I do miss my girls back in my adopted California home.