Greetings friends, I’m all played out from Tall Ships 2012, and when Twitter-friend and Halifax food blogger Kathy Jollimore offered to write a post about a day trip adventure in Truro, I jumped at the offer. Berry picking is a classic Nova Scotia summer adventure, and I can’t believe I forgot to include it on my list of hometown travel plans. Join me in welcoming Kathy to Bite-sized Travel!
I generally don’t post about my Nova Scotia day trips so I am incredibly stoked that I get to ‘guest post’ on the one and only Bite Sized Travel. While I have yet to meet Krista in person, we have chatted on Twitter and I thought she would appreciate my daycation as part of Operation Hometown Traveler which chronicles her travels in and around the Maritimes. So giddy up!
The whole reason behind our day trip to Truro was to get our strawberry picking on. Strawberry season in Nova Scotia is not something to miss, and it being our first summer in Nova Scotia in 7 years, we wanted in on the action. A week earlier I had used some River Breeze berries in a cake for my niece’s high school graduation so we knew we would not be disappointed with a trip to their U-pick outside of Truro.
On the way, however, we realized how incredibly hungry we were. That oatmeal and smoothie from breaky had long since been digested and we knew stuffing our faces with berries, while delicious, wouldn’t suffice. So, after dropping in for a visit with the sis, we were off in search of a lobster roll.
When one makes mention of a lobster roll, nothing else will do! Since it was summer in Nova Scotia, we thought this an easy feat, but, alas, we were wrong. Not even the famous Murphy’s Fish and Chips were dishing up the Maritime fave. A quick search online and we were headed over to the Wooden Hog to get the best lobster roll in the county. No dice. While I have yet to dine at The Wooden Hog, I have spent some time next door at the Red Bird. Set amongst comfy leather chairs and dark wood accents, the Red Bird is a wine and scotch bar done right. Owned by the same family (who by the way are lovely), both the Wooden Hog and the Red Bird offer a similar menu but a quick look inside reveals very different atmospheres. My money’s on the Red Bird. Dark and cozy and romantic.
Luckily, in our frantic search for a lobster roll, we spotted a sign for lobster clubhouses. Close enough. We took our seats at Cafe L’Acadie inside the Stonehouse Motel at 165 Willow St. and hoped for the best. It wasn’t spectacular (a little too much mayo and fyi, ain’t no cheese in a club!), but it was fresh and everything from the fries to the coleslaw was homemade. Their menu looks quite inexpensive and with varied home-style and Acadian dishes (and something called creamed chicken waffles), it’s worth a stop. [Krista here: I saw that place the last time I was in town and was hoping someone I knew would go there. My grandmother was Acadian and I love Acadian food!]
With full bellies, we were finally on the road to Riverbreeze. Now I gotta say, we are smart folk but even we got a lil’ lost! But with a one minute detour, we were back on track and headed for berry heaven. (I suggest a GPS and watching for the signs.) The key, folks, is to take your own containers. We literally took a 20 pound fish bin (significant for you food industry folk!) and a bucket. [Krista: Zoinks!] Nothin’ fancy. Once we were directed to our rows, we headed out into the sun and started picking.
If the photos are any indication, it was not only a perfect day to be strawberry picking, but also a pretty easy one. Within an hour, our containers were overflowing with incredibly plumb strawberries and our bellies were perhaps a little fuller. Ripe juicy strawberries just can’t be resisted!
But apart from the delicious berries and the gorgeous day, the most incredible part of the whole experience was the price. We picked 24 pounds of strawberries and paid $28 dollars. If you can’t picture how awesome of a deal that is, think about this, we have four huge bags of frozen berries, 6 large jars of jam, 2 jars of fool (like a chunky syrup for pancake topping and what not), and, while it has long since been drank in cocktails of course, a large jar of condensed strawberry syrup. I highly suggest you take a trip to Riverbreeze so you too can enjoy strawberries long into the winter. [Krista here again: Did I mention the “guest post fee” is payable in strawberries?]
As planned, on our way back to the city, we did a little Googling for a spot to go for a swim. Seeing Victoria Park in Truro pop up, we were quickly on our way. I haven’t been to Victoria Park since childhood so I was eager to check it out. I do, however, remember the steep Jacob’s Ladder but, as an adult, it seemed much less daunting. Might as well work off that bacon! With trails leading every which way, Victoria Park is perfect for just about anyone, the hiker, the off road biker or even families wanting to cool off in the pool. But we were destined for the two waterfalls: Joseph Howe and Waddell Falls. Unfortunately for us, the heat of the summer meant the falls were all but dried up, leaving two small pools. I guess we’d have to find a place to swim on our way back to the city.
And that we did! Located 10k past Fall River (take exit 5), is Laurie Park situated on Grand Lake. I hadn’t heard of it before and apparently neither has most of HRM because this place was totally deserted. With wonderfully warm waters, it is the perfect spot for a swim right outside of the city. There are even charcoal BBQS, covered picnic tables, and overnight camping! I almost decided not to post about Laurie to keep this little secret on the down low. But alas Hali, I’m a lover.
So there you have it. Operation Hometown Traveler: the Truro edition. What’s stopping you?
If you’re not going out to get some strawberries, you’re not human. Thanks a lot, Kathy, for the fun, delicious adventure!
If you’d like to share your Nova Scotia hometown travel secrets and adventures, let me know!