Nova Scotia Vacation Part 1: Hurricanes and Nieces and Monks, Oh My!

Hayley and my brotherRich and I had the pleasure of spending a few days with my family in the Annapolis Valley region of Nova Scotia last week.  My brother and sister-in-law had their first baby alllll the way back in January, and we hadn’t had the chance to meet her yet, so this was a great opportunity to do so.  They’d also just moved into a new, bigger house, so there was a lot of excitement to be had, that’s for sure!  My mom cooked us all a delicious dinner and we all sat down together for the first time since our wedding in 2006.  As you can see from the picture, in spite of the yummy food, Hayley would much prefer to chew on her socks.  Well, there’s no accounting for taste!

On Sunday, we left the Valley for Halifax, just in time for Hurricane Kyle to hit Nova Scotia.  Very unfortunate timing for our trip, but at least it did no where near the damage of Hurricane Juan a few years earlier.  It did make for some pretty empty streets and very windy conditions, so we hunkered down in local favourite pub The Old Triangle for drinks and some good old Maritime Music.

Wired Monk: InteriorBoth mornings we were in Halifax we went to an awesome cafe for coffee and breakfast.  When we first saw the sign for The Wired Monk, we figured the name had something to do with the place having internet access available.  Of course, that was pretty silly of us to assume – who has wired internet access in a cafe, anyway?  In fact, the name comes from the story of a monk who discovered coffee beans and how after he brewed them with water he found they gave him energy to get through late night prayer. Huh.

It also turns out this place is a franchise, with Halifax being the only one outside of British Columbia.  Honestly, I never would have guessed, as I found the place to have a very indie cafe feel, with funky decorations by local artists and hand-labelled signs for their food and beverages.
Wired Monk: Cappuccino
A big selling point for The Wired Monk is that all of their coffee and tea is fair trade.  For those of us in Toronto, that’s not such a big deal, since fair trade products are available almost everywhere these days. But for folks in Halifax, where fair trade is far less common, a place like this is a welcome addition to the city.

Wired Monk: Chocolate Banana Flax SconeWhile we were there we tried cappuccinos and americanos.  Their cappuccinos are a bit on the wet side, but then, most places in North America make them that way.  Their americanos are quite nice, and not at all bitter.  And the food?  We stuck to the baked goods because we were usually pressed for time but also because they looked so darn tasty!  The chocolate banana scone I had on our first morning was extremely good and very filling.  I probably could have saved half of it for a snack later in the day.  The apple rolls we had on the second day were lightly sweet and also quite filling.  Sure, they were probably also 200 calories per bite, but hey, we were on vacation.

If you’re in Halifax and want to check them out, The Wired Monk is at the corner of Morris and Hollis, not far from the Via Rail station.

More Halifax-related posts coming soon!

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