Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Night at The Whale House

This past Friday, Andrew and I decided on a whim to drop everything and head out of town.

I'm kidding. That's not how it happened at all. We don't live like that, unfortunately. Our road trip and getaway was planned weeks in advance with lots of scheduling and planning for who would care for our three children, who would pick up who and when, and where everyone had to be at certain times. We carefully and methodically packed up their medicines, feeding supplies, wheelchairs and books of emergency contact numbers and handed over our responsibilities to people we could trust. It doesn't always work out for us, but when it does, it's like a well oiled machine - people jumping in to take over and let Andrew and I sneak away for a night.. it's a beautiful thing!

Because we had planned this weeks ahead of time, we had no idea that we were going to be in the midst of a "polar vortex". That's a fancy name for "too cold to be out"! It started the middle of last week, and we have been enduring a swath of bitterly cold, dense air ever since. We are braving the coldest temperatures our province has seen in 25 years. This is no joke. Over the weekend, with the wind chill it was -30 degrees Celsius. That means a risk of frostbite to exposed skin within minutes, and the damp cold just cuts right through you. It was freezing.

We piled on our layers and headed out the Southern Shore Highway, to the town of Mobile, where we had a reservation at the Whale House Guest House. The Whale House Guest House is located in the middle of the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. It is actually Heaven on Earth.

We live in such a beautiful place, and that never gets lost on us. Andrew and I spent all day Friday exploring some communities further out the Shore, driving through Cape Broyle, Calvert and Ferryland, and we made a point to check out the wind farm in Fermuse. We had been there several years ago, but it is just so cool, we had to go again. There are nine wind turbines, and they are massive. It really is quite impressive.

In Ferryland, we hoped to pop in for tea at the Tetley Tea Room, but it was closed for the season like many of the other little shops and cafes we passed along the way. We love playing tourist in our own home province, and it is lovely in the summer when business is bustling, but there was something really special about being out on our own, off season, and not seeing another soul. It was quiet and desolate and it was exactly what we needed.

We found ourselves in Burnt Cove, where we stumbled upon another little hiker's paradise. 
We'd love to go back over the summer to do part of the East Coast Trail here.

That's a seal! I was looking at the cool bubbly ice formations, when Andrew spotted him, and we were so excited! We kept our distance but stopped to watch him sunbathe for as long as we could until we were too cold to stay out any longer. This was definitely a highlight of our adventures!

We took a drive around Tors Cove, one of our favourite little communities on the Southern Shore, and almost killed ourselves walking down the icy path to The Cribbies, but it was totally worth it!

The Witless Bay Ecological Reserve is "one of nature's greatest wonders anywhere on earth", and while it was lovely, we nearly froze to death here. Just behind this mound is a small sandy beach, and I wanted to spend more time there, but I could honestly feel the blood draining from my lips. Frost bite is no joke, so we ran back to the car as fast as we could to warm up. We will hit the beach another day.

We had the best time exploring the good ol' Southern Shore, and we couldn't have picked a better place to stay. The Whale House Guest House was perfection. After a day of adventures, we spent the most restful, relaxing night in the Blue Whale Suite. We had our own private hot tub, which we enjoyed at midnight, looking out at the ocean, gazing up at the stars, and counting our many blessings. We are thankful for our children, for our family, for our full and busy life.. and we are extra thankful for this little break from it all.

Now we are home and back into the thick of it, refueled by the deep breath of alone time we just experienced. If you have the opportunity to sneak away for a night or two, I seriously recommend it. Don't mind the cold. Just go. Live. Experience. Make memories. Fall in love all over again!

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