Thankful in Cape Breton

Normally, we stick pretty close to home to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families.  But with the handsome Mr. Byrne’s work taking him away from us for this holiday weekend, we decided to celebrate elsewhere….in Cape Breton!  When I first realized that Michael would be away, I thought, we should go to Cape Breton, and Janice was thrilled with the idea and so the plan was hatched!

The girls had an in-service on Friday so we hit the road mid-afternoon, taking a big pan of Shepherd’s Pie with us to feed the crew whose home we would be invading.  Janice and her husband have four boys which makes for a busy, hungry household!  I think all we did all weekend was make food and eat it! But, man, oh man – was it good!

After supper, we had a little bonfire, complete with marshmallows and sparklers.  The kids had fun running around with them in the dark and I tried to take a few cool pictures with them, with minimal success.

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Saturday dawned wet and cold.  Gross.  Yuck.  I’m not sure I’m ready for this……  I had hoped it would be a clearer, brighter day for taking some pictures of how gorgeous Cape Breton is when the hills are dressed in such lovely shades, but it wasn’t meant to be.  So, we hit a market in Baddeck, the fibre festival, along with a few other shops.  I got a little more Christmas shopping done, so that was great!  Then we headed home to have lunch and prepare Thanksgiving dinner.

We had hoped to do a little hiking but the weather didn’t seem to want to cooperate much, so when the sun came out at one point, we took a little walk to the river behind their house.  I was expecting a little river, not too major….but when we came out at the river bank – I was floored!  It’s a big river!!  The Middle River, to be exact and not at all what I was expecting!!  It started to rain again, so we headed back to the dry, warm house, but let me tell you, I can’t wait to go explore that river again!  Because it was so wet, it wasn’t safe for us to climb down, so next time I go, we’ll be sure to go when we can get closer! { And I can’t wait to go there in the summer and have some fun with the kids in the water! }

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As Janice slaved away in the kitchen, over the hot stove, I thought I would try to entertain the masses with a little craft session.  Little did I know what a hit it would be!  I figured I might buy a half hour of the kids doing a quiet project but they worked hard on their projects for close to two hours at the time. I was amazed how quickly they caught on and wanted to try something a little harder.  They concentrated so hard on their stitching and came up with some great ideas!

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{ Lena working on her name – Tiernan practicing his stitches – Tristan stitching his name – Hannah making the sun shine – Wyatt stitching his name }

Before supper was ready, we needed to stretch our legs again, so we walked down the road to the nearby bridge.  We do this little journey most trips, it isn’t a far walk and the kids love throwing things in the water.  Normally we hang out for a bit but the wind was so cold and damp, we certainly didn’t hang out long.  On our way back up to the house, Wyatt picked flowers for his mom and for me….Janice and Trevor are raising some boys who will be real fine gentlemen in the future!  Who can resist a bouquet of road side flowers from such a sweet boy!?!

Cape Breton

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When it came time to sit down to supper, my heart was overflowing.  The table was loaded down with tasty food, there were nine of us crowded around one so we could share the meal together, and I felt so welcomed and loved there, I hope my girls felt it, too.  We ate and ate some more.  Then the kids were keen to get stitching again so off they went.  Janice’s mother came down for something or other and sat down to visit for a bit.  Now, I love Helen – she has a quick wit which I enjoy, a kind heart and a big hug, plus, she did the dishes, so what’s not to love!

We also received a late night visit from Barbara, one of Janice’s friends from the area, who stopped by on her way home from work with homemade bread and a pumpkin pie for us!  She must have known how starved we were!!  We were fading away with hunger!  Hardly!!!  But the bread sure was tasty the next day dipped in my Curried Squash soup, let me tell you!

Sunday morning brought updates on flu-riddled Tristan and Trevor and so Sunday’s plans got shuffled a little.  And as someone in our group was feeling a little homesick, we decided to leave later that day, although we had left our stay open-ended, not knowing exactly when we would leave.  That meant our plans to hike the Sky-line Trail got put off for another trip and less people were heading to church, but sometimes you just have to roll with it. Before we went to church, we stopped at The Dancing Goat for snacks and Pumpkin Spice Lattes and then took the scenic route to church.

One thing I love about going to Cape Breton on a weekend is being able to attend church with Janice.  If the drive wasn’t so long, I’d go more often.  The pews are filled, there are so many young families and the worship is so uplifting.  Plus, Janice’s in-laws hand out Rockets during the service!

On our way home, we stopped at the Lake O’Law Picnic Park for some pictures.  The hills and water were so pretty, I had to ask Janice to stop!  These pictures don’t do the beauty of it justice, I highly recommend Cape Breton in the Fall!  Tiernan was the only Ross boy with us at this point so he got some pictures taken with his momma.  He is a heart breaker in that hat!

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Lena has requested one more walk to the bridge before we hit the road for the drive home. It was a warmer afternoon and I knew it would be good to stretch our legs some before the long drive home again.  This trip to the bridge was much more enjoyable, no cold, damp wind sending us home in a hurry!  The kids love to collect things to throw over the bridge and watch sail down stream, anything from apples and sticks, or a big rock to see who can make the biggest splash!  I love watching them cheer each other on, or help each get a stick from the ditch or race to the apple tree to collect some more apples.  They have so much fun there! Plus, it gives me a chance to doing some more snapping!! I mean, a lot…..cape bretoncape bretoncape bretoncape bretonIMG_3142cape bretoncape bretonWe had a wonderful weekend with Janice and her family.  It was the perfect way to spend the weekend and I’ll always look back on this particular Thanksgiving with joy.  I have so much to be thankful for in my life, but especially a friend who opens her home to us and makes us feel special and welcomed.  She spoils my girls with chocolate chips, bowls of whipped cream and hugs.  I hope the friendships our children are making are ones that last, too, and they look back and remember these trips to Cape Breton fondly!

cape bretonHappy Thanksgiving!





  • Treasure Ross - October 12, 2015 - 11:59 pm

    It has been over a decade since I have had a Cape Breton Thanksgiving but you have captured the spirit of it perfectly. I miss those Cape Breton Ross’ dearly and I am glad they had some special guests to share it with them. I look forward to your next post and adventure to God’s country, as they like to call it.ReplyCancel