Nova Scotia is a land and people shaped by the cold, clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Even the name meaning “New Scotland” tells of its complex and interwoven history. When I told people I was going to Nova Scotia for a quick week on a hiking trip, they shivered and said “have fun”. So I was little put off but trusted my guide Ken and my friend Sus and Sam and besides I’m always up for an adventure. After all, it was only a short 2 hour flight from NY to Halifax, boasting one of the highest concentrations of pubs per capita in North America, where our journey started and ended. Sadly, I didn’t get to experience the rowdy pub culture but Sam did. She loves her beer. We started driving to the North Shore out-of-town in our trusty mini van we affectionately named “whitey” as you can probably imagine…it was big and white. Stopping in the town of Grand Pre, we meandered through a beautiful place called tangled gardens where we tasted all the local maple leaf country’s specialties including the syrup and savory jams even before our lunch in the Annapolis Valley at the Luckett winery. Obviously, We needed our energy for our afternoon hike dedicated to the memory of over eleven thousand Acadian settlers that were expulsed from the Maritimes. As we walked for hours amongst the old dykes built by the Acadians to control the world’s highest tides to the town of Wolfville, we felt the history of this beautiful landscape that was recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was an absolutely charming place to stay for the evening in preparation for our legendary next day hike in the Bay of Fundy from Minas Basin known for the world’s largest tides. We ventured out early to catch the weather right on Cape Split but the fog rolled in as we neared the top so we huddled together under Ken’s yellow tarp and made the best of our picnic lunch as the wind picked up. I actually love inclement weather because I get to test out my gear because everyone knows there’s no such thing as bad weather if you have good gear. Sam loves gear to…maybe cause it rhymes with beer! Our night was special in Annapolis Royal where we stayed in a storied house in a storied land near the Port-Royal National Historic site where the first French habitation in North America was established in 1605. The history in this area is astounding. And those Scallops from Digby were delicious. Then onward and upward to Kefjimkujik National Park, locals call it Keji, in the middle of the province rich in Mi’Kmag history of life on the peninsula, where we experienced a multi-sport day hiking/canoeing all while looking for extinct turtles to rear their head but only spotted frogs! Sam and I were the winners in the water “loop” here as Susan and Ken seemed to just coast along enjoying the marshland. Ho Hum. And that was it for the North Shore as we made our way to the South Shore where traditional fishing villages are in abundance. If you blinked, you would miss our beautiful Hunts point beach cottages for the evening as in Ocean Front. Small ocean indeed but you can even drive “whitey” right up to your front door. Awww…and I had the best refreshing sunset swim in the very cold North Atlantic water. Authentic would describe my “lobster again” dinner at the quarterdeck grill. The sky was all different shades of mesmerizing purple. Mornings are always glorious on the water but this one on Boyd’s Cove around Port Joli to Harbour Rocks, watching the turquoise water-waves crashing on granite headlands as seals bask off shore in the distance was divine. My last hurrah (or so I thought) was lunch at the seaside stop…lobster again…fried this time just to keep you guessing. It reminded me of the lobster roll in the Hamptons on the side of the highway that I used to frequent in the old days with absolutely no atmosphere. A complete dive. My Mercer’s taxi ride from there back to Halifax turned into a most informative one in which actually brought my journey to an introspective close. I had a wonderful local fisherman driver from Lunenburg who lived for generations in the area and was so damn proud of being a Nova Scotia Canadian. He decided since he was a fast driver and we were early that he would show me around Lunenburg and where he grew up, went to school, met his wife, had his 3 daughters, where he hurt his hand pulling in the scallops which ended his career and on and on. I loved it. It’s a land full of history and the people are simple and happy. Just the way life should be.