Monica and I, at Nellyglass Studio, wish for all of you a very Merry and Bright Christmas this year.
It’s the end of June, the most anticipated time of the year for me. We get to celebrate Monica’s birthday (this year 63🎂) and our anniversary (37❤🥂)… AND, we often like to get away somewhere for a change of scenery (triple bonus).
This year, we chose 3 nights at the Fundy Highlands Motel and Chalets in Fundy National Park at Alma for some quiet unwinding and togetherness. We planned for plenty of trail hiking, beach combing, antique hunting and good food. The weather was a crap shoot. There were moments of sun and rain, heat and cool, fog and black flies and mirror calm bay waters reflecting pastel skies. Good for body, mind and soul, we truly enjoyed nature washing in this spectacular national park and adjoining UNESCO biosphere shoreline listed in the world’s “amazing places”.
Our three-night getaway is captured in photos for our future recall. I look forward to looking back and smiling at the wonderful memories we made in Fundy National Park.
Day 1 – Arriving: highlights – snack at Wolfe Lake (birthday gift from Sarah), hike at Kinnie Brook (very hot), hike at Wolfe Point (foggy and cooler), beach walk at Herring Cove (sea glass), check in to Fundy Highlands chalet, drive into Alma for seafood platter take-out, stuff faces back at the chalet, pass out.
Day 2 – Monica’s Birthday: Highlights – breakfast (leftover seafood platter, eggs and toast), road trip along the coast, first stop Dennis Beach (too foggy), Mary’s Point (UNESCO protected area), Lars Larsen marsh, Anderson Hollow Lighthouse, Angel Mist Antique shop (like a museum), The Bird Garden craft shop (found Monica’s birthday gift), lunch at Tipsy Tails in Alma, afternoon relax at the chalet, sausages and sauerkraut for supper.
Day 3 – Happy Anniversary: Highlights – power breakfast (left over sausages, eggs & toast), hike to Dickson Falls (exchanged Anniversary cards there), hike to Matthew’s Head (4.5 km and rooty, awesome views), afternoon thunderstorm (ethereal and beautiful), drive into Alma to purchase lobsters, enjoy the after-storm sunshine on the deck, candle light dinner at the chalet (lobster, steak, corn and potatoes paired with great Chardonnay).
I enjoy taking Monica to the garden center on this day, enjoy watching her choose her plants, enjoy the excited chit-chat on the drive home and enjoy watching her record her container ideas in her garden journal. It makes her so happy.
Happy Mother’s Day, honey. I so look forward to your wonderful colors this summer.
On May 2nd, Monica and I had the supreme fortune of having our daughter, Sarah and her man Matt, to our house to celebrate her 33rd birthday. We all had the supreme fortune of enjoying Monica’s amazing Dan Dan noodles for dinner, followed by quadruple chocolate cheesecake. We love life, but not as much as we love our Sarah (nod to Joni Mitchell).
From The Alwards to you, Happy Easter. Truly a time to rejoice.
On March 17th, we celebrate Matt’s birthday. This year, #32! The four of us (Matt, Sarah, Monica and me) enjoyed a fantastic fusion of Italian/Asian at Delizioso restaurant in Saint John’s east end.
At 35, can a man feel like a man when his parents still call him their baby boy? Doesn’t matter… as long as he can feel the love. Happy Birthday, Ryan.
A wonderful day of togetherness.
Monica and I want to thank all Nellyglass patrons for your devoted support. Despite the weirdness of 2020, you have helped make this a wonderful year for us! And to everyone, may all the joy and blessings in the new year be yours. Merry Christmas!
The end of June (29th – 30th) is very special to us; Monica’s birthday and our anniversary are back to back. This year, we got away to the east coast of NB to revisit some favorite sites and relive some favorite memories of our past.
It all started with a birthday bash as Monica marked her 62nd 🎂. We enjoyed a wonderful family lunch at La Sagouine restaurant in Bouctouche. We chose this on recommendations from friends. Supposedly, people go nuts for the pecan pie but I went for the deep fried New York cheesecake! Two of Monica’s sisters (Shirl and Marlene) and brother Frank along with full spousal accompaniment, joined us for great food, much merriment and birthday hugs for both Monica and Pauline.
Then we town-hopped our way north along the coast through Rexton and Richibucto just poking along the back roads. A quick stop in to see the spectacular windows at Saint Louis de Gonzague church and then a quick visit to the Richibucto River Winery to stock up, was all just 10 minutes away from our destination at L’Ancrage B’nB in Saint Louis de Kent.
The morning of the 30th was cloudy and breezy. We had a monumental breakfast at the inn. Then, what better way to celebrate 36 years of marriage than returning to the place of our first “get away” as new parents 34 years ago. Ryan was only 4 months old when we left him with my parents over night and sped off to Kouchibouquac National Park for a late honeymoon camping adventure. Like before, we walked for miles on Kelly’s Beach. This time, there was no one else in sight. It was glorious!
An afernoon spin to Pointe Sapin to see the lighthouse and then to Richibucto to get lobster rolls takeout at La Riva Grille saw us back at our room before 4 o’clock. The rest of the day was spent relaxing in utter East Coast contentment. We exchanged anniversary cards, enjoyed the lobster and finished with an evening stroll along the river to find some driftwood. The best peace and quiet ever!
Final morning, July 1st. Happy Canada Day! 🇨🇦 After another fantastic breakfast, we said goodbye to Liane and Kores, our Dutch hosts at L’Ancrage BnB. Their hospitality gets 5 stars and we highly recommend this inn.
The drive home was easy with two little side stops at Cap Lumiere to see the lighthouse, and at Cote de Sainte Ann’s beach to look for sea glass. A lovely calm fog ushered us along the shore. The serenity was exquisite. Alas, no glass, but we really enjoyed the stroll. An hour and a half later, we were welcomed home by the peonies and delphiniums.
Happy Birthday and Anniversary, Monica. Exploring new places with you is perhaps my favorite thing to do.
It’s storming (sort of) here in Saint John on March 17th. Monica and I are holed up in the house, with the fireplace on, watching the snow and reading the news as the world reels from COVID-19.
Saint Patrick, so it is said, drove all the snakes out of Ireland. Wish he could do the same with this virus! Here’s to your good health, my friends.
Perhaps some glass will lift the spirits. Here are six lovely ones I saw in the past year.
It’s really wonderful to have another birthday and it doesnt get any better than lunch at Take-Sushi followed by homemade butterscotch pie for dessert (thank you Monica). And, thanks to everyone for the B-Day wishes. Life is good at 61.
I love late June for two very special reasons; Monica’s birthday on the 29th and our wedding anniversary on the 30th.
To celebrate this year, we headed for Prince Edward Island stopping first into Victoria By The Sea for lunch at the Landmark… awesome chowder and fish cakes. Then onward to spend one glorious night at the very grand Dalvay by the Sea Inn on the north shore. Great service, great food! Happy Birthday Monica 🥂
The next day, traffic was light as we poked our way along lupin-lined roads stopping occasionally to visit a church or snap a landscape moment. By afternoon, we arrived at picturesque Big Point Cottage on the south shore at Belle River. Here we would stay for the next three weeks.
It was raining when we arrived and we enjoyed a quiet afternoon exchanging cards and sharing 35 years of memories over a nice bottle of wine and burgers for dinner. Happy Anniversary Monica 🥂
Here are the photo highlights of June to the End.
He was a Christian priest in 250 AD at a time before Christianity was fully accepted. He married people illegally so the husbands wouldn’t have to go to war. This was much to the ire of Emperor Claudius II, who sentenced him to death: beaten, stoned and beheaded. While in jail, awaiting his sentence, Valentine healed the jailer’s blind daughter, restoring her sight… and on his execution day, he left a note in his cell for her that simply said … “Your Valentine”.
Fact or fiction? Regardless, he is the reason many of us put a little more effort on this day into reaching out to someone special to show them we care.
Monica and I had a wonderful lunch date at Ta-ke Sushi on King Street. We also bought more sushi to take home for supper, after the wine of course. And the sun shone through it all. It was a great day.
Since traveling to Ireland and learning more about their history and culture, I have a much better appreciation for the man called Saint Patrick... who, in the mid 400s, was captured from his home in Britain by Irish pirates while still just a teenager, enslaved for years on Ireland, escaped and fled back to the mainland, became a Christian, returned to Ireland to spread the word and build his first church in Armagh (we were there), and ultimately become the patron saint of Ireland.
Celebrated on this day all over the world (and most certainly at our house), Monica and I wish you a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
Here are some shots all taken close to home in Saint John.
As a pre-father’s day celebration, Monica and I were treated today by our daughter, Sarah, to lunch uptown at Cask ‘n Kettle. Then the three of us enjoyed a round the block Gallery Hop to seven fine arts shops all within easy walking.
I am very spoiled and so fortunate and happy to be so.
We (Monica, Sarah, Matt and I) feasted today in honor of St. Patrick; born 385 AD in England, captured as a teen and taken to Ireland as a slave, escaped to the mainland as a man, converted to Christianity at a time when it was outlawed, returned to Ireland to spread the word, created his first church in Armagh (Mon and I were there), and has been ever since the Patron Saint of Ireland. Plus, it’s Matt’s birthday today… double the celebrations!! I ended the day with sushi from Superstore. What a wonderful family food day.
The day started at 5:00 am with a rigorous session of driveway snow-blowing… didn’t care for that so much 😐
Then a couple of hours of soldering in the studio (really love that) turned out two celtic knotted crosses…. one for CraftologySJ and one for my sweetheart.
Lunch was a happy gorging uptown at Ta-ke Sushi… and then home with feet up for an afternoon of blogging and sipping great Tempranillo from Spain ☺ and making plans with Monnie for our spring road trip.
Isn’t life grand?