Tuesday 26 July 2016

Summer Fun

Adventures don't have to take you far from home. Honestly, with a toddler, adventure can be found pretty much anywhere - basement, backyard, or flying through the air from the coffee table to the couch. I always have to remind myself that usually the best times are the times that are spent on simple activities. That's what we've been doing lately. Last week, we explored some of our local parks. It was free, fun, and outdoors!

Harbour Passage is a sweet walking/biking/strolling trail along the harbourfront that links the uptown with the west side. In addition to the beautiful sights, there are panels along the route to explain some of the history and wildlife of the area - shipbuilding, seals, the port, Fort LaTour. Of course, I didn't get to spend too much time reading them, but there seem to be more popping up all the time. Over the years, they've added more highlights, including public art, learning stations, and a children's section. Last week, C and I went for an evening walk, looking at the water, flowers, wildlife, and stopping at the children's play area.

I don't know why, but I never think about going to Rockwood Park. It's a shame, because it's a beautiful park. We're lucky to have such a great green space in the middle of our city. It's like our own Central Park. Actually, Rockwood Park was designed by a member of the same team who designed Central Park, in New York City, so it really is Saint John's version!  We spent the morning, one hot Saturday, exploring the trails, checking out the ducks, and eventually popping into Lily's Cafe for lunch on the patio overlooking Lily Lake.

Our other large green space in the city is the Irving Nature Park.  This park seems to be growing all the time. When I was a kid, it was Taylor's Island and Saints Rest. I used to go to the beach to beach-comb and fly kites. I think it opened as the Irving Nature Park in the 90s, and since then has grown to include the Sheldon Point Trail and the Children's Forest. On foggy mornings, we like to stop at Saints Rest, to walk the beach before breakfast. This typically includes throwing rocks into the water and trying to miss getting his by the waves. We always leave covered in sand and soaking wet. Sometimes, we are lucky to spot some wildlife, like deer.

Of course, close to our house is Seaside Park. It will be changing a lot next year, so we're trying to take advantage of it now. There is a little playground and a road that leads to the most beautiful views of Partridge Island and the Bay of Fundy. There are big pieces of granite to sit on and watch the ships come into the harbour. It's peaceful. If you continue down a pathway, you can walk along a path that can take you to Bayshore beach in one direction and Duck Cove beach in the other. Of course, the rocks also make the best jump-off rocks with is a bonus!

Last week helped me remember how lucky we are to live in Saint John. We have so many parks to go to within a short walk or drive. It's something to be proud of and support.

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