As wonderful as getting away was, it is always a great thing to be home again. You would think that being gone only three nights wouldn’t be long enough to be on a vacation, but there came a moment approximately 6pm on Sunday night when Keith and I were going to dinner where we both just wanted to be home. The thought having to stay in a hotel room for even one more night was no longer appealing to us and we decided to take however long it took to drive home and be in our own bed for the night – even if it meant not getting there until morning.
For the most part, our time away was amazing. We took our time in driving and chose all the back roads we could find. Many of them ran right along side of the ocean, giving us the opportunity to see things that were naturally beautiful in their own rite, without commercialism or hype. Those to me are the best places, as they are quiet and serene and their appeal stands on its own. I truly prefer seeing the countryside in that manner.
We began our journey late. I had ordered a new camera and wanted to bring it with for the trip. Our usual time for delivery was approximately 12-1pm, and the camera was due to be delivered on Thursday. It gave me the morning to prepare everything and pack.
I decided on the Sony Cybershot DSC-WX50. It was just under my self-imposed cost limit of $200. My previous camera was a Sony Cybershot and I was for the most part pleased with it. But after nearly five years of use, it has technically become a ‘dinosaur’ and I felt it was time for a new one. The filming of the videos helped me come to this decision. While they were quite adequate and got the point across, there were some issues that were not able to be overcome.
One of the most predominant problems I had with it was its maximum capacity was to film in only 9+ minute clips. Several times in the recent past, I had overshot this time limit and unknown to me, the camera just stopped. It usually cut me off mid-sentence or mid-project and I found myself having to re-shoot the entire process. This wasn’t always easy to do – especially when I was on step 5 of a scroll saw project (or a painting project for that matter!) It was very difficult to go ‘backward’ when cutting wood away or even painting layers on a piece, and took a lot of time to get things done.
Someone here on the blog suggested that I bump up the memory, but it turned out that these cameras have a maximum time limit of filming segments no matter what amount of storage is available, so it was just the nature of the beast. The WX50 has a capacity of shooting video in 30 minute segments, which would certainly would be much better for my purposes. It also had better zoom features, as well as an advanced focusing system that would serve us well with shooting our projects. The controls are simple and easy to understand, too. And while it doesn’t offer the pinpoint adjustments that a more expensive camera may, for the money it looked like it would be quite suitable for our purposes. All the reviews I read on it from several different sources were positive. So I thought I would give it a try. I will certainly keep you updated on how I feel that it performs on a daily basis, and any issues that we may encounter. Remember though that I am not that technical when it comes to cameras, and I will be reviewing it as a lay-person, not a professional photographer.
While I was quite anxious to begin using it and taking pictures with it, we naturally needed to charge the battery before doing so. This was a good opportunity for me to look over the manual that came with it and figure out all of the adjustments. By the time we went out the door, it had almost fully charged so I could at least play with it and get to know how to operate a bit. That was fine because we were still close to home, and there weren’t many new things that I wanted to take pictures of.
In order to head north, we needed to go south towards Yarmouth first. There is no clear cut way across Nova Scotia without travelling on roads that are rather desolate. We have done that before, and we thought we would head up on the South Shore side of the province. We left around 3pm, and after a quick stop in Yarmouth for a light meal, we headed up route 103, turning off onto route 3 (the lighthouse trail) from time to time and driving along the coast.
There are many beautiful lakes and rivers in Nova Scotia, and we love to ride along and see as many as we can. One of the first places we turned off was Port Clyde near the Barrington Passage. It was a beautiful afternoon and we found a nice little park to take a couple of pictures:
It was situated on the banks of a small river, and we thought it was quite pretty.
We took our time meandering up the coast line, enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way. It felt good to get away and not have to think about anything except the road ahead for the next few days, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. We stopped for supper in the town of Bridgewater, and we were happy to see that the place looked busy. So many towns in Nova Scotia are suffering because of the poor economy, and I will talk more about that in later entries. But Bridgewater and the surrounding area seemed to still be doing OK.
We got back on the road around 8pm, and headed up to Lunenburg. The drive was beautiful as the sun was beginning to set:
However, we noticed that there were more and more areas that were looking a bit shabby. We arrived in the city of Lunenburg at dusk, and it was quite shocking to see how many of the businesses were empty. I know the economy has taken its toll on many, but this area used to be one of the most affluent areas of Nova Scotia. However, since most of the economy here depended on tourism, you could see that the lack of tourists really impacted it greatly. We had been there only last year and there was a noticeable difference. It was sad to see and I am afraid to say something that we would see much more of before our trip was over.
Just before we left town, we saw a beautiful light ahead. It was the Lunenburg Academy, which was all lit up in its glory. I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to try the camera in this light and I am not disappointed.
We continued on through Mahone Bay and were again saddened to see how the general area had declined. While there were still nice areas, there was definitely a difference from when we were there previously. More houses were for sale and more businesses were abandoned, making the place look a bit shabby. Not too long ago we were considering approaching some of the shops to see about them carrying Keith’s pens and perhaps some of our wood pieces. But given the distance and also the state of things, we both think that our time is better spent elsewhere.
We continued on to Halifax and by that time it was late and we were ready to call it a night. We wanted an early start the next day to spend some time in the city and then move on toward Cape Breton.
I am going to stop here for the day, and probably continue on with things tomorrow. I plan to put all of the pictures I have taken into an album, and then I will link to it here on the blog so you all can see them if you wish. That will take a little time though so I will let you know when they are ready. I have a lot of catching up to do as you can imagine.
I hope you are enjoying this little narrative.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"