Sunday, 2 April 2017

All I Can Say Is "WOW!"

Newfoundland never ceases to surprise me. Over the last few days, Arctic pack ice has been pushed onto the shorelines, coves and bays of the Northern Avalon of Newfoundland. Since moving down here, we've only heard of the tales of people jumping from (ice) pan to pan, usually in relation to sealing -- so when we heard of the ice floes starting to come into Conception Bay, we didn't really know what to expect. 

Except we woke up to this: 

Pretty amazing, isn't it? This was the view from the back of The Bayside at about 7:30 this morning. As you can see, there is a little free water close to the shore for the few ducks to paddle around in, but it was completely filled in by lunch time. 

We also drove down the road to catch a few more shots:

Ha, ha. Just my foot. But trust me, I was doing none of the jumping that others were attempting to do! Needless to say, all that ice has put a decided chill in the air. My thumbs were just about froze off taking all my shots!  Even the protected harbour down in Port de Grave hasn't escaped the flowing mini bergs:

"What comes next?", you may ask.  Well, this is perfect iceberg ice harvesting time. And, you can be sure that Basil and I will be along the shoreline picking up some choice morsels for our freezer so that our guests can experience a chunk of an iceberg in their summertime drink!  

We're booking up pretty quickly for June and July but there's still a few slots open along with August and into September. Just click on the link below and it will direct you to our webpage where you can make some great memories!

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Bay Roberts Needs Your Vote!

This will be short and sweet! The Town of Bay Roberts   
urgently needs your vote!

Every year the good folks at Kraft team up 
with the NHL and the NHLPA to give small towns
across Canada the chance at a cash prize that is put towards improvements to the local community arena. It's in these buildings that every day, children, teens and adults of all ages come together to celebrate community. And Bay Roberts is no different. But the Bay Arena is no mere hockey arena. It is a community centre. It is the heart of this town on the Northeastern  Avalon. Not only do they play hockey here, but community events as diverse as car shows, dance recitals, seafood BBQs (more on that another time), and such are held on a regular basis.  

But as with most small communities, the facilities have a hard time keeping up with everyone's demands! The arena is in need of some tender, loving care. In fact, a fire last year shut the arena down for almost two months. If not for the selfless sharing of neighbouring communities, there would have been many disappointed players.

And even now, with a leaky roof, games are postponed, delayed and even cancelled! This should not be!

So, you're asking yourself, what can I do to help? 

Glad you asked! Due to some tireless effort on the part of some civic minded individuals in Bay Roberts, they are now on a short list of qualifiers and are in the running to be named Hockeyville 2017! Ten arenas across Canada have the opportunity to win the top prize of $100,000 to put towards repairs or improvements, plus, the chance at hosting an NHL game this fall! Now, every arena as it stands will be awarded something--at least $25,000. But hey, Bay Roberts  is holding out for the big one! 

So now what you need to do is vote. Vote! Vote!

Starting at 9:00 a.m. EST tomorrow and until Monday night at 11:59 p.m., all you need to do is click on Kraft Hockeyville and cast your vote. Just click on that link. I've made it easy for you.

Vote and vote often. You need to be  at least 13 years of age and all voting must be done online. Open the window on your tablet, your laptop, your computer and keep voting. That's really all it takes. Help Bay Roberts make it into the final top two. They both get $100,000 BUT they really want that NHL game! 

So come on!

We need all the help that we can get!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Adventures of Cole--Snow Cat in Disguise!

This is Cole. My handsome, little boy. (As 
opposed to my big handsome boy, Basil)
Not too many people have seen The Bayside cats and that's because they're not allowed in the guest areas in case anyone has allergies or for those people that are afraid of cats. He's also strictly an indoor cat so you wouldn't see him hanging around outside. But let me tell you--he loves the outdoors! He is a part time escape artist that will dart out the backdoor before you can say, "Have you seen Cole?" So, today, I thought because we were having such a nice snow day, I would give him the chance to experience what all Newfoundlanders do this time of year. 

"Just let me stick my nose out for a bit"

"Hey, what is this stuff? Looks like a neat white carpet to me! I'll bet you can really see my black hair on this, hahaha!!"

Yes, Cole is famous for his soft, puffy tail and
he just loves to leave his long, luscious hairs on all of my white t-shirts.

But somehow, that white carpet didn't  feel quite right to him. In fact, it was a little too wet. And cold. And all of a sudden, going outside didn't seem to be such a great idea after all.

Spending a snow day indoors isn't such a bad idea. Smart cat. Mind if I join you?

*Please be advised, that our guests do not need to poke their nose outdoors to check on the weather. They can look outside from the comfort of our common room while the fire is burning in the wood stove.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Green Point Lighthouse - Pleasant Way to Spend an Afternoon

Make a drive to Port de Grave a part of your Newfoundland island tour. 
Basil and I have been here over 2 1/2 years and we've barely scratched the surface of what there is to see in our little neighbourhood. Now mind you, every once in awhile, we do drive down to the Port de Grave harbour to look at the boats. Immaculately kept and well maintained, they are a treat to look at. Looking at these longliners, you can see the pride of ownership--many decorated with personalized paintings of scenes and family. 
But one thing I've never done is gone down to look at the Green Point Lighthouse at the tip of the peninsula, right at Hibbs Cove.

Whenever any of our guests let me know that they like hiking or walking trails, I've always recommended the lighthouse but had never gone myself. Basil has gone down quite often while I've kept myself busy cleaning, cooking, etc. So, the other day when all four of my rooms were staying two nights or more (no rooms to change over!), we jumped on the ATV and took a little drive for some us time. Now, you can drive with your car to a certain point, but as you can see, you'll have to park and do the rest on foot. But it's well worth it. This just looks like it's a road going to nowhere, but that's definitely not the case.

Built in 1883, the lighthouse was originally powered with kerosene and later converted to electricity in 1931.  A few years after that, it was decided that there was no longer a need to be manned and became automated. And today, it runs off solar batteries.
A unique feature of this lighthouse when it was first built, was an additional bank of lights that were to shine on some of the dangerous rocks that were located just offshore.

And even though dangerous to oncoming vessels, the area sports its own unique beauty with the rock and craters filled with sea water, seaweed and sea creatures.

We found ourselves a smooth boulder lodged along the edge of the cliff and just stared out at the ocean.

It was a relaxing afternoon and I sometimes take those for granted. We saw only one other person on our little adventure. It was like we were the only two people on the island.
And those afternoons are few and far between during our season. But, the next time I can get out of the laundry room and out to do some touring.....

You can be sure that I'll jump at that chance!

Our season has quickly filled up but we still have some openings available in July and August. Come for a visit to The Bayside Bed and Breakfast and discover your little out-of-the-way places.

The Bayside Bed and Breakfast

Monday, 25 May 2015

Once Upon A Time

I'm so fond of old Newfoundland buildings. Basil is too. I don't know how many times that we driven along somewhere and one of us will say to the other, "Look! Perfect picture!"

I'm by no means a photographer. I wish I could say it was a hobby, but I don't even spend enough time on it to make it a hobby. But I do love to take pictures. And, one of my favourite subjects is old Newfoundland buildings.

But I especially love old doors.

I have a long wall in my upstairs hallway that is a blank canvas that I'm determined to fill with pictures of old doors. 
However, it must be done just right and I need more old doors!

I'm sure I'm not the only one around that likes these old doors. 
I'm always thinking about the families that would have walked through these portals.

Where are they now?

Did the children all move away?

Do they live nearby?

With some of them, you can see the detail that went into installing them. 
What was once vivid colours, have now faded.
Wood worn with age, carved by the ocean wind. Cracking, splitting.

What would their previous owners think about them now?

Some of these doors haven't been abandoned. 
The one on the left is still used in the summer months when the previous occupant 'comes home' to visit. 

This is our neighbour's door.

Mr. Batten lives in Ontario now, to be closer to his daughters, but he still feels the pull of his family home. 
If all goes well, we hope to see him again soon. And of course, he'll come up the hill to have breakfast at The Bayside!

And then this last one..... still being used daily!

Don't you just love it?

I sure do!

Why not walk through our door at The Bayside Bed and Breakfast?

Summer is quickly filling up so don't delay! Check our online availability today and book with us. Or, give me a call at 709-786-1500. I'll be happy to help you plan your escape to Newfoundland.

The Bayside Bed and Breakfast Online Availability

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Kissing The Cod and All That Good Stuff

Or, kiss a bottle of screech and stuff the cod!
No, kiss the cod, drink the screech, stuff some squid, eat fish and chips and all that Newfoundland kind of stuff.
For all those Newfoundlander wannabes, this is for you.
Come on down and become an honorary citizen of the most beautiful province on your bucket list. 

Now, most Canadians have heard of a screech in ceremony and know it involves fish and drinking and leave it at that. All good.
I had the chance to be screeched in at the Toutons, Tom Cods and Tunes event at the Songs, Stages and Seafood Festival last year. 

Pucker up!

How does such an unimaginable tradition like this get started?

Many, many years back, when salt fish was being shipped to the West Indies, it was exchanged for rum.
It was unbelievably strong, but those early fishermen didn't care. My theory is that it kept them nice and warm and why fix what isn't broken?
When the government took over the trade, they didn't change the recipe, they just put it in a nice bottle so that it looked good on the shelf.

So, during the war years, the American servicemen came over and they got themselves a little sample of this lovely, coloured liquid. And the story goes, one of them just tossed one right back. Well, after breathing again,  he asked a Newfoundlander, "What the cripes is that ungodly screech?"

To which he replied, "'Tis the rum, my son." So, of course, everyone had to have a try and that's how the name stuck. (I'm sure there's other versions, but I found this one on the Screech site)

So, how do you get screeched in?

First of all, you must be a natural, born Newfoundlander to perform the ceremony. 
Andrea Maunder, owner and operator of the award-winning restaurant, Bacalao in St. John's presided at mine.
Pour the screech into a glass, or a red plastic tumbler as the above picture indicates. Or a boot, or a teapot--something that will hold liquid and not leak. Or if it leaks, stop up the leak with a few capelin for a couple of minutes.
Get your cod ready. It can be frozen or fresh. Mine had just been in a cod-splitting demonstration and so I had a handsome head at the ready.

Gorgeous, wasn't he?
Sorry he's a little blurry. I wasn't taking the pictures, Basil was. I think it's because he was laughing. Maybe crying. No, probably laughing.

Now, kiss the cod. Not good enough? Okay, another one. Not just a peck, one on the full mouth. 

Next, everyone in the room is supposed to recite something. Honestly, I don't remember that part at all. But here it is:

"From the waters of the Avalon, to the shores of Labrador,
We've always stuck together, with a Rant and a Roar,
To those who've never been, soon they'll understand,
From coast to coast, we raise a toast, we love thee Newfoundland!"

You're then asked, "Is ye a Screecher?"
To which you reply, "Deed I is me old cock, and long may your big jib draw!"
Translation: Deed I is--Indeed I am.
                   Me old cock--an old English Cockney term meaning friend of buddy
                   Long may your big jib draw--May there always be wind in your sails, a Mariner's saying meaning good luck.

This may need to be repeated a few times to make sure you say it right. And anyone who knows me, knows that I'm hard of hearing (I don't think I was wearing my hearing aid that day), so I repeated what I thought I heard them say. Let's just say, they made allowances in my case.
It's only at this point that you are allowed to down the Screech. And since they put me through the wringer with the kissing stuff, I asked for another shot. Yum, rum!
If you can survive this ceremony, you have now become an Honorary Newfoundlander.

And that, was my screech in ceremony. 

Last I heard, there were still some tickets available for the Songs, Stages and Seafood Festival. Act quickly before they're all gone. 
And yes, 10% off  when you show me a ticket from one of the events on your stay that weekend at the The Bayside.

And, it's your last chance to enter for a trip for two to Newfoundland. Enter the What's In A Name? contest right here and come stop by for a cup of tea. Or maybe a shot of Screech.

Friday, 24 April 2015

Songs, Stages and Seafood - What's Not To Like?

One of the best parts of any vacation? Why, it's the food, of course!
Who hasn't come home from a trip and begun to tell of all the tales of their travels far and near, and not ended the story by telling everyone of the little pub or cafĂ© off the beaten trail where they found the best meal they've ever eaten? I still remember visiting Croatia as a small girl with my family and visiting the best bakery I've ever been to and the vanilla squares that floated off my plate and into my mouth! Now, that was a long time ago but it's funny how food memories are some of the strongest.

Now here's your chance to make some great memories.

Bay Roberts' 3rd  Annual Songs, Stages and Seafood Festival                                         June 11-14

Some of the best chefs that this part of Newfoundland has to offer, come together and make magic. 

The Town of Bay Roberts puts on a moving feast that has become more popular with each passing year. It takes place in different venues across the town. 
Some of the events taking place this year will be:

  • Small Plate Evening with Live Traditional Music     June 12 7:00 p.m.
  • Experience the Sea Luncheon - Live Music, Traditional Dance and Cooking Demo     June 13 12 noon
  • Chef's BBQ Party with Live Traditional Music   June 13      6:00 p.m.       
  • "Toutons, Tom Cods and Tunes"    June 14 1:00 p.m.                                                                                           ......and more!

Last year, we went to the "Toutons, Tom Cods & Tunes"
event with cod splitting demo and fiddle music.
It was held at the end of May last year and it was still a 'little' frosty. It took place on the popular Mad Rock Trail in the Red Fisherman's Shed, where they had the wood stove smokin' and the food served was deliciious! Mussels, cod, seafood salad and toutons served with molasses. We even had our own personal iceberg keeping an eye on the festivities.  

Where else could something like this happen, I ask you?

More events to be announced, so just check their website at
Songs, Stages and Seafood
Tickets are available for this event by calling the council office at 709-786-2126.

And an added bonus:    Book your stay at The Bayside for this event and get a 10% discount on your room by showing us a ticket for one of the events at this festival. There's still a few rooms available for that weekend but they won't last long! Just give us a call at

Can't make it for the seafood festival but you can make it down to see us at a later date? Remember, you can always check our availability and reserve online using this handy link:
Online Reservations for The Bayside

Week #2 for What's In a Name: Food Edition
Enter here to win a trip for two to Newfoundland, sponsored by Air Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Tourism
What's In A Name? Food Edition

Next time:  Ever been 'screeched in'?