I have been planning a visit back to the East Coast for some time now, but it was all thanks to Kaleigh Trace and the Venus Envy team that I finally got to make my way back there.What many might not know is that, I have many connections and roots to the East Coast. However it's been a long time since I last made my way there, the last time in 2001. So what was significant about this trip to me...
(1) When I was a teenager I was shitty
The last time I was visiting Halifax was 2001. I was 17 years old and I was a bratty teenage. It was also the time that internet had just been introduced to my teenage self and I didn't care about anything else but that. I remember my family and I drove from Toronto to the East Coast (which is gorgeous, from my memory) and stay in a beautiful house on the water. What I didn't realize then and couldn't appreciate then was just how beautiful, relaxing and amazing all that was. Each day, I would have my parents drive me down to an house that provided dial-up Internet so that I could talk to my friends back at home. Meanwhile, I was missing out on visiting some beautiful sites and not taking advantage of what would have been one of the last visits with my Grandfather, who died a few weeks after we left that trip.
(2) Confronting death and reconnecting with family
When I last visited Nova Scotia in 2001, I got to visit with my grandfather who I lovingly referred to as my papa. He held raise me (alongside my mother and my granny) and was a man who always made me laugh. There are so many memories I have with him and so many days where I wish he was still here to see the woman that I had grown into and to see what I have achieved. However, when I was 17 years old, he died in a car accident just a few weeks after my family and I left from our trip. The amount of guilt I've felt (since then) for not cherishing those last moments I had with him has plagued me. But those are things you can't really change. What I came to realize (as I returned back to Halifax for the first time) is just how proud he would be of me and how much I would enjoy the spoils of the earth for him. In doing so, I met up with my remaining family living in the surrounding area for dinner/drinks one evening and we celebrated one another. It was the first time many of us had seen each other and it was a great evening. You have each other and in each other, you can remember the good times and the bad times.
(3) Having the opportunity to teach what I love and learn from those in my community
So the biggest reason for going out to Halifax was that Kaleigh Trace had asked me to come out and teach a course at Venus Envy. I was so honoured to be asked as I had the hugest professional boner for Kaleigh and was so worried that this course (Body Love) that I was going to put together wasn't going to be anything that she expected or would enjoy. There is me and my inner-self doubt again! Anyways, we ended up selling out the course (if I'm not mistaken 20 people came) and it was a really rad success. Plus, The Signal Halifax ended up doing an interview with me on the course. It was a bit surreal and totally amazing. We had done workshops like this throughout the tenure of Fat Girl Food Squad, but this was all on my own and well, I did it. I can't wait to do it again. Plus, I got to meet 20 rad grrls who taught me a lot about myself in the process. Thank you to all who attended the course I taught.
(4) It's true what they say, East Coast Hospitality is real!
So it's true what they say - East Coast Hospitality is real. Every single place that I went to was charming as fuck and had delicious food and the service staff was amazing. The above pizza was from Morris East and I had the entire joint to myself eating the most delicious pizza. The staff was kind, courteous and made me feel like I was right at home. Plus, I had to do way more foodie visiting and of course that lead me to the Halifax Seaport where I took myself to Selwood Green Norberts Good Food. It was great to connect with several local producers and eat fresh, local food. (pictured below)
I also had the opportunity to eat at 2 Doors Down, Edna, Johnny K's Authentic Donair's and some other places. Every single place was incredible, no word of a lie. It made me want to come back to Halifax soon.
And maybe, just maybe I'll do that. I mean - this trip really illustrated to me that I've been holding out on visiting Halifax for too long and I shouldn't hold out any longer. Thanks Halifax for having me back. Let's hope when I visit again, there won't be any snow.