Louisbourg For the Family Holidays
Our family holidays would happen the first week of August. While my friends would typically take off south in either December or March for some beach time, we would pack up our car in the middle of summer and head to Cape Breton. It would remind an outsider of the trips the Griswald’s would take. My parents thinking was that we should enjoy the beauty of what we had rather than sit at an all inclusive beach, eating mediocre food. They were probably right!
We would drive up the coast, passing through all the small villages along the way. Lawrencetown was a favorite of mine. Would would usually stop to stretch our legs and watch the surfers catch their waves. I had always dreamed of grabbing a board and ducking under waves as I paddled out into the Atlantic. I never did end up surfing their, but I did learn at a novice beach in Costa Rica called Samara.
Out On The Mira
Our first stop was the Mira River Provincial Park for some good old family camping. The camping here is a stark contrast to MacLeod’s on the other side of the island. The camp ground is just outside of Albert Bridge. There is a song by Allister MacGillivray called Song For the Mira which speaks of life in Marion Bridge. Albert Bridge is town closer to the Atlantic.
As it is so close to the ocean it is a mixture of both fresh water and salt water. Instead of swimming with jelly fish (as you would at MacLeod’s), you can swim here with eels. Our first half of the trip would be spent here, running amok around the camp grounds. We would have an abbreviated version of Family Game Night, consisting of games like 3 legged races and water balloon tosses. It was at these camping nights that we would first get introduced to organic food vs conventionally grown food. Mum and Dad were pretty adamant about teaching us that we didn’t have to ingest harmful chemicals that the establishment has decided it is ok for us to eat.
Vacationing With The Family In A Scottish Mist
The last half of the family holidays would be spent in Louisbourgh. This a town right out of a movie. It is small and quiet. If you stay there any longer than a day, there is a good chance you will experience their version of a Scottish Mist. It is now a fishing town. I think it is mostly crab and lobster. It used to a large Fort, that was frequently fought over by the British and French. The fort is still there in all its glory. The lighthouse is there. The Louisbourgh Playhouse is a must see every time we go. We would stay at the Louisbourgh Harbour Inn.
At the time, I was pissed off, that my friends would get to go to Cuba, or the Dominican Republic for their family holidays. My parents would just tell that life is not about the destination, it is about the journey. My eyes would role, and I would huff and puff.
15 years later though, I fondly remember our family vacations.