Friday, February 14, 2014


As many of you know, I love the Comfort Inns for the services and amenities that they offer and they are getting a facelift right across the country.

Tammy Nickerson and her staff in Yarmouth were among the first to experience what this transformation into this modern, comfortable and fresh environment would be like for themselves and their customers.

The place is truly “Comfort” able. The renovations are going to make this chain stand out in offering the ultimate in convenience and comfort, more so than any time in recent memory. Bravo gang – the place looks wonderful and is still staffed by great people!

After having my breakfast, I grabbed a coffee and some creamer and took it with me to the room; it was time to get sleeping beauty up. 

Willie had his coffee and talked to PackRat, Joe Paquette to find out what this day might hold. It was super foggy out so it was a cinch that Willie would not be riding back to Greenwood yet.

 Joe and his lovely wife Jo picked Willie and I up and took us to the Farmer’s Market.

Situated in a historic area of town, the Farmer’s Market is filled with an eclectic mix of vendors. I got to taste some Tidal Wine from the Annapolis Highland Vineyards winery and although it was tasty I still enjoyed the one from the Grand Pre Winery better. While I was talking to some of the various exhibitors, Jo had gotten herself some stunning lilies to plant in her garden and Willie and Joe wandered around sampling tidbits from the various vendors.

After meandering through the vendor’s booths, with offerings of everything from meals to art, we grabbed coffees and headed outside to the picnic tables. The music from the entertainer that had just taken the stage inside was wafting gently around us, and we found ourselves singing along and just enjoying.

We discussed the various things going on in Yarmouth and decided that we would have lunch at a festival called “A Taste of Yarmouth”.

But first we decided a walk along the pier was in order. The Yarmouth harbor is filled with ships and boats of all sizes and colors. Even in the fog it was impressive.

We drove down the street a ways and parked and as we stepped out of Joe’s truck the smells drifting from the tents had a persons mouth watering almost instantly. 

For $2 you could buy a ticket to have sample sizes of everything from clam chowder to mussels and everything in between. I met some of the town’s councillors who are appropriately proud of their community and it’s offerings and it was nice to have them on hand greeting the public, somehow I felt like I was a part of the community because of that.

My favorite was the seafood casserole served up by the volunteers of the Acadian Village and the fish cakes that were offered up in the Yarmouth community booth. OK, I enjoyed the hell out of the mussels too….
With bellies full and a bank of fog still hugging the harbor, we decided it was time to go for a

 We headed off to Cape Forchu. As we drove we watched the fog roll in and out, in and out. It made the short drive a little eerie.
We went to the Stanley Lobster Company so I could see tanks of lobsters and how they are kept fresh while waiting to be shipped to various restaurants and customers across the country. This place is so cool – no literally it can’t be more than 2-3 degrees inside. Big tanks of fresh seawater filled with crates that have lobsters in little cubbyholes with rubber bands on their claws so they can’t hurt each other or their handlers all kept very cold.
Lobsters metabolisms slow right down in the cold and so even though they may have been caught a month ago, they aren’t aging per se. We got to see a few monsters – 20 pounders that are babied and nurtured because of their monstrous sizes but also because of their unique colors.
After our tour of the lobster tanks, we walked along the beach to see where the Stanley Lobster Company customers go to eat their magnificent feeds of lobster that are cooked in an out door kitchen. 

Customers have the choice of eating at picnic tables or inside a very small restaurant, again located on the beach.

I thanked our tour guide, Brian for his time and soon we were back in the truck and off to the farthest point of the cape. The fog was beginning to lift and the sun was coming out in its full glory.

The twisty little road that took us to the Cape Forchu Lightstation and the Light Keepers Residence was filled with amazing scenery. Rugged coastline, boats out on the water and Yarmouth off in the distance.

Samuel de Champlain named Cape Forchu, which means forked cape, in 1604.

As we approached the lighthouse the fog had almost completely lifted and the views became more and more impressive. 

The lighthouse stands on an immense volcanic rock precipice that looks out over the harbour and sea. 

The very first of the “Apple Core” lighthouses, it has served as a beacon to ships captains since 1840.

The craggy and magnificent the landscape makes one feel 
so very small and vulnerable.

The Lighthouse today is a visitor’s center that sits on 19 acres of well-groomed land and features mariner’s monuments, a huge lawn chair that just begs to be climbed and sat in and of course the Light Keepers Residence, two gift shops and a tea room.

Inside the Light Keepers Residence there are artifacts from generations of light keepers who have lived here.

We wandered around soaking up the sun and marvelling at the scenery. 

Soon it was time to head to our next destination – the Memorial Monument at the Yarmouth School.

I wanted to get some shots of this impressive monument in the glorious sunshine. Last week I told you about the inspiring kids and their teacher who worked tirelessly to fundraise and design this monument.

You can feel the love here. That is no overstatement either. I took some time to just reflect on the names, finding Corporal Mike Starker’s name I said a prayer and shed a tear or two – his memory is not forgotten and neither are the names of the other 157 who gave their lives defending those who could not defend themselves in Afghanistan.
Sitting here today, thinking about that monument still brings goose bumps out and makes me shiver with emotion. The young people and their teacher who so lovingly worked to make this monument a reality are forever to be held in esteem for walking the talk.
Pretty soon it was time to take Willie back to his bike at the Comfort Inn. On the way there we stopped at the old water trough monument so I could get some photos. Once Willie was packed up and on his way, Joe, Jo and I headed over to their place. We shared glass of wine and reminisced about the day and made our plans for dinner.
We were going to Rudders for lobster. Now I am told that the Stanley Lobster Company serves up the best lobster dinner in the region, and that Rudders is as close to first as you can get. The place was buzzing, filled with people and music, the smells of really good food hung in the air with a pungent invitation to gorge ones self. And gorge myself I did.
The lobster was cooked to perfection, our waitress had a sense of humour that had us all belly laughing and her
service was impeccable. When it came time to leave, I have to admit it was difficult. Joe and his beautiful wife are two of the kindest, sweetest people I have ever met.

They dropped me off at the Comfort Inn, Joe promising to come grab me in the morning to escort me to the next group of CAV members who would be my escorts.
I did some work, packed up my bike and settled in for a good night’s sleep. It had felt so good to have a day off of the bike and recharge my batteries a bit. In the morning I was up bright and early – it was another glorious sun filled morning and I was going to get to have a visit with Tammy Nickerson, the manager of this Comfort Inn, to talk about the renovations and just catch up with her.
Westmont Hospitality Group manages many of the Comfort Inns in Canada, I am not sure how or why, but this company is filled with some of the most amazing women it has ever been my pleasure to meet and Tammy Nickerson is one of those women. Warm and inviting, her smile lights up a room and her attitude rubs off on her staff that treat everyone with amazing grace and hospitality even when she’s not there.

Tammy and her man ride and that makes coming to her hotel all the sweeter because her staff know exactly what a rider needs. It makes a great experience fantastic!

After coffee and breakfast and a good gab it was time to head out. Joe and Doc along with Doc’s young son were waiting for me.

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