T'was the month before Christmas, when all through the land
No gifts were yet purchased, no parties yet planned.
The shops were stocked with presents and decorated with care,
in hopes that customers soon would be there.
I eagerly waited for flakes of snow,
as I hung my wreath and holiday bows.
And mamma with her coffee and dad with his tea,
had just called to say they're visiting me!
Every November my parents visit me from Halifax for our annual Christmas shopping trip. We like to keep it simple and relaxed, supporting local shops, restaurants and enjoying the less hectic valley atmosphere.
Our first stop was the Town of Middleton, also known as "The Heart of the Valley". Middleton is an exceptionally friendly town just as you enter Annapolis County. On this sunny Saturday, one month from Christmas, we visited several of the shops along Commercial Street, but our favourite shop is the country store named Cinnamon Creek. They can be found on Facebook, but to visit in person is the best way to see this impressive shop. I usually have to take two full trips around the store before I make any final decisions on my purchases, and I never leave empty handed. There is something magical about this shop, from the abundance of unique gift ideas, to antiques and exceptionally happy staff. This shop will always be my favourite to have on our agenda for our annual Christmas shopping trip.
After an afternoon of shopping in Middleton, we knew just the spot for supper: The Port Pub, located in the Village of Port Williams. This gastropub is a favourite of ours, we love to bring friends and family who are visiting us for anytime of the year, the atmosphere is cozy and we love the local food and brew. It was a busy weekend in the valley and because we did not have a reservation we had a bit of a wait, and I must warn you, this may be the case at times as this is a popular spot - but do not let this discourage you, it is well worth it.
I have tried several items on the menu during different visits and all have been yummy to say the least. But I tend to lean towards simple pub fare: the harvest valley salad, sweet potato fries and I can't say enough about the lobster clubhouse. When I have saved enough room for dessert it's a toss-up between valley apple crisp or peanut butter pie and neither have disappointed.
My boyfriend Dave and I started a new holiday tradition last year - cutting down our own Christmas tree. Located on the top of Black Rock Mountain, overlooking the Bay of Fundy in Kings County, is the Bezanson Christmas Tree Farm, open 10am to 5pm from December 1st to 23rd.
If you visit on the weekend, they offer complimentary hot chocolate and cookies. Again this time we were greeted with big smiles from Santa, I mean Steve Bezanson, who was ready to help us pick out our perfect Christmas tree.
We grabbed a saw (which are available to use if you didn't bring one) and started our hunt. Although there are 50 acres available to explore, we didn't have to go too far to find our perfect tree. For those of you who may think cutting down your own tree is a hassle, the Bezanson Christmas Tree Farm has so many options to make this a memorable and easy experience. Trust us on this one, Steve offered to use his chain saw instead of us using the saw to cut our tree down - since it was getting dark and cold we took him up on it. Our 8 foot Christmas tree cost us a very reasonable $18 but there is no price I can put on this experience. We will see you next year Steve Bezanson & family, thanks again!
As this holiday season draws near
And we make plans to visit those dear
Take time to share joy and delight
Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!