Just Roman Around…

I'm a Maritime monkey on a mission to find adventures in my own backyard. I promote Maritime businesses and local vendors in an effort to show why we live in the greatest place in the world. It's a blog that's truly aPEELing for the whole family!

…George’s Island

Georges Island - waterfrontOver the weekend I was lucky enough to be the only monkey allowed to participate in “Picnic In The Past“, which was an event co-sponsored by Sports & Entertainment Atlantic, Select Nova Scotia, Parks Canada, Rogers Communications, C100, Aquafina, and Waterfront Development. This was a 2-day event where the public was able to go over to see historic Fort Charlotte up close and personal.

George's IslandWait…you’re unfamiliar with George’s Island? Let me give you a quick history lesson. It’s a small island that is situated smack dab in the middle of Halifax Harbour that got its name from King George II way back in 1749. Because of it’s prime location, fortifications were established there. However, it was used as a prison shortly after its creation during the Seven Years War (1756-1763) before being used again as a fort to protect against privateers during the American Revolution (1763-1776) as part of the “Halifax Defense Complex”, along with Citadel Hill.

Okay…history lesson over. The fun stuff is that this historic property is not normally open to the public, so the opportunity to explore the fort and enjoy some local wares was a tremendous opportunity that I simply could not pass up.

After waiting over an hour to board the boat that would ferry us over (it’s alright…I realize it was the first day and there are bound to be hiccups), I was excited to disembark and start walking along the paths that were initially forged so many years ago. I decided to go straight up to the entrance of Fort Charlotte and ended up with a fantastic view of the famous George’s Island lighthouse.

George's Island lighthouseGeorges IslandI was fortunate enough to be able to chat with some of the great volunteers who were dressed up in authentic historical garb in tremendously high heat (40 degrees with the humidity!). Not only were they seemingly fine and quite comfortable, but they didn’t appear to be sweating nearly as much as I was, which made me wonder about their uniforms and how the soldiers must have felt so many years before.

I took a peak inside what was originally the jail cells before moving on to an area where kids and monkeys alike could try on some of the historical clothing. Not only did I get a great photo op with a lucky volunteer (I am a Halifax celebrity, afterall), I was fortunate enough to find a hat that fit me perfectly!

George's Island - Picnic in the PastGeorge's Island tunnelI then decided to make my way down into the tunnels of Fort Charlotte. It was incredible to really try to comprehend the work that must have gone into digging into this tiny island and constructing tunnels with stones. The tunnels twist and turn throughout the island, suggesting that those who built it really wanted to take advantage of the space that they had.

Lower Battery on George's IslandOne of my favourite spots was the Lower Battery. This area was separately constructed as a way to fortify the island against a sea-based assault. It housed four powerful 10″ rifle muzzle-loaded guns (pictured at right) that were so loud when fired, that those in the Battery had to leave the rooms in order to save their hearing. Each massive gun was situated on a “wheel” of sorts, so that the gun could turn and point in a slightly different direction through a small window overlooking the harbour.

The day was beautiful and the sun was strong, but that didn’t stop the volunteers from showing visitors just how people lived on the island 250 years ago. The costumes were authentic and the stories were many, leaving those of us listening to walk away and imagine what it must have been like…and just how easy life is today in comparison.

Georges Island

View from George's IslandThe island was set up for tourists quite well. There were multiple port-a-potties for folks, multiple guides who were around to answer questions, and an area where one could buy food (either some great BBQ or a pre-purchased picnic box) and water (which was definitely needed on this particular day).

I would like to thank Sports & Entertainment Atlantic, Select Nova Scotia, Parks Canada, Rogers Communications, C100, Aquafina, and Waterfront Development for joining forces as sponsors in order to allow this weekend to happen. It was absolutely worth the $15 price for transportation over as it was not only a learning experience, but an entertaining experience, as well.

Georges Island (5)

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Have any ideas on where in the Halifax area I should show up next? Know of a great local business that you think should get some exposure? Are you a small business owner who would like to promote your product? I would LOVE to hear from you!

Just send me an email at RomanChimpsky@gmail.com and let me know!

I’m a multi-media monkey!!

I know, I know…things haven’t quite been “hopping” around there lately. But now things are different.

I think.

While I haven’t been keeping up with the blog NEARLY as much as I should be, I’ve still been quite active on my other social media avenues. I mean, I’m a multi-media monkey people…I’m certainly not going to contain myself to just one form of artistic expression.

So just in case you didn’t already know…

Of course, there’s Twitter. This is probably the place I’m on the most. For me, it’s a great place to gather up information and updates on local businesses and culture without having to go elsewhere and search for it aimlessly. And as some of you may know, I like to re-Tweet posts that I think my readers would find interesting or relevant.

A Twitter-exclusive pic

A Twitter-exclusive pic

On Twitter, I quite often post pictures that I don’t post on Facebook or Flickr. I try to keep all of my followers updated on where I might be found and what I might be doing…y’know, for those so inclined to actually be interested.

I’m on Facebook (link on the right hand side of the page). Sometimes you’ll get a preview pic of an adventure before the adventure is discussed, so that alone should be reason to “like” me.  Right?  AMIRIGHT???

I’m also on Instagram. In fact, the majority of my photos are done via Instagram (i.e. the ones I post in my blog, the ones I post on Facebook, and the ones I post on Twitter). So if you want to see pictures from all around the Maritimes, I’d highly recommend following me there. Seriously…it’s pretty awesome.

And I’m on Flickr, too. This was a place I stored photos before I found Instagram. I’ve since re-tooled the account so that only my favorite pics show up there.

I’m still working on my video editing skills, so a potential Vine account or even YouTube account is always a possibility. But for now, I’m not much of a video kind of monkey. If there’s interest, though, let me know!

I’ve got some fun things coming up over the summer, so please take the time to follow and like me on my various social media outlets. I’ll do whatever I can to make it entertaining for you!

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Have any ideas on where in the Halifax area I should show up next? Know of a great local business that you think should get some exposure? Are you a small business owner who would like to promote your product? I would LOVE to hear from you!

Just send me an email at RomanChimpsky@gmail.com and let me know!

….The Kind Cookie

The Kind CookieThe Kind CookieIt’s a little known fact that we monkeys love our sweets. Okay, well, considering how much we love bananas, maybe our affinity for the sweet stuff isn’t such a little known-fact after all. However, monkeys (at least us civilized multi-media monkeys) can’t live on bananas alone. I do enjoy indulging in sweet treats from time to time. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places around Halifax where a sweets-deprived monkey can get his fix. But y’know…sometimes I like to indulge without falling off the healthy-eating bandwagon. Sweet tooth or not, I’ve gotta watch my cholesterol levels as much as the next chimp.

This is where my pal Chantal at The Kind Cookie comes in.

The Kind CookieAs it says on their website, The Kind Cookie strives to “produce baked goods and raw desserts you can feel good about eating.  All of our goodies are gluten free, vegan and free from refined sugars. Whether you are celiac or are allergic to dairy and eggs. Whether you are vegan for the animals or out of concern for the environment. Whether you are simply trying to eat healthier. Everyone deserves to indulge in a sweet treat.”

The Kind CookieThe Kind CookieNow, now, now…I know what some of you might be thinking. Vegan? No refined sugars? Gluten free? Sure, it’s healthy…but how can that possibly be tasty? Well take it from me, The Kind Cookie’s treats are more than just healthy — they are delicious. Give one of their tasty treats a try and I’m sure you’ll go bananas for them, too.

The Kind CookieYou can find the Kind Cookie at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings, selling delicious goodies like chocolate chip cookies, double chocolate brownies, peanut butter balls, chocolate and vanilla donuts, cupcakes, vanilla maple almond butter and the absolute best gluten free muffins in Halifax — blueberry oat as well as banana chocolate chip. There aren’t many things better than chocolate and bananas together in one heavenly baked good, in this humble monkey’s opinion.

The Kind CookieIf you’re a multi-media person like me, you can find The Kind Cookie online on their blog, on Twitter, and Facebook. You can also find some delicious recipes from Chantal in the Arts and Life Section of the Chronicle Herald. She’s one busy lady!

So if you’re vegan, avoid sugar and/or gluten, or just like to be a little extra healthy when you’re having a tasty treat, stop by to see Chantal at The Kind Cookie at the Seaport Farmer’s Market. Let her know that Roman sent you!

The Kind Cookie

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Have any ideas on where in the Halifax area I should show up next? Know of a great local business that you think should get some exposure? Are you a small business owner who would like to promote your product? I would LOVE to hear from you!

Just send me an email at RomanChimpsky@gmail.com and let me know!

…Fruition

FruitionI remember not too long ago that two young folks were selling kale in a unique and interesting way. These two folks called their venture “Kale Krisps” and I met them at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market (please forgive this picture…it was during my “freedom without clothes” period). I immediately fell in love with their Krisps and have been a faithful patron ever since.

Fruition's kitchenFast forward over a year and here we have the same two young folks, a little bit older and a little bit wiser. Jessie Doyle and Seth Graham have come a long way in the time I’ve met them. They went from selling their wares once a week to now running a full-time kitchen operation located at the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. They have also updated their name from “Kale Krisps” (now simply the name of their initial product offering) to the much more marketable name, Fruition.

Fruition: [froo-ish-uhn]
– Attainment of anything desired; realization; accomplishment.
– State of bearing fruit.

Fruition

Roman at FruitionSo what does Fruition sell from their kitchen? Well, they use local and organic ingredients to create foods that not only satisfy your taste buds, but are designed to also nourish your body. They want you to be able to enjoy what you eat and feel good about it, inside AND out. They don’t just throw things together and hope for the best, either. Jessie is studying to become a Holistic Nutritionist and was the creative force that initially launched Fruition. She brings her knowledge and creativity to the kitchen, thus creating some incredible edibles!

I was recently on hand to support Jessie and Seth as they celebrated the grand opening of their new permanent location. One of the obvious benefits of having a full kitchen at your disposal is the ability to create new taste sensations for the world to enjoy. And let me tell you something…I was NOT disappointed! I can only hope that these pictures help do the food justice:

Fruition Fruition Fruition Fruition

FruitionAll of Fruition’s products are hand-made at their location. They have made the choice (which is a great trend that seems to be growing exponentially in HRM) to use as many local and organic ingredients as possible. They also make raw prepared meals at their kitchen which can be enjoyed either at the market or taken to go.

Their new location really is fantastic, as they also have seating and the views are spectacular. I can totally envision myself sitting at a table while overlooking the harbour and dreaming of what Jessie can create using bananas. Until then, I’ll have to make do with their awesome chocolate almond bars instead…

Roman at FruitionI simply can’t say enough good things about Fruition. I’m very happy for Jessie and Seth’s success thus far and I can’t wait to see them grow as the years progress. If you are ever in the waterfront area, believe me when I say that making a stop on the top floor of the Halifax Seaport Farmers Market will be TOTALLY worth the trip.

Fruition

Please feel free to check out Fruition online, too:

Fruition website: www.Come2Fruition.ca

Fruition on Facebook

Fruition on Twitter

Just make sure you tell ‘em that Roman set you! Until next time, kids…keep swinging for the trees!

Seth, Jessie, & Roman - Fruition

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Have any ideas on where in the Halifax area I should show up next? Know of a great local business that you think should get some exposure? Are you a small business owner who would like to promote your product? I would LOVE to hear from you!

Just send me an email at RomanChimpsky@gmail.com and let me know!

…Needham Park

Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Halifax Explosion occurred on December 6, 1917, when the city was decimated by the detonation of the SS Mont-Blanc, a cargo ship that was fully loaded with wartime explosives. The explosion, the largest man-made explosion ever recorded in human history before the A-bomb, killed approximately 2,000 people and injured 9,000 more.

As a Haligonian, I would like to take the time today to pause and reflect on this date in our history. I do that by giving a small picture-tour of Needham Park, which stands as a beautiful memorial to those directly affected by the explosion and a tribute to those who helped rebuild this amazing city.

The Halifax Explosion Memorial Bells were built in 1985 on Fort Needham Hill, facing the ground zero area of the explosion. Commonly referred to as the “Needham Park Bell Tower”, this is the location of an annual civic ceremony at 9:00 am every December 6th.

Pause. Reflect. Remember.

Needham Park is a beautiful memorial and one worth visiting if ever in Halifax.

Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia_7
Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia_7
Needham Park - Halifax, Nova Scotia_7

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Have any ideas on where in the Maritimes I should show up next? Know of a great local business that you think should get some exposure? Are you a small business owner who would like to promote your product? I would LOVE to hear from you!

Just send me an email at RomanChimpsky@gmail.com and let me know!