Some Summer Fun and a Giveaway

Some Summer Fun and a Giveaway

July is almost over! Can you believe it? For many of us in the northern hemisphere, this means that summer is drawing to a close, and back to school is either on the doorstep or just around the corner.

For the first time in years, I am not getting things ready to head back to school as a teacher. My youngest son finished his grade twelve year at the end of June, so my short stint in homeschooling is over. (I was a classroom teacher for years before stepping away and homeschooling him at his request three years ago.)

It’s kind of odd to not need to think about ordering curriculum or looking for sales on pens and binders. 🙂 However, it’s a really wonderful kind of oddness, and I am eagerly looking forward to stepping into this new chapter of my life.

But before that new chapter begins and while my husband, who works as a school janitor (a job he began when he, too, stepped away from classroom teaching several years ago) is on his summer schedule, I am taking advantage of the summer and having some fun. Day trips are the thing for this summer in my life, and below, I am sharing a few photos from some of the adventures we have already taken.

Lawrence House Museum, Maitland, NS

The owner of this house, William D. Lawrence, made his mark in maritime history by constructing the largest wooden-hulled, fully-rigged ship ever built in Canada in 1874. The ship was built directly across the road in the Bay of Fundy and towered over his house which is a three-story Victorian.

Notice the floorboards. (Most easily seen in the picture of the dining room) They are made of the same planking which would be used in boat construction.

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Uniacke Estate Museum Park, Mount Uniacke, NS

This estate was built, beginning in 1813 and finishing in 1816, as the summer home for Attorney-General Richard John Uniacke (1753-1830).

This is one of my favourite places to visit, and I will be going back there for a ‘behind the ropes’ sort of event in August. (I am excessively excited about that 🙂 )  The pictures here are just a few of the interesting details you can see at this museum. In the first and second pictures, note the hooks in the kitchen ceiling which would have been used to hang meat, herbs, and the like. The final picture of the bed makes me think of Colonel Fitzwilliam lying in bed in Loving Lydia, looking at the canopy above him and counting the ruffles. It probably helps me think of Colonel Fitzwilliam because next to the bed in a small cupboard are two red uniform coats, a pair of shiny black boots, and a sword in its sheath.

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Perkins House and Queen’s County Museum, Liverpool, NS

Perkins House s built in 1766 and was the home of Simeon Perkins, a merchant, judge, and Member of the Legislative Assembly as well as lieutenant-colonel of Queens County. Perkins was also a diarist who kept a detailed diary about colonial life in Nova Scotia from 1766 to 1812. However, most interestingly to me, he was also actively involved in privateering. Why is this the item I found most interesting? Well, when writing Mary: To Protect Her Heart, I researched privateers since the hero of that story is one. I based a good bit of who Gabe is and what he does on information I read surrounding the privateers sent out from Liverpool, NS, most notably the Liverpool Packet. Sadly, Perkins House is not open to visitors due to structural issues, but there is a lovely privateer display next door in the Queen’s County Museum.

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Peggy’s Cove, Victoria Park, and Seafoam Lavender Farm

Along with visiting some historic sites, I have also gotten to enjoy the natural beauty of Nova Scotia.

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We still have about a month of summer left for exploring our province since school does not start here until September, and we have a list of possible places to visit. I’m not sure if we will get to them all or not. If you would like to see pictures from the places we do visit, I’ll be posting a few from each adventure on my Instagram.

When my friend Cindy and I were visiting the lavender farm, we drove past many, many cottages on the banks of the Northumberland Strait (the body of water that separates Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island). When I think of visiting a cottage, I think of lazy days filled with strolls along the water and plenty of time to sit in the shade or sun (if you’re not as fair as I am LOL) with a good book or two or three or… how about six? That is how many books are included in A Dash of Darcy and Companions Cottage Collection 2. If you’d like to be entered into a draw to win an ebook copy of this collection of books, just drop a comment below telling me about something you like to do or a place you like to visit in the summer OR you can just comment on the pictures above.  So which books are in this collection? These:


Contest closes August 6, 2019 at 11: 59 PM Eastern

Winner announced August 11, 2019

Prize: One ebook copy of A Dash of Darcy and Companions Cottage Collection 2

FYI: A Dash of Darcy and Companions Cottage Collection 1 is available to read in Kindle Unlimited but only until August 29.


Leenie B Books
Click to find all of Leenie’s books at your favourite retailer.


47 Responses to Some Summer Fun and a Giveaway

  1. It’s always summer in my country since I live near the equator. I would like it to be sunny and but not hazy because I can take long walks. Nova Scotia looks like an interesting place to visit, Leenie.

    • Near the equator? Wow. That’s a long way from here. ? I can’t imagine always summer because I’ve only ever lived in a northern sort of climate, but in a few months when we get snow, I might be longing for that. ? I enjoy a good walk as well. It’s a bit harder to get one when it gets cold and snowy/icy here.

  2. My husband, after years of traveling all over the world for work, now likes to stay closer to home. We do a lot of day trips, but sometimes we’ll go a little further away. Last summer, we went to Corning, New York. Yes, Corning as in glassware. There’s a great glass museum there’s. We go every few years and marvel at what gorgeous things can be made out of sand.

  3. I would love to visit NS and PEI. Your photos always relax me immediately. I simply sigh and start to unwind. Thanks for sharing you photos. I already have the books so don’t include me in the giveaway.

    • I find just taking a drive out along the shore or down in the valley or just about anywhere really has that sigh and unwind effect on me. Getting out of the everyday is good for the body and the mind, I guess. And I love to look at how things used to be and imagine the people who lived there sitting in the drawing room chatting with a neighbour or serving a family dinner in the dining room. Such fun places to let the imagination play.

  4. What an interesting article! Enjoyed the photos very much. Thanks so much for sharing! Love your stories.

  5. These are nice pictures. thank you for sharing. I love that convertible chair/table (multi-function) Such a nice and serene place to visit (or live-in)… Love nature and those bodies of water.

    • Isn’t that chair/table the neatest thing? I have seen on Pinterest (that dangerous spot which can suck away hours of time lol) several different multi-function pieces of furniture from that time period, and I’m always impressed by the ingenuity (just like I am when I watch one of those tiny house shows and so much of the design has dual purposes)

  6. Nova Scotia is a lovely place to visit. In fact, it holds wonderful memories for me–my husband and I were married there-a long time ago! I would love to be entered into the contest to win your e-book. One can always count on a Leenie Brown book to be well written with interesting stories.

  7. I would love to be entered into this giveaway drawing and noticed that a few of the books in the collection are ones I LOVED (Mr. Darcy’s Comfort & Master of Longbourn) and a few more are on my TBR List. I used to do a lot of back to school shopping when I was younger and would even pick up extra’s for niece and nephews sometimes while the prices were down. I still like to check the sales in case there is anything for around the house I might need so I can get it while it’s cheap but I no longer search and compare adds to the same degree I used to.

    My Mum and I used to have a yearly tradition of going to a beach in Presque Isle, Pennsylvania every summer but we stopped several years ago and now the only real summer tradition I have is to participate in the local library Summer Reading Programs.

    Your pictures are great, thanks for sharing them and I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

    • I remember being part of the summer reading program at the library when i was young and my boys did it a couple of years. I think that is a wonderful summer tradition!

      I’m happy to hear you loved those books! I thoroughly enjoyed writing Master of Longbourn because it surprised me how much i could actually care for Mr. Collins. He was a delightful surprise.

  8. Nova Scotia does indeed look like a beautiful part of the world. My husband and I love museums. And day trips or weekend trips, not only to museums is a well deserved treat for those whose children have mostly moved on take care of themselves. That part is a huge accomplishment! So congratulations again on your son’s graduation. (And yours 🙂 ) I enjoyed all those photos, thank you for sharing them. That walking trail along the river and pointing ahead to the waterfalls, that looks so inviting.

    Although summer is not my favorite time to travel, we all have to take what time we can get and the school year rules so many of our lives. Fall is my favorite, Health issues have prevented the two of us from doing anything in the past couple years, but we are planning something for Sept., which will include visiting our son and his girl in Oregon.

    • We are loving taking these little weekend day adventures and have made it a priority in the month of July to use Saturdays for just us to get away and do something — even if it’s just a trip to Costco and movie 🙂 My hubby’s schedule is crazy. He’s a hard worker, but it poses a challenge to getting to see each other very much. So, I am looking forward to a couple of weeks with him at home “getting in my way.” LOL

      Fall would be a beautiful time to travel! But as you say, school can get in the way. Years ago, my husband and I drove from southern Idaho to Portland, OR. It was a beautiful drive. Such a lovely part of the US! I hope you enjoy the trip and the visit, Michelle.

  9. Congratulations on graduating your homeschooler! I used to be an adjunct instructor in the Department of Literature, Journalism, and Modern Languages at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, but I quit in order to homeschool our (eventually) four children. 21 years of home education later, and they’re all done!! I agree: it feels strange to not be browsing curriculum sites and catalogs, but I always stock up on writing supplies with the Back-to-School sales. (Who can resist 100 pages of college-ruled notebook paper for a mere quarter?)

    I’m back to school myself as of this week as I teach online classes via Brave Writer for homeschoolers mostly (some families use our classes for enrichment). I’ll be teaching from now through Christmas straight through; classes vary between three to six weeks each. This month I’m teaching Fan Fiction which is so fun; then I’ll be teaching a grammar workshop, a Shakespeare workshop, a poetry workshop, and the MLA research essay.

    It’s always fun to find homeschoolers among the JAFF community! 😀

    Thanks for all of your photos of Nova Scotia; I’ve always wanted to visit there, plus PEI for the sake of Anne of Green Gables. Nova Scotia seems like such a lovely, lovely place. One of our staff members lives on NS, too.

    Susanne 🙂

    • Wow, 21 years of homeschooling is quite the accomplishment. The school I taught at before was also the school my boys attended and I taught both if them there before teaching the one at home.

      Your classes sound interesting. (Especially the fanfiction and grammar ones, although I do enjoy Shakespeare as well) I taught grammar and composition for a number of years and really enjoy learning about how our language goes together. I have even diagramed sentences for fun. Lol I’ll admit that teaching the research say to my Jr high kids was my least favorite writing topic, likely because I’m a deplorable outliner and notes organizer. ?
      I actually gave away a few packages of lined paper to one of my teacher friends because I hadn’t resisted the sales on it and we had far more than we needed. I’ll let her grade 4s make use of it. I can always grab a pack or two when the sales roll around again if I need it. I find the new binders and pens particularly hard to resist. (Especially if they’re pretty colours lol)

      Happy back to school to you. I hope your classes go well.

      • I love that there are multiple ways to educate our kids, especially when, like you, one can teach at their school, or help with homework if the kids are in a traditional school, or even homeschooling. The one year I put the kids back in school because of my health was FAR more stressful than homeschooling: tracking homework and projects, taking them to and picking them up from school every day, etc.

        Yes, the classes I teach at Brave Writer are so fun; we really work at making learning exciting and “enchanting” for our families! It’s truly a joy to work for such a differently-nuanced company in which the kids come first. I have students from all over the world in my Fan Fiction class: Switzerland, the UK, the Isle of Man, Singapore, the UAE. It’s so amazing for kids to mix with other kids around the globe in their writing classes! 😀

        The owner of Brave Writer, Julie Bogart, wrote a book this year called The Brave Learner which has been very popular. It’s all about educating our kids whether we homeschool them or make use of private or public schools. She has such wonderful ideas about how kids learn that every parent can benefit from. It made the Publisher’s Weekly paperback bestseller list, and I’ve seen it at Barnes and Noble. It’s a book I highly recommend, and I’ve seen the fruits of Julie’s labors in her grown “kids”; they are amazing global citizens!! 😀

        Thanks, Leenie!

        Susanne 🙂

  10. Victoria Park looks so green and cool — complete opposite of where I live, at least during July and August. Thanks for sharing!

    • It is a very shady park, and we want to go back and take some of the trails we didn’t have time for the day when we were there. July and August are usually our warmest months. That’s also when the humidity tends to build in the most, making for some rather sticky, close days. However, our hot days are 90s and 100, which I know to some is not so bad, but I’m not a fan of hot, whether only just hot or extreme. 😀

  11. I returned from Bermuda last week, I loved it there, also I love Tennessee and want to visit Wyoming. I want to visit Tuscany and Scotland and Ireland one day soon!
    . thanks for the chance to win

    • You’re welcome. I’d love to go to Bermuda. And I’d also like to go to Scotland and Ireland and England and Wales ? Maybe one day. I have been to Wyoming, however. I thought it was beautiful.

  12. We just came back from vacationing in Ontario and it’s one of my favorite places to visit. My mom also reminded me that when I was 2, we vacationed in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. I wish I could remember it as I’ve yet to visit there as an adult, perhaps on our next trip to Canada. Thank you for the giveaway!

    • Fun! I have driven through Ontario a few times, but have never actually taken a trip specifically to that province. I’d love to see Niagara Falls and the parliament buildings in Ottawa sometime. So far, I have only visited Prince Edward Island once (last year) even though it is quite close to us here. It was lovely, and I want to go back and explore more of the island at some point.

  13. Beautiful!!! I would love to visit and roam around this beautiful place. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • You’re welcome! It is a fantastic place to explore. We’re planning several more short day trips in August when my husband has time off from one of his jobs.

  14. What beautiful country you live in. Someday I wish to visit there as well. But for now our summers are filled with a trip or two to the national parks that are close by to where we live. Someday I wish to visit there as well. So far we have visited Dead horse point in canyonlands in Utah and also the four corners this year.

    • Ooh, national parks are great places to visit! I bet those you have visited were beautiful. I think the only national parks I have visited are the Badlands and Yellowstone, which we visited on our honeymoon many years ago.

  15. The pictures of Nova Scotia were amazing. I especially liked the ones of the lighthouse and the lavender farms. I am trying to grow lavender this summer. It is doing well. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win a copy.

    • You’re welcome. My husband and I love to drive along the ocean, and Peggy’s Cove is a favorite place to visit – not just by us but by thousands. It’s always busy there during tourist season. The trip to the lavender farm was my first time driving along that particular stretch of Nova Scotia. I had taken the ferry from Prince Edward Island to Pictou, NS which is close to the lavender farm, but then we just drove home and did not explore any of that coastline. I would love to spend some time at a cottage up in that area. It was gorgeous!

  16. We as an extended family like to meet and spend a week together. We usually spend a week in central Pennsylvania so it’s equal driving for all. Thank you for the chance to win. Good luck to all who enter. now I would like to take trip to Nova Scotia from the pictures you have shown us

    • Oh, that sounds like a fun thing to do in the summer! We don’t get together as an extended family very often at all — it has been years. That’s what comes from living so far apart, I guess. 🙂

  17. You have certainly been busy this summer. I enjoyed the pictures and explanations. I must confess that I prefer to stay home in the summer and am at an age where fall travel is my favorite. Thank you for the generous giveaway.

    • Oh, the autumn colours here are fantastic! Many of the museum parks around here close down at the end of September, and school being in session kind of makes fall travel challenging with my husband’s schedule. However, I would love to do some exploring in the autumn. It is one of my favourite seasons.

  18. I was in Nova Scotia once, briefly, many years ago. It is quite beautiful. I enjoyed seeing these pictures!

  19. What an informative post. Nova Scotia sounds like a delightful place to visit!

    Thank you for a chance to win a copy 🙂

    • You’re welcome. I love living here and would say it’s a great place to visit – of course, I might be partial 😉 LOL Happy to hear you enjoyed the information in the post.

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