Trinity Loop in Ruins

Just the skeleton of the old ferris wheel now remains.

About a 45 minute drive from my hometown used to lie a very quaint little ‘amusement park’. I use the term in quotations because there were no big, scary rides, no waterpark or anything like that, but to a small child it was pretty great. Here’s a brief explanation of a ‘day in the life’ at Trinity Loop.

10am – Start begging whatever parent/grandparent/guardian/whoever had the bright idea to tell you the night before that you were going, that its most definitely time to leave.

11am – Arrive at park and be greeted by the cardboard cutout referred to as “Choo Choo Charlie” who would enthusiastically wave at all as they entered.

11:15am – Start begging for cotton candy.

11:20am – Ride ferris wheel.

11:30am – Ride bumper boats.

It’s hard to see, but the old railway has been totally washed away.

12pm – Ride the train (actual train) that would take you around the park. This is what made the park special, the fact that it was a full train loop (one of only few in North America) that was used to help trains to get more efficiently to higher/lower elevations. Once the rail system ceased to exist in Newfoundland, the Loop was built around this train ride and was its signature attraction.

12:30pm – Finally get some cotton candy.

12:45pm – Go for a ride on a paddle boat where inevitably whatever adult was in your presence would do all the hard work while you chilled out in the back.

The remnants of the mini golf course.

1:15pm – Repeat 11:20 and 11:30.

2pm – Play mini-golf

3pm – Beg for one last ride on the ferris wheel but ended up placated by being offered a late lunch/early supper on the caboose dining car.

3:30pm – Eat chicken nuggets shaped like dinosaurs.

4pm – Leave to go home.

As you see, it wasn’t an overly fancy place but definitely enough to keep a kid occupied for a day.

What was once the sign for the train ride now lays in what was once a bumper boat pool.

Here’s where the sad part starts – around 2004, due both in part to dwindling attendance and high upkeep of the attractions, the park closed. It was always hoped it may be able to open again in the future. However in 2011 the area was hit by a bad hurricane that basically destroyed the remnants of it and has left it in a terrible state of disrepair.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend (early October) a friend and I went home for the long weekend and decided to check out the old site to see what it had become. It wasn’t pretty.

Alyson checking out the destruction for the first time.

Basically what followed was a soul crushing look at a piece of our childhood destroyed. It now resembles a place that wouldn’t go amiss in a horror film. We left the place both glad we had the chance to see it in person and also very sad. We made sure to listen to happy music on the drive back home!

If you want some more information on the site, I suggest clicking here and if you’d like to see some HG photos of the ruins of this place I suggest taking a look at Hidden Newfoundland.


DIY 90’s Party

IMG_8264Laser backgrounds? Check. Vintage candy? Obviously. Spice Girls? Oh hell yes. All of these ‘ingredients’ and more went into making my friend Dana’s (in the pic above with me) birthday. It was her big 30th so we felt the need to go all-out for it. What follows is a collaboration of DIY projects that made it a memorable night.


To go along with the laser background we printed off some pictures of some classic 90s icons to use photo booth style (I mean what kind of a 90s party doesn’t pay reference to both the Titanic AND the iceberg that sunk it).


On both Pinterest and Etsy I kept seeing cupcake pictures that were available for purchase. I thought to myself ‘this can’t be very hard to recreate on my own’ and it really wasn’t. All you need is a coloured printer, some card stock and a few craft sticks. The hardest part for me was the glue gun, which obviously resulted in a few fingers being glued together ;).


Diana had seen a great recipe online for making multicoloured icing for cupcakes. We were super impressed at how well it turned out. All you needed was to make some white icing, add some food colouring and then add it all to a piping bag. You didn’t even have to be particularly careful in how you ‘arranged’ the icing in the bag.


Not bad, hey?


Dana herself created this masterpiece of a food table. She taped together some old VHS cassettes, added in a bunch of classic candy (ring pops, fruit by the foot, etc), and put out some fruit loops for the munching!


Another 90s classic is the paint splatter background, a favourite in many a school photo. Here Shane and Dion pose in some 90s fashion favourites – including denim on denim.


The weekend before the party a few of us had gone to our childhood homes for the Thanksgiving long weekend. There we raided our old closets and attics to come up with some 90s gear. Among what we found were Babysitters Club Books, posters, Barbies and an intense collection of troll dolls. All free and all very nostalgic.


So there you have it! To keep this post from going excessively long here is just an overview of all the things we found and created for the party. Most everything was done for very cheap and it was definitely a very collaborative effort. It was fun to be able to create some of this stuff and as the rest of our crew starts hitting 30 in the new year, perhaps we’ll put these skills to use again!

Jennifer could not have looked more amazing in her wet suit!

Roots, Rants & Roars

Every September my hometown of Elliston, Newfoundland hosts a culinary festival called Roots, Rants & Roars. Chefs from all over (local, Canadian and even some American) gather and prepare meals from locally sourced ingredients.

Considering the fact that Elliston has less than 400 permanent residents, and that Saturday night there are generally over 350 attendees – none of the local, it’s a pretty impressive feat. The festival gets great press and it seems to be growing more popular as time goes on.

The past two years, I have been traveling at the time of the festival and have not been able to attend, this year I knew I had nothing major planned so I decided to go home for the weekend to volunteer. If any of you reading ever want to go to an expensive event (weekend passes for this event are $250 each) I highly suggest trying to volunteer for it. Not only do you basically get to try/do/see everything, you get the added bonus of being able to get in on all the behind the scenes action.

My friend Diana is a big foodie, and this year she accompanied me to the event, she enjoyed herself so much that she thanked one of the event coordinators for letting her volunteer! Needless to say, we’ll be back again next year. My thoughts on this event are more of an overview, bit if you want more in-depth information on all the food from the event, I suggest checking out Diana’s blog.

Here is a brief photo essay from the weekend.

On Friday night we got to attend and “enjoy” the festival in advance of volunteering on Saturday. That night’s theme was the “King of Cod” in which each chef prepared a different dish featuring cod. At the end of the night the participants vote on their favourite and that chef it crowed King. Although I didn’t get a pic of the food, this was my favourite dish.
This was the winning dish – cod ramen!
Cheers for food festivals!
I snapped this pic of my nan that same weekend, I’d like to caption it “75 and still picking” (blueberries, that is!)
Diana and I ‘burlapped’ abut 40 tables before the big multi-course supper on Saturday. We were servers for the night (it was intense, I’ve never served before).
A bit of liquid courage before we start our intense night.
Anddd we’re done! It was hard work but really fun, I must say. Here’s a shot of the crowd, post food and enjoying some entertainment.
This was my favourite food of the entire festival – build your own creampuffs in which you could choose your fillings!
This is what happens when you know most of the organizers of the event…