Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Double Trouble in Shelburne

We set off down the highway Monday morning to Shelburne, NS -- the furthest down that part of the province we've been.  It was a gorgeous day for driving, and the colours were spectacular!  Unfortunately, Alyssa's nose decided to do a spontaneous re-enactment of Noah and the flood -- playing the part of the flood, of course.  Ah geez, just as Don was getting rid of his cold, he handed it on to Lyss -- argh!

We pulled into Shelburne just after lunch -- a very sweet-looking town -- and easily found the Charlotte Lane Cafe, where we were meeting our hosts and co-performers, Naming the Twins.  We were a bit early, though (Don seems to shave quite a bit off the GPS's projected arrival time!), and nobody else was there yet.  So we decided to walk down the hill to the waterfront, and see what we could see.  We saw one of the Twins, Kathleen, walking up the road with her husband, Roland -- the chef at Charlotte Lane.  They gave us a wee tour of the lakeshore, but the wind was picking up, so we quickly retreated back up the hill to the restaurant -- meeting a neighbour and an ADORABLE puppy.  One of three remaining unsold from the litter.  And did we mention adorable?

Alyssa was strong.  You would be proud.  (Don was relieved.)

Our concert was to be held in the apartment above the cafe -- most of the chairs had already been brought up (the restaurant is closed on Mondays), so we didn't have too much set-up left to do.  The cafe is just beautiful -- do check out the website, although we did take a few photos that I'll try to upload soon.

Robbie arrived (the other Twin), and we got down to rehearsing a bunch of tunes we could play together.  We were able to get a bunch done -- 11 in all.  Our voices were holding up, which was a good thing -- although we had a box of kleenex and a rapidly-filling garbage bag next to us the whole time.

We headed next door (Kathleen and Roland live in the house next door -- a beautiful old place that they had to gut and completely refurbish, but it's now absolutely SPECTACULAR, with a big, gorgeous eat-in kitchen.)  Roland made us up some delicious fish cakes (I ate more than the boys, they were THAT good!), Kathleen whipped up a salad, and we sat around the huge kitchen table, chatting away. Whoops -- perhaps a little too long!  We rushed back to the apartment to finish the last-minute set-up and get changed, just as the first guests were arriving, right on the dot of 7:00 ("doors open" time).

The show was set up as a double-bill with The Brights and Naming The Twins (or The Brights and The Dims, as Kathleen introduced us) -- we swapped songs back and forth, and played together on over half the program.  The audience was filled with people who knew The Twins, but we were completely new to them.

Kathleen had been taking phone calls all day from people who had reserved tickets, but were too sick to come.  I joked they might as well join us in our misery -- if we had to be there, so did they.  ;-)  But... I completely understood how they felt, as the bed was looking mighty snuggly and inviting to me as well.  So the numbers weren't what she had hoped, but there were still well over 20 people there who were healthy (at least until they shook our hands!)

And it was a really fun crowd, too -- and boy, did they like to sing!  We heard at least one person singing along on "My Cup" which was our first song, and one that nobody there had heard before.  We later asked them to join us on a few others, and boy, did they ever -- I don't think we've ever had that many people singing along so confidently on anything we've done before (other than when our audience is packed with friends who already know all our stuff).  They liked to ask questions and joke around with us too.  We chatted with a bunch of folks over the intermission and after the show, and it was a really great bunch of folks.  We might even have another house concert in Ontario out of this one!

Fortunately, our bodies behaved during the performance -- our voices held just fine, and the kleenex box went unused.  The only problem was a few coughing fits by Alyssa when the others were singing -- sorry!  (You'll have to let her sing along on EVERYTHING next time! )

Once the show was over, however, the floodgates opened again.  Oh well, at least it held off for the show.

We deconstructed the concert room and sat down for some wine and more chit-chat.  Then Kathleen and Robbie headed out and left us to our own devices in the apartment, leaving a note for the restaurant staff to please be quiet in the morning.  :-)  We crashed into the bed and remained in a coma until morning!

The staff did a good job of tip-toeing in the hall, which was very good of them, since they did have to come up and down the stairs a number of times.  We got dressed and headed over to the house, feeling guilty to not be up before 9:30 -- and found that Kathleen had just gotten up, herself.  Phew!  Robbie came over, and we all had a nice breakfast together, before Kathleen had to get started on payroll, and we had to hit the road.  Big hugs to all!

As we were leaving town, we took a little jaunt around to take a peek -- we definitely want to go back for a longer visit sometime, it's a delightful town!

We got back to Halifax and spent the afternoon moping and whining about our colds.  :-(  The kidlets were out at gymnastics and didn't get home until bedtime, so we treated ourselves to dinner at the Brooklyn Warehouse -- where we try to go every time we're here.  So now, the all-important Food and Drink Report!

We had a bottle of Juan Gill Monastrell -- which we hadn't tried before, but is absolutely delicious.  We shared a Caprese salad -- a selection of (juicy) NS heirloom tomatoes, marinated boccocini and basin in a lemon-thyme vinaigrette.  For mains, Don chose the Short Rib -- a bourbon-glazed pork rib over white bean ragout, sweet valley corn in a rosemary jus.  I went for the Gnocchi -- roasted potato gnocchi, oven-roasted tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, wilted spinach, ran-cher acres goat cheese, marinated olives and arugula pesto.  I actually managed to eat the whole darned thing, too!  (Probably because we shared the appetizer.)  Service was lovely, as always.  Our only complaint was that they don't have as many vegetarian options as they used to -- what Alyssa ordered was pretty much all she could order.

Today, we've spent the morning whining and moaning again.  ;-)  Although Don did make it to the closest Starbucks to try and re-download ProTools on his laptop -- didn't work, unfortunately, since his purchase code is on the computer at home.  Poop...

Later, Don will be heading to a massage to try and fix his sore arm, and Alyssa will be picking up the kids from school -- then we'll all meet for a family dinner.

The food-and-drink lunch report is egg salad sandwiches, made by Mom.  :-)

Tomorrow, we're off to Tatamagouche, to make our debut at Fables.  If you know anyone in the area, do send them our way, so we aren't sad and lonely.  :-)

Musically -- and a little snottily and whiningly,
Alyssa & Don


  1. Not sure my comment posted -- hit too many buttons at the same time repeatedly :) I really dislike googles new 'prove you're not a robot' thingie! Can't read the dang things.

    Anyway, I whine, I miss you!

  2. Only see it once, you're safe! And we miss you too, but stop whining. ;-)