~ How Much Do I Tip? ~
It is expected here when you go to a restaurant, spa, bar, and other areas like this to tip the server, bartender, or whomever is working on you. The expected rate varies from 5% to 20%.
If you head into a restaurant and the server takes too long with your drinks, messes up your order -- well that would be in the 5% range. If that server has been interacting with you, your food comes on time, your drinks replenished quickly, that might fall into the 10% to 15%. If you've had extraordinary service then that's when you would tip 20%.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Spa and Resort
All summer long there are festivals and events happening in the HRM region. The season generally kicks off in early June with Greekfest, a celebration of the Greek community at St. George's Orthodox church. This is followed soon after by the Multicultural Festival on the Dartmouth Waterfront. There is the Jazzfest in July, Buskerfest in August, there are day long festivals celebrating the Lebanese, Italian and Polish communities. There's usually a Comedyfest. The Canada Day weekend (Over July 1) and the Natal Day Weekend (First monday in August) are 3-4 days of events, picnics, concerts and fireworks. Highland games, Dragon boats, Pride, and a lot of assorted other community festivals pack the summer season and into September where there's the Atlantic Film Festival and the Nova Scotia Air show weekend.
Halifax Comedy Festival
HRM Canada Day Weekend
Nova Scotia Air Show
HRM Natal Day
Halifax Jazz Festival
Atlantic Film FestivalRelated to:
- Family Travel
Sidney Crosby- Cole Harbour N.S.- amazing hockey player. Captain of Team Canada, Plays professionally for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Same birthday as mine (i like!)
Sarah McLachlan- wonderful singer/songwriter from Halifax.
Wires spoiling the picture
As in most parts of Canada Main power and telephone landlines are hanging in the air, spoiling many pictures you want to take.
Not only that. I have seen power lines coming down at storms at Halifax. Be prepared.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
It must be the influence of the precense of the Universities that brings in a special creative wave to this town. Time after time you'll notice low-cost alternative things going on.
Balloons in a park, yoga in front of the Library at Spring Garden, you name it.
Don't be surprised when you are approached by one of them; share there fun and bring in your own. It will be out of the ordinary, but it won't harm anybody.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Theater Travel
There are two bridges spanning Halifax Harbour, the MacDonald bridge (aka Angus L Macdonald) and the MacKay bridge (A. Murray MacKay). The MacD. bridge is locally known as the "old" bridge and the other is the "new" bridge. The New bridge was built in the late 60's and the Old bridge in the mid 50's.
The Old bridge is the smaller of the two and until recently was only two lanes. It has three lanes now and from midnight until noon, two lanes of traffic go from Dartmouth to Halifax, one from Halifax to Dartmouth. In the afternoon, until midnight, the middle lane switches and there are then two lanes from Halifax to Dartmouth. There are overhead signals with a red X over the lane(s) you cannot use at any given time and pylons to try to direct you to the open lane(s). Just keep a watch for that.
They are both toll bridges costing $1.00 . You can use cash but the machines will only take quarters (25 cent coins) or higher amount coins ($1, $2). You can also get change at several booths at the toll. (See "OPEN" sign for the booth with an attendant) If you are a regular user you can get a Mac pass that sticks on your windshield and is scanned. You prepay and top up your account. The per-crossing price with a MacPass is cheaper than the cash rate.
There are two outside "lanes" on the MacDonald bridge, structures on the outside of the bridge but with a 5 foot high railing. You can bicycle across on the north "lane" . You can walk across the on the south outside "lane" but you can't walk or bike on the MacKay bridge. Biking or walking is toll-free.
Generally, every summer on the Natal Day Weekend (weekend ending first Monday in August which is a civic holiday), for two hours on the Sunday or the Monday the "old" (MacDonald) bridge is closed to traffic for the annual Bridge Walk. You can walk back and forth across the bridge deck and there are often street entertainers. It's free and the view on a good day is great!
Does Halifax need more coffee shops? Apparently so. Spring Garden Road in Halifax has a plethora of them between Barrington and South Park streets especially. Another new one has just opened up and the invasion of Starbucks has begun! There was a Starbucks opened up in Clayton Park recently, and has been in the two large Chapters bookstores for a few years, but it's now hit the main drag. In the general Barrington to Spring Garden Road neighbourhood: Starbucks has taken over the old Tim's space on Barrington St., has an outlet in Scotia Squre, and is in the old Royal Bank building on the corner of Queen and Spring Garden, right across from Second Cup (also has an outlet in Scotia Square) which is around the corner from Steve-o-Reno's cafe, down the road from Tim's, the coffee shop at the back or upstairs of the Daily Grind, Paperchase (Blowers St.) and Newsbreak magazine sellers. Just past the Public Gardens (which also has an Uncommon Grounds cafe in it), there is a Starbucks in the office tower on the corner of Spring Garden and Robie Street which is just across from a Tim's. You can also get coffee to go at the food courts at Park Lane and Spring Garden place and there's always the cafe in Pete's Frootique, McDonald's and Dairy Queen where you can also get coffee to go. Barrington Street also has Timothy's which is in the TD building, and Argyle Street has Uncommon Grounds. Scotia Square has four coffee stops and you can get coffee at most or all of the rest of the food court vendors. (Tim's is Tim Horton's which is everywhere!)
If you need a caffeine buzz in downtown Halifax, you won't have to look far.
Annual Zombie Walk
The last few summers have seen Halifax invaded by Zombies!! Hundreds of them stream through the downtown core on a saturday in August, young and old, though mostly young. Zombie brides, schoolgirls, businessmen, Nazis, even babies and little princesses! They usually leave from the Camp Hill Cemetery and pass by or through the Public Gardens, down Spring Garden Road. Sometimes up to the Parade Square at City Hall and along Barrington Street to the Old Burying Ground. I watched it this year (2009) and it was good fun to see! It seems like it's growing and getting bigger every year. It isn't held to raise money for any charity, it's just for fun!
Nova Scotia has been working hard to protect our Earth's Resources . We are blessed with wonderful clean water and we want to keep it that way . We have an extensive and free recycling program for all homeowners and we are starting to take advantage of alternative sources of energy .
On our rececent trip to Joggins, NS we got to see some of the Green Technology up close.
A 50 kilowatt wind turbine generator
A solar heating system to preheat hot water, thereby reducing the building’s ecological footprint
Electronic self-closing faucets and waterless urinals which together will reduce water consumption by approximately 30% along with the use of dual flush valve water closets that will reduce water usage
There is still much room for improvement but it is a startRelated to:
- Family Travel
Spring Garden Road
Spring Garden Road is the place to be at Saturday mornings. Many students flock around in front of the Library and there's always activity.
Further up the road there are many small shops, small malls, eateries and coffee stops.
The only other place is town that's similar is Quinpool road, but the clientèle is older there.
What I didn't like on my last visit was the number of people hanging around and begging. It seems the public safety is dropping slightly.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Women's Travel
New Scots copying old Scots traditions will welcome you and see you off if you go to HFX on a cruise ship. This lot were 'warming up' in the car park prior to seeing off one of the three cruise ships in port (Holland America's Veendam, Grand Princess and Fred.Olsen's Black Watch) on this autumn Saturday.
Stores closed on Sundays!
We first got to Halifax on a Sunday and as we were camping, we headed for the nearest grocery store to buy food for dinner, only to find out that stores are still closed on Sundays in Nova Scotia! The next day was Natal Day, which meant that we had to wait until Tuesday to finally be able to buy food. So next time I'm heading down that way, I will definitely make sure to stop by a grocery store in New Brunswick if I happen to be traveling on a Sunday...
A lot of bars, pubs, coffee shops and restaurants provide outside seating from mid spring to mid Fall in the downtown area. Some are rooftop patios. Some only have 2 or 3 small tables but they are all great to sit in the sun and watch the pedestrian traffic go by.
The Big P
For years, there have been posters and announcements stapled to telephone poles or taped to them. Announcements for upcoming musical gigs mainly, or for yard sales, political gatherings, not quite mainstream stuff that people wouldn't pay to put an ad in the newspaper for. But the powers that be thought this was messy and unsightly. Thus someone came up with the big idea to have several posting "stations" around the center of the city where notices could be attached. And though there are still lampposts and telephone poles used, these stations are definitely being used well. The only problem, such as it is, was the design of it. It looks *very* phallic but they've never lopped off the top and the controversy has died down some. I still chuckle when i see them.
Still, it's a place to post your notice or see what alternative gigs and performances are up and coming.
On the weekends, when everyone comes from the bars, they head for pizza corner.
Pizza corner is just off of Spring Garden (by the library). There are three pizza places at one intersection.
You should try a donair (with lots of sauce). Get it from the pizza place that is on the same side of the street as the church. If the donair looks too messy (at this point ... 2 am or later, no one cares if you make a mess) then try the donair pizza.
If you are not adventurous, then you can stick to a slice of pizza. Most people fold the slice in half so that all of the toppings are on the inside (I don't know why).
So after you get your food, you can have a seat in the pizza place or do what most people do... go outside and loiter about. (My friends and I used to sit in front of the church.)
I never did stay too late because really drunk people are entertaining only for so long.
This place is overpriced. The are nice places to stay in Halfax that are cheaper than this.more
I stayed at the Cambridge Suites twice during this trip, for a couple of days at each end of a trip...more
A $15.95 plus tax charge for in room wi-fi is more than an outrage, it is a new low in hotel...more
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