When as retiring baby boomers we look for the best places to live, how far to we actually look? BoomerCafé executive editor and co-founder Greg Dobbs just found a brand new place, one that had been outside his radar!
Like a lot of you, I’m a snob about where I live. As a correspondent for a couple of television network news operations, I’ve covered stories in more than 80 countries — every climate, every contour, every color, nearly every culture — and let’s just say, I think my state of Colorado is on one of the Best Places to Live lists. But this month I am less of a snob. Less than last month, anyway.
What happened is, my wife and I just did a week-long bicycle trip around Nova Scotia. For those of you who pay about as much attention to Canada as you do to Cameroon, Nova Scotia is a province on the eastern end of Canada (which Cameroon, to its African misfortune, isn’t). And it produces more than just the world’s best lox.
First of all, while we Americans might pride ourselves on being mighty friendly people, we have nothing on Nova Scotia. People say hello to you on the street just for … well, just for being on the street. We rode their roads for something like 300 miles without once, not once, being almost sideswiped by a passing car or truck, which I’m sorry to say I can’t claim about my own beloved state of Colorado. And what do you think would happen in most parts of the U.S. if you felt dehydrated and stopped at a house you’ve never seen before and knocked on a door you’ve never touched before and asked someone you’ve never met before for a large cold glass of water? Thankfully I don’t live in Detroit where that might get me shot (sorry, Detroit, but facts are facts), but I’m not sure that in Colorado it would get me any water. In Nova Scotia, drink up.
We also pride ourselves on superlative scenery in much of our country, and rightly so. Having read The Shipping News several years ago (although I’d forgotten that it actually took place in the province of Newfoundland rather than Nova Scotia, which is kind of like a Canadian thinking that most Mormons live in Colorado rather than Utah), I expected agray, wet, rocky and rugged landscape where the most satisfying thing everyday, after pedaling up to 80 miles in a single stretch, would be the simple act of finding shelter.
Wrong again … because you also find lobster! As fresh … and as much … as you want. And strawberries that are red not just on the surface but clear the way through. I won’t even mention the “Triple Fix Chocolate” at the beachfront paradise of Summerville Centre (okay, so Canadians still spell things funny) which might just be the best dessert ever, and with our 80-mile ride next on the agenda, it was all just a mouthwatering memory by the next night’s dinner.
Of course my state of Colorado has come a wonderfully long way since I moved here more than 28 years ago, when just about every item on any menu came wrapped in a tortilla, but when you go to a Canadian maritime province expecting the kind of food they preserve in brine to keep through the Winter but instead find each meal tastier than the last, you begin to see that we Coloradans, we Americans, are not the only people on earth whose culinary qualities have gone modern.
But back to beauty. There is no denying the panoramic, not to mention physical thrills we get from Colorado’s high horizons. 54 fourteeners (mountain peaks that are higher than 14,000 feet) can’t be wrong. But while adjectives here range from “magnificent” to “moving,” Nova Scotia is the dictionary definition of “bucolic.” Silky coastlines, serene villages, homes and gardens meticulously maintained like they’re the owners’ gates to heaven.
My point is not that Colorado, or for that matter wherever the rest of you live, has dropped down on the list of Best Places to Live. It is that from time to time, it’s good to be reminded that we’re not the only ones.