Home by the sea

I mentioned on my About page that I have a milestone birthday coming up.  Well, it’s now already passed.  Yup, I’m no longer in my thirties.  Sad face.  That said, I’ve actually been thinking about this birthday for some time, and saving up to do something big, or at least memorable.  I scoured my Bucket List to see what would be a suitable 4oth birthday event without breaking the bank and one that the family could enjoy too.  I decided upon ‘See the icebergs in Newfoundland.’  This one would actually cross off two from my list, the icebergs and visiting a province I haven’t yet been to.

I spent the better part of the winter planning the trip, but in this post I want to talk about one of the oh-so-cute vacation homes we rented during our trip.  This is the little home by the sea that we rented for three nights in the tiny, outport town of Elliston, which is on the Bonavista peninsula and just a short 4km to the town of Bonavista, Newfoundland.


It’s a renovated ‘salt-box’ home that is over 100 years old.  For those of you who have yet to visit the ‘rock’, as we affectionately refer to Newfoundland, you will see this quaint style of home throughout the province, most with a clothesline billowing in the wind in the backyard.  It really is quintessentially Newfoundland.  The door on the front is ‘just for show’ and likely denotes where the original door may have been.  There is not a door on the inside.  The actual entrance is around the side not shown.  The cottage backs onto a small bay, with incredible views that you just can’t beat.

Here’s the back of the cottage with its great deck, perfect for the bbq.
The views are spectacular. And yes, that’s a little baby-iceberg out there.
The view from the living room: breathtaking!


The door on the side of the cottage leads to a small entryway right next to the kitchen.  In the kitchen the cabinetry is all new but suits the age of the home.  It looks like a salvaged farm sink was installed to add to the vintage feel.  Even the stove is retro – and works like a charm, although I didn’t try the oven.  Naturally there is a new fridge and microwave (not pictured.)



On the opposite wall in the kitchen was this lovely antique pastry table.  Or at least that’s what I think it was.  I opened the top door and guessed that flour would have been stored in the interesting bin.



When I opened the two smaller doors, I came upon a rare find.  It looks as though the long-ago owner of this table inserted some household helpful hints and cooking suggestions.  It was really neat to read all of the suggestions for what to serve with meat, as well as the time-tested hints for removing stains, cleaning your tinware and of course, getting rid of a tan from your face/hands.

Don’t we all have some spare chloroform in our house, just in case we need to get out a paint stain??
Apparently boiled rice goes with both leg of mutton and side of mutton… who knew?

Just past the kitchen is the small living room.  In the picture below, my back is to the doors leading to the deck.  It was a great spot to cozy up with a coffee and play some checkers with the kids.


I love these charming old homes with their low ceilings and even tinier staircases.


Upstairs there were three small bedrooms.  Two with queen beds and one with two twin beds.  I think we must have thrown our suitcases in along with all our stuff, because I don’t seem to have a picture of any of the bedrooms.  The small upstairs hall was so tiny and cute.  The floor was original but painted and naturally there were no two boards the same width.  I counted the number of floorboards in the hall, with an average width of 3″.  So with only six boards across, the hall was maybe 18″ wide… maybe.  It was tight.  But the ceiling was in it’s original state which I thought was a nice touch.


The bathroom was fully updated with a new sink, new shower and new toilet, but I loved the attention to detail, using a vintage dresser for the vanity and using faucets that, although new, suited the home perfectly.


IMG_0753Oh and I can’t forget the vintage radio that was atop the fridge.  It worked like a charm and was so mid-century! Love it.

IMG_0754Overall this little cottage by the sea was perfect for our family for exploring Bonavista and the various towns and outports along this part of the Newfoundland coast.  It’s also only a couple kilometres from a puffin sanctuary where there is great viewing of Newfoundland’s provincial bird.

IMG_1074IMG_0909The trip to Newfoundland was a fantastic birthday present to myself and definitely an experience the family will remember for a long time, if not forever.  I’ve travelled to many beautiful places, but Newfoundland captured a piece of my heart.


If your interested in the Anchor House of Ellison, NL, you can find more details here: www.caperace.com