The Fennel Old House

Nova Scotia south shore rental house, sleeps 7, full of fabulous antique charm.

My husband loves to find interesting, value-conscious accommodations. So while making the plan for this vacation, he turned to the VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owners) website. He found an old fisherman’s house owned by the Fennel family, who bought it in the 1960’s and updated it while retaining the rustic feeling inside and out. It’s not a luxury rental, but it is cute and has the essentials to get a family through a week of sunny, salty adventures. (The exterior was being repainted, thus the half-finished look. It should look gorgeous by now.)

There are 4 bedrooms: 1 on the main floor and 3 upstairs, with a total of 2 queen beds (2 people each) and 3 twins (1 person each). There is also a spare dressing room upstairs. The galley kitchen is small but has most of the things one would need for the week. The living room has a small television and dvd player, a small-scale pool table, and other games. The yard is on a hill and ends at a rocky edge which is probably not suitable for unsupervised children. However, it’s a nice yard with a screened gazebo for mosquito-free sunset viewing. There’s a washer and dryer and the main floor washroom has an electric composting toilet and a nice claw foot tub/shower. (What? A composting toilet…??) Let me explain.

First, I’ll send you over to the manufacturer, Sun Mar. Then I’ll say that this is a really interesting invention. I first saw it on a short Bill Nye environmental program called Stuff Happens. (Go here and skip to minute 5.) I was even more skeptical than Bill. But it is completely odorless and this one uses no water, making it great for island houses and vacation rentals. It vents through the ceiling, and the electricity runs a heater that evaporates stuff. You add some peat moss daily and follow a few other rules, but mostly you try not to fall off the step stool hooked to the front of the unit. (It’s like the polar opposite of the low-down facilities we encountered in Turkey.) Small children and the elderly will need special attention. I was both impressed and revolted by this item at the same time. Would I install one at my house? Only if I could sink it down half-way into the basement to keep it at a normal height and hook it up to some new solar panels on my roof. Then it would be cool. But enough of that.

Bell Island is one of the La Have islands located on the south coast, where the ocean is a bit cold for swimming unless you’re from New England. (If you want warm-water beaches, you have to go to the northern coasts of Nova Scotia or PEI which get a different current….) It’s close to Crescent Beach, where we spent our first morning in Nova Scotia, Risser’s Beach and the towns of Bridgewater, Lunenburg, and the very cute Mohone Bay to the north and Liverpool to the south. There are lots of fun places to drive and some very good food nearby as well. We bought bread and treats at the delicious La Have Bakery and we ate Thai curry mussels and fantastic chowder at the Salt Shaker Deli in Lunenburg.

Lunenburg is also home to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. We had a great time there learning all about cod, haddock, lobsters, whales, inshore fishing, and ships and touching sea stars and crabs.

And that sums up day 3 of our vacation. More images on flickr, including additional images of the inside of the house.

3 thoughts on “The Fennel Old House

  1. I’m converted. I’m coming right now. What a mindful traveler you are, and beautifully articulate, too, (not to mention wry and frank an packed with practical information.) Solar panels are everywhere here in Central Europe, but no peat moss toilets that I know of. (Well, there are those brun-your-eyeballs rest stop contraptions where you have to stand and hose down everything afterwards. But enough of that.:-)

    • Thank you. We really enjoyed Nova Scotia, which is where Quinn served his mission. We intended to go back this summer, but events like moving will preclude such a return trip this year. Someday we’ll see Prince Edward Island in greater depth than we did last time. Someday.

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