Ahhhhh…. Chester.  Indescribable.  A small bit of heaven wrapped up in huge amount of crazy.

A night at the Chester Yacht Club, barbecue with friends and a lovely walk home… only to be picked up by a couple of locals patrolling the streets… who it turns out… are two of the nicest women to ever have driven me home.

A bit of laughter… sea air… sailing… peace.

Peace in the most unlikely of places… in the middle of Chester Race Week parties.

You really have to take it all in and stay a few days to understand the essence of this place… and while you’re there take in a few of my favorite shops that I’ve visited time and time again through the years.

Amicus Gallery was one of the first stops on my small shopping adventure.  Owned by a fantastic artist who I thank dearly for making my day just by being lovely, gracious and kind!  Paula MacDonald carries wonderful and unique works of art including her own breathtakingly stunning pottery.  Her pieces are rich in color and design.  Along with her own works, Paula carries art, jewellery and various trinkets from numerous artisans… a treasure for the eyes.  I am captivated every time I visit by delightful stained glass kaleidoscopes… each and every time I find myself in her quaint Chester gallery, I peer through the scope… getting lost in my thoughts and daydreams… which I truly believe… looking at her work… is exactly what happens when Paula sits at her potter’s wheel on the second floor of her lovely gallery.

We visited a few little shops along the way… stopping in Julien’s French Bakery for a coffee and treat (one of my favorite places for a Pain au Chocolate).   We met and had a few laughs with Jocelyn and her husband visiting from Winnipeg… then directed them to another one of my favorite places to visit… the Warp and Woof.

Next summer, Warp and Woof will be celebrating its 90th birthday!  The oldest running gift shop in Nova Scotia.  You can get lost in the treasures you’ll find there… from home decor, to kitchen gadgets, to beautiful art and lovely jewellery.  I found the perfect piece to finish my mantle and was thrilled to place it in its home when I arrived back this afternoon.  Best part about the shop… I saw my kids there!  Smelling like sunscreen… heading out sailing… full of smiles and kisses and hugs.  It was the perfect place shop for so many wonderful reasons.

Chester continues to be one of my favorite places… head down to the South Shore, jump off at Exit 7 and slow down your pace.  There’s peace there.  Adventure… at every turn.  Stop in the shops you see along the way… enjoy a bite to eat… meet the gallery owners.  Dive into the history and spirit of a unique little village that has so much to offer.  It will make you come back time and again…

you just can’t stay away.