A year ago next week, I took my mom on a trip to Prince Edward Island, Canada, to celebrate the publication of my first and second books. Wow! We had a wonderful time. So good, in fact, that about 5 months ago, I suggested perhaps we should go back. I was working on a book idea set on PEI, and I was looking for an opportunity to do a little research. Mom was on board in a heartbeat, and we invited my sister Hannah to join us.
Several weeks ago we took off for PEI and 6 wonderful days on the most beautiful island I’ve ever seen. I took over 300 pictures, and at least a few of them turned out. 🙂 So I thought I’d share with you a pictorial journal of our time on PEI.
Saturday, July 30
I flew out of Nashville at 6:25am. I knew I had a day mostly to myself, as I wasn’t meeting up with Mom and Hannah until I picked them up from the Charlottetown airport after midnight that night. So I brought with me one of the lesser-known books of PEI’s most celebrated author, LM Montgomery. My friends Rachel and Stephanie and Katie had been after me for years to read The Blue Castle, and I’d purchased it on PEI last summer. I’d just never gotten around to reading it. So I pulled it off my shelf and tucked it into my bag and read during my 3 hours at the Cinncinati airport and 6 hours at JFK. And I couldn’t put it down. It’s delightful! I highly recommend and can’t thank my friends enough for telling me to read it.
In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I was still reading it when I got to the Holiday Inn Express (the one with a big cardboard cutout of William and Kate, who had recently visited PEI) upon arriving on the Island. And I was still reading it when I went back to the airport to pick Mom and Hannah up. Their flight was delayed, so when they finally arrived at 1am, I was just looking forward to a good night’s sleep. I was going to need it if we were going to hit the ground running the next morning.
Sunday, July 31
We managed to drag ourselves out of bed in time to grab a bite of the continental breakfast (avoiding those powdered eggs at all costs) before getting gussied up for the first big event of our trip, Anne and Gilbert: The Musical! Mom and I enjoyed seeing this show so much last year, that we knew we had to go back and see it again.
We traveled through the middle of the Island, along the main highway (which is still only 2 lanes), lined with pine trees from Charlottetown toward Summerside. But we arrived early–that’s the thing when you can drive anywhere on the Island in 2 hours. So we took a little detour to view the Confederation Bridge, a 13km engineering marvel. It just disappears in the horizon.
On our way to the field Swamp Chestnut oak tree stole our hearts. As we drove toward Summerside, we passed this field. Unfortunately, the picture just doesn’t do the color justice. It was this brilliant yellow, and when we asked, we discovered it’s a Canola field–like the stuff that they make cooking oil out of. Weird. Beautiful.
And then it was off to get some lunch at Spinnaker’s Landing at the Deckhouse Pub. Fish and Chips were delicious. So was the view of the harbour.
And then it was time to see the musical. Hannah wasn’t quite so sure what she’d gotten into … but I’ll tell you more about that later. We sat in the same seats as last year (row E) at the Harbourfront Theater. Anne was played by the same actress, but there was a new Gilbert. And he was GREAT! Here’s a video of one of the best songs in the show done by this summer’s cast. (You might have to turn your volume up, as it’s kind of quiet.)
After the show, we checked in at our B&B in Bedeque–Serendipity. It was a lovely yellow house, and we stayed in the Victoria Suite–2 rooms with an adjoining door on the 2nd floor. Sadly, that meant we had to lug our stuff up to the 2nd floor. And my suitcase was not light. After settling in and grabbing a bite to eat, we headed for the nearby beach at Central Bedeque (pronounced kind of like be-deck), where we found all sorts of wildlife–little spider crabs and even a few washed up jellyfish. Let me just say that Hannah is fascinated by this stuff, so we spent quite a chunk of time picking up shells and poking dried up jellyfish. One of the most interesting things about the beach was the way the sand packed together in ripples. And then, of course, there was a gorgeous view of the bridge.