Monday, July 1, 2013

Prince Edward Island, Canada (June 13 - June 18, 2013)

June 13 we drove to Harrington, Prince Edward Island (PEI).  Now I've got to tell you about our campground. 

First of all it was a deal.  $15 a night with Passport America.  There's well over 100 sites.  For most of the 5 days we were there we were the ONLY ONLY ONLY campers!!

See us way back there?

The only other camper stayed for 2 days. Their brochure says $25 a night, it's $30, they say there's a grocery store - there's not even one can of soup, miniature golf - rotted and a horrible hazard. They advertise Wifi.  We could never connect.  They mow grass constantly but apparently don't own a weed eater and at least one huge barn has COMPLETELY collapsed! I kind of got the impression that they were just sort of trying to get their act together to be in business.  They were only barely successful.  But it was a beautifully green piece of property, in the country, convenient to what we wanted to see and oh so quiet.  Our first night in PEI we went to have a lobster dinner.  It was quite tasty.  But for me, a whole lobster is not worth the price, the funky innards or the work. 

Now maybe the rest of the world knew this but I didn't until we started heading this way.  If you speak of PEI then you must speak of Anne of Green Gables.  For those few who may be in the dark like me, it's a series of books written in the early 1900s by Lucy Maud Montgomery. The books are all about a delightful red headed girl and all her tales and woes.   Everything Green Gables is nearly the logo for PEI.  Debbie and I both read and enjoyed the first book. We wanted to be in the know.  So June 14 we did all things Green Gables.

There's a Visitor's Center, barns,

the Green Gables house,

Anne's Room

Remember how much she yearned for a dress with puffy sleeves?



and even some wildlife.

And yes, if you really want to experience what it might have been like to be Anne yourself, you have the opportunity.

And if you think that is silly, how about this?

It was really all very nice and lots of fun. 

We spent the rest of that day enjoying one of several coastal drives.  The truth is you could spend days doing nothing but cruising coastal drives and we did.  PEI is really so beautiful.  The coastal areas, picturesque fishing wharfs, light houses, churches and I do mean beautiful beautiful farms.  Everything is so darn cute.

Oh, and all those beautiful Lupin (or Lupine) growing wild along the roadways. 

June 15 we did Charlottetown.  It's PEI so it's so pretty.  We had a very nice lunch (really breakfast) at a street café,

then spent hours walking the city.  PEI is surrounded with water so there's endless harbor/sea views, as well as beautiful old buildings and parks full of flowers.

June 16 we went a little north of our campground to a portion of the Prince Edward Island National Park near Brackley Beach .  This particular area of the park is strictly seaside.  We took our bikes and did a 16 mile ride.  8 miles out with a tail wind and 8 miles back with.....duh....a terrific head wind!  Now Debbie was not voted most athletic in high school.  But I must say, to my surprise, she's a champ on a bicycle.  She has a beach cruiser model, with 3 speed gears and a seat that says Lazy Boy.  But she is relentless!  Bravo to you sweetie pie!  Since it's PEI we saw some very cute sights along the bike route.

Hard to see Bald Eagle

Biker Chick
On the way home we stopped at The Dunes Gallery and Café.

Now I've been in a million too many gift stores but this one is, bar none, the best.  It includes impressive gardens, fountains, statuary and huge driftwood carvings.

Then you go inside.  Very unique stuff, furniture, clothing and jewelry.  Plus the building is maybe 4 stories high with more gardens, balconies and lookouts on the upper floors.

Then on to more coastal driving.  This included a stop at a Visitor's Center (Canada does a great job with their Visitor's Centers) adjacent to the Confederation Bridge.   This is a hum dinger of a bridge.  Eight miles long, the longest in the world crossing ice covered water, and lets just say darn impressive.

It opened in 1997 and is the only way to drive on or off the island.  Prior to that time the only way on or off the island was by ferry. 

This day's drive ended at Port-la-Joye National Historic Site.  It sits on a grassy bluff overlooking Charlottetown from the opposite side of the harbor. There are 3 nice light houses, great water views, lots of historical info and several miles of trails.

Our last day on PEI included, yes, some more coastal drive. But on the way to the coast we stopped in at Jewels Garden Store.

Their showroom space for flowers includes large scale green houses.  They should charge admission just to go in regardless if you buy anything.  As an old landscaper I've always enjoyed such places and have been in many.  NONE compared to this place.  The flowers were a explosive blaze of color.  Too impressive!

 Our coastal drive took us to Greenwich, PEI which is another portion of the PEI National Park.

This is another coastal area but primarily preserved due to dunes. The views from the tower were great.   

The boardwalk to the beach and surrounding short hiking trails were nice. 


The mosquitoes were not!

We continued on around to the NE tip of PEI and visited a restored light house.

It was cool and the host was quite a friendly gal of Eskimo decent.  Our conversation eventually got around to politics and our host became, shall we say, oh so colorful!  It was funny.

June 18 we packed up and left the Harrington Family Campground.  There wasn't a crowd.  We returned to New Brunswick because, due to the ghastly cold rainy weather we had when we first arrived, we didn't get to see some stuff so we went back.

In conclusion,  if you remember nothing else about what I've said, please  just remember that PEI is just TOO CUTE!


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