west of eden

Our last full day, so sad.

We were able to explore the western side of the island and I feel we explored a good majority of the whole island, having been to both ends and a lot in between.  We left at 8am and got out to the western point by about 10am.  We meandered around and eventually had lunch in Tignish.

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After lunch we headed over to Wellington where we stopped at Old Mills Park.  They had some awesome exercise equipment we played around on, then we walked about two and a half kilometers of the Confederation Trail.  We discovered the trail is 435 km in total, and covers the island from one end to the other.  We’d like to come back and explore it all one day.

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Our favorite place was Bonshaw park, where we went the first day of our visit.  We thought it was only fitting we go there one last time.  This time we traversed the trails on the other side of the park, the ones we started with on Sunday.  We walked for a few hours and had a grand time tramping through the woods again.

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With some time to kill, we drove over to Canoe Cove and Rocky Point area and I got a few more shots in before it got too dark.

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Canoe Cove

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Canoe Cove

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Canoe Cove

We got ice cream and then drove back to Charlottetown to catch some live music at the Olde Dublin Pub.  It was a great way to end our final full day.  Tomorrow we don’t fly out until after noon but we have to drop off the rental car around 10am so we’ll have to get out of here a little early.  I’m hoping to do a little more exploring and picture capturing before we board our flight.  It has been a grand adventure, indeed.

sunshine and rainbows (and ice cream)

Before we got started on our explorin’ we went into Charlottetown and got some souvenirs and ice cream.  We parked at a metered parking spot and then went into a nearby bank to exchange our Canadian bills for coins.  The woman who helped us didn’t immediately realize we weren’t Canadian and was really confused when I asked if they had 10 dollar bills.  Once we explained we weren’t, we all had a good laugh.

saw this on our way into town yesterday and had to stop today

We hit the road again and traveled to the eastern end of the island once more.  I made a few stops but mostly stayed on track until we made it to our destination, Basin Head Provincial Park.  All the buildings were closed, but we were still able to walk around and weren’t the only ones there, two other cars made their way behind us as we pulled into the parking lot.  The walkway led us down to a beach with the entrance to the Basin Head Harbour running through, a bridge connecting both sides.  The walkways led right up to the water and had ladders down the sides in case one wanted to entered the water not from the beach.  Thankfully it was a lot less windy than yesterday and the sun was out in full force.

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We had a delicious lunch in Souris at 21 Breakwater and then went up to Greenwich National Park.  Unfortunately everything was closed so when natural called, we had to leave to find a washroom.  We were able to walk some of the trails in the park.

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more of this amazing red on the way to Greenwich

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Saint Peters Bay thankfully had a gas station with a washroom so we stopped in and I also saw a photo op nearby.

I walked across this bridge and got some nice shots of the water

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Scotchfort

With enough light to get back home with time to spare, we decided to head to the Prince Edward Island National Park, which is less than a 15 minute drive from home.

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I stopped and parked in the middle of the road for this one, of course no one was coming and I made it across the street and back again with no worries

When we got back home, we still had a little more light, so we found our way to the edge of Jimmy Angus Cove, less than a minute walk from our front door.

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We’re hoping to get an earlier start on our last full day (sad) so we’re going to bed early.  With that, I’ll sign off.

three point turns

We started our day a bit earlier because we had an appointment at “Island Made” to create our own sea glass jewelry.  We arrived a few minutes early and were let in by Guy, one of the two owners of the shop.  He instructed us to each pick out a piece of sea glass, collected by him and his wife.  We were the only ones to have made a reservation for this particular time so he was able to take his time explaining how sea glass is made, showing us the different treasures they’ve found over the years.  They have also traveled across the country in their RV and he shared some of the cool things they have seen.  I could have sat and chatted with him all day and appreciated how we were able to relax and take in the experience.  He gave clear instructions and made jewelry alongside us so he could demonstrate techniques.  We’re both very happy with the end results.

mine

Jason’s

garden area right outside “Island Made”

After we had a delicious lunch at “Himalayan Curry,” we went over to Victoria Park, where we walked around a tad.  It was extremely windy today, over 20mph.

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Dead Man’s Pond

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We mostly spent the day driving around, though this time we were exploring the eastern end.  We made it to three different lighthouses, they all looked pretty much the same.  The East Point Lighthouse (at the eastern-most point of the island, unsurprisingly) was the windiest place.  I tried to walk to the end of the path to get some pictures and was pushed so hard by the wind I just turned around and went a little behind the lighthouse to get some shots.  I would estimate it was at least 40mph winds.  When Jason tried to get the car door open, he thought it was locked because it wouldn’t budge.

 

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We ended the night back at The Gahan House where we had a nice meal and enjoyed live music by the Taylor Buote Duo.  The Gahan House is our favorite restaurant so far and we might make it there again before this trip is over.

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The Gahan House

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outside the Gahan

the gables, which were green

We finally left the house at a more decent time, around 11am.  We mostly went directly to Cavendish, where Green Gables is located.  I did pull over a few times to take some pictures.

one such picture

Once we arrived we paid the entrance fee and walked through the museum-like section of the main building.  There were pictures and facts about Lucy Maud Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables).  They even had pictures of her diaries.  It was very well put together and we spent some time browsing before going outside to the main event.

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she was a cat lover too!

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the far right bottom corner book is in braille :)

Before arriving at the house, there was a barn, which had a few photo opportunities, some more pictures and facts about LM Montgomery, and a place to add a note for the museum.

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sweet little dress up closet, note the Anne wigs

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We entered the house and were able to walk around almost all the rooms.  A few staff were stationed around to answer any questions.  One thing I noted right away was how low the doorways were.  One of the staff let us know people were generally shorter 100 years ago, which I found interesting.  It was neat to imagine how LM Montgomery lived and see what inspired her to write such an influential book.

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There were two hiking trails starting on the grounds of the park.  Unfortunately Lovers Lane was closed because of some downed trees but we were able to walk the Haunted Wood path, which took us to the site of the Cavendish school and LM Montgomery’s home where she lived with her grandparents.  We spent a good hour or so walking the path and enjoying the natural beauty.  It wasn’t difficult to understand how she could be inspired to write all she did (20 novels, 500 short stories, and 500 poems).

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Once we were done exploring, we hopped back on the road again.  Unfortunately Avonlea Village was closed because it’s no longer tourist season.  We turned down some random roads and ended up on the Cavendish beach eventually.

for my dad who collects pictures of funny signs, this one cracked me up

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Back on the road again, we drove around for a few hours, pulling over every now and then to take another photo.  We drove through places like New London, Park Corner, Darnley, Malpeque, Indian River, and Kensington.  Eventually we ended up back in Summerside where we had dinner.  After dinner we headed back home and arrived just after 9pm.

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The natural beauty here continues to take my breath away and I would not mind living here (aside from being so far away from our loved ones).  I am so thankful we’ve been able to really take our time getting to see the place.

burning bush(es and trees)

KiDue to some technical difficulties last night/early this morning, I wasn’t able to publish my blog post until this afternoon. I was attempting to add the photos to the post and was running into failed uploads with my phone and tablet. I might not have gone to bed until about 4am. *ahem* Anyway, we finally rolled out around 1pm and had lunch at “Sam’s Family Restaurant” before heading back to Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park for some hiking. We stomped around the woods for a few hours and only encountered a handful of people. It was perfect weather and the hike was refreshing.

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Once we got back to the parking lot, we ate some sandwiches and then backtracked a few miles to an overlook we had passed a few times at this point. In the distance we could see a body of water and I hopped on Google maps to ascertain the route. We meandered a bit, and actually ended up back on St Catherines Rd again. Around every bend I wanted to stop and take in the view, but there weren’t any real places to park except driveways. A few times I did manage to find a grassy area where we could briefly stop.

from the lookout

and zoomed in a bit

There was some live music I was interested in checking out in Summerside, about a 45 minute drive from our location. We had a few hours to kill before the start so I ended up turning down several roads on our way. At one point we could see the ocean and because of the clouds above I actually couldn’t tell if it was water or sky. I searched for a way to get a better shot and eventually found a road that ended right into a very small beach.

We made it to Summerside a little before sunset and were able to get some shots in before the sun fully descended. We headed to the location of the event only to realize we had about an hour before it started. Jason took the opportunity to nap and I used it to upload the day’s photos. We ended up not staying for the music and started our journey back to home base, about an hour drive.

We stopped at Hunter’s Ale House for dinner and made it back to home base around 10pm. I’m planning on getting more sleep and waking earlier since tomorrow we’re planning on going to Avonlea.

someone handed me the moon

Due to the late (or early, depending on how you look at it) hour of our bedtime, we slept in until almost noon local time. I could hear someone upstairs puttering around and a bird warbling outside, but otherwise all was quiet. Unfortunately our car rental agency was closed when we arrived so we had to take a taxi to our Airbnb. I called the agency and confirmed they had our reservation, and then called another taxi to take us back to the airport. Both our drivers were very friendly and we didn’t mind being able to see the place without also having to pay attention to the road. Our second driver told us this time last year there was snow and while the locals all expected it to melt away, it ended up sticking around until May. We’re thankful this is not the case this year, and the fall foliage is still in full force.

this is the view one way from the end of our “street”

this is the other

We picked up our rental and then headed to lunch. We ended up at “Maid Marian’s,” along with everyone one else in the Charlottetown area. We waited about half an hour before being seated and enjoyed our breakfast for lunch. As we finished up, I looked up a local park to walk around and we headed out. Turns out the park was just a neighborhood trail and none of the residential streets have sidewalks so we ended up driving around for a while before we found any parking. We eventually ended up in the high school parking lot and then took to the trail. There were a few muddy spots (it was misty when we arrived early this morning) but otherwise the trail was dry and pleasant to walk on. We kept marveling at the surrounding beauty and stopping to take pictures. The air was cool but refreshing and there was a slight breeze. I’m going to let the pictures speak for themselves.

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After we had done the nice little loop, we stopped at a local shopping center to use their washrooms, then headed back out. Again, we went to a neighborhood park and had no curb to park along. Eventually we just pulled into the spot probably reserved for those picking up their mail at the bank of mail boxes. We walked to a set of wooden stairs and then discovered we had actually parked in front of the area we were trying to explore. There were some shared google photos supposedly from the park but we weren’t able to locate where they were taken. We ended up on a very small spit of sand, with more incredible views.

example of the beautiful foliage

Back on the road again to explore we drove through Cornwall, Clyde River, Strathgartney, turned down St. Catherines Road for a minute, then ended up hiking a bit in Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park. All throughout the drive and hike, we kept stopping to take pictures and were just in awe of the colors and beauty. I reflected on how, as a kid, my parents would take my brother and I out to go on short day hikes and how I didn’t exactly look forward to them at the time (though I always enjoyed them in the end). This has become my favorite thing to do when exploring a new area and we laughed a bit at the irony.

St. Catherines Rd

more along St. Catherines Rd

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We went back to Charlottetown for dinner at The Gahan House, a cozy brewpub, set up in a charming old brick house. There were a lot of fun nooks and crannies with tables set in them and we shared poutine for dinner and deep fried Mars bars and sugar-frosted waffles with sweet cream dip for dessert. We will probably go back, especially since they have live music on Wednesday night.

We had to get back at a specific time because we were going to see “Anne and Gilbert: The Musical.” The playhouse was just around the corner from dinner and we made it with just a few minutes to spare. The theatre was smaller, and we were in the second row. It was phenomenal. The acting, singing, and dancing was superb. We laughed, we cried, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was the casts’ last show of the season and a few of them were teary eyed as they took a bow. It was very sweet and we’re so glad we were able to catch the show.

Tomorrow we plan on heading back to Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park to hike more of the trails. Until then.

a fourth time zone??

We’ve started another traveling adventure and have just arrived at our destination, Prince Edward Island (or PEI).  Whenever telling anyone about this trip, there were always one of two reactions. 1) The person’s face would light up and we’d gush about the importance of the place. 2) “Where’s that?”  To which I would respond, “The east coast of Canada.  You familiar with Anne of Green Gables?”  They never were.  Because if you’re like me, Anne of Green Gables and PEI go hand in hand so if you don’t know where PEI is, then you definitely don’t know who Anne is. I’ve wanted to come here pretty much my whole life and was very surprised to find people didn’t know who Anne was.

You can thank our friend Ian for this trip happening now.  I was telling him about the plan with one of my best friends to come here when we graduated from high school (we made this plan when we were in 7th grade or so).  We were going to fly into Maine and then rent a car and drive up.  He laughed and asked, “You do know there’s an airport on the island, right?” Uh, no, no I did not.  Once he said this, the reality of coming here was greatly increased.  This comment planted the seed, which eventually grew to me looking at flights and then looking at Airbnb rentals.  And voilà, here we are.

We had a layover in Toronto and had a nice dinner there before boarding.  It was at dinner I discovered PEI is actually four hours ahead of our west coast time.  Jason and I were flabbergasted as we for some reason hadn’t realized until then there are four time zones for the mostly contiguous North American continent (Hawaii is waaaay further off the coast than PEI, at least for PEI you can drive from the mainland).  So I write this at the local 2:30am time on Sunday, while my phone still says it’s 10:30pm on Saturday.  Fun times.

Excited to share our adventures.  I guess I should try and acclimate to the local time by actually getting some sleep.

not the best picture, but it was drizzling and we wanted to get inside