You’re Island Through and Through!

Originally published 15 July 2015.

Greetings from the Canadian Isles! My mom, younger brother Joel, and I are having the time of our lives! This trip has been a year in the making, and a dream of mom’s and mine since we were each little girls! The ladies are here for Anne of Green Gables, Joel is here for the ships.

Mom and Joel got their passports for the first time just for this trip, and though they were a bit nervous about going through customs on their own, they made it just fine! We only had once miscommunication snafu after we met up in Toronto for our connection to Halifax, but we survived it!

Waiting for our connecting flight.

Upon landing in Nova Scotia, we picked up our rental car and headed out on our way! Our first stop was Pictou (pronounced “pick-tow”), in northeastern Nova Scotia, close to the Northumberland ferry that would take us to Prince Edward Island (PEI) the next morning.

Being quite far north, the days here are pretty long, which is good since we had about an hour and a half drive between the airport and our accommodation for the night. We arrived at the Braeside Inn just after 9:00pm, when the sun was just setting. The owner was there waiting for us, and he was friendly and helpful, just what you’d expect from a Canadian!

Nova Scotia and PEI are on Atlantic Time, one hour ahead of DC and two hours ahead of where my family lives in TN, so we weren’t particularly tired by the time we arrived and got settled, but we knew morning would come early, so we tried our best to fall asleep quickly!

I woke up early to make sure I could do my run through the cute little town of Pictou along the waterfront. It was awesome! I saw the great ship Hector and some adorable old buildings, and I ran along a lovely path by the water. Mom took a little walking excursion as well, and the three of us met up for breakfast around 7:30. Breakfast was basic continental fare, but service was friendly, which made for a lovely experience!

We finished up breakfast and left with plenty of time for the 9:30 ferry. It’s free to get onto PEI, so the ferry is simply first-come, first-served! It’ll be about $70 Canadian to get out by ferry on the eastern side of the island, or $50 Canadian if we were to take the Confederation Bridge on the western side. If you ever go to PEI, be prepared for the fee getting out!

The ride started a bit late, but it was a lovely day and our only commitment wasn’t till 1:00, so we didn’t mind. The breez was nice, and the temperature, even on the water, were in the mid- to high-70s! The ride was about 75 minutes, which gave us time to relax, take pictures, and get the highly-recommended “Cows” ice cream. It was pretty great!

Mr. Peabody Pembroke takes the ferry!
Before we knew it, we were called back down to the bowels of the ferry to get in our cars and hit the road. Ready. Set. Go! Well, we weren’t exactly off like a shot, but we did get out pretty quickly. I was a little worried about not having access to my GPS on my phone (no international date plan), but we did pretty well the old-fashioned way with a map and directions from people we met! There was really only one main road to Charlottetown, so it was pretty easy.
We stopped at a gas station to ask where Pownal Street is once we get into Charlottetown because we couldn’t find it on the map! And you know what’s funny, it took the locals a long time to find it, too! It’s a little street. But we found it and checked in with plenty of time to get to our 1:00 commitment…
Anne and Gilbert: The Musical!
The play was excellent! Though it veered away from the books a bit, it didn’t take away from the original storyline. And the singing! Their harmonies and perfect voices made for a most enjoyable experience. Even my mom–a trained vocalist–was most impressed! The theatre was one of the tiniest I’ve ever been in–probably no more than 100-125 seats–and we were in the front row, practically on the stage! I wish they would sell the rights for others to perform the show all over the world. It’s so wonderful! I’m still singing the tunes in my head. (“You’re Island! You’re Island! You’re From Prince Edward Island! You’re Island! You’re Island through and through!”) 

And then we made a trip to the Anne of Green Gables store across the street. Because, how could we miss that?

All Anne, all the time!
Since we didn’t have time for a proper lunch before the play, we ate an early dinner at Lobster on the Wharf. It was delicious! Mom got scallops, and Joel and I got the “lazy man’s” lobster, which meant it was already opened for us. Our waitress was awesome. She was so friendly and helpful. Definitely a native Canadian!
Mr. Peabody Pembroke eats his lobster!
And then it was time to go back to the hotel! We stopped in a few shops and looked at some sites along the way, but we got back to the hotel around 6:00 and relaxed for a while. Thank goodness for wi-fi in the hotels (and in most other places in Charlottetown)! I’ve been able to post pictures and email my Love, and we Skyped with my dad last night.

More to come! Including a trip to Green Gables and some home-grown preserves!

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