I was born – praise to the gods! – in Prince Edward Island
The colourful little land of ruby and emerald sapphire…I like Ontario muchly but anyone who had once loved “the only Island there is” never really loves any other place…For there the fairies still abide despite the raucous shrieks of motor cars. There are still a few spots where one who knows may find them.
We left Wednesday evening. Stopped in Chelmsford for the night and breakfasted with relatives before heading up the Maine and New Brunswick coast. We stopped in York, one of my favorite little beach/vacation towns. There we found the quaintest little pie shop called Pie In The Sky Bakery. The best blueberry pie you have ever had. I promise. It was unreal.
From there we went to Bar Harbor and had a fabulous seafood dinner on the ocean. We crossed the border late in the night and slept in Saint John, New Brunswick.
PEI was only three hours away. We woke up excited to finally be realizing one of our dreams. As we crossed the eight mile bridge to the red coasted island the theme of Anne of Green Gables playing loudly in the car we flew up on the wings of anticipation. It was BEAUTIFUL. Everything we had dreamed and more. Driving across the island to our cottage you could almost hear L.M. Montgomery describing the rolling green hills, the vast hayfields with big round bales of hay, the sandy dunes with tall grasses blowing in the wind, and yes, the red rocky coast with its high cliffs and sapphire blue water.
“Elsewhere are more lavish landscapes and grander scenery; but for chaste, restful loveliness it is unsurpassed.”
Our cottage was perfect. We made friends with the owner, Monty, an adorable veteran who retired and built cottages on the ocean. Our porch overlooked a vibrant green yard, tall stately pines, and a glimpse of the blue ocean through the trees. The first day a bald eagle flew right through our yard!
For the next three days we wandered the island. We visited the Avonlea Village, The Green Gables Heritage Place, relaxed on the beach, got up early for sunrise, watched the beautiful sunsets, and ate some of the best island had to offer.
“You cannot get away from the sea down there.
Save for a few places in the interior, it is ever visible somewhere, if only in a tiny blue gap between distant hills, or a turquoise gleam through the dark boughs of spruce fringing an estuary. Great is our love for it;
its tang gets into our blood: its siren call rings ever in our ears;
and no matter where
we wander in lands afar, the murmur of its waves ever summons us back in
our dreams to the homeland. “
Our last evening we drove the coastal road to Dalvay By The Sea. An old victorian hotel that was Montgomery’s inspiration for The White Sands Hotel. Stepping onto the terrace visions of 19th century vacationers in long white dresses with hats and parisoles flitted through my mind. This was where high class people came for the summers. They dined in the elegant restaurant and climbed the mahogany staircase in their finest clothes. It was like stepping onto the set of Downton Abbey. We ate dessert there. Sticky Toffey Date Pudding. They are famous for it. And for good reason. It was dense and sticky and caramelized and DELICIOUS!
“When the evening sun is setting
Quietly in the west,
In a halo of rainbow glory,
I sit me down to rest.
I forget the present and future,
I live over the past once more,
As I see before me crowding
The beautiful days of yore.”