Archive for the ‘Prince Edward Island’ Category

Green Gables Heritage Place

Friday, October 4th, 2019

On the first day of our vacation in Prince Edward Island, after sleeping in to recover from our long drive, we drove a few blocks down the road to Green Gables Heritage Place!

I was a little taken aback by the shiny new Interpretive Centre and huge parking lot. It seemed so completely out of the spirit of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s times — yet it was precisely the popularity of her writing that made such a big centre necessary.

Once we got inside, the disconnect subsided. It was a very lovely presentation of the story of Maud Montgomery’s life, an interactive exhibit that you walked through at your leisure. I was glad that my friends were as interested in reading every panel as I was.

Now, I’ve read her Selected Journals and all her books, so the information wasn’t new to me. But I really liked how it was presented.

I got a special thrill out of seeing her actual typewriter:

And here’s the actual manuscript of Anne of Green Gables:

Have I mentioned that all three of us friends on this trip have different kinds of brain damage? Mine mostly manifests by getting motion sickness. Darlene and Ruth kept remembering important things and then forgetting little things. I noticed it at the Interpretive Centre when we walked into an orientation film about Green Gables in the middle. They started the film again, so we stayed to catch up the part we missed. But when we got to the part we’d seen before, neither Ruth nor Darlene remembered having just seen it! I went outside and took pictures while they watched the end of the film for the second time.

The former barn had more fun stuff. We all had to dress up as Anne!

Next to an exhibit about Anne and Diana’s vows of friendship seemed like the perfect place to take a picture of the Friendship Bracelets Darlene had gotten for each of us. On the side is engraved “A friend loves at all times” and “Proverbs 17:17.”

Once we got through the Interpretive Centre, the road was mostly hidden from us, and it did feel like we were back in Anne’s world.

And then it was time for a house tour!

Green Gables is interesting, because it’s a fictional place. Maud Montgomery never lived here, but she based the description in Anne of Green Gables on the nearby home of her cousins. So that’s the house that was renovated to look like the house described in Anne of Green Gables. It is a distance from the road (now filled by the parking lot), and it just takes a walk through the Haunted Wood to get to the home where L. M. Montgomery lived with her grandparents.

I never imagined Anne using a stove like this one!

And here’s the pantry:

I loved the geranium named “Bonny” in the window. We were told that in the days before screens, geraniums helped keep bugs from coming in the windows.

Here’s Anne’s room!

I was still excited by every red leaf I saw, and just loved this ivy on the side of Green Gables.

I wanted to go for a walk on Lovers’ Lane, but Alas! It was closed due to downed trees from Hurricane Dorian, which had hit the Island three weeks before. We saw trees down all over the island. They’d cleared the Haunted Wood Trail, but not yet with Lovers’ Lane.

I did cross the tape to take a picture of the beginning of the Lane, though.

We simply enjoyed the grounds, wandering around, taking pictures.

Have I said that my friends are true kindred spirits? I was so happy when I wanted to linger — that they wanted to linger, too. We all agreed that our families probably would have gotten impatient by then.

We finished off this first part of our day with a late lunch in the cafĂ© — drinking Raspberry Cordial, of course!

Next — our walk through the Haunted Wood!

Road Trip to Prince Edward Island

Monday, September 23rd, 2019

We’re off! Between Saturday and Sunday, we really drove all the way to Prince Edward Island, Canada!

Ruth is posing by the car that was loaded up with stuff before I tried to put my stuff in. We managed it, somehow. (When we arrived, it turned out most of that was food. Darlene loaded the car with more and more food. I think we’ve got munchies for a month.)

Saturday, we drove through Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, and spent the night in Maine. The further we drove, the more colorful the trees became — getting the most colorful right as it got dark. We didn’t arrive until 10:30 at night, and had a feeling we’d be in for beautiful fall color in the morning!

Yes, it was a very long drive. The most harrowing part (for me) was driving in the outskirts of New York City. And it was already well into the afternoon, and we still had a long way to go. But it was Saturday, so the traffic certainly could have been much worse.

I was the one who booked the places where we’d stop for the night. So I was worrying that I should have picked something closer. Especially when we didn’t arrive until 10:30 pm. But my friends kept reminding me what a great time we were having — and that there was no pressure. The hotel desk was still open, so it actually wasn’t a problem. (I realized that planning trips makes me anxious that if anything goes wrong or turns out to be poorly planned, it’s All My Fault. But these friends assured me it’s all an adventure we’re on together. Such nice people to have with me!

Have I mentioned how blessed we are to have known each other for so long — Darlene and me since 3rd grade and Ruth since 7th grade. We chatted all during the drive, talking about our lives and where God has brought us. I love it that we all believe God has been so good to us. Even Ruth, with early onset Alzheimer’s, has been able to keep working and has her family looking out for her. She insists that God has been good to her, and her attitude is inspiring.

On Sunday, I was right — the colors were dazzling right from the start! Here’s a tree right next to our hotel. We liked the splash of color in the middle of green.

Maine was amazing. We were on a road winding through hills and forests — with trees as far as the eye could see. In some spots, there would be bright splashes of color; in others, it would be a gentle shading. But taken all together — it was glorious. We had beautiful sunshine and bright blue skies and we were driving through forests and over hills and into valleys.

In the middle of the day, we crossed into Canada:

Then it was more driving through beautiful New Brunswick — until just as the sun was setting, we drove over the longest bridge over water that freezes, the Confederation Bridge — and arrived in Prince Edward Island.

Then Google Maps led us a winding journey — even on a dirt road! — in the dark, across the island. For the second night in a row, I had trouble spotting the actual place, but eventually we arrived at Cavendish Lodge and Cottages and checked into our cottage for the next six nights! Hooray! We’ve arrived!

Prince Edward Island Prelude

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

I’m going on a road trip with my friends to Prince Edward Island!

Here’s the background. I’ve known Darlene (on the right above) since we were in 3rd grade together in California. I’ve known Ruth (on the left) since 7th grade. Darlene’s a little younger than me, and Ruth’s a little older, but for 18 days after Darlene’s birthday and before Ruth’s, we are all three the same age.

So the year we were fifty, I think it was Ruth (who turned fifty first) who said we really should get together to celebrate when we are all three fifty years old. Darlene and I live near each other close to DC in northern Virginia, but Ruth lives in California, and it seemed like an awesome reason to take a trip together.

Darlene suggested that we go to Prince Edward Island — somewhere I’ve always wanted to go because I’m an L. M. Montgomery Superfan. I’ve read and own all her books and all her Selected Journals. (Just learned that her Complete Journals are out, and I’m buying them.)

Ruth said it was too expensive for her at that time, since she was flying from California anyway. So that year, we did things in the DC area, including a trip to Shenandoah National Park, where the picture was taken.

However, we all decided together that we would plan to do a trip to Prince Edward Island together when we are all 55. That time has come! And we’re really doing it!

It turns out it’s a whole lot cheaper if we do a road trip. And then we’ll have a car on the island, anyway. So we’re driving on the weekends, Darlene and I sharing the driving, and we’ll stay in Cavendish — L. M. Montgomery’s hometown — during the week. Even paying for lodging for a night on the way there and back, this will be cheaper than getting flights, especially since we can split the costs of lodging and gas, but not the cost of flights.

We also suspect it will be a gorgeous drive through New England in the Autumn. We hope there will be some Fall Color — there’s not much here in Virginia yet. And it’s going to be so much fun spending the time with each other. (That’s what I say before the trip, anyway!)

There is a sad note to all of this. We got the very bad news that Ruth has early onset Alzheimer’s. This actually makes a road trip all the better. Her husband says that she’d have trouble with connecting flights. But he can put her on a direct flight to us, and then we’ll have her with us the rest of the way.

I’m afraid I think it’s sadly funny that all three of us going on this road trip are brain damaged. I’ve got a hole in my cerebellum from my stroke in 2011. The main effect that’s left is I do get motion sickness more easily than before. So I’ll sit in the front seat and navigate. That makes sense anyway, since Darlene has memory issues from a brain injury in 2005. So I’m in charge of our itinerary, because it’s easier for me to remember details.

But all this means that we are utterly determined to have a fabulous time! I am also planning to bring my laptop and blog about our trip to be sure my friends can remember the amazing time we’re going to have together.

I’ve been getting ready for the trip as well by rereading my L. M. Montgomery books. So far, I’ve finished 11 of the 24 books she had published in her lifetime, so it’s only a start, but it’s been delightful. I’m planning that we’ll see the several L. M. Montgomery sites, but also do lots of hiking and walks on the beach.

It’s going to be a fabulous way to celebrate friendship at fifty-five!