Approaching Greenwich Dunes

December 6th, 2019

This is the story of my Road Trip Adventure to Prince Edward Island with my friends Darlene and Ruth. We drove up from Virginia to Canada on a late September weekend. On Monday, we visited Green Gables Heritage Place and walked on the trail through the Haunted Wood to Montgomery Park and L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish home, finishing up with a drive along the shore. On Tuesday, it rained, so we visited museums — first L. M. Montgomery’s Birthplace and then the Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush.  That day culminated with a trip to Anne of Green Gables: The Musical.

On Wednesday, we decided to set out and see more of the island.  I’d heard good things about Greenwich Dunes, so that’s where we headed.  By now I was coming to terms with the fact that my phone’s GPS wasn’t working, so we grabbed the map I’d been sent from tourismpei.com.  (This was a life saver!)

Setting out, I tried to direct us along a marked scenic route.  We were driving through farm fields and gentle hills, and the sun had come out, and it was glorious.  But then I missed a turn — and we were entering Charlottetown!  Oops!  Anyway, we figured that out and got back on track.  Just when we were looking for a place to use the restroom, we spotted a Visitor Information Center.

This Visitor Information Center was staffed by a very nice lady who chatted with us.  She said that Greenwich Dunes has the prettiest hike on the island, the one where locals love to go.  She also told us we’d see farmers bringing in the harvest on the hill, her husband among them.

We drove just a little further, around a bend and up a hill, and had to stop by the road to take pictures near this church.

The beginning of a bay was beneath us.

We drove a little further and got to the Greenwich Dunes Interpretive Centre. It was brand-new (I’d read about it on the website.), but unfortunately, it was closed for the season.

It was windy, so we ate our lunches at our car, but then we were ready to set out on a hike!

Based on what the lady at the Visitor Centre had told us, we took Path 3 to Greenwich Dunes.

After a little bit of a walk in the woods, we came out to what had once been farm fields, and we began walking parallel to the water.

Lots of wildflowers all along the way.

The path was flat, with easy walking.  Trees and plants on our right, the gulf on our left.

Did I mention that the weather had turned lovely?  The sun was out.  There was some wind, but once we started walking, we weren’t cold.

Above was the farmland side on the right of our walk.  Below is the bay side on our left.

As we walked, we began meeting people coming back from where we were going.  These people actually raved about what we would see.  One man called it “astonishing.”  They all told us to take the path all the way — that we would be glad we did.

The path we were already taking was very nice indeed — but not “astonishing.”  However, their encouragement made sure we kept walking.

This part had fewer trees, and some interpretive signs along the way told us where settlers had a farm in the past.

Meanwhile, the sky and sunshine on the water were doing beautiful things.

The shrubbery started getting taller.

And then we entered the woods.

In the woods, I mostly took pictures of leaves that had begun to turn color.

This was late September, and back home in Virginia, Fall hadn’t really started when we left.  Of course, Ruth was from California, so Fall Color was a complete novelty for her.

I saw what I thought was a bridge ahead, and figured there must be a stream or something beneath it.

I was still paying attention more attention to the red leaves in the treetops.

The “bridge” kept going on and on.  It turned out to be a boardwalk.

Like everywhere we’d been on the island, we saw a lot of trees that had been knocked down — probably mostly from Hurricane Dorian, which had swept through a few weeks before.

Then we saw a sign that explained why the boardwalk had gone on so long.  It turned out that we were already walking among the dunes!  But these dunes were covered by forest and plants!

Once the sign pointed it out, I finally pointed my camera down to some of the strange-looking growth now beneath us.

The sign says, “These dunes are far enough inland that sand accumulates and erodes more slowly.  The less wind-blown environment allows plants unsuited to growth in shifting sand to survive.  This stability allows large mats of lichens to grow which, in turn, help to further stabilize the dune.  As it takes a long time for lichens to become established, their presence is an indication of a more stable dune.  However, this special plant community is fragile and very susceptible to damage from trampling.”  This is why we were walking on a boardwalk!

We felt like we’d stumbled into a bit of a forest from another planet!

And then…

We came out of the forest, and this is what we saw:

That’s enough for one post!  I’ll write about the Astonishing part of our walk through Greenwich Dunes in my next post.

Anne of Green Gables: The Musical

November 22nd, 2019

I’m telling about my 55th Birthday Adventure to Prince Edward Island with my friends Darlene and Ruth. We drove up from Virginia to Canada on a late September weekend. On Monday, we visited Green Gables Heritage Place and walked on the trail through the Haunted Wood to Montgomery Park and L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish home. We finished the day with a short drive along the shore where we saw a fox. On Tuesday, it rained, so we visited museums — first L. M. Montgomery’s Birthplace and then the Green Gables Museum at Silver Bush.

Tuesday evening, we went to see Anne of Green Gables: The Musical in Charlottetown.  I’d purchased the tickets before our trip.  Since Darlene’s 55th birthday was right at the start of our trip, and Ruth’s 56th birthday was soon after our trip, I wanted to think of something I could get for both of them – and I decided that tickets to a show would be perfect.  They were!

I’d tried to decide whether to see Anne of Green Gables: The Musical or another show called Anne and Gilbert.  But when I learned that Anne of Green Gables had been running for 55 years, and we were celebrating all being 55, the decision was made easily!

I’d gotten directions on my phone at the cottage where we had internet access.  And my phone had gotten us to the cottage in the first place.  But we hadn’t gone far before I had no connection, and my phone directions stopped.  Fortunately, I had a map of the island that I’d gotten from tourismpei.com.  But even though I’d been in Canada two days by now, this was my first clue my phone wouldn’t work.

[Somewhere I should mention that my Dad had surgery on Monday to remove a growth from his colon that was very likely cancer, but in the very early stages.  The surgery had been put off until six months after he’d had a stent put in, so he could go off blood thinners, but it was very minor laparoscopic surgery.  I’d seen a post on either Monday night or Tuesday morning that the surgery had gone well, so I was relieved about that.]

Anyway, I was very frustrated to have my GPS quit working, especially the one time we were driving into a city, but we did manage to figure it out.  We parked near the theater and found a likely-looking restaurant.  That was the one time we ate at a restaurant on our whole trip, and it ended up being a lovely meal.

At the musical, I had gotten us the cheapest seats – in the front row!  I was afraid the view would be terrible, since they were in fact among the cheapest seats, but it was great to be able to see all the expressions on the faces.  We could also see right into the orchestra pit, and it was fun to watch the musicians, too.

A girl from Prince Edward Island who knew many of the actors ended up sitting next to me.  She had already seen the show dozens of times and was super fun to talk to.  I felt good about getting the front row seats!

We loved the show.  Now, I have to say that as a fan of the book Anne of Green Gables, of course no musical would be perfect.  The trouble is that the book covers years of Anne’s life as she grows from a little girl to a college student.  It’s hard to catch that in a couple of hours.  The kids in the school seem very childish at first and then quickly switch to romantic thoughts, whereas the book clearly covers years.

But I did love that they caught a lot of the key scenes – dyeing her hair green, accidentally setting Diana drunk, hitting Gilbert over the head with her slate, and so much more.  I did think all the actors were wonderful, particularly the leads.  Matthew and Marilla were just right.  I liked the way Rachel Lynde had a whole gaggle of Ladies’ Aid folks along with her.

We loved every minute of it, and I’m so glad we added that into our trip.

And it started pouring on the drive back to our cottage, but we did make it back!  It had been a busy and wonderful second full day on Prince Edward Island.

Silver Bush

November 21st, 2019

In late September, I took a road trip to Prince Edward Island with two childhood friends during the week all three of us were 55 years old. We spent the weekend driving through New England and New Brunswick to get there.  On Monday, we visited Green Gables Heritage Place in nearby Cavendish, then walked through the Haunted Wood to Montgomery Park and L. M. Montgomery’s childhood home, finishing up with a short drive along the shore.  Tuesday was very rainy, so we decided it was the day for museums, beginning with L. M. Montgomery’s Birthplace in New London.

After browsing the memorabilia at her birthplace, we drove a few miles down the road to Park Corner, where a barn had a big “GREEN GABLES MUSEUM” painted on the side at Silver Bush, the home of L. M. Montgomery’s Aunt Annie and Uncle John Campbell and her “merry Campbell cousins.”

Silver Bush was special to me, because it was a place L. M. Montgomery loved with all her heart.  She hadn’t lived in her birthplace long enough to remember.  The childhood home where she lived with her grandparents had been torn down.  And “Green Gables” was a place some cousins lived that she’d used as a model for her fictional heroine’s home, but not a real place she’d actually lived.  But a much-loved family of cousins lived at Park Corner, and Maud spent a lot of time visiting there.  After she got married and moved away from the island, this was a place where she was sure to stay when she came back for prolonged visits.

At L. M. Montgomery’s Birthplace, we’d seen a replica of her wedding dress.  At Silver Bush, we saw the actual room where she’d gotten married.

A card next to this screw on the landing says:  “As one goes upstairs one sees the screw on the stair landing that Lucy Maud Montgomery used to measure her height by – first she said it came to her nose and then to her knees.”

A good friend of mine, Erin MacLellan, a writing buddy, had happened to visit Prince Edward Island just before my friends and me, leaving the same day we arrived.  At this museum, I finally thought to look for her name in the guest book, and there she was, just a couple days before me!

A real live cat was sleeping in the cradle in this room!

Maud was such a frequent guest at Silver Bush, she had her “own little bedroom.”

In The Story Girl and The Golden Road, the Story Girl tells about “The Blue Chest of Rachel Ward” – a chest of one of her relatives’ wedding goods, sealed up when the wedding didn’t happen, and opened when the bride-to-have-been died many years later.  That was a real story, and the blue chest was here at Silver Bush, with its former contents in a display case here.

All the museums had some first editions of L. M. Montgomery’s books, but these were autographed to the family that lived here, her cousins and aunt and uncle.

Emphasizing how much L. M. Montgomery drew from her own life and the lives of her clan on Prince Edward Island, the caption on this cupboard told us that these dishes were from “New Moon,” her Aunt Emily’s home.

Next to Maud’s Crazy Quilt was an extended quotation from her journal:

I was from twelve to sixteen completing the quilt – five years; and verily it was “Love’s Labors Lost,” for by the time I had finished it crazy patchwork was out of the fashion.  My crazy quilt has been lying folded in that trunk ever since – and will continue to lie folded.  Perhaps future generations may regard it as a curiosity as we look upon old samplers now.

Nevertheless, I felt many a tug at my heart as I looked over it today.  It was compact of old memories; almost every gay piece or bit of embroidery called up some long-ago incident or place or face.  As for the dreams sewn into that quilt, they were as thick as Autumn leaves in Vallambroso.

A great part of the delight of “crazy” work was the excitement of collecting pieces for it – silks, satins, velvets – for of no meaner materials might genuine crazy patchwork be made.  Old boxes and drawers were ransacked and long hidden bits of finery joyfully found and used.  Contributions were levied on all my friends.  Did one get a new dress or hat a bit of the trimming must be begged.  Sometimes the work was at a standstill for weeks because of lack of scraps.  But eventually enough were collected and the quilt completed – a quaint cypher of many and many an old gayety and vanity and heartbeat.  Sometimes I sent away a dollar to an American silk firm and received a package of pieces about four inches square cut from remnants.  They were always very rich and beautiful, with the glamor of the outer world about them – the world of wealth and fashion where “grande dames” disported themselves in whole robes of these materials.  It was a never-failing diversion of my chums and me to “choose out” the various dresses we would have if given our pick of those gay samples.

There are many pieces of dresses from my mother and aunts in that quilt.  Many wedding dresses figure there.  And all are covered with intricate stitching.  The result is a very nightmare of jumbled hues and patterns.  And once I thought it beautiful!

Well, after all, it gave me pleasure in the making and so what matters if the result was not worth while?  I had “the joy of the working” and that was the essence of heaven.

Looking out the window, I doubt the view was very different from what Maud herself used to look out and see.

I admit, though, that I very much want to come back to Prince Edward Island and visit Silver Bush on a sunny day.  Maybe even splurge for “Matthew’s Carriage Ride” – though that should really be from the train station to Green Gables, not here in Park Corner.  There are trails on the grounds here, too, that L. M. Montgomery used to take, but we didn’t want to try them in the rain.  Instead, we spent a good amount of time in the lovely gift shop.  I took a picture of “The Lake of Shining Waters” as we drove back to our cottage.

L. M. Montgomery’s Birthplace

November 18th, 2019

I’m telling about my 55th Birthday Adventure to Prince Edward Island with my friends Darlene and Ruth. We drove up the East Coast on a late September weekend. On Monday, we visited Green Gables Heritage Place and walked on the trail through the Haunted Wood to Montgomery Park and L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish home. We finished the day with a short drive along the shore where we saw a fox.

Tuesday, our second day on the island, dawned with pouring rain. But that answered the question I’d had in planning the day: Should we begin our journey with all the L. M. Montgomery sites, or break them up with sight-seeing and hiking? The answer was that a rainy day was an absolutely perfect day to visit museums, and that’s what we did, beginning with L. M. Montgomery’s Birthplace in New London.

It’s a lovely little house, only about fifteen minutes away from Cavendish by car. I kept thinking about how different that would have been a hundred and forty-five years ago, when people got around with horses and buggies. It was a beautiful drive, too, with more hills than I had realized would be there, and plenty of farms and trees with leaves changing color.

Now, Lucy Maud Montgomery only lived in this house a couple of years. Her mother died when she was still a baby, and her father gave her into the keeping of her mother’s parents in Cavendish. So Maud Montgomery was brought up by her grandparents, very similar to the situation of her heroine from Emily of New Moon.

Even though Maud didn’t live in this house to remember it, the house is packed with L. M. Montgomery memorabilia, including an exact replica of her wedding gown.

I loved the original manuscripts and scrapbooks!

There were also some first editions of her books.

Clippings from articles about her included a picture from Cavendish shore. I now filled in the red-colored cliffs I’d seen the evening before!

The rooms upstairs were furnished for the time period.

This is the bedroom where Lucy Maud Montgomery was born on November 30, 1874.

We lingered over the displays and then did some shopping. I chose some books about L. M. Montgomery and Prince Edward Island that I didn’t already have and couldn’t simply buy on Amazon. They stamped them as purchased at L. M. Montgomery’s birthplace.

Then we prepared to drive on to Silver Bush, the place where Maud Montgomery’s “merry Campbell cousins” lived, the place she got married, and the place she came back and visited for the rest of her life.

Cavendish Shore

November 6th, 2019

This is the story of my September road trip to Prince Edward Island with two of my childhood friends. We drove up through New England on the weekend, and then began our sight-seeing on Monday. We were staying in Cavendish, and drove only a mile down the road to Green Gables Heritage Place. From there, we took the path through the Haunted Wood to get to Montgomery Park and L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish home.

We were back at Green Gables Heritage Place when it closed, and Darlene asked where the nearest grocery store was. We had a kitchen in our cottage, and she had plans for making dinner. So we drove to North Rustico and found a store and bought some fresh ingredients.

After shopping, I thought we should drive back to Cavendish by the shore road, which went into Prince Edward Island National Park. That was a great choice!

Mind you, by now it was definitely raining. And the sun was going down. But we were still thrilled by the red rocks and the beautiful shoreline and the water.

And then we saw this fellow!

He kindly stopped and posed for us!

So after making such a friend, we were thrilled!

L. M. Montgomery has several photos in her journals down by the shore — and it probably would have been this same section. But somehow without them being in color — I didn’t imagine it like this.

I do regret that we never went back to this part of the shore when it wasn’t raining, but you’ll see that we got plenty of time by the water.

L. M. Montgomery almost always mentions the sea in her writings — but I must gloss over a lot of the description. Now that I have been on Prince Edward Island, I will always think of it in conjunction with wonderful views of the sea. I’m sure now her descriptions will call images to mind much more readily.

The road was closed after we got partway into Prince Edward Island National Park, so we couldn’t get back to Cavendish that way and had to backtrack, but we were not disappointed — we didn’t mind looking at the sea.

We went back to our cottage and had some dinner. I uploaded my pictures but realized that my plan of daily blogging was unrealistic. Before I went to sleep, I read from L. M. Montgomery’s journals and her biography. And we were ready for another big day on Tuesday!

L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish Home

October 25th, 2019

I’m still writing about the first day of my road trip to Prince Edward Island with two of my childhood friends. After exploring Green Gables Heritage Place, we walked through the Haunted Wood and explored Montgomery Park while following signs to the site of the MacNeill homestead, where Lucy Maud Montgomery lived with her grandparents, which she described in her journals, and where she did her apprenticeship, learning to be a writer by writing hundreds of short stories and her classics Anne of Green Gables and The Story Girl. Here’s a picture from the doorstep of the bookshop, which we enjoyed and purchased goodies from.

Even though Maud had to leave Prince Edward Island after her grandmother’s death and moved with her minister husband to Ontario, she set all of her books except one back on Prince Edward Island, the home of her heart. The cousin who inherited the property ended up tearing it down, so now visitors can walk around the grounds and imagine what it was like. In the bookshop we saw a model of the home.

The sign below reads, “This was the kitchen section of the house which contained the original post office. It was here that LMM served as the assistant Post Mistress to her grandmother and where Anne of Green Gables was born.”

Then we walked around the grounds.

No matter how much I read Maud’s journals and pictured the countryside described in Anne of Green Gables, I didn’t imagine this view.

I got excited when I saw many apple trees on the property, since in The Story Girl, the King homestead has an orchard where they plant an apple tree at each family member’s birth, and several of her other books mention apple trees.

There were many trees down on the property from the hurricane Dorian that had come through a few weeks before. There were trees down all over the island, and people had obviously been diligently working to clear them. Some squirrels posed on downed trees.

And Ruth posed on a downed tree, too. (We can’t go somewhere with Ruth without her climbing on something. This was true in 7th grade and is still true at 55!)

I liked the L. M. Montgomery quotations posted throughout the property along the path.

They excavated the cellar recently, and here it is:

There was an apple tree on the property more than 100 years old! Though pointing it out made me realize that most of the trees were not here when L. M. Montgomery was. This tree was there, though!

They have reproduced the “Old Lane” she talked about, where she’d first see her home around the bend.

And I told you apple trees were important to L. M. Montgomery!

Okay, this next sign was neat. On the side, it says, “Project Bookmark Canada places stories and poems in the exact Canadian locations where literary scenes are set. A Canadian innovation, it is the only national, site-specific literary exhibit in the world. This Bookmark is the first in Prince Edward Island. It was unveiled June 2018, in conjunction with the L. M. Montgomery Institute’s 13th biennial international conference at the University of Prince Edward Island.”

On the right is Maud’s poem, “The Gable Window,” at the exact location where her gable window would have been. I stood there and read the poem aloud, looking out on the view she would have seen (or something similar, anyway).

And turning slightly, here’s some picturesque detail.

We’d almost finished the loop path, but now walked past a garden.

To get back to Darlene’s car, we went back through the Haunted Wood, taking the other part of a loop.

The woods were so peaceful. I understand Green Gables gets crowded in the summer, so that might not be true then, but we enjoyed it!

On this side of the loop, we passed a stream.

I was excited by every bit of Fall Color. It hadn’t really begun in Virginia yet.

And then we were back at Green Gables! We were too late to shop in the gift shop there, which was probably just as well.

We had one more adventure that first day when we drove along the shore. That will be the next post….

Montgomery Park

October 19th, 2019

At the end of September, I went on a road trip to Prince Edward Island with two childhood friends to celebrate all three of us being 55 years old. This is the tale of that trip.

We took two days to drive to Prince Edward Island. On our first day in Cavendish, we went to Green Gables Heritage Place, and then hiked through the Haunted Wood. The first place we came to when we emerged was Montgomery Park, dedicated to L. M. Montgomery, the founders of Cavendish and the founder of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, who was also from Cavendish. (I suspect the sign is tilted from Hurricane Dorian, which passed through a few weeks before we did.)

It’s a quiet little park. We saw a sign pointing us to the site of L. M. Montgomery’s childhood home, and the way led through the park.

Here’s a diagram of the main sites in Cavendish: Green Gables Heritage Place, the MacNeill Homestead (L. M. Montgomery’s childhood home), Lover’s Lane (which was closed because of trees down from the hurricane), and the Haunted Wood trail. I think this park was probably on part of the grounds of the MacNeill Homestead.

Such a lovely view!

The wording on the plaque in the next picture is:

L. M. MONTGOMERY’S CAVENDISH

Bringing together the real and imaginary worlds of Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874-1942), this landscape is intimately associated with her formative years and prolific career as a writer. To the northeast are the ruins of the author’s home from 1876 to 1911, the Cavendish farmhouse where she lived with her maternal grandparents, Lucy and Alexander Macneill, following her mother’s illness and death. It was here that Montgomery wrote her most famous novel, Anne of Green Gables (1908), and her beloved The Story Girl (1911), as well as numerous other stories and poems. She drew inspiration for much of her writing from these surroundings, including the house to the west, now known as Green Gables, and places such as the Haunted Wood and Lover’s Lane, which are cherished by her fictional character Anne Shirley. This landscape of rolling farm fields, woodlands, and winding paths provided Montgomery with great joy in her early years, and remained dear to her throughout her life. This setting has also held special meaning for generations of her admirers, who continue to visit and reflect upon the life and work of this well-loved, internationally renowned author.

Then I saw the Maud Montgomery statue. She’s pausing in her writing to enjoy a Flash of beauty.

And a bench off to the side has a curious cat sculpture.

I had to pose with my heroine!

Darlene took a turn.

And Ruth chose to pet the cat!

It wasn’t until I was taking pictures of Ruth that I noticed another cat behind the author.

Also in the park was information about the Founders of Cavendish. A map of some of the original settlers shows Clarks, Simpsons and MacNeills. Maud Montgomery was related to both the Simpsons and MacNeills, and the other surnames listed as founders of Cavendish all show up as names of friends in her journals.

The monument pictured below reads:

FOUNDING OF CAVENDISH 1790 BY SCOTTISH SETTLERS

who had arrived on the island of St. John in 1775

on these acres Cavendish was born

Near the sand hills the first home — a log cabin — was built by William Simpson Senior and his wife Janet Winchester

Here with four of their ten children sons William Junior and James and sons-in-law William Clark and John McNeill with their families five homes were established and Cavendish became a community

It was time to go on past the park to the site of L. M. Montgomery’s Cavendish home. We bid farewell to the author.

The next installment of the tale of our trip will cover the site of her Cavendish home.

The Haunted Wood

October 16th, 2019

I’m going to slowly tell the tale of my trip to Prince Edward Island with my childhood friends Darlene and Ruth to celebrate all three of us being 55.

After we explored Green Gables Heritage Place, we took the path through the Haunted Wood.

The story of the Haunted Wood is told in Anne of Green Gables. Anne and Diana thought the woods were boring, so they invented ghosts that inhabited the wood. Their imaginations were so vivid that they scared themselves. One evening, Marilla told Anne to borrow something from Diana’s house, but she didn’t dare go through the Haunted Wood after dark. Marilla would have none of that nonsense, and made her do it anyway rather than go around by the road. Well, Anne did it, but was terrified all the way.

Maud Montgomery confesses in her journals that she and her childhood friends did the same thing, and the Haunted Wood is a real trail.

Now, Green Gables Heritage Place is not the house where L. M. Montgomery lived. It was a place where some cousins lived, but she modeled Anne’s house after this one. And the path through the Haunted Wood from Green Gables leads to the site of Maud Montgomery’s Cavendish home (which was since torn down). So my friends and I took that path.

The island was much more hilly than I had realized. From the top of the hill before we got far into the wood, we looked back on Green Gables.

And here’s the barn on the property:

And see how the shiny Interpretive Centre looks a little out of place?

The trail wasn’t like I’d ever imagined it. For one thing, it was a longer trail than I’d guessed, going deep through the woods.

I was delighted by any bit of Fall Color we found.

Some parts were a bit dark and spooky even without imagining ghouls and even in the middle of the afternoon.

It wasn’t a long walk, but it was delightful. I got to thinking about how in the days before cars, children like Maud would take walks through the woods simply to get to school or to a friend’s house. No wonder it was such a big deal when a boy walked a girl home from prayer meeting!

We did notice many trees down from Hurricane Dorian, which had hit the island three weeks before. The path had been cleared and we saw much evidence of hard work — which made me feel better about Lover’s Lane being closed. They weren’t neglecting the tourist paths, but doing a thorough job — and it had clearly been a lot of work.

We had a lovely walk through the woods together.

After braving the Haunted Wood, we came to Montgomery Park, honoring the Founding Families of Cavendish and L. M. Montgomery. That will be my next installment.

Green Gables Heritage Place

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 café — drinking Raspberry Cordial, of course!

Next — our walk through the Haunted Wood!

Road Trip to Prince Edward Island

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!