Day 13-16 Prince Edward Island   Leave a comment

So on to Prince Edward Island, crossing the Confederation Bridge

The bridge joins the eastern Canadian provinces of Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, making travel throughout the Maritimes easy and convenient. It is 8 miles long and is the longest bridge in the world crossing ice-covered water. You only pay a bridge toll when you leave the Island and it will cost us about $68.

I love PEI. It’s such a quaint little island.

The island itself has beautiful landscapes and beautiful flowers, lupines, that grow wild.

We started off our tour day with a lobster demonstration. NO, not eating, but catching. We missed the lobster boats; no one wanted to get up that early, so our guide showed us how the lobster traps work. Once the lobster enters the trap, lured in by bait, they move on to the “parlor” where they cannot exit. The smaller lobsters can easily find their way out. The record for catching the most lobsters in one of these pots is 32!

While visiting North Rustico this year, our friend, Emart Court came out to greet us. He will be 92 years old this year and the only Protestant family in this area. Everyone else is Roman Catholic. What a character he is. What a treat! He is such a ham for photos that he just “happened” to have his hat and whipped it on. He loves getting his picture taken and was more than willing to pose for everyone. Cathy decided to show Emart that he wasn’t the only one with a cane.

When we visited in 2010, we first met Emart. He was a little more agile then and was able to walk across the street where he really “hammed it up” for us.

He was born in 1923 and lived in his house next to the lighthouse all his adult life. He mentioned the house he grew up in was moved by his grandfather from across the street, where the gift shop is now located, over next to the lighthouse. He also talked about people from all over the world coming to take his picture. One lady from Ohio won a blue ribbon for his photo and other couple from Germany showed him an advertisement in their newspaper of his house. He is world famous! Next time you look at a Land’s End catalog, look for his photo.

A whale’s jawbone washed up on shore about 80 years ago, so Emart’s family uses it as the border for their garden. Can you tell it’s a jawbone?

We then headed out to PEI National Park. Their beaches are different than what we’re used to. They called the sand at this beach “white sand” while on the other side of the island, it is red. But, looked like red sand to me…. I can only assume the sand on the other side, must be “really” red.

The lobster boats were out and we can only imagine they were catching our dinner.

Next, it was off to visit the house that inspired the book “Anne of Green Gables.” The author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, was born in New London, Prince Edward Island, in 1874 and was raised by her maternal grandparents (Alexander and Lucy Macneill) in Cavendish 1976-1911. It was here that she wrote Anne of Green Gables, Anne of Avonlea, Kilmeny of the Orchard and The Story Girl. Anne’s room is just as the book describes.

While walking through the barn, Bill found himself “under” some very interesting equipment….


Then he and Steve started horsing around,

and I think Linda was jealous of my beautiful red braids.

Then we found our guests horsing around. What did Bill start?

Cathy went thru Anne of Green Gable’s house and turned into Anne!

But the “REAL” Anne was amongst us.

It was disappointing to find out that Anne of Green Gables is fictional. I always thought she was a real person. Montgomery found inspiration in glossy magazines and used a photograph of New York model Evelyn Nesbit as the origin for Anne’s face. It was amazing to find all the things that inspired her to write her book. Her adopted cousin, Ellen Macneill, a Nova Scotia orphan girl, provided the final spark for the inspired story of the redheaded orphan.

In 1831, the farm Montgomery named “Green Gables” was acquired by David Macneill Sr. When he died in 1891 the farm passed on to his son, David, Jr., who lived there with his sister Margaret. In the early 1890s their niece Ada Macneill and her daughter Myrtle came to live with them. In 1906, Myrtle and her husband Ernest Webb took over the farm.

While driving around we found L.M. Montgomery’s birthplace.

As well as her resting place, near the resting place of her mother and grandparents.

It is very sad to learn she suffered from depression and ultimately took her life.

Lunch was at the PEI Preserve Company, where we met the owner, Bruce.

What a character he is! He’s Scottish and always had a dream of owning his own restaurant. After practically losing his shirt, he came up with a preserve with alcohol incorporated into the recipe, TOTALLY BY ACCIDENT. It seemed while working for someone else, who liked to drink, Bruce decided to help his boss drink the Grand Marnier (he was saving him from getting toooooo intoxicated). When Bruce could drink no more, he had no alternative but to dump the rest of the bottle into the vat of preserves. VOILA! Strawberry preserves with Grand Marnier. Once he had a product, he needed a label. The girl he was dating was a good artist, so she designed him a label. He since married her, they bought and old butter factory, started a restaurant, and that is how the PEI Preserve Company started.

In the 19 years he’s been in business, he’s become famous for his preserves all over the world, even selling to Nordstrom’s and Neiman Marcus! My favorite is the Raspberry with champagne jam and Peach Salsa. Bill’s favorite is the strawberry with Grand Marnier jam.

We toured the College of Piping in Summerside to end our tour day. What a treat! We were given a mini performance of a Highland bagpiper, Scottish drummer, and an island step dancer. The College has developed a world-class reputation and attracts students from New Zealand, Australia, Kuwait, japan, and even Scotland. The children of PEI can attend this fine institution for free.

The following day we were off to Avonlea Village, where we were entertained with a music shindig and live ceilidh at the Heritage Church. Later when we visited the Cows Ice Cream Factory, we saw the fiddler churning the ice cream on a slide show!

The church is the original Presbyterian Church from Long River, built in 1872. L.M. Montgomery attended this church with her Montgomery and Campbell cousins. The church was last used in 1967 and was eventually restored and brought to Avonlea.

After the performance we were free to enjoy the unique shops in Avonlea or explore the island until we met for a lobster dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf in Rustico.

Couldn’t resist snapping a photo of Duke with his “man” bag.

Dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf was just as good as I remembered it! They have the longest salad/dessert bar in PEI.

While waiting for our soup and lobster, I began my dinner with dessert! I could not decide which dessert to eat, so I had several.

Not many of us got lobster. I think we “lobstered” them out. But some of us did!

Mussels seemed to be this group’s “thing.”

After our dinner, the manager invited us to tour the kitchen. They serve about 600 lobsters per night! I’d say this guy enjoys his job.

Check out the 5 pounder that was in the fridge.

On the wall I found a plaque with the different ages of lobsters.

From 2 years, to 4 years, 6 years, 8 years and 10/12 years old. No wonder they’re so expensive. They take so long to grow!

This was the granddaddy of them all,

40 years old and 25 pounds!

A beautiful sunset to end the day on Prince Edward Island.

Our last day on PEI was spent at Cows Ice Cream Factory Tour

And it just happened to be the 4th of July!

You just never know what you are going to see when you’re touring.

Our guide showed us around Charlottetown in our first class motorcoach. What unique houses they have.

Above left was a guy “walking a tightrope” in Victoria Park. Above right is the original train station. The railway system ceased to exist in 1989.

We were unable to tour Parliament, but Bill and I toured it several years ago, so I’m including those photos.

Since we could not tour Parliament this year, we had a costumed guided Queen’s Square Walking Tour by Shaun and Olivia, who was very theatrical.

Located in the Confederation of the Arts Building is the original map of the Province before it became known as PEI. It was the Plan of the Islands of St. John.

We were able to tour St. Dunstan’s Basilica, which opened in 1919.

They were just finishing up a wedding when we arrived.

We all scattered for dinner on our own and met for the musical play “Anne of Green Gables.” What a great show to end our perfect stay!


Posted July 5, 2015 by carolnbill in Travel

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