Tuesday, September 18, 2018

We Went to Canada and Saw Prince Edward Island!

Here's what we've done on our trip so far:

Here's our first stop at Steamtown National Historic Site.

And then it was on to the destination that I, personally, had been anticipating the most--Prince Edward Island!

I really wanted to take the ferry to the island, but was so nervous that I wouldn't be able to figure out what to do that I couldn't make up my mind. Fortunately, even though Matt wasn't with us in person, he was readily available with advice and emotional support via Facebook Messenger, and he convinced me that I could do it.

Yes, I bumbled quite a bit, including having to get our hotel's check-in clerk print me door-to-door directions because my car's GPS apparently didn't want to go to the ferry dock, but ultimately it was easy enough: drive to the gatehouse, drive into the lane they tell you, get out of your car and stretch your legs when everybody else does, get back into your car when the intercom tells you to, and follow the attendants' instructions and the car in front of you to drive RIGHT ONTO the ferry!

And then leave your car and head up on deck to enjoy the view!

Here's our last view of Nova Scotia:

And then we were on our way!

The weather was beautiful, probably the warmest we'd been so far, and it was a lovely day to cross the Northumberland Strait.

We saw a dolphin and several seals:

Of course, some of us had better things to do than simply sightsee. At least she's reading Anne of Ingleside...

Once you saw the above photo, you knew that this one was coming next, right?

They did have shipboard activities on the ferry, but I couldn't bear to stray from the open deck, so that's where we stayed for the entire crossing:

We drove from the ferry to Cavendish, checked in, swam, and got groceries from the touristy grocery store in town, me kicking myself the whole time that I hadn't stopped at the Atlantic Superstore in any town we'd passed on the way, darn it. But the good news is that they had swim goggles and Whippets, so Syd was basically living her best life after that.

There are lots of French-language TV channels where we were, and my rule had been that if we were going to watch TV, we had to watch it in French. Exceptions turned out to be a super-weird show called Love Yurts that Will happened upon and then we could not stop watching--like, every yurt is more hipster than the last! The last episode that we caught had the couple building a yurt with a tiny skate park inside!--and all the Sharknado movies, which, maybe there was a marathon? All I know is every time someone turned on the TV Sharknado was on. I could only tempt them away if there was also an episode of Funniest Home Videos in French playing on a different station.

ANYWAY... I'm going to show you Green Gables in another post, so that I can lovingly detail every step that I took into that magical world, so here's what else we did on Prince Edward Island!

Mainly, the beaches of Prince Edward Island National Park!

As soon as we got off the ferry, we noticed that the light in Prince Edward Island was strange. The sand is red, and it lends a reddish cast to everything, a little like a sunset, but not really because the sun is high and the lighting direct. It wasn't unsettling, but it also wasn't something that I got used to.

The kids, of course, settled right in:

I almost didn't pack beach toys. By the first of August, the stores in our town had tossed their summer gear and were busy selling sweaters and long pants, grr. It took three stores, at least, before I found swim trunks for Syd, I had to buy beach towels from Amazon, and I didn't think I was going to find beach toys at all until finally Matt had the inspiration that we should try the Dollar Store.

The buck each that I paid for these beach toys were more than worth it, though, even for a 12- and 14-year-old:

We drove the coast, visiting several beaches. Will mostly did this--

--but Syd helped me explore!


Will took a little more interest when we went tide pooling:

Actually, no. No, she didn't. That's a book in her hands:

The kids had seen a couple of lobsters while they were playing on the beaches, but here we had a much better view of happy lobsters scuttling around on their lobster business:

Ah, she put the book down for a minute!

And when we finally got back to the hotel on this day, exhausted from a full day of Green Gables and beach after beach after beach, you know what I did?

Take Syd to the motel pool, because she was dying to swim some more...

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