Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Anne of Green Gables

Wow, ok!

Where did September go?

Well, I’m proud and excited to announce that Max and I (and two tenants, with more on the way!) Are all moved in to our new house! We’ve scrubbed and hustled and spent a small fortune at IKEA, and are now cozily nestled into a home of our very own. With all the furniture moving, lawyers, agents and general madness now behind us, it’s great to have the time to take a deep breath and appreciate having our own time and space...
In between midterms and work, of course! (We’ve had 2 midterms so far this week!)
While I would recommend buying/moving into/ trying to find renters for/ & buying furniture and general household stuff for a new home while simultaneously being homeless in a city you’ve never been to before AND setting up everything at your new school AND job searching to the faint of heart, now that the majority of it is over or well underway it was a well worth it experience which led to us meeting some awesome people, and was actually kind of fun.

Bonus: Our first mail in our new place!

In retrospect.
 Whew! Well, now you know where our September went, anyways. And I must say, the little things- like using your own kettle again! Are really adding up to be amazing, and we’re appreciating it all the more since we’ve had to live in a tent to get where we are now! (Also, how cool is it to live in a country where you can literally camp in the capital city? IN the city! Only in Canada!)

So it’s time to play a little catch up with everything. We’re really looking forward to getting the DD project back on track, so I hope you’re looking forward to reading all about it!

Back in the middle of August (eons and ages ago!) we had the opportunity to go on a mini adventure which, while not technically Disney related, I think should qualify as a bonus round. In addition to driving from Halifax to Ottawa, Max and I decided to side trip to PEI- Canada’s smallest province, a place which neither of us had been to, and also world renowned as the beautiful red sandy beached home of Anne of Green Gables.  

 PEI was everything I hoped it would be. Immediately likeable, fun to drive, beautiful around every corner you took. The red sand was soft, warm, and fabulous. The ocean was surprisingly warm and the sun shone—the only thing we could have asked for was more time!
We took the ferry from Nova Scotia to PEI, and drove till sunset, at which point we stopped to find a camping spot. We managed to find a little home run operation, at which we were the only tenters; so we set up for the night and even took a secret midnight dip in the lake!
We had a slow morning waiting for the tent to dry, during which we re-explored the lake and were gratified to find it was sprinkled with red sand. After a fruit & OJ breakfast, we were on the road!

We followed the signs for the Points East Coastal drive, and took the road to Brudenell River Provincial Park. I have to say, driving past some of the loveliest farms I’ve ever seen and looking past the fields out onto the ocean had a pretty magical air to it!

Once we reached Brudenell River, we pulled over to explore the beach. This was our first real stop in PEI, and we weren’t disappointed. It was early enough that we had the beach mostly to ourselves; the ocean was playful, the sunshine was friendly, and the view was spiced up with the last lighthouse we got to see on our East coast summer adventure.

After soaking in what we could of the summery day, we hopped back in our old faithful car and trundled along the Easter road until we hit the highway towards Charlottetown.
After a quick touristy drive about Charlottetown, we headed out onto the Central Coastal drive—PEI has its prettiest highways explicitly marked, for the ease of highway tourists like us—which we followed for the rest of our day in PEI.
When we were getting close to Cavendish, my Green Gables enthusiasm started spilling over, at which point Max had to admit he’d never even heard of this “Anne of Green Gables” character. Well, obviously that was something I couldn’t abide by; so we pulled over at the next available opportunity...
A "jem" of a bookstore, heheh!
After this quick rest stop, we wooshed right into Prince Edward Island national park, where we had our second beach walk of the day. We ooh’d and ahh’d at the stunning red cliffs; drooled over the fabulous beach at Cavendish; and even managed to find a secluded little cove beach which we had all to ourselves!

After play time—this was, after all, the last time we’d see the ocean until who knows when! We headed forth to our main destination. We pulled into Cavendish, followed the signs, and descended right into the madness of Annepalooza.

The Green Gables Anne lived at was a secluded haven in the world; but the modern day surroundings are anything but serene. Anne is a profitable business, and the proliferation of touristy amusement parks, mini golf, old time photos and even a tourist mart pay homage to the tourist money brought in by one of the world’s favourite red heads. Still, this was nothing we hadn’t seen at Mt. Rushmore or Niagara Falls; even Lake Louise doesn’t escape busloads of tourists bursting with Asian languages. It’s only as cheesy as you make it. With that in mind, we drove through the tumble, looking for the more modest amusements of Green Gables itself.

Apparently that was our mistake. Although I’m not sure how we missed it—even among the masses of signage, the Avonlea sign is not small—we managed to drive right past the Avonlea village, a tourist trap built to ensnare the more rustic minded. Avonlea, we decided, was something that we did indeed need to see, having driven all this way; so we coughed up the cash and headed inside the mini village.

There are some things worth seeing in Avonlea, especially with kids. The candy shop does a decent job and the general store was on the fun side of quaint.  The schoolhouse was one that Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the series, used to teach in and the walls are decorated with photos of her life. That alone was worth seeing, to me. The prices were completely decent considering the surroundings, and wandering around the village were some very recognizable characters!

 All together now: The general store; Myself & 2 lovely ladies known as Anne and Diana; Max & the schoolhouse sandcastle; The schoolhouse; tiger lillies in the Green Gables garden and the town parade.

After our meet and greet, a short play, a peek at the village parade and a quick trip through the petting zoo we were back on the road.

Our last stop was here: The Lucy Maud Montgomery house. While the setting has changed quite a bit since her days, it was still a view worth noting.
Driving through PEI was probably the nicest drive I’ve done, and I’m speaking as someone who recently drove from BC to Halifax. Our visit there was entirely too short, and someday we hope to go back, perhaps to bike the Confederation trail. But the excitement of meeting Anne was very akin to meeting the Disney Princesses—and for a Canadian like me, that makes a proud moment indeed.

So, Max and I are back in the blogging ball game. How were your Augusts (and Septembers!)? Have you read Anne of Green Gables?
Much love,
Until next week, (we swear!)

Sarah & Max

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