Sunday, August 19, 2012

Prince Edward Island

My trip reading dilemma 
I'm really good at taking photos while we're on trips and composing marvellous blog posts about them in my head while I travel. But as for actually getting said blog posts written and posted???? not so good at. At all!   
I still have trips from last summer I haven't done yet. 

But this was a trip I don't want to forget!!!
All my life I have dreamed of going to Prince Edward Island. To the point that I was afraid nothing in actuality could possibly live up to what I'd imagined in my head. 

Ben travels for work all over Canada, and the company will pay for me to accompany him once a summer. PEI was top of the list. In fact, we'd booked this trip the last two summers and cancelled it (too pregnant the first summer, still nursing the next). I think I was scared-- there was just no way it could possibly live up to all I wanted and dreamed for it to be.

Guess what? It exceeded my every expectation!

I just kept turning to Ben and saying (usually with simultaneous ear to ear smiles and little tears oozing out the corners of my eyes, "It's perfect! I can't believe it's so perfect!"

Luckily for my poor husband, who doesn't share his wife's intense sentimentality, he had a lot of work to do, and got to sit in the air-conditioned rental car working from his phone, while his wife fulfilled her childhood dream.

 "You're crying again?"  he'd ask with a grin and I'd laugh and sniff, and tell him again I'm so glad we came. 

It was all so perfect from the darling little ice cream parlour  in Moncton, I feel totally in love with (that we said we'd come back to after we went down town for lunch, that we thought we's lost, but just as we were gonna give up and head back onto the high way, there is was in all it's yellow sided glory!) We may have got ice cream there 3 times, by the end of our travels:)

To our perfect little bed and breakfast. I wanted it to be old fashioned but not coated in floral (harder to find then you might think, B&B's sure do love their florals!)

I instagrammed as we went and took crooked little photos of Anne quotes from my Anne of Green Gables journal (which of course, one, I have, and two I brought!) 
 I thought it was a fun  "touch" of all the Anne that narrated my sightseeing.

I was so excited crossing over the 13 Km confederation bridge, watching the little blue dot that represents "YOU ARE HERE" on the GPS slowly moving closer and closer to words "Prince Edward Island"

The first night we just wandered off to the nearest shore. 
And I happily took pictures of this cheerful-pastel-palleted bay. 

 A long, red eye flight, with a long drive from St John's where we flew in, and I was ready for a nice bath, and a little camomile tea-assisted planning for the next day...

My day of all things Anne!  I was there as they unlocked the front door at the birthplace of my beloved Lucy Maud Montgomery. Not wanting to waste a moment!

Here's the thing. I've alway loved Anne. The books, the Kevin Sullivan's TV series, made movie (both which I regularly quote from). I read Anne and Emily, Kilmeny and Pat. 

But I always thought about Lucy Maud. 

And on this trip, I admit, I somewhat reverneced her. I felt such a deep sense of gratitude, for this authoress that had so influenced me. Who had shaped me as a girl, as I tried to mature and grow, right along side my favorite red-haired orphan. 

Her values-- of friendship, of a deep love for beauty and nature, of optimism and of thankfulness  and that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it--worked they're way into my own blooming ideas, entwining themselves into me, in such a subtle way that it's hard to separate. My youthful heart thought it was merely being understood, uncovered, described...and maybe it was. 

As I walked through her life, starting from the room she was born to the place she is buried, I just felt so thankful. It just kept welling up in me. Sudden and fierce.

Especially as I learned more about her. The hardships she faced, the losses and disappointments, that could have easily embittered a less vibrant soul. 

I had read written- for-youth bios, but something about walking around in her very surroundings-- so unchanged in that little Island that seems so unchangeable--made her more real to me. 

 "For a woman who had given the world so much joy [life] was mostly an unhappy one."[7]

 And she did. She brought me so much joy
Because she wrote. 

Because she wrote, I'm discontent with mere freinds, and instead search for bossom buddies, and feel a thrill when I feel I've found a kindred spirit.

Because she wrote I always want things to have some scope for imagination.

Because she wrote I wanted to write. I wanted to use big words and describe things as vividly, from moonlight landscapes to first loves.

Because she wrote, I wanted to find little nooks and hollows (and I did!) 
I befriended trees and conjured up elaborate personalities for them, I wanted to love my own fields and mountains as much as she obviously adored her red-earthed Island, with it's lakes of shining waters, and Lover's Lanes.

Because she wrote I wanted to be a school teacher, a good one, like Miss Stacey. 

Because she wrote I love graveyards and brooks, I love bridges and tree covered paths.

Because she wrote, I wanted to be passionate and kind, I wanted to be loyal and determined. Heck, I wanted to have red hair!

Because she wrote I believed in the different that can be made by the characters in our lives, and though I look for Marillas , she also taught me to give Rachel Lyndes a second chance. We need our own Dianna's but we can also learn to love the Ruby Gillis' and even survive the Josie Pye's. And because she wrote,  I may always be just a little in love with Gilbert Blythe.

Yes because she wrote, she helped me see beauty in the world and in myself.  

She showed me the splendour of solitude and imagination and help me trust in friendship and believe in love.

I'm so glad she wrote. 

Being on her island that she adored so much, made me feel so close to her spirit. 
Her life was not easy. Her mother died when she was only 21 months old. She was raised by her grandparents in Cavendish. She spent a great deal of time alone, and like Anne, developed her imagination to cope with her loneliness. 

It was HER that was special.

I loved this story about her mother knowing how special she was:

I loved her Aunts' house that she called "the wonder castle of her childhood". 
Where she was married. Where she was happy.

Green Gables itself, was a house she would have seen across the valley. The only thing special about it, was that a special little girl looked and imagined up a whole world.

 The best part about Green Gables, was walking lovers lane. 

And visiting the remains of her grandparents homestead where she actually lived. 

Her Mother's grave.
Her short cut to church.

The school were she taught at, which I'd given up seeing, but as were driving to leave, I randomly saw a sign and made a Ben-startling u-turn to go see.
They all truly felt like sacred places to me.
 Hallowed in part by my own thankfulness. 
Thank you Lucy Maud. 

And then, it was time for some fun. 
To go immerse myself in her imagined world of...

Sack races with Miss Stacey. 

Josie Pye was even nice!

Yup, I played dress up.

How could I not?

Sipped some Raspberry Cordial on the Lynde's porch.

How much I want to have a red headed daughter so we could move to PEI for the summer and this coudl be her summer job! 

They all stayed in charcter and there were scenes from the book acted out through out the day (should have scheduled more time!) I only got to see the talent show and the grand finale....

Pig races!

Seriously, how sweet is it how all the little girls would run after here and call her Anne, and hold her hand? I loved it!


And then there was Cavendish.

Ya' know the opening of the Anne of Green Gables series where Anne and Dianna skip down the sand dunes in their long dresses? 

I purposefully wore a skirt, just so I could do that. Another dream come true. 

Coulda used a bossom buddy, oh well, a reason to go back.

Ben was busy pacing on the beach on yet another intense business call, so I had to 
get creative with my self-portrait taking. 

Loved all the splashes of red. 

We had went back into town to eat and call my mom and see how she and the kids were doing. I really, really, really wanted to watch the sunset over the ocean. But by the time we finished dinner it was raining. Hard. 
I knew Ben was ready to call it a day. But I was feeling adventurous after a whole day of being saturating with Anne. Plus, I realized I'd left my sweater at the beach. 

Ben, surfaced a moment from a work call to ask where we were going, and looked really confused when I told him back to the beach. 

"But it's raining." Ever the voice of reason.

"I know. I left my sweater." Pretending to be just as reasonable.

Thank goodness for that silly sweater. Otherwise we would have missed this:

Doesn't it just look like paradise?
On the entire shore, there was one other couple, so we took turns taking pictures with them

The setting sun set the red earth ablaze. 
Like God was playing with photoshop and upping the saturation.
I just kept snapping pictures, every degree the sun sank producing 
varying degrees of goldenness,
and the more the sky shone, the more it seemed to light up my heart.

Until the gold gave way to swirls of orange and pink, the kind that make you think 
you might just be watching the prettiest sunset you'll ever see.

I just kept snapping and watching. 
Until the colours softened and the patient lavenders and blue seeped back into it's place, 
along with the chill you hadn't noticed in the all the brillance.
No one but God, Himself can blend pink and blue like that.

He must have made sunsets knowing they'd induce gratitude in His children.  How can someone watch a sunset and not feel glad to be alive?

I certainly was. 

Anne, of course, said it best:

One of my favorite days. Ever. 


Rebecca said...Best Blogger Tips

Next time, can I come too? Looks fantastic!

Marie said...Best Blogger Tips

Oh Wow! Did you know that PEI is my number one desired Canadian destination? When I was pregnant the first time, we decided not to find out the sex of the baby. Then Dirk and I set up a bet. He thought it would be a boy, and if he was right he got to buy a digital camera. If it was a girl, he'd take me to PEI the next summer. Well, as you know, we had Carter. (Not that I'd trade him for a trip)

I don't know if I'll ever get there, but I would love it. And for all the same reasons.

Oh - and Gilbert Blythe was my first heart throb. Love him. Sigh.

Anonymous said...Best Blogger Tips

thanks for share.