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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Prince Edward Island

Days 49 & 50 of trip, Monday and Tuesday, July 28 and 29, 2014

Before leaving New Brunswick, we needed to make one last stop Monday morning in the little town of Alma. Our friends Carolyn and Cliff had told us that Collins Seafood sold vacuum packed lobster already taken out of the shell. That sounded like paradise to us! So we stopped by and visited Kelsey again.
She showed us a live yellow lobster that had been caught. It's due to a rare genetic mutation. The odds of finding one, according to Wikipedia, are one in thirty million! You can't tell it from the photo here, but he was MAD about being picked up. He flipped his tail back and fort trying to break Kelsey's hold on him, but she hung on!

Driving from Bay of Fundy National Park up through Moncton and back down to the Confederation
Bridge to PEI was a scenic journey. It looked much like the photos I've shown you before, so I didn't take a lot of pictures. 

I took a few photos of the 8-mile long Confederation Bridge we traveled from New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island, but from ground level you couldn't tell now spectacular it is. So below, I pirated a photo from a calendar. Much better view! This bridge takes 10-14 minutes to,cross. pretty impressive!

After checking into the campground we set up,camp. This time it was a real adventure. We had been getting pretty smug about how efficient we were at setting up and breaking camp, and we'd given ourselves lots of compliments on our skills. Well, this time we sure didn't make it look easy! Between the hordes of mosquitos (which are just going to be a fact of life, I guess, on an island) and the soggy ground that made it hard to get anything level, the task that usually takes us 20-25 minutes took closer to an hour and a half. We were hoping the nearby campers weren't watching us from the windows of their motor homes! Pride goeth before a fall.

That evening we met some neighboring campers, Millie and Wayne, who were having an impromptu music session in their motor home. So we squeezed in among them, and Dewey and Diane, and Mike and Anne, and played and sang songs till quiet hour at 11pm. What a great time! Mike is a former professional Nashville musician (for 20-plus years), so he knows every old country-western song out there, and he made the rest of us sound pretty good!

Tuesday we decided to take in a little of the Anne of Green Gables historical information. Now for you guys who probably don't know (and a few women who might not be familiar), Anne of Green Gables is the first in a series of classic children's books that have been extremely popular (especially among girls) for generations. Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author, lived and wrote the books here on Prince Edward Island. Though the books are fiction, the places in the novels were real, so there's a huge amount of interest in seeing the places where Anne had her adventures. So popular, in fact, that there's even a National Park where L.M. Montgomery  lived, and of the house that she used as the setting for Green Gables, the house where Anne "lived." Truly, a person could spend several days to a week here, taking in all the "Anne" attractions, and many do. We decided to limit ourselves to the National Park and to skip the museums, plays, and theme parks. They seem geared more toward families,with children. Maybe someday I can come back with a few granddaughters and experience that.



But it was lovely and peaceful, strolling around the grounds, through the woods, and seeing all the places that L.M. Montgomery wrote about in her books (many of which, I forgot to mention, have been made into quality movies. Our girls really enjoyed both the books and movies...many times!). Green Gables has been restored and furnished with period pieces, and many things which were mentioned in the books. It looks MUCH nicer today than it would have when it was actually a working farm owned by L.M. Montgomery's relatives.




After we explored Green Gables, inside and out, down the lane and in the barn, we headed for the part of th coast that's also part of the National Park. This is the Gulf of St. Lawrence,  and it's absolutely breathtaking! (Both in the beauty and the water temperature!)





Everything we've heard about the beauty of the island is true so far. Wherever we drive, there are stunning views, charming villages, scenic rolling farmlands....simply beauty everywhere!

My favorite land views so far are the patchwork farms alternating hay and potato crops.


Last night we had another jam session. We put up a sign at the campground office to invite others to come. We ended up with 2 more guitars (played by Ivor and his wife, Brenda), another mandolin (played by Vivian from Bend, Oregon), and a fiddle played by Cecil from Nova Scotia. Also a singer from Wales. So we had a wonderful time. Naturally, we outgrew the motor home, so the campground let us use a room where they'd hold concerts on the weekends. 

Too bad we won't be here this weekend. Some champion fiddlers from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, will be performing. But we've already made our reservations and we'll be AT Cape Breton! Hope we'll be able to hear some of their famous fiddlers there.

After the jam we visited new friends from Bend, Oregon, Vivian and Dennis, in their motor home. We talked till LATE in the night, finding so much in common. 

This was a day of Round-Number Landmarks for us. Our 50th day of the trip, the odometer turned over to 4,000 miles, and the 2,000th reader logged onto this blog. I see I've picked up readers from Germany, Venezuela, Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine, as well as Canada and the U.S. Welcome, all of you...and thank you for reading. That keeps me motivated to write!

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