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PEI Trip Report

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I recently have returned from my first visit to Prince Edward Island (June 12-19). My husband, two best friends, and I drove up from western Massachusetts and spent a week at a friend's house. The drive took about 12 hours, with the usual amount of stops for food & gasoline. Beware that there is a LONG stretch of highway on Rte 9 (I think) that has no public restrooms, even at the gas stations and restaurants. I'd never heard of such a thing!

Anyway, we arrived at the home on Malpeque Bay just in time to catch a spectacular sunset before unpacking and tumbling into bed. (Sunset is late--around 9:30pm) The island itself is beautiful with quite a variety of landscapes--rolling hills, lush green farmland neatly separated by red clay roads, and of course the gorgeous coastline.

Since my two friends and I are big Anne fans, we did a couple of the touristy things in Cavendish--we toured the home where LM Montgomery stayed as a child. It's now a museum that is fairly interesting to fans, but I can't imagine anyone else would want to take the time to see it. We also ate a snack at the Lake of Shining Waters. We had considered going to the Green Gables home, but there were people on strike there for higher wages, and we didn't want to cross a picket line.

We bought a couple of day passes to PEI national park and spent some time walking along the beach and admiring the beauty. The water and air were still a little too cold for swimming, but we rolled our pantslegs up and went in a bit. Our most memorable excursion was going to the national park where the protected dunes are. We took the walking trail through field & forest that led to a floating boardwalk over a lake and eventually up and over the protected dunes. It was an easy walk taking about 2 hours there & back, stopping to play on the beach and take some photos.

Some memorable meals include a lunch at Dalvay by the Sea. We had wanted high tea but that hadn't started serving it for the season. Everything we had was excellent, especially the chilled fruit soup, but the dessert was especially good. They called it Sticky Date Pudding, but the name sounds more suggestive than anything else. :) It had rich toffee, caramel, and creme fraiches sauces, served warm. I really cannot do it justice.

We also enjoyed a dinner and a lunch at the Dunes, a cafe/art gallery combination. The food was good, the atmosphere a blend of funky elegance. I'd suggest arriving early to walk through the sculpture gardens and boutique there. The pottery is very nice and the most reasonably priced type of object for sale. (Also had jewelry, glassware, and turned-wood pieces, all artisan made.)

Other days we either spent lounging outdoors at the house, walking down to a local beach, or exploring the island by car. We hunted down small bookstores in particular. We spent some time in Charlottetown having lunch, which was fine but not worth going out of our way for. We also had two less than memorable dinners in Summerside. The rest of the time we took advantage of the excellent kitchen & outdoor grilling facilities at the house.

PEI was a delightful place to vacation, and there were many parts of the island we never got the chance to see. If we return we'd like to go later in the summer (despite the crowds at that time) to take more advantage of being on the water. Some days it was just too cold to enjoy being outdoors, so we holed up inside playing games and baking, or driving around with the heater on in the car.

Let me know if you have any questions I can answer!

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