Thursday, April 11, 2013

P.E.I.


"I was Prince Edward Island born and Prince Edward Island bred and when I die I'll be Prince Edward Island dead..."
Amazing how just a few lines of a silly old song can bring back such memories. Have I ever told you about Prince Edward Island? 
No?

Well, let me tell you. My maternal grandfather was born and raised on this beautiful little island, nestled above New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He became an American citizen after he met and married my sweet Bostonian grandmother and has lived mostly in the States since then.  After their children grew up and moved away, my grandparents purchased a small plot of land in his childhood province and built a cottage just a mile from the sea in Point Prim.  They spent nearly every summer for almost twenty years in this cottage.  Though we usually lived quite far away, my family would take the occasional trip up there and spend a couple weeks with them.  One of my earliest memories is standing on the deck of some distant relative’s fishing boat, watching the men toss lobster crates overboard and then heft them up again later, full of dripping seaweed and squirming crustaceans. 

It was the beginning of my deep abiding love for the ocean and also the beginning of my complicated relationship with seafood.
But I digress.


The cottage in its summer state: cars in the yard, wet towels draped on the railing, and windows open to let in the salty breeze.  From the upper balcony you could see beyond the pines to a sliver of ocean. 



The field in front of the cottage. If you follow the dirt road, it takes you straight to the shore. Once when I was 12, my sister and I spent the night in a tent out there with a couple of cousins.  Side note: P.E.I. is not known for its tropical temperatures. It was freezing and I spent the whole night terrified that a fox would break in and chew my leg off. Needless to say, every night after that was spent in the safety and warmth of the upstairs bedroom.
The distinctive red sand of the PEI beaches:


On one of our earliest trips (in my memory), there was a bonfire one evening on the beach with all of our relatives (aka half the island):

 Someone tried to organize a pyramid of cousins. I was clearly too invested in my plastic cup of snacks to be interested. This still holds true today.

 My sister Eva catching some zz's on board the fishing trawler: 
 Sometimes we would let our dinner run around on the kitchen floor before throwing it in the pot.  I am obviously not on board with this but trying to fake it for the picture.

 Building castles by the shore. Eva was having a little bit of a meltdown, not sure why...

Other memories include a trip to Elephant Rock, picnics at the base of the round brick lighthouse, walking along East Point and watching the three tides crash into each other, visiting the Anne of Green Gables house, and many, many afternoons poking dead purple jellies that washed up on shore with a stick. Other fun activities included riding the ferry, trips to Charlottetown, strawberry picking, and visiting the home of a lovely couple of Kiwis who handmake violins.

I wish I had more current information of where to eat, stay, and visit but it's been over 10 years since my last trip.  The last year I was there was also the year my mother was expecting Spencer (!!) and my grandparents have since sold their cottage. I still have family on the island, though, so it's definitely at the top of my vacation list.  This walk down memory lane has definitely made me eager to get back.

What about you, any special vacation spots from when you were a kid? Tell me about them!

9 comments:

  1. Awwww....I miss PEI too...thanks for the post. Helped me feel warmth and sunshine in our presently cold/damp/snowy/depressing April WINTER.

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  2. I would still love a print of that first picture. :D Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Bradly got dragged down it as well. Let's go back!

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    1. thanks for the reminder! I will get on that :)

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  3. Wow...nice post, brings back a lot of good memories in Point Prim !! Still can't believe i had those glasses !! What was i thinking lol

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  4. Oh PEI...how I miss the summers spent up there!! Such good memories! Thanks for that trip down memory lane. :)

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    1. thanks Hannah, great memories for sure!

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  5. From someone who is PEI born and PEI bred, and who knows many of your rellies... I LOVE this post. It is sweet to hear from descendants of Islanders how this red soil has got into their blood... it sticks like the clay!

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    1. sure does, thanks for your kind comment :)

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