So then, two months later, I went back up to PEI
- this time for three weeks! In April, the winter had eased up, although snow had just dumped down over Easter weekend. The group of local kids on my flight from Montreal mentioned it, and I later found out it was a huge whiteout snowstorm that took the town from no-snow to piles-everywhere overnight. There was a big, cheering crowd awaiting our flight, and it turned out these kids had just won 2nd place in the national juniors Curling
Since I was going to be living in Canada for so long, I decided to live like a native. So, I ate great seafood
and drank Maritimes beer
. By the way, I mentioned previously that PEI is known for their Island Blue Mussels - true enough. But apparently, their biggest agricultural product is potatoes, and several signs around refer to "Spud Island
"...[Picture is portal to a collection of Kris-pix!]
Mostly I worked. I'll spare the details. But I did get to the Racino
- no horse races that day, and I played slots as long as I could stand it with no poker seats opening. Apparently, the Blackjack was coming around this summer. Another vice law change in the works: beer (and "pop") will soon be available in aluminium cans
(nothing but glass bottles island-wide now). Also Sunday shopping has been approved, and many consider it the province's way of opening up retail alcohol sales on Sunday. Liquor stores are the only place to buy carry-away, and they are 100% government! I also visited the comic book store and bought this book
Okay! The only real ray of sunshine during my trip (both figuratively and literally) was the long weekend Kristine came up. We had a great time, we rented a car, drove around a bunch, and you might not believe me if not for her pictures (click above example for more). Skies were gray and cloudy up until the day she arrived, but for the whole time she was there, it was really, really beautiful and sunny.
On Saturday, we drove up to Green Gables
in Cavendish. Unfortunately, this iconic location wasn't open on Saturday. So we went to the nearby north shore, where we saw crazy cliffsides, next to grassy dunelands, next to a beautiful beach. The cliffs area was especially amazing with jutting, dark red clay crags battered by deep dark blue waters. It was primordial.
We saw New Glasgow, on the(ir) River Clyde, and this whole island somewhat resembled the Scotland of most of their ancestors. We drove down to Summerside, start of the North Cape Coastal Drive - see icon at bottom. We saw the Confederation Bridge
- longest bridge over waters that freeze. If you make it to the island, don't miss the south shore's Victoria-By-The-Sea. We went because of the name, and it's as quaint as it sounds. Not at all set up for tourists (much unlike Cavendish/Green Gables), but it has an awesome 1950's or 60's fire engine.
Kristine eventually made it back to Green Gables (she read the book as a girl) when I returned to work, and we also had a great time in Charlottetown. She took my new favorite picture of myself in the fanciest restaurant we could find (clandestinely due to the fancitude):
The North Cape Coastal drive is something we missed, but I saw the sign a few times and really wish I could have gotten a t-shirt with the symbol on it. Great design!
P.S. The more I think about it, the more I think I got two events reversed. Now I think the Curling kids were in February, and the NHL playoffs started in April. This is why you blog in real-time, kids!