Kindred Spirits at Orby Head

You know that scene in the Anne of Green Gables movie where Anne and Diana are standing on the red cliffs at sunset overlooking the sea.
And Diana talks about how nice it would be to rich? And Anne says,

You know something Diana. We are rich. We have 16 years to our credit, and we both have wonderful imaginations. We should be as happy as queens. Look at that. You couldn’t enjoy its loveliness anymore if you had ropes of diamonds.

Most of the movie was actually filmed in Ontario, but those cliffs are in Prince Edward Island.





It’s the perfect place to stare out over the water.


But it’s even better when you share it with a kindred spirit.



At that moment, I definitely felt rich.


New London Lighthouse

Something I didn’t realize about Prince Edward Island before I visited there was that it has a lot of lighthouses. Like, a lot. BUT they’re not exactly the lighthouses that you might imagine. There are those tall, kind of octagonal ones (sometimes striped), but for the most part, we came across squat square ones. So we saw lighthouses marked on the map (and we decided that we wanted to see as many of them as we could), but we never knew what to expect when we actually found them. I was not disappointed by the New London Lighthouse.


When Anne and Gilbert marry, they move to a village called Glen St. Mary where they have their House of Dreams. One of their neighbors is an old sea captain who is now a light keeper and lives in the lighthouse. I imagine it looked something like this.


If only Captain Jim still lived there and could spin us yarns of his adventures. Or if only I could fix up the lighthouse, make it cozy, and live surrounded by that tall sea grass and salty breeze.




My own House of Dreams.


The Anne of Green Gables Museum

If you’re an Anne-with-an-E fan, then of course, Green Gables is the number one place on your list to visit. But if you’re a Lucy Maud Montgomery fan, then you’ll definitely want to visit the Anne of Green Gables Museum. It’s a little misnamed, I think, but it makes sense that they’re pulling people in with Maud’s most famous character.


Really, though, the museum honors L. M. Montgomery’s life. There, you’ll find the organ she played for many weddings, the living room where she married her husband, and the room where she stayed with family on her visits back to Prince Edward Island.




It’s a more intimate look at her life, and I loved seeing the actual pieces of furniture and first editions and art on the wall. Before visiting PEI, I read the biography The Gift of Wings to find out more about Maud’s life. Combine that with visiting the home that is still maintained by her family connections, and I felt like I really knew her. At least, more than just as the name on the covers of my books.


Another reason the Anne of Green Gables Museum was so interesting, though, is that the house itself was the inspiration Silver Bush — as in Pat of Silver Bush, one of the non-Anne books. In Pat of Silver Bush, we meet Pat Gardiner who loves her home more than anything, really. I love that Montgomery made homes just as much a character in books as the people. It’s something that definitely influenced me as I grew up. I knew Green Gables, New Moon, Silver Bush, the little house on Lantern Hill, the Blue Castle, just as well as I knew Anne, Emily, Pat, Jane, and Valancy. So it thrilled me to see this house.



So definitely go to Green Gables, but I’d also recommend stopping here.

(And bonus – the Lake of Shining Waters is right across the street. Non-bonus – we didn’t get a picture of it.)

Visiting Green Gables

L.M. Montgomery inspired me, and millions of others, to visit Prince Edward Island. I became familiar with the landscape of the island through her words, and I learned to love the island through her characters. The most popular, of course, is Anne-with-an-E Shirley and her adopted home, Green Gables. (Although, I have a weak spot for Emily of New Moon and Valancy Stirling, too.)

The first thing you should know about Green Gables in person is that it’s not the Green Gables in the movies. It doesn’t have the covered porch where Marilla knits waiting for Anne to come home. The second thing you should know is that it’s surrounded by a golf course. And just down the street is the Shining Waters Family Fun Park. It’s a strange contrast to have the Haunted Wood and Lovers Lane just down the street from the Cyclone.


But it has the iconic green gables




And it has a charming garden with vibrant flowers and stone benches.





Notice the golf course beyond the fence. 🙂

And they’ve decorated the interior to fit with the books.




Can you spot the raspberry cordial?


Even to the geraniums.


Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums. It makes them seem more like people. How do you know but that it hurts a geranium’s feelings just to be called a geranium and nothing else? You wouldn’t like to be called nothing but a woman all the time. Yes, I shall call it Bonny.

Upstairs, you see relics of Anne and Marilla everywhere… the rich brown dress with its puffed sleeves, Anne’s broken slate, and, if you look really close, Marilla’s amethyst brooch.




And of course, the spare room.


We took a stroll in Lovers Lane…


and through the Haunted Wood.



And we did see Anne hanging around, although she was not at all talkative, so I have my doubts.



Before visiting Green Gables, I think I had in my mind that I would like to go hunting for fairyland there, just like Anne did. I wanted to commune with the old ghosts of the place. It turns out, though, that we spent the whole time getting to know a new friend. We met Catryn outside of Green Gables. She was visiting with her baby, and we started chatting. We loved talking to her about her travels and family. It didn’t give me any time for dreaming, but I realized that making a new friend was probably the most Anne-like thing I could have done.

Dalvay-by-the-Sea, aka The White Sands Hotel


The elegant Dalvay-by-the-Sea stood in for the White Sands Hotel in the Anne movies. (Although, I was surprised on a recent re-watch of the first movie that the White Sands Hotel is different.) I had hoped to stay there during our stay, but it was a little outside of our meager budget. We settled for lunch on our first full day on the island. It was so, so good! I tried mussels for the first time, and then I’m a little embarrassed to say that I got a hamburger. But this hamburger is probably in the top 5 of hamburgers.

After lunch, we did a little bit of exploring around the hotel.




(That bench reminds me so much of this beautiful painting by William Merit Chase: A Friendly Call)




Can’t you just imagine yourself in a white linen dress playing croquet on the lawn or reclining with a book on one of those wicker chairs?


Mobile Monday 39

Forever ago, I bought a Groupon for use at the Leonardo, Salt Lake’s newest museum. I kept meaning to take Claire on one of our Saturday excursions, but it just never happened. The Groupon expired near the end of February, so Kylie and I went one evening. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Leonardo, although I have some friends who work/worked there and were always sharing interesting things about it. The Leonardo is an art, technology, and science museum. It had lots of great hands-on exhibits. Unfortunately, we didn’t want to wait around for our turn, so we didn’t get to make our own stop-action video or draw a self-portrait or any number of the other activities there. But we still enjoyed it.

(The Leonardo is located right by the Salt Lake City Library, pictured above. It’s housed in the old library.)

I loved this painting by Steven Larson called Transnational Legend.

Today I drove up to Bountiful to meet my friend, Kellie, for dinner. I got up there a little early and decided to drive around. I went up to the foothills near the Bountiful Temple. It has the best view from there.

I also looked for the house of my Grandma Elaine. She wasn’t my biological grandmother, but a very dear and wonderful woman after whom I was named (Katie Elaine). I loved visiting her house when I was younger. It was full of fascinating things, a grand piano, a drum set, and books. But best of all, they had a great deck overhanging a little stream and it had a tire swing. The weird thing about being an adult is that there are all these places I had a strong connection to, but I had no idea where they were. I had to go by association and memory, but I found it (I think). It’s a little house off the main road. The first picture below is the side view. Because of the way it’s situated, I couldn’t see it from the front. I miss my Grandma Elaine, and I also miss her house.

The photo above on the right is from dinner. Kellie and I went to a place called Thyme & Seasons. I wrote about it (and shared a picture of my dinner) over at My Sloppy Heart. It was definitely one of my more interesting (and delicious) dining experiences in the Salt Lake area.

While I was killing time in Bountiful, I stopped by Barnes & Noble to browse around. Lately, I’ve loved checking out the children’s section. I always look to see if they have copies of my brother’s book. (I didn’t see any, so they must be sold out.) I stumbled upon this edition of Anne of Green Gables.

I kind of love this cover. It’s striking and different from the typical Anne books. I like the mischievous face of Anne. I tried to figure out who illustrated it, but I couldn’t find the credit on the cover. My Internet research didn’t help, either. I think it looks quite a bit like Charlie and Lola, so I looked up that illustrator, Lauren Child. (By the way, I really love the design of her website, despite the music that you can’t turn off). But Anne isn’t included in her list of books. Anyway, I’m a sucker for a good book cover. It really does make a difference.