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.
Anne-Green-Gables-Sunset
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.

Orby-Head-PEI-Wildflowers

Orby-Head-Red-Cliffs-Beach

Orby-Head-Cliffs-Wildflowers

Orby-Head-Seagulls

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

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

Erica-and-Me

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At that moment, I definitely felt rich.

Avonlea Village

I expected Avonlea Village to be a little cheesy, but I didn’t realize how much I was looking forward to the cheesiness until it wasn’t really there. Granted, it was a rainy Sunday morning when we stopped by before leaving Cavendish, but it was also peak summer tourist season. I wanted to see Anne and Diana running around. Maybe Mrs. Rachel Lynde? Gilbert? Maybe some buggy rides? Turns out, I was working on old information. In 2015, they got rid of the characters and turned the buildings into private shops and restaurants. At least the buildings were still there and quite pretty.

Avonlea-Village-Saltbox-Building

Avonlea-Village

Avonlea-Church-Windows

Fake-Lobster-Buoys

Raspberry-Cordial

Not to mention the flowers.

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Pink-Poppy

Bright-Flowers

We couldn’t leave Cavendish without paying our respects to L.M. Montgomery.

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God-Is-Love-Tombstone

LM-Montgomery-Grave

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.

Anne-Green-Gables-Museum

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.

LMMontgomery-First-Editions

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Aunt-Emilys-China

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.

Anne-Green-Gables-Silver-Bush

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.

Silver-Bush-Window

Silver-Bush-Side-Door

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.

Cyclone-Roller-Coaster-Green-Gables

But it has the iconic green gables

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Green-Gables-Side-Flowers-Windows

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

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Green-Gables-Barns-Flowers

Green-Gables-Golf-Course-View

Notice the golf course beyond the fence. 🙂

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

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Green-Gables-Parlor

Green-Gables-jars-kitchen

Can you spot the raspberry cordial?

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Even to the geraniums.

Green-Gables-Interior-Bonnie-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.

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Green-Gables-Annes-Broken-Slate

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And of course, the spare room.

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We took a stroll in Lovers Lane…

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and through the Haunted Wood.

Haunted-Woods-Bench-Green-Gables

Haunted-Woods-Green-Gables

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

Anne-and-her-Fans

Erica-Anne-and-Me

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

Dalvay-by-the-Sea-White-Sands

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.

Inside-Dalvay

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

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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?

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