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.






Not to mention the flowers.




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






Malpeque Harbor, PEI








I felt a little awkward taking these photos at Malpeque Harbor, to be frank. There were fishermen coming in for the day, and I just felt like such a tourist. But at the same time, I loved the colors of the sheds, and the huge piles of buoys and lobster cages. I was fascinated by the whale bones (?) hung on one of the sheds. Some day, I’d like to be the person who doesn’t just feel awkward, but who engages. I would have liked to learn more.

Beautiful PEI

One of the reasons I love to have a car when traveling is that you never know when you’ll come across an amazing view…


Or a wildflower-lined road leading to the sea that you simply must take…


Or a lighthouse that’s also a charming home hidden from the road.

It seemed like every twist of the road led to a picture-perfect scene, and I fell in love with the island more and more.

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.

Chasing After Sand Dunes

On our way to Dalvay-by-the-Sea, we could see a magnificent sand dune looming ahead. After lunch, we went in search of access to it. We found a boardwalk surrounded by tall grass, which led to a beach path where a row of dead deep purple jellyfish lay between us and the water.PEI-Beach-trail-entrance



We climbed over a smaller dune to a wide expanse of sand.





The enormous dune we saw from the road ended up being on a sandbar, unreachable to us. And you know, it didn’t seem quite as big as we got closer to it, which defied all logic. But it didn’t matter. It was heaven just to stand on the beach with that salty wind playing havoc with our hair.

We wanted to see more dunes, though, and more beaches, so we drove to another beach in the Prince Edward Island National Park. This one had an official lifeguard and everything.


(I need to pause here to say that when I got out of the car to photograph the flower-lined road, I was greeted with the most amazing smell! I couldn’t identify it, but it was so fresh and fragrant. Sigh.. I just love PEI.)





I had hoped that by visiting at the end of July, the water would be warm enough for swimming. We spent some time at a few different beaches during our visit, but we never got more than our ankles wet. I didn’t really mind, though. It was enough just to be there and feel the sand through our fingers and toes.

And we topped it all off with a visit to one of PEI’s famous lobster suppers.


It was my first experience with a whole lobster, and the lobster supper was definitely the way to go. We got mussels, a salad, potato, dessert and a whole lobster. They even put a bib on me, which didn’t keep me from getting butter on my shirt. I might as well confess this here. I had a lot of lobster during the whole trip — a whole lobster, lobster chowder, lobster pasta, a lobster roll — but I’ve decided that I’ve had enough lobster. I didn’t dislike it, but I’m just not passionate about it.

I did, however, love all of the lobster shacks and cages we came across everywhere on PEI and in Nova Scotia. This is the first one we saw, but there are so many better ones to come!


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?


First Glimpse of Prince Edward Island

I’ve wanted to visit Prince Edward Island ever since I was about 10 years old and first saw Anne of Green Gables on PBS. The desire grew stronger over the years as I read and re-read and re-read again all of L.M. Montgomery’s delightful books. One night last year, I suddenly realized – hey, I could actually visit PEI? Why not?



This past July, we crossed over the Confederation Bridge, and I finally stepped foot on those red dirt roads, rolling hills, and ocean views. We got there just as the sun was setting, so we took off to the shore to catch the end of the sunset.





Sigh… it was everything I ever hoped. I can’t wait to share more photos.