We left Quebec for PEI August 24th. We decided to take the long route and go through St. John, New Brunswick (NB) to see the Reversing Falls and then to take a driving tour through the Fundy National Park. The Reversing Falls is a unique phenomenon created by the collision of the Bay of Fundy and the Saint John River. At low tide the river empties into the bay causing a series of rapids and whirlpools. As tides rise they slow the river current for a brief period called slack tide. We arrived at high tide and there wasn’t much to see. We went to downtown St. John and found it very industrialized. There wasn’t much of anything to see or do. We stayed in a Walmart parking lot, along with about 10 other RVs. Not real exciting.
Fortunately, prior to heading down to the Fundy National Park with the RV and Jeep in tow, we looked at some reviews and found that the Park roads had declined so badly over the years that you almost needed an off-road vehicle to drive on them. It would not have been a good scenario to try it with a 40 ft RV so we headed straight for PEI, frustrated that we had taken the time to visit St. John.
The drive from St. John to PEI was exceptionally windy, the worst we had been in, and the roads were quite bumpy. They seem to repair potholes with patches upon patches, leading to very uneven surfaces. After much bouncing around we were happy to get to the PEI Bridge.
The bridge joining New Brunswick to Prince Edward Island is an amazing sight to see. It is 8 miles long. I always compare bridges to the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan. This one put the Mackinaw Bridge to shame.
We stayed at Twin Shores Campground while on PEI. The locals jokingly refer to it as the 3rd largest city on the island and believe that the astronauts can see the campfires from space, and for good reason. There are 850 sites at this Campground. I can’t imagine what it is like at the height of the season. We arrived to find it pretty quiet. There was hardly anybody there.
The campground is phenomenal. I can see families coming here and never leaving the grounds. It is exceptionally clean and occupies a very large peninsula surrounded by water. You can walk the gorgeous red sand beaches for hours, stroll along sand dunes, hit balls at the driving range, swim, bike, play shuffleboard, basketball, tennis, etc. The private beaches accessed via the campground are simply amazing.
There are also beautiful fields and sand dunes throughout the grounds.
You can have some fun posing on the dunes too, like I chose to do.
After getting settled we headed out to dinner. Our intent was to head over to New Glasgow for their famous New Glasgow Lobster Supper. However, on the way there we spotted a restaurant on a bay of water. It was late and we were quite hungry so we decided to stop there. It was still windy, but we chose to sit out on the back porch anyway. It had a nice view.
PEI is known for a number of foods including mussels, lobster, oysters and potatoes. I didn’t know about the potatoes until we arrived and saw the Cavendish farms. We decided to get some mussels and potato skins to celebrate our arrival on the island. While chatting with our waitress we learned that she was heading to Michigan the following week, which is where I am from. Turns out, she and her husband just sold one of their cows for $212,000 and they were going to travel to various shows to visit it. After laughing a bit we asked what made a cow so special that it would sell for that kind of price. Was it the quality of meat that was expected, or the milk? She said no. She said it had nice legs and a good udder. LOL. I guess it was similar to this cow that we saw at the Creamery in Charlottetown.
We came back to a spectacular sunset, seen from the comfort of our RV Backyard. The sunsets offered deep colors of pink, orange and red. Absolutely spectacular! It was still pretty windy so getting pictures was a little challenging. I had the camera on a tripod and had to put pressure on the tripod to hold it still.
We were blessed with another sunset the night before we left PEI. The colors were unbelievable.
It remained windy all night, with rain falling off and on. We awoke to dry, but gray skies. We decided to do a tour of Charlottetown and take a drive along the Southern Central Coastline. In Charlottetown we stopped by Cows Creamery in hopes of getting a tour of how they make ice cream. The tour ended up being comprised of videos. It was quite uneventful, but informative. We then stopped by the Province House for a tour, only to find that it was shut down due to renovations. Frustrating. The weather was turning nice so we headed over to Victoria Park. It is a small park on the waterfront of Charlottetown. We got our bikes out and took a ride. We ended up at the Lieutenant Governor’s house. The gardens were lovely so we strolled through them and then joined a tour to see the interior of the house.
Now, I LOVE Prince William and Duchess Kate and therefore, was absolutely thrilled to find out that they had visited this house back in 2011, on their honeymoon tour. I so wanted to jump on the bed they had slept in. LOL. Speaking of that bed, the mattresses are very high off the ground. The tour guide showed us that a secret panel can be removed from one of the bedframe poles and then you can adjust the firmness of the mattress. This is where, supposedly, the phrase ‘sleep tight’ came from.
In this next picture you can read what was purchased for the new house and the cost of the items. They were very detailed and kept good records back in the day.
After Charlottetown, we toured the coastline over to Victoria. We stopped along the way to see some lighthouses and visit some of the National Historic Sites. Canada does something neat in each of their parks and at their Historic Sites. They put out two red chairs. It is a nice touch. You’ll see them throughout some of my pictures.
Victoria is a quaint village on the water with historic homes, small shops spread throughout the neighborhood, a lighthouse, and popular restaurants on the wharf.
It was getting late so we headed back to the RV for dinner. We picked up some PEI New Potatoes and Firewood from various vendor locations on the side of the road. People just put out what they want to sell and a cash box for you to deposit your money in.
The Island is absolutely beautiful and pristine. There are farms everywhere. They appear to be growing lots of corn, wheat and potatoes. Every farm, yard, house, etc is well kept and very clean. Lawns are immaculate. There are fields with colorful wild flowers everywhere you look. The combination of green grass, colorful wildflowers, tan wheat fields, red barns, colorful boats, and blue water is spectacular. It is simply a beautiful place. We also appreciated that there were few mosquitos and that the air was surprisingly dry.
In addition to great food, PEI is also known for L.M. Montgomery’s ‘Anne of Green Gables’ book. Neither Charlie nor I were familiar with the story or author but we decided to take a tour of the historic site. We enjoyed the tour as they do a good job of depicting life in the late 1800s. One of the beds in the house was made of rope and straw. The tour guide noted that whoever slept in that bed had to tighten the ropes each night and check the straw for bugs, hence the phrase “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.” At the end of the tour we visited the museum store and purchased the book. If you are familiar with the story see if you can figure out which character belongs to each bedroom in the pictures.
After our tour we decided to check out the Cavendish National Park. The weather was not optimal for outdoor activities, as it was still very windy and gray, with rain threatening to drop at anytime. Regardless, we enjoyed our visit. There is a long bike path along the water, beautiful beaches and red rocks. The beach is very similar to the one at the campground.
The next day it was finally nice so we headed off to a couple more National Parks. We found the Brackley-Dalvay Park to be pretty, but not spectacular like Cavendish. After driving through that park we drove along the coast, over to Greenwich National Park. We went through many one-stop-sign villages, which were all very clean and quaint. It seems that nearly everybody owns a lot of property, as you rarely find homes close together. Everything is spacious and beautiful.
Greenwich Park was really neat to see. We took a nice bike ride along the water and then walked the boardwalk to the sand dunes. The dunes reminded me of being in Michigan. Apparently, there are only a few places where these types of dunes can be found, MI being one of them.
After our visit to Greenwich we decided to take a bike ride along the water from St. Peter to Morell. This is along the Confederation Bike Trail, PEI’s Rails-to-Trails system. It was a beautiful ride. In Morell we rewarded ourselves with some French Fries. What can I say, Fries and Wine are our downfall. The 13.5 mile roundtrip bike ride helped us rationalize the splurge. However, the fries were so good that Charlie wanted to stop by the stand again on our way back in the car!! I nixed that idea.
The weather was nice enough in the evening to have a bonfire. As soon as we were done with the fire though, the rain returned.
The next day was rainy and dreary so we hung out at the RV and ventured out only to go grocery shopping in Summerside. We appreciated having a down-day to relax.
The following day was absolutely gorgeous. These types of days seem to be rare occurrences. It was warm, in the upper 60s, sunny and no wind. We took long walks along the beaches and enjoyed the beautiful views. We then took a ride over to French River to capture some pictures of the colorful buildings. On the way back to the campground we stopped by PEI Aqua Farms and purchased mussels at $1.00/lb and scallops. We had a great dinner!
We were once again blessed with beautiful weather on our last day. We chilled out and enjoyed it. In the evening we headed over to the Malpeque Community Hall for a Ceilidh show, pronounced kay-lee. A Ceilidh is a social event with Scottish and/or Irish folk music. It was enjoyable and the best part was that we won the 50/50 raffle! We walked away with an unexpected $96. It was a good way to end a fabulous week on Prince Edward Island.