Hi Guys! Miss me? I know, I know…I’ve been a wee bit behind posting lately. I guess I can’t use the ‘I’ve-been-too-busy-travelling-excuse’ on a travel-related blog, eh? Womp womp womp.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (yep, us crazy Canadians celebrate it a month or so earlier than our American cousins). I made 9 pumpkin pies this weekend (for others, not myself–thankfully) but I am glad that I *finally* got to eat a piece of pumpkin pie tonight. Woohoo! 😀 I love thanksgiving and getting to spend time with friends and family. Hope you all had a great holiday weekend, too!
I think I’ve fallen into that trap (like many other bloggers seem to do) where you wonder if anyone’s reading, so you post less often and then no one comes back (and you wonder why? ha ha). Oops!
I guess I’d better post more often then, hey? I love writing this blog so I’m gonna try to do my ‘once-a-week-posts’ like I originally planned (stop laughing, you guys). So hopefully you’ll be back, right? (hint hint).
If you’ve been reading this here blog for a while you probably know that I usually spend part of my summer each year in PEI visiting Cowboy’s folks. Since I love PEI there ain’t a whole lotta arm-twisting going on what.so.ever.
PEI reminds me a lot of Cape Cod, which I finally got to a few summers ago. Maybe a tad smaller and a little less touristy (except for Cavendish, which is very touristy).
It’s funny because for the first decade of road tripping, I never headed East. Somehow I always wound up on the West Coast, whether it was Vancouver or California, or somewhere in between. Probably because of my love for chasing the sun, no doubt.
So, one summer I decided it was finally time to head East for once. The drive to the East Coast only took me 18 hours, which is very short considering it takes me 4 days to drive to the Pacific coast (good thing I like long road trips, hey? ha ha).
But from the moment I stepped onto the beautiful red sandy shores of PEI, I completely in love with the area. The scenery, the people, the food…all of it is just amazing….
I didn’t want to leave.
My First Visit to PEI: A Stormy Ferry & a Century-old Inn in Cavendish
The last time I was here on the East Coast was over 10 years ago, so a return trip here to the beautiful island has been LONG overdue.
This is my first trip here with Cowboy. He was born around these parts so we’ve been doing a fun little tour of his birthplace together. His family moved to Ontario when Cowboy was a wee
hellion youngin’, but his parents have since returned to the Coast. They now live in Saint John for most of the year and spend their summers in PEI. Cowboy comes back to the Coast every year or so to visit his family.
We’ve just spent a few days driving Nova Scotia’s ‘Lighthouse Route’ (Halifax, Peggy’s Cove & Lunenburg) which is loaded with whiplash-inducing scenery and lovely villages that dot the coastline. (If you’re in Halifax, I highly recommend this drive).
After spending the day in Halifax, we were now on our way to Caribou, Nova Scotia (about an hour from Halifax) to catch the ferry to the island. Fortunately it wasn’t overly busy when we arrived so we didn’t have to wait long.
Once we boarded the ferry, we made a beeline to the deck so we could admire the night sky as ferry began its 75-minute journey across the Northumberland Strait.
A few minutes into our ride, however, we noticed dark clouds approaching and the wind had picked up rather quickly. Uh oh, looks like a nasty storm is brewin’.
Check out my hair whipping around in the wind. I’m pretty sure my friends reading this (hi guys!) are probably thinking to yourself right now: ‘Ummmmm, how is this any different from your usual style, Dana?’ he he (they may be right).
We decided to head back indoors before we got completely soaked (or star in: ‘A Perfect Storm-the Sequel’). Time to grab a nice, hot coffee and maybe a snack as we were both getting rather hungry. Cowboy’s eyes lit up when he spotted pizza and I ordered a plate of fries (we’re on a bit of a health kick, clearly).
Shortly after eating, I started to feel a bit woozy–but not from the food (and no, we weren’t drinking either). I don’t usually get motion sickness (and I’ve been on longer ferries than this one) so I figured this was because of the storm. But I didn’t feel too bad so long as I didn’t get up and move around.
While we relaxed and chatted with a few others sitting near us, a staff member had started to walk around to check on everyone. Especially those, such as myself, who were turning 10 shades of green. She seemed genuinely concerned and offered to help (get water, etc) which I thought was very nice and thoughtful. Such friendly folks, these East Coasters!
We finally made it to the island and I started feeling better almost as soon as we drove off the ferry. We pointed the car toward Cavendish, whilst driving fairly slow as it was raining quite heavily now and the road is quite narrow and twisty. Better to play it safe, particularly because we aren’t familiar with the roads here at all.
We were getting worried about where we were going to stay tonight since we’d planned to camp. Neither of us was overly excited about setting up a tent in the rain, but we hadn’t looked into alternative accommodations in case it rained (Oops!). As we got closer to Cavendish, though, the rain completely stopped. Woohoo! That’s what I call perfect timing.
Or maybe not. As soon as we arrived at the KOA (campground) we quickly discovered that–unlike every other KOA I’ve stayed at in the U.S–this one doesn’t allow after-hours registration. (it was only 10pm– not 2 in the morning). The late night registration is one of the reasons I always stayed at KOA’s while on the road. It’s so convenient if you are running behind but haven’t made a reservation anywhere for the night. You can just set up your tent and pay in the morning.
Since neither of us saw this ‘restriction’ in the travel guides or brochures, we were very unimpressed. Oh well, onto Plan B. Hopefully that doesn’t entail sleeping in the car tonight.
Then I remembered that the last time I was in PEI with my friend AL, we also tried to camp at this KOA (clearly it isn’t in the cards for me to stay there) but they were full when we arrived. We drove around for a bit and found a small, private campground nearby that we absolutely loved. So Cowboy and I looked it up in our guide-book and lo and behold: it’s just half a mile away! Awesome.
The security guy at the Marco Polo Campground was extremely friendly and welcomed us right away. Not only did they allow late-evening registration, they had space. And, they also had a room at their Inn (which is on-site). Cool! We decided that after a long day of touring (and driving), we’d go for the nice, comfy room instead (hopefully it isn’t a scary spot since I didn’t have a chance to time to check Tripadvisor first like I normally prefer to do).
Our little dog approved of this plan. She was feeling rather exhausted from running around the beach all day. It’s a tough life being a cute puppy, ya’ll!
The room at this small Inn was clean and beautiful, and has the perfect mix of modern with a bit of Victorian-style, too. It was perfect!
And, as an added bonus, we learned that this Inn used to be an old farmhouse (built in 1925) on the site of a 100-acre farm. I just love places with so much history, much nicer than staying at your standard hotel chain. Plus breakfast was included with our stay. Considering the room was only $100/night and with a free hot breakfast at a nearby restaurant (not just a continental one in the lobby), this place was a great deal! (take that, KOA!)
The little pup was pretty excited that we weren’t camping for once, and that she could sleep on a nice, comfy bed. As you can tell, she hangs onto every one of Cowboy’s words (at least someone does, ha ha!).
We’re off to enjoy a good night’s sleep so we can be wide-eyed and bushy-tailed to check out the crazy tourist Mecca that is Cavendish, PEI tomorrow. Stay tuned!