When we had to go to Halifax for family reasons I declared that we were going to rent a cottage and sit still for a week, so we rented the cottage in Prince Edward Island and didn’t sit still at all. PEI is a teeny tiny little island off the east coast of Canada that is also a province. It is known for lobsters potatoes, Anne of Green Gables, and for being the birthplace of confederation. We came to know it for haunted houses, cracked out road systems where wild turkeys (not the liquid kind) cause traffic jams, hermit crabs and ice cream. I slapped a statue in public for failed comic effect then flashed a bunch of people in Charlottetown. A lot of lobsters died. Here are some pictures.
Our cottage was walking distance to the Confederation Bridge. I was completely sure in my mind that it was the longest bridge anywhere until my personal fact checker (my husband) looked it up and assured me that China, the US, Saudi Arabia, France, Portugal, India, Egypt, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Russia, Brazil and Germany all have us roundly beat (thanks, fact checker). So I might have been a little off but the Confederation Bridge is the longest bridge over ice, which is what I was trying to tell him. My husband never lets me finish my sentences.
We crossed the bridge and I pretty much pushed our very kind cottage owners out the door so I could go find myself some lobster. The first night we went to a seafood shack, the second night we went and trashed the local legion and pretended to be in the local Lobster Festival Parade float.
The cottage was perfect, but not so perfect were our freakishly busy kids. After one day of watching our damage deposit disappear before our eyes we decided to go see every tourist site that we could in 6 days. Cavendish beach on the north side of the island, but along the way we decided to stop at a
boring historical train site. The guidebooks totally neglected to mention that there is an amazing Haunted Mansion. The train station was about 10 feet of track and some stores and you have a Haunted Mansion in your back pocket? Play that up in the guidebook, PEI. Anyway, we thought that would be a great idea for 3 year olds (because we’re terrible parents) so we went. Twice.
And then we got to carry a kid out of a haunted house screaming “I WANT TO GET KILLED BY A GHOST AGAIN” for all the strangers to hear. So we took him to a theme park and let him play in the ball pit which was probably posed the actual threat to his health and well-being all day (those things are so dirty, why are they allowed?). Then we took him back to the haunted house because who doesn’t need a good scare before bedtime?
Charlottetown is the capital of PEI and where Canada happened. Or rather, where the first of a series of meetings happened where our
drunk and disorderly illustrious founders decided Canada should be a thing. It’s easy to imagine our founders showing up in town and being greeted by adoring crowds a band of political enthusiasts a bustling populace an abandoned town and one guy with a key to Province House because everyone was at the circus that day. What can I say? Apparently Charlottetown residents get more excited about traffic circles than Confederation. So much so that when the first traffic circle went live everyone set up lawn chairs to watch the chaos. Traffic Circles 1, Confederation 0.
I was on a mission to find oysters in Charlottetown because by day 4 I was kind of sick of lobster. What? It was cheaper than ground beef. My quest for oysters led me to several bars and a brew pub with the boys in tow and more than one disapproving glance in our direction. By the end of the day I was making some fairly questionable decisions.
Cows Ice Cream is a PEI chain, rated second in the world by Reader’s Digest. Reader’s Digest. Obviously. Anyway, they have cows outside their stores, so this happened.
And a lot of people saw my underwear while I was mounting that cow. That sounds bad. My husband helped me and afterwards said “I just got a face full of crotch in public. Don’t ever let a stranger help you onto a cow.” I didn’t ask him whether I should let friends help.
The Last Supper
The beach was magnificent. If you don’t like the beach, there is something wrong with you. Or at the very least, our power animals are not compatible. Our last day I was hell bent on creating Beautiful Family Memories. So we went into town and bought the two largest lobsters we could find and let them loose in the cottage to freak the kids out.
Mr. Giraffe and I sat on the beach drinking microbrews while our kids caught hermit crabs and the sun started to go down and it started making me sad that I had to go home ever again and then I berated myself for not being able to stay in the moment and then I tried to enjoy it harder, but it was already ruined. I hate my brain.
So we went home and cooked our new pets and set the table for this glorious scene:
And it was perfect until moments later when the boys were eating my lobster in the nude and I was scraping citronella wax off the deck while my husband sat back and enjoyed the sunset. But I am used to fleeting happiness, so that one sip of wine will keep me afloat for some time to come.
Overall rating: Rollergiraffe gives a sound double thumbs up to PEI. We did a lot of other things that were relaxing and uneventful, so I didn’t mention them here but it’s an awesome place to travel.
Travel advisories: Watch out for the elderly drivers parking sideways on the highway outside of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s house.