Thankfully, we didn't have to rise and shine as early as we did yesterday! At 7:30, I awoke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee to start the day.
Today, we decided to travel the Central Coastal Drive, which included the site of Avonlea (the village of Anne of Green Gables), the Green Gables homestead, New Glasgow Toy Factory and Charlottetown.
The first stop was at Avo nlea village. As we were paying our admission and getting our wristbands for entry, the man working at the entrance made a comment that "Anne's first day of school" was delayed until 10:45 [they do re-enactments from the book 'Anne of Green Gables'] because the camera crew from Winnipeg was interview Anne. As soon as the man said Winnipeg, our ears perked up, and Dad made a comemnt "Wouldn't it be funny if it were Drew Kozub?" [For those of you who don't know who Drew is, Drew grew up a couple miles from me. Dad was actually very close friends with Drew's dad growing up, Mom used to babysit him and his sister, and I always rode the schoolbus with Drew as he is just a couple years older than me. Now, Drew works in Winnipeg for Breakfast Television, where is he one of the T.V. personalities for the show.] And sure enough, we take a step outside and who do we see but the one and only, Drew Kozub! Who would have thought that we would come all this way only to run into someone who grew up 2 miles away from where I did! Drew was pretty shocked too to see us walking up to him as we said hello. Turns out that he is out in P.E.I. for the week, doing segments on tourism in P.E.I. for the show. Paying the admission to get into Avonlea was probably worth it just for the randomness of coming across Drew there!
After stopping to say hello to Drew, we explored Avonlea. We stopped to watch "Anne's first day of school," watched a "kitchen party" which was fantastic - the entertainers were delightful and the tunes catchy - and toured through some of the buildings. For anyone who used to watch the t.v. show 'Road to Avonlea,' part of the show was filmed here. The buildings in the village relate to Lucy Maud Montgomery somehow, such as the fact that the Avonlea Schoolhouse was where Montgomery taught school, and the Church was one that Montgomery would attend with her cousins when she was little and would visit.
From Avonlea we carried on to Prince Edward Island National Park, which includes Green Gables, the inspiration for "Green Gables," or Anne's home, in the novel 'Anne of Green Gables.' We wandered the grounds and toured through the home. The home had a gorgeous view. Although Anne Shirley in the novel was a fictional character, Montgomery based the setting for the book off of this homestead and I can see why she did it - the house and the view were idyllic.
In New Glasglow, we stopped at the Toy Factory, a local toy store and where they manufacture small wooden toys. We were hoping to see them building some toys, but they weren't while we were in unfortunately.
From New Glasgow, we drove through a few towns and headed to Brackely Beach to see the sand dunes. These sand dunes were HUGE (or at least I consider them to be huge!). And the sand here was beautiful. It was so nice to take off the sandals, walk through the sand and stick my feet in the water, which was warmer than I expected it to be. We hung around here for a few minutes, and then onward we went!
Charlottetown was our next and final stop for the day. The town's population is only approximately 33,000 and the metropolitan area has 60,000 and so the city is not very large. We decided to do a walk around town to see some of the large Victorian style homes and buildings that the city is known for. Some of the homes that we saw were absolutely gorgeous! I love the style of homes that they have, but I cannot imagine maintaining them - so much work to keep them nicely painted. There is so much detail in some of the homes that it would be a pain in the butt to have to sand them down every so often to be able to repaint them.
Charlottetown is also the home of Confederation in Canada, for which the first discussions of the union of Canada originated here in 1864. Interesting little fact - the same time that the discussions for Confederation were scheduled was the same time that the circus was passing through town, and it had been about 20 years since the last circus had visited. Because of the circus, the limited number of hotels in the town were all booked up for visitors coming from the area to attend the circus and for the circus staff. The town had forgotten to reserve hotel rooms for the visiting party for the Confederation discussions, and as such the politicians who were visiting were not able to get any hotel rooms in the town and had to sleep on the steamer on which they arrived!
After wandering around Charlottetown for a little bit, we decided it was time to head on back to the campsite to relax and plan our next day. The drive back was beatiful as we followed the southern side of the province back toward Summerside. The views here are gorgeous as you drive through the countryside - the red soil in the fields, the blue of the Northumberland Strait and Gulf of St. Lawrence, the charming Victorian houses, the rolling hills, the purple of the lupins that are found along the sides of the road, the green of the trees all around, and the blue of the sky all roll into one pictureque view. Its one beautiful scene after another.