Friday, August 15, 2014

My Eighth (and possibly final) Trip to Prince Edward Island

When I was 12 years old, my grandparents decided to buy a second house in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island. I had never heard of PEI, but after they bought the house, my family decided to go up for a couple of weeks the following summer, and then the next six summers after that! After that first summer, my aunt, uncle, and cousins joined us every other year. It turned into a fun tradition, and we made so many fun memories up there! We spent time relaxing on the beach, walking on the boardwalk down the street from my grandparents' house, going to the small amusement park and water park, shopping, going to the Anne of Green Gables village called Avonlea, and eating lots and lots of great food! The last time I went to PEI was when I was 18, and then after that, my grandparents stopped going up every summer since the 2-day long car journey was getting to be a lot, so we stopped as well.

But now my grandparents are selling the house, so my grandmother wanted to go up one more time! My mom, aunt, and I all joined her as well. Even though none of the other kids would be joining, I knew the trip would bring back a ton of memories, and I would have a good time!

We left early on Saturday morning and drove all the way up to Calais, Maine—right on the border of Canada. Then on day two, we made it up to PEI around 5pm—just in time for a happy hour! We had a fun night sitting out on the deck watching the sunset and looking at the beautiful harbour view.
the view from my grandparents' deck

My favourite memory from this trip was something new that I had never done before in PEI. One night, we went to a brewery in Charlottetown called the Gahan House. Unfortunately, they no longer offered a brewery tour in that location, but they had really good beers and AMAZING food! They had a mango beer on special that my mom, aunt, and I all ordered, and it was so good. Then for dinner, my meal was fettucine with chicken, chipotle sauce, mushrooms, and bacon. I swear, once I got my food, I did not stop to talk to anyone until I had finished... it was that good! Everyone else's meals were amazing too. The chef in the restaurant has won a bunch of awards, and I could definitely see why!
The Gahan Brewery
One of the best meals I've had in a LONG time! So delicious!!

Something else we did several times was to go to the beach that is about a half mile from my grandparents' house. Even though it's a small beach and there are much more famous ones in PEI, we loved the North Rustico beach because we could walk to it on the boardwalk, and it was never overly crowded. Something unique to PEI that I love is that the sand on all the beaches is red, and there are a bunch of cliffs. Even though I grew up in a beach town, the beach there is completely different from the beaches in Massachusetts so it's a totally different experience!

We also did some shopping while up in Canada. Something I was so excited about was going to drugstores and checking out some of the makeup brands that they sell in Canada, but that we don't have in the US. I ended up buying an eyeshadow crayon from a brand called Annabelle that I love and a lip gloss from Soap and Glory called Sexy Mother Pucker. (Yes, the name is part of the reason I decided to buy the lip gloss, but it's also an amazing product, and I've been using it so much!) Once we got back into the US and we had WiFi again, I actually saw online that Soap and Glory products are sold in some Sephora stores in the US. I'm going to be sure to check it out, because they're awesome!

And finally, we couldn't leave out my favourite Prince Edward Island tradition: a few trips to Cows. Cows is an ice cream shop that has so many amazing flavours, and has actually been voted the best ice cream shop in the world according to some lists! What makes Cows stand out is that they have a store connected to their ice cream shops where they sell t-shirts and different clothing items with puns on different pop-culture things, but all about cows! For example, Orange is the Moo Black and Fifty Shades of Hay. I did see that there are a couple of Cows locations outside of PEI, so even if I never make it back to Prince Edward Island, I may still be able to go to Cows again, which makes me happy.

posing with the Cows mascot outside of the Charlottetown shop

In addition to all of those things, we had several happy hours out on the deck, met a few of my grandmother's friends, had some more amazing meals, and did a lot of reading. I have been starting to feel really stressed out with the job search, and was so ready for a break from all that, so having a week off in PEI was perfect for me! I originally didn't think I would be able to join in on this trip, but I am so happy that it was able to work out. As of today, my grandparents just accepted an offer on their house, so I know none of us will be returning, which is a little bit sad. But now I have even more memories of Prince Edward Island to look back on, which makes me happy :)
the Charlottetown waterfront

me and my mom in Charlottetown

with my aunt on the Charlottetown waterfront
my grandma, aunt, mom, and me at Brackley Beach
Another first: trying the Canadian classic, poutine! It was so good!

delicious margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in Maine on our drive home
the group at our last dinner together in Maine after a LONG day of driving!

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