Raising Memories: Prince Edward Island - Road Trip with Kids

Monday, August 28, 2017

Prince Edward Island - Road Trip with Kids

I've always loved nature. One of the things I love most about L.M. Montgomery's books is her descriptions of the beauty of her surroundings in Prince Edward Island. I always hoped I would be able to see it in person someday. When we arrived at Cavendish Beach, I came over a grassy hill to take in an idyllic view: sandy beach surrounded by red cliffs with blue skies. I had a moment to myself, feeling very alive and like I had "made it" to a place in time that I had spent years thinking of while never being quite sure that I would make it. It was pretty awesome and I'm glad I got to share it with my little family!

Prince Edward Island Beach

Cavendish Beach

This is the gorgeous view as you approach Cavendish beach. Doesn't it look like something out of a painting?

Just over that hill is a beautiful beach where we spent time playing with sand, cooling off in the water, and just taking in the beauty of nature and the peaceful sound of the gentle waves. 

Katrina decided to build a "Quebec Fortress". I thought that was pretty funny and was also happy to know that she was really soaking up the things she had been learning through our experiences on this trip! High five for a photo with me in it, that isn't a selfie! ;)  

In one area of the beach there were a lot of rocks along the shore. This was also the spot that was the most "red" and Katrina was determined to dip her toes into the ocean by the red sand, despite the challenges of the rocks!

Another fond memory from this trip to the beach was participating in the Sensational Sandcastles program run by Parks Canada. This was so cool! There were sandcastle experts stationed at a section of sand with lots of buckets and tools, ready to instruct you (in English or French) and train you to build fabulous sandcastles. This program is free, and it's amazing! We can't wait to try to repeat what we learned next time we're at a beach!!

Cavendish Breeze Inn

We stayed two nights at a cottage at the Cavendish Breeze Inn. The couple that runs this Inn is fabulous. We were continually greeted with genuine smiles and kindness. 

From what we saw, they were totally on top of any problems, too. When we went to do our laundry, we found that one of the machines was out of order. When I returned to switch our laundry to the dryer, I found the owner working to fix the broken machine already. I was impressed to see that he was committed to solve the problem right away!

Our cottage had everything we needed: a large kitchen and living room, a bathroom, and two bedrooms. We were so busy during our trip that we didn't get a chance to cook in the kitchen, but the fridge, sink, table, and microwave all came in very handy for us!

There is wifi here, but the signal is not very strong and there were several times that I gave up on getting connected or went out to our little porch or the main building (separate from our cottage) to get a signal. This is probably not such a bad thing if you're staying at a cottage to get away from everything and relax, but if wifi is a necessity, be prepared for this. If you followed me on Instagram during our trip, you know that my posts dropped off when we got to P.E.I. and that's because I went too long without reliable wifi, so I just caught up after our return.

Our kids were, of course, thrilled to see that there was a pool behind our cottage! 

There was also a swing set and a laundry room. That laundry room came at a perfect time for us as we were at our halfway point for the trip, so we needed to wash everything.  The Cavendish Breeze Inn is an excellent location to stay at if you're headed to the Cavendish area. So many things are within a 5 minute (or less) drive including the Green Gables house, Avonlea Village, Cavendish beach and more. There's even an amusement and water park just down the road!

The Preserve Company

Our first night in Cavendish was also the night we drove back to Charlottetown for the Anne of Green Gables Musical. On our way from Cavendish to Charlottetown, we stopped in New Glasgow for dinner at The Preserve Company restaurant. We had a beautiful view of a river, out the window beside our table!

The food was delicious. Pictured in the top left are the Maritime Fish Cakes which were made with potatoes and cod fish and were really delicious!. On the right is a children's menu item (Nacho chips, cheese & salsa) and in the bottom left is what was left of the cheesecake we ordered- it was gone before I could snap a photo! Next to that is the seafood bubbly bake and salad. This included shrimp, scallops, and salmon in a garlic butter and cream sauce topped with panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese- very tasty!

Green Gables Heritage Place

Of course Anne of Green Gables is a fictional story but the author lived on the island and this house belonged to her cousins. It sure looks like the inspiration for Green Gables and it was another bucket list moment, to see it in real life! :)  Here I am with my girls, happily having made it to this little landmark!

Avonlea Village

This little village inside of Cavendish is a collection of adorable buildings with shops and restaurants in them. You feel like you're walking around in Anne's time!

We stopped here for lunch, at a place called Moo Moo Grilled Cheese where we tried some Raspberry Cordial and PEI Pulled Pork grilled sandwiches.

We also made a visit to Doughnuts By Design (the two photos on the right in the collage below). Sadly they were so busy that day that they were out of most of their flavours, but we tried one and it was amazing!! I wish I could go back and sample more flavours!!

The two photos on the left in the collage below are of the Moo Moo Grilled Cheese building, and our pulled pork grilled cheese! :)

One of my favourite shops in Avonlea Village was Anne of Green Gables Chocolates. I would have loved to have sampled one of everything in that shop! One unique treat they have in this store is called Cow Chips (they're plain rippled chips covered in milk chocolate and they're amazing - salty, crunchy and sweet milk chocolate all in one bite!)

 Cavendish Dunelands & Cliffs 

Here we've come to another one of my favourites from the whole trip: Cavendish dunelands and cliffs. We took an afternoon and walked down this path just to the side of the entrance to Cavendish beach (another vista out of a painting) and then drove out along the shore, to see some red cliffs.

The cliffs were breathtaking. We pulled off the road in one place and came to a spot that looked pretty normal but had a little path that we followed. I am so glad we did, because at the end of the path, this came into view:

There we were on red rock, with red sand and red cliffs- like our own private beach with no one around. It was so beautiful and pretty awesome to be the only ones there, with no crowds of tourists to share it with. I have more photos of this place, but I'll save them for another post.

We set up our camera on the timer setting to get the photo above, and while Ken was on that rock, I looked down from the other rock and spotted a jellyfish in the water! Ken had our waterproof camera in  his hand, so here he is doing his best to get it on video without falling in the water! You'll get to see the video when I get the vlog edited and uploaded! :)

North Rustico Harbour & the Blue Mussel Cafe

That was our last night in PEI and we planned to eat at the Blue Mussel Cafe. This restaurant is ridiculously popular! I have never waited so long for a table (one hour and 45 minutes) but apparently that is not uncommon! North Rustico Harbour is beautiful though, and we took some time to explore it while we waited. I got this photo of the North Rustico Lighthouse while we were there.

Talia and I both tasted our first mussels during this meal. I was impressed with her for trying them! I ordered scallops and loved them (middle, right photo). The kids' menu food was delicious and well priced, which I appreciated because it allowed us to eat somewhere nice without spending too much on kids who didn't want to eat the fancier food.

On our way out of PEI, we stopped in Borden-Carleton at The Handpie Company, to try out their hand held pies and then we stopped to get a photo in front of Confederation Bridge before crossing it back to the mainland. We timed our crossing and we were on that bridge for a full 10 minutes, at 80 km/hr- that's got to be the longest bridge I've ever been on, for sure! :)

Our trip to PEI was everything I hoped for and more. I thought it appropriate to end this post with a quote from the woman who sparked a love for PEI in myself and so many others:

“Dear old world', she murmured, 'you are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.”
― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

It really is a lovely world, and it has been lovely to travel with my family to see some of it this summer! Keep following along because I'll be sharing our experience in Nova Scotia next!

Many thanks to Tourism P.E.I.  for their hospitality and assistance with planning our trip!

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  1. Looks like you had a beautiful vacation! We love our little trips to the Island. It is only a couple hours away, but such a unique place.

    1. It was so lovely! That is so nice that you are close enough to visit more often! I think it would be wonderful to get back there and see more of the island another time!

  2. I loved every bit of this! I went to PEI 15 years ago and would go back in a heartbeat!! One of my favourite places on earth! I will have to re read Anne again while I wait... I love that quote.

    1. Thank you Jenn! :) It made me happy to read your comment! :)

  3. Pick me, pick me! I want to go. This looks so...not just fun, but meaningful, and lovely.

    1. Thanks Betsy :) It was! You guys should go if you get the chance (maybe when your kids are a bit older to save your sanity if you road trip it ;)

  4. So beautiful, and wow that sand castle is impressive! Love that they have a program to teach you how to build better sand castles.
    Looking at these photos makes me think I should break out my Ann of Green Gables books again.

    1. Isn't it?! I'm sad we didn't get to another beach to test our skills after that!

  5. PEI is definitely on my must visit list! Your pictures are stunning. So beautiful

  6. Hi Heather:). You have totally sold me on PEI, thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

    1. Aw, that's awesome :) I hope you get to go and see it all in person!

  7. I've always wanted to visit PEI, now I'm going to have to. Loved the photo of the cheesecake, made me laugh :-)

  8. I grew up in Nova Scotia so we spent tons of time on PEI but I'm still impressed everytime we get a chance to visit. I love that, even though it's a huge tourist destination, it still has a small town feeling. It looks like you guys had a great time!

    1. Yes, it really is unique. We had that small town feeling in parts of New Brunswick as well.

  9. Debbie White BeattieSeptember 8, 2017 at 10:55 PM

    I've never been to P.E.I. but it looks beautiful and the place you stayed at was great with the pool but most of all the food looks really delicious

  10. OMGosh, this is on my bucket list! As a child who grew up watching Road to Avonlea and reading the Anne Green Gables books, this is my dream trip and this year (for Canada 150) I'm gonna make it happen! Thank you for the tips and information.

  11. PEI is one of the main places in Canada that I've always wanted to visit. It's on my bucket list for sure to explore this area out east. It looks like such a cool vacation spot!

  12. I loved the photos you shared, especially the cover photo of the feet on the beach, great idea. :-)

  13. Looks like a nice place to get away!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne

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