P.E.I. Love You!

I knew I'd love Prince Edward Island even before we crossed the Confederation Bridge. Anyone who's ever read Anne of Green Gables (or watched the show on TV) as a child knows that. This gorgeous place is even more spectacular in person than it is in Lucy Maud Montgomery's famous story- I'm already planning my return trip.

The island is definitely something to behold, even if you're not a fan of Anne Shirley (but heaven if you are). It's miles and miles of verdant rolling hills, colorful wildflowers, and beautiful shores. It's unlike any other place I've seen before.

The first thing I noticed once we arrived was the farmland stretching out as far as the eye can see- neat rows of crops (mostly potatoes) lined the roads as we drove towards our hotel in Charlottetown. The rusty hue of the soil is truly remarkable to view in person, and adds an even more ethereal impression to the place.
One of the many farms on the island

Lupins growing wild on the side of the road

Once we got to Charlottetown, I fell in love all over again. The town has a strong Victorian quality, to be sure, but mingled with an artsy vibe that adds color and liveliness to the downtown area. It was so fun to walk around and take it all in. Here are some shots of Charlottetown I snapped as we wandered about.
 Victorian re-enactors playing a rousing game of croquet

 St. Dunstan's Basilica

Great George Street

Statue of Two Fathers of Confederation

Province House

Anne of Green Gables Store (of course)

Victoria Row

We had dinner al fresco on Victoria Row, a cobblestone street lined with restaurants and shops, where a live jazz band played opposite the tables. The meal was amazing! Not only did I have the most delicious oysters I've ever tasted (when in PEI, one must order the local fare)...

But the scallops I had were to die for. Probably one of the greatest meals of my life- even the mashed potatoes tasted special somehow, I have no idea how they did that!

The next day we drove around the island some more to take in the incredible landscape.
The rust colored beaches are stunning. Let me tell you, these pictures don't even come close to capturing the feeling of actually being there and seeing the waves lap the rich red rocky shore firsthand. This is why I need to go back.

Once we returned to Charlottetown from our scenic drive, we continued our exploration of the area. We walked around the Peake's Quay waterfront and meandered in and out of the various shops. Most were the typical tourist haunts, rife with PEI keychains, t-shirts, and other chintzy souvenirs. Though many boasted charming hand-knit items, I couldn't find any actual yarn. But I'm a persistent sort.

I stumbled upon a shelf of yarn in a shop called Nellie's that was made right there on the island! Can't get anymore local than that.
These worsted beauties are from MacAusland's Woolen Mills in Bloomfield, and they're just so pretty! Though not the softest wool I've ever felt, it's certainly among the sturdiest, and definitely the sheepiest (is that even a word?). Seriously, you can still smell the sheepiness on them. It's wonderful! I'm glad I got the mill information from Nellie, so that I can order some more when (not if) the time comes. I am already dreaming about the warm, wooly cable knit hats these beauties will become- Matt has even requested one out of the brown.

Our PEI visit was only two short days before we boarded the ferry headed to Nova Scotia, but that was more than enough time to fall hard for the little island. I can't wait to go back- my inner Anne already misses it.

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