Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Trip to Charlottetown

Last weekend, Jubal and I drove to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to visit Jubal's aunt. This was my 4th trip and Jubal was there about 4 years ago. We were both giddy to return to a beloved place that had given us both fond memories. To me what's so special about PEI is it is so much like Maine but somehow magical. And made magical by the memories I made when I was 17 on vacation there with my family. Not to mention, my all time favorite stories written by Lucy Maud MontgomeryAnne of Green Gables

As it's a 10 hour drive from Portland to Charlottetown, we stopped off in Calias and stayed at Greystones Bed and Breakfast. After traveling Rt. 9 in the dark through fog and light rain, arriving at the B&B was like coming home. Or at least a cozy magazine. I could not highly recommend staying here enough. The rooms are immaculately decorated, warm and inviting with beautiful touches. For breakfast in the morning I was served an egg souffl√© which was amazing and kept me going nearly all day. I did keep eating, but I knew I didn't need to.  

The reminder of the drive was lovely. There is something about crossing a border no matter where I am that is always exciting. 

We crossed over into St. Stephen, New Brunswick with ease as the line of cars coming from the other direction reached further into town. We both started to calculate in our heads the amount of time we'd need to come back through. We enjoyed a pit stop at the St. John City Market. We picked up lunch, a few treasures and we were off again. 

I love a country who has a cream for every food. 

A view of the Confederation Bridge connecting New Brunswick to PEI. It's 8 miles. my first trip in 1996 with my family, it wasn't finished yet but I think it had begun. We took the ferry over and I remember seeing this bridge reaching out into the water. I felt a bit speechless just not being able to wrap my mind around a bridge being built into the open water like that. But there it is. All these years later.  

Reaching the other side. 

The next morning we visited the Charlottetown Farmer's Market. It was packed with lovely local delights. We did a quick tour around just enough time to sample a steamed scallop, pick up a gift, choose wool, and sample fresh porgies.  

We then drove to Belfast to tour the Belfast Mini Mills. The drive there was peaceful and filled with this light that looked like the sky couldn't decide weather to shine or snow. 

We found these funny ice sculptures forming on the gutter of one of the buildings. 
One of the many things that makes this mill so unique is they build all their own equipment AND build the same equipment in smaller sizes to send to small villages all over the world. It wasn't hard to consider what it would be light to set up a mini mill in our own back yard. 

This bag here, this big fluffy white bag, it's 100% Samoyed dog. They use borax with the washing and it removes all traces of dog smell:) 

This little pile of grey fluff, 100% quiviut. Just holding it for a few seconds, my hand started to warm. 

A few treasures I brought home included a bag of 8oz of Lupin Lane colorway a huge batt of merino, alpaca, mohair, silk, bamboo, and qiviut. And a few skeins of undyed superwash merino for sample skeins. 

We then ventured to the McPhail Homestead for a foraging walk. Jubal had come here with his aunt on his last trip and had very fond memories of finding a pile of chanterelles. He just where to look and with in minutes he found a pile. 

As always I had a great time finding a few mushrooms. I love finding these. I believe it's a type of hedgehog. Perhaps traveling hedgehog.... I think I've seen this name in my book. My favorite thing about these mushrooms are the teeth. Those little fangs that hang under the cap instead of gills. 

For dinner, Jubal cooked up the mushrooms and we had them with our chicken and roasted vegetables. They were so delicious. 

On our last day, we walked around Charlottetown. I had such a longing to see the old places I first saw with my family so when we turned a corner and I saw this store, I felt like our trip came full circle. We popped into the Anne of Green Gables store, I couldn't help it, where I bought #8 of the series. Though these books were written for children, I love reading them. They are witty, calming, and inspired. 

After a brisk walk around, we visited a cafe where there happened to be a knitting circle in full force. When they asked me if I had my knitting, I responded that I left it in the car. Someone said, "you mean you go places with out it?!" Yes sometimes I do and then I kick myself. 

The drive back that afternoon was eventless and the sky was turning more towards snow. We stopped off in Calias again had a good rest before we tackled the rest of our trip. It was all too short but so happy we were able to go. 

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