An American Visits Canada, Pt 4

Prince Edward Island – Our first impressions.

My very first impression of Prince Edward Island was actually in my early childhood years when I was first introduced to the Anne of Green Gables books (written by L.M. Montgomery) and movies (produced by Sullivan Entertainment in Canada). I’m going to save my observations about the significance of Anne of Green Gables on the island for a later post, however.

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Our first recent impression of the island itself consisted of online research of its size, population, crime rate (yes, my husband and I do check on these things prior to planning a visit to a place we’ve never visited before!), weather, roadways, etc. We discovered that the island was a bit larger than we would have first expected (more to come on that later, since it ended up being even bigger in person!).

Our first impression of the islanders themselves happened when we called the front desk at the Holiday Inn Express to book our reservation. (We were originally thinking bed & breakfast for our lodging, but discovered it was a bit out of our budget for this particular trip, though if you have a bit more with which to splurge, I would suggest that you might really enjoy the B&B experience on the island.) One of the night clerks, Sharon, answered and was very pleasant towards us as we asked questions about the accommodations there at the hotel. Later on in the conversation, we revealed that this was actually our first time visiting Canada and asked her a few questions about what parts of the island would be opened for tourists during our visit in early June (she had told us that their main tourist season is July-Sept). She couldn’t hardly believe that we planned to make the drive up all the way from South Carolina and stay for only one week! She was very helpful and honest about the cooler weather they were experiencing. This was a huge blessing, as we made sure to pack a few sweaters, jackets, etc. and left our shorts at home!

Our next impression of the islanders themselves was from a very kind woman, Catherine, who went out of her way to give me detailed information about the Anne of Green Gables related sites on the island, along with when they planned to open this season. I had posted a question about it on the Anne of Green Gables Facebook page run by Sullivan Entertainment, in the hopes that someone from Canada would respond with the information I desired. I was not at all disappointed! In fact, I messaged her back thanking her for her feedback and letting her know that, if it worked out, it would be fun to meet her during our visit. She let me know that she works at the North Shore Surf Company, right near Cavendish beach and the Anne of Green Gables sites, and told me we were welcome to drop in.

So far, we had an excellent impression of the island and the people living on it before we even drove across the 7-mile bridge onto the island. Yes, you read that correctly. 7-mile bridge. It’s basically a causeway, like some of you may have driven across on a recent beach trip….but a good deal more expansive! I was a bit apprehensive about the bridge at first, having a fear of heights, but once I discovered that you could actually see the island shoreline from the beginning of the bridge, I felt much better. Looking straight ahead during the drive across can also help those of you who may struggle with car sickness or a fear of heights. The bridge is very safe – the only time it’s not advised to cross it is during winter storms or when ice and/or snow are piled up, but you probably wouldn’t want to visit the island during that season anyways!

About 45 minutes after we crossed the bridge, we made it to our hotel, after enjoying some lovely scenery (albeit it wasn’t that easy to see much of it since we arrived after dark) along the way. Once again, the hotel staff at the Holiday Inn Express was friendly and helpful. We quickly headed to bed, with an already positive view of the island on our minds.

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