Green Gables Literary Tour

We’ve just returned home from a glorious vacation– a pilgrimage back to my mother’s homeland, Prince Edward Island, for a sentimental sabbatical and literary field-trip to cap off our homeschool year.

For a week in Green Gables I’m going to do absolutely nothing but run free in a green world of summer. (Anne of Windy Poplars)

This year we read aloud together several volumes of Lucy Maude Montgomery’s classic Anne series. Bringing those tomes to life with in-person encounters was an incredible treat.

preparatory vacay pedi: green for the Cuthbert gables & pink for Marilla’s mother’s scotch roses
packed for the drive, toting a library book right out of the country
we read Anne’s House of Dreams in it’s entirety on this trip, I had to pause the read-aloud, choked up, several times on the drive through New England & the Canadian Maritimes en route to PEI

Through the window was glimpsed a distant, white-capped, blue sea– the beautiful Gulf of Saint Lawrence, on which floats like a jewel, Abegweit, whose softer, sweeter Indian name has long been forsaken for the more prosaic one of Prince Edward Island. (Anne’s House of Dreams)

The impressive, 8 mile Confederation Bridge from New Brunswick to PEI.

Our cozy, coastal cabin accommodations, The Cedar Shanty; sun-drenched and sweet-smelling, radiating warmth from the blistering salty air, like a healing sauna.

She dropped on her knees and gazed out into the June morning, her eyes glistening with delight. Oh, wasn’t it beautiful? Wasn’t it a lovely place? Suppose she wasn’t really going to stay here! She would imagine she was. There was scope for imagination here. (LM Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables)

celebrated 18 years of marriage (and Father’s Day!) during our stay

They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other’s keeping and both were unafraid. 

After spending our first night on the island I awoke to dashes of cotton-candy clouds glowing from the window and slipped out the front door, scrambling barefoot up the dune to catch the sunrise.

The sun stretched sleepy flaxen arms over the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. (Sarah McCoy, Marilla of Green Gables)

I’ve never seen a finer sight than a summer sunrise over the gulf. (Captain Jim, Anne’s House of Dreams)

… And then this handsome fella watched as I sipped my coffee. Turns out he likes beef jerky.

Husband selected an idyllic vacation rental situated on the north end of the island, at Thunder Cove, nestled square in the center of the “cradle”, which protects that stretch of coast from strong tides and makes for gentle-waved beaches.

Though north enough to freeze the sea over, come winter, the beach (and water!) is remarkably warm in summer months. Still, occasionally a mist rolls in, perfect for breezy, romantic strolls.

The red sandstone cliffs are real!

kindred spirits, bosom friends

The day had begun sombrely in gray cloud and mist, but it had ended in a pomp of scarlet and gold. Over the western hills beyond the harbor were amber deeps and crystalline shallows, with the fire of sunset below. The north was a mackerel sky of little, fiery golden clouds. The red light flamed on the white sails of a vessel gliding down the channel, bound to a southern port in a land of palms. Beyond her, it smote upon and incarnadined the shining, white, grassless faces of the sand dunes. 

Teacup Rock

We drove all over the island, exploring ‘most every corner, but atop our list was Avonlea.

The long harbor road was like a gleaming red ribbon.

Every country road’s a viewpoint, every snapshot a postcard.

the island’s most famous flower, lupines, grow in abundance along the roadsides

Her eyes fell affectionately on Green Gables, peering through its network of trees and reflecting the sunlight back from its windows and several little coruscations of glory. (Anne of Green Gables, chapter XXVII)

One June evening, when the orchards were pink blossomed again, when the frogs were singing silvery sweet in the marshes about the head of the Lake of Shining Waters, and the air was full of the savor of clover fields and balsamic fir woods, Anne was sitting by her gable window…

puffed sleeves!

oh, you know, the lake of shining waters, #nbd

replica of Lucy Maude’s wedding dress, the original preserved for posterity, and her actual slippers (size three!)

the author’s original manuscripts, first editions, & hand-written letters
a national treasure, she penned the lyrics to the official island hymn
a wide array of books for sale, by some miracle I only bought two
a new keepsake, signed by the author’s cousin
I brazenly had our library book stamped *gasp*, adding authenticity any librarian would surely appreciate

We had the best lobster of our lives for ridiculously reasonable prices, nearly every day of our stay. My grandmother always claimed her daily consumption of the east-coast crustacean during her pregnancy was to credit for my mom’s exceptional health.

The entire island is a Maritime oasis; neat, clean, and orderly, trim and tidy. We enjoyed the restful, relaxing pace of life and #NauticalVibes.

spied a smack of jellyfish
jelly bloom

We did also manage to visit a few family landmarks.

this darling nautical shop in Charlottetown reminded me of my great grandfather, Reginald
final resting place of my other great grandparents and their son, my grandfather
stumbled upon the old dance hall in Georgetown that my grandma frequented every time she visited, from her youth to old age– she was always the first on the dance floor

I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string. 

All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer– one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going– one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends, and delightful doings, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.

My Thrift Store Addiction Vintage Charm party

Year of the Rooster

Spring Ahead

A Shivery Saturday

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