Friday, June 29, 2012

Travel: PEI Day Trip to Cavendish

If you're female and over the age of 20, chances are you've at least heard of Anne of Green Gables. Or seen the movie. Or both... or, if you're like me, you lived and breathed Anne when you were a kid, read all of L.M. Montgomery's books, saw the Anne movies, visited PEI three times and went to the Anne musical in Charlottetown. On this last trip, I did draw the line at buying touristy souvenirs stamped with red braids and freckles, but I confess I did think about buying the "I <3 Gilbert" t-shirt I saw... I was thinking another addition to my zany t-shirt collection was in order, but in the end
I decided I probably shouldn't be walking around with a guy's name on my shirt that doesn't start with M.

Anyway! If you're an Anne-fan too, I would highly recommend visiting Cavendish, Prince Edward Island - the home of L.M. Montgomery and the inspiration for Avonlea.  A word of caution - don't think that the "Green Gables" farmhouse is the one used in the movie... it's not. Instead, it's the place that she visited often; it served as the inspiration for her book and was actually owned by some distant cousins.

Green Gables is full of period antiques and Anne inspired touches.  It's easy to imagine Anne living there.  Check out her broken slate, above.
Fun fact #1:  Lucy Maud Montgomery's manuscript for Anne of Green Gables was rejected 3 times before it was actually published.

Fun fact #2:  Lucy Maud's relatives still own the property where she was raised by her grandparents and operate a bookstore there.  The house itself isn't there anymore, but the foundation is... and there's scope for the imagination!

L.M. Montgomery's grave in Cavendish Cemetery

Fun fact #3:  Lucy Maud is buried in the Cavendish Cemetery with her husband.  I find it interesting that of all the epitaphs she could have had written on her tombstone, she chose "wife".

Travel Tips:
  • Visit the first week of June when things are just starting to open - you can avoid the crowds that way and it's not hot yet.
  • Start at Green Gables Heritage Place- pay to see both Green Gables and the Lucy Maud Montgomery homestead (saves a few dollars).
    • Watch the short video about L.M. Montgomery and check out the exhibit in the information center.
    • Wander around the barn and pretend to milk a cow.
Don't try this at home...unless home is a farm.

    • Walk through the house and imagine what it would have been like to live there.  Chat with the guides.
    • If the weather's nice, take a stroll down Lover's Lane.

    • Take LOTS of pictures.
  • Then, if you're not too tired, walk down the Balsam Hollow trail to the site of the Cavendish school, then, across the street and up the trail to the Lucy Maud Montgomery homestead.
The remains of L.M. Montgomery's home

  • At the homestead, pick up a book or two at the bookstore and chat it up with one of the relatives about Lucy Maud's life... we learned so much about her that way!
  • Next, continue down the "shortcut" to the church and post office and finish at the Cemetery, where you can see her final resting place.
  • Hungry yet?  I highly recommend Rachael's Ristorante in Cavendish... awesome seafood and artisan bread. YUM!  M said the pizza was great too, but he polished it off on his own.

  • Relax after dinner with a stroll on Cavendish beach. 
  • Last, but not least, enjoy spending time with those you love!

      1 comment:

      1. Raye&#39;s MommaJuly 8, 2012 at 6:22 PM

        Great memories --- thanks for documenting some of them for me! Love you both lots,


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