Friday, July 18, 2014

Dreamers and Doers: 2014 Summer Trip

Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island

Our summer vacations are far from relaxing, but our adventures create amazing memories.  We spend months planning our trips and making itineraries to make sure we make the most of our time. This year, we ventured to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  We received our Nova Scotia travel guide in the mail, and the title, "Dreamers and Doers" immediately resonated with us.  Dreams never venture further than our own minds until we become doers.  Prince Edward Island has been a dream destination since we were young and re-enacting "Anne of Green Gables," whereas Nova Scotia just recently made our travel list. This trip was filled with dreaming and doing - from taking a motorcycle tour of the picturesque Peggy's Cove to walking the PEI shores.  

Nova Scotia awed us with her sweeping beauty and charmed us with her culture. We visited quaint towns around Halifax, including Lunenburg and Mahone Bay.  In Glen Margaret, we met local artist and author Ivan Fraser, who gave us a tour of his childhood home and spun a captivating tale of Peggy's Cove that was blend of fact and fiction.  Our time on the east coast of Nova Scotia was filled with history, maritime culture, and charming coastal towns. The landscape became stunningly dramatic as we traveled the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.  We began our Cape Breton experience at the Celtic Music Interpretive Center, learning a little about Celtic music, fiddle-playing, and step-dancing, which are huge parts of the local culture.  The coast of Cape Breton etched itself in our minds.  We took a few hikes that rewarded us with awe-inspiring views. White Point was our absolute favorite, a quiet retreat surrounded by a rocky coast, where our closest neighbors were seagulls and fishermen on lobster boats. The island is dotted with rural communities, and it is refreshing to completely disconnect from the suburbs, traffic, and chain stores.

Prince Edward Island lived up to its nickname "The Gentle Island," and was all that I ever dreamed it to be, from the Red Sand Shores to the Prince Edward Island National Historic Park.  We visited L.M. Montgomery's Green Gables and walked Lover's Lane and the Haunted Wood.  The visit is a must for Anne fans, but I'm sure we have all developed our own visions of Prince Edward Island after reading or watching "Anne of Green Gables."  My sister and I drove around the island searching for the one perfect spot that matched the PEI of our imaginations.  When Anne is naming the Lake of Shining Waters, she tells Matthew "I shall call it--let me see--the Lake of Shining Waters. Yes, that is the right name for it. I know because of the thrill. When I hit on a name that suits exactly it gives me a thrill..." We felt that "thrill" when we found our PEI paradise in the photo at the top of this post.  We were in French River, driving down one of the island's many unpaved roads, when we came upon a scene that captured everything beautiful about the island: lupine, red dirt, and verdant, rolling fields.  Prince Edward Island gives visitors a chance to unwind and take a few back roads.  You really can "...feed [your] soul where the blacktop ends."  PEI's beauty is unassuming and undeniable, both her landscape and the locals welcome travelers.  As put our feet in the red sand, gazed over lush fields, and let the breeze waft over us, we gave Prince Edward a piece of our hearts. Which means that one day we will revisit her alluring shores.

Nova Scotia

We reached Nova Scotia after 2 days of driving!

Peggy's Cove
The Three Churches, Mahone 
Blue Rocks
Blue Rocks
Lunenburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Sunset in Lunenburg
White Point, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
White Point, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Looking Towards Cheticamp

A Rocky Beach in Cape Breton Highlands National Park

Middle Head

Prince Edward Island

Green Gables House, The Home that Inspired L.M. Montgomery 
L.M. Montgomery's Lover's Lane
A Room in Green Gables
Dalvay-by-the Sea.  The exterior was used in the "Anne" movies.  

Red Sand Shores

French River

Greenwich Dunes 
Floating Boardwalk at Greenwich Dunes

Quintessentially PEI: Farmland and Sea


Beautiful Lupine

Stanley Bridge Hall

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