Temporary Islanders

My husband and I landed in Prince Edward Island last Saturday, and he flew back to Toronto a few days ago; I’m staying on an extra week to spend time with my dad and grandparents (and various other PEI friends and loved ones). The period that the two of us were here together with the parentals was a whirlwind seven days into which we managed to pack a good mix of nature-based and classic sightseeing outings along with family time and Acadian-centric activities. Besides seeing my grandparents and other Maritimes relatives, highlights included a visit to Green Gables House, where my red-headed husband sported the straw hat and pigtails of the fictional female ginger of yore; many trips to the beach; a visit to Greenwich, where there are unbelievably beautiful parabolic dunes; a multi-course lobster supper in New Glasgow; a jaunt to Charlottetown, the impressively tiny provincial capital; meeting Sugar and Otis, the resident ponies at my grandfather’s nursing home; deep-sea fishing (we are, as you’ve probably guessed, now master anglers); a day devoted to showing my husband my Acadian roots, which culminated in attending the annual Acadian agricultural exposition and festival and then an incredible feast, which included Acadian delicacies as well as lobster, in Abram Village; and the consumption of more orange-pineapple and Grapenut ice cream than I care to recall (both flavours that are unavailable in backwards Toronto).

Green Gables. Not pictured: my husband dressed up in ginger pigtails.
Meet Sugar and Otis, whose sole job is to help keep the residents of my grandfather’s nursing home content. I love that therapy ponies exist.
One of my favourite things from the Acadian agricultural exposition. Potato decorating just might be my next hobby: it’s in my blood, after all.

We stayed in a cute little cottage right next to the National Park boundary in Stanhope, close enough to walk to the beach in five or so minutes, and my uncle and aunt drove over from Nova Scotia on Wednesday and stayed with us until Friday, which was a special bonus. On Saturday, after dropping my husband off at the airport, my parents and I relocated to a cottage near the site of the (gorgeous) wedding that we attended yesterday.

It’s been an incredible vacation: exactly what we needed, especially with our beach trip to NC cancelled. I’m so grateful that my parents helped us organize it on such short notice, and I’m happy that my husband had the opportunity to experience a place that’s an important part of my personal heritage. It’s also been really, really great to spend quality time with my mom and dad. (Update: since I started writing this post, my mother flew back to the West Coast. Now it’s just me and my father, the true Islander of our original crew.)

All that said, it’s hard not to let the realities of home sneak into my thoughts every once in a while, mostly the fact that I’ll have to return, eventually, to a difficult situation that hasn’t just disappeared because I’ve been enjoying myself. I’ve  continued having seizures while here, although all in the evening, and all complex partial, so I really shouldn’t complain. In addition, I’m starting to realize that it’ll be a major challenge to go back to Toronto without some plan in place that isn’t just “push through until surgery.” But I still have a few days of PEI time left: might as well savour them, starting with another cone of Grapenut ice cream.

You’re pretty pretty, PEI.



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