In vacations, as with life, I often find that mid-course corrections must be made, Yesterday, the plan was to leave Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and make it all the way to West Point, Prince Edward Island, near the (you guessed it) the West end of PEI. I was told that the trip would take four hours. There was, however, a surprising amount of traffic around Halifax, that is, until I remembered that this was Friday and the start of an important holiday weekend for the Canadians (July 1st is Canada Day, the equivalent of our Fourth of July.) In addition, we left our video camera in our inn in Lunenburg, remembered, thankfully, by my son when we were only eight miles away, So we had a late start, --- one, however, which allowed some extra browsing in art galleries in Lunenburg.
In Lunenburg, I had the sense that we had stepped back in time a bit and outside consumer society. That was shattered in route to PEI. We stopped for lunch at McDonalds, which was about like home except for the maple leaf in the golden arches. It was the worse food I'd had since leaving home. But the scenery in route was spectacular --- rolling hills of green forests, vast expanses of largely unpopulated areas, and dark inlets and ponds of water everywhere. I was reminded of being out west --- a great big blue sky with billowing white clouds. It stayed this was throughout mid-Nova Scotia, through Truro and Amherst an on to the Confederation Bridge, a long expanse over Northumberland Strait, between Novas Scotia.
But back to the mid-course correction: Going to West Point PEI would be quite a trip, and I was concerned we'd all be suffering scenery fatigue with al the car time. I canceled the reservation and secured a room in Charlottetown, the provincial capital, so after we exited the bridge, we turned east, following the scenic Blue Heron Trail, meandering through south PEI. The road followed the coastline. This was different than Nova Scotia. Rather than vast expanses of forest, there were rolling hills of green fields and meadows, dropping off into the Northumberland Srait, skirted by flowering pink and lavender lupines. Colorful farmhouses were scattered about, and here and there, in the middle of the fields, a church, some of them obviously a center piece of these agricultural communities (at least at one time.) I wonder about their life now.
Coming into Charlottetown, there was actually traffic and some of the typical urban sprawl, though on a small scale. Our hotel was at the historic waterfront. Arriving there, we discovered that it was a happening place --- the Festival of Lights was going on and the place was full of people, many college age. After checking in, we had dinner at a Greek restaurant, paid a visit (for my daughter) to the Anne of Green Gables store, and visited the waterfront. Two young girls had a drunken friend by the arms. He obviously could not stand up well. There was a lot of drinking going on. I was almost run over by another kid who obviously couldn't walk a straight line. Charlottetown is old, and while it is restored and lively, it looks more old than restored. It actually reminded me of an old Southern city, like Columbia South Carolina --- aged and not quite restored.
A nice end to the evening was the rising full moon over the harbor.