One of the great things about revisiting a place on vacation is that you have the time, knowledge, and flexibility to explore new things and take advantage of unexpected opportunities. This happened to us on our most recent return trip to Prince Edward Island.
We were googling around looking for nearby restaurants and stumbled on Copper Bottom Brewery in Montague which offered, in addition to a nice tap room, live fiddle music on Sunday and pizza and vinyl on Thursday. Yes, please!
If you are going to visit Prince Edward Island, you really should take some time to see the island by water. The views of the red cliffs, bays, inlets and green fields spinning out toward the horizon is a view not to be missed.
Last year, we went for a morning boat tour that included fishing and clamming. This year we went a little more low key and a lot more musical. We booked a ‘jigs and reels’ sunset tour with the Fiddling Fisherman out of Souris.
Our summer of two islands and two countries has come to an end. A bit of a luxury? Sure. Better than spending that money on day camps, water parks, or new toys? Absolutely.
Our girls definitely learn best by doing. Reading books and looking at pictures is great but nothing beats hands-on experience. One of my many favorite little memories from the past week was passing the Amish family buggy on the road near our rental house and the conversation it sparked with Cecilia. You could almost see how the first hand brush with a vastly differently culture was re-mapping her worldview through curiosity and not skepticism.
Whether we were on a working lobster boat or visiting the community bakery, the girls were able to see firsthand how different cultures live, taste the food, and maybe step into their shoes for a short time. These sensory experiences allow the girls to gain knowledge in a more meaningful way. I think that’s worth stretching the budget for.
If you are reading this it means we’ve survived our 12 hour car trip across the border into Canada without an international incident and are back in PEI for a week of mussels….and not much else beyond a relaxing end to the summer.
Family road trips can be many things but mostly they are a test for parents on how long they can keep kids occupied before the children reach their breaking point. I try to see this as a way to help them develop patience and slowly prepare them for a life of sitting in a cube working on TPS reports.
The girls actually did great. We’ve built up their stamina with road trips to Jersey, Philly, and DC and they handled the extra hours pretty well. We did Harry Potter on audio, they did a few movies, there were silly road games, some French pop on the radio, and a breakfast truck stop.
We have three cardinal rules for our road trips: First, keep everyone fed. Second, embrace the chaos with as much humor and patience as you can muster. Third, always bring baby wipes no matter how old your kids (or their father) get.
We enjoyed our vacation on Prince Edward Island so much, we’ve been scheming on how quickly we can return. One of the best parts of the trip was the relaxed vibe. You didn’t have to work hard to unplug and just breathe.
There were no big amusement parks. No big resorts. No big expectations. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t anything to do. Quite the opposite. Here are seven things we really enjoyed doing on PEI with kids during our vacation.
This fishing excursion wasn’t firmly on the itinerary at the start of the trip. We were all leery of being trapped on a boat for four hours with kids that might hate it, but we had a mostly empty day and ended up giving the family-oriented Paradise by the Seas Adventure Tour (facebook, tripadvisor) a shot. And we were very glad we did. It ended up being a great addition to our trip with a lot of fun memories for both kids and parents alike.
Our one big indulgence during our PEI vacation was getting a seating at the FireWorks Feast at the Inn at Bay Fortune. I was a little hesitant given the the price tag, even in Canadian dollars it’s not cheap, but after a long night of slurping oysters, eating smoked salmon, and a full five course meal, I can happily say it did live up to the hype and is worth the price. If you can’t spend your money on a memorable vacation experience, what are you going to spend it on?
One advantage to staying on the eastern side of the island is that the Inn at Bay Fortune was just a short ten minute drive from our rental house. This came in especially handy at the end of the night when we were all so full that the prospect of driving across the island to roll into bed would not have been appealing.