The Road to Prince Edward Island

Posted by Donna on 5:52 AM with No comments

I had intended to detail our ride to PEI when we got back to our B&B last night, but the lethal combination of total exhaustion (thanks to fighting crosswinds for most of the day), Jason's snoring and food coma (dinner was awesome), the only thing I could do was sleep.

Monday morning was beyond blustery; the wind was fierce and the skies menacing. The only saving grace was the weather forecast - no rain and blue skies, literally, on the horizon. The road out of St. John was fraught with frost heaves. Between that, the pot holes and patches of repaving, I felt like I was on the back of a bucking bronco, not an Iron Horse. And the GPS had somehow conspired against us as well. On more than one occasion, it beckoned us to take a dirt road, and on a few others, it actually lulled us into a false sense of security by teasing us with pavement that without warning disintegrated into gravel and dirt.

It was time for coffee and recalculation.

We pulled into Tim Horton's, the Dunkin' Donuts of Canada to warm up (despite long sleeves, a hooded sweatshirt and jacket, the wind was taking its toll) and take a look at the route. It took some backtracking and a little more reliance on Jason's internal compass, but we got back to Sussex and continued on to Prince Edward Island.

Routes 114 and 951 were picturesque, not unlike some of the routes we’ve ooh’d and ahh’d over in the US – the Blue Ridge Parkway for one, where every curve brought another spectacular site. We finally caught up to that elusive sun in Alma, where the skies were a beautiful and welcoming shade of blue. But, try as we did, we couldn't outpace the wind.

It was after 5 when we rolled into Charlottetown and settled into our B&B - The Hillhurst Inn- home for the next two days. I gushed over the architecture and spectacular Victorian interior, including the reception hall in quartered oak with an oak-paneled ceiling. Although it has been renovated since it was built, specifically for the purposes of operating as a B&B, the house (which boasts 8 bedrooms) has retained many of its original features. The home was built in 1897 by George Longworth. The Longworth family were successful shipbuilders and merchants in Charlottetown.

We wandered downtown towards Charlottetown's historic area, (a nice walk, since the wind was finally reined in) rich in a bounty of restaurants, shopping and history. Dinner was the objective, and we enjoyed PEI mussels (of course) and terrific seafood fare at the Old Dublin Pub.

PS. If you're waiting for my further musings on St. John, you'll have to wait until our next visit. Torrential rain and wind pummeled the area shortly after we got to the hotel - and never let up. Instead of exploring, we ordered take-out and watched a "Shutter Island" with Leonardo DiCaprio. Strange movie.