Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Land of Anne

I had been looking forward to this vacation for a long time. I started planning it two years ago. This winter we finally said: “This is the summer. We are going to make it happen. The five of us are going to have a girls’ trip to Prince Edward Island.” It turned out to be good timing. This June was the centennial anniversary of the printing of Anne of Green Gables. So, I booked tickets and made lodging reservations to make the plans absolutely final. I spent a lot of time looking at the PEI tourism website and thumbing through vacation planning brochures. As it turns out, we only did a few of the activities available, but the planning was fun.

So with all of that anticipation I am having a difficult time deciding what my “favorite thing” is.
I loved spending time with Mom and Jessica and Jeni and Crystal, of course. I also loved the pastoral feel of the island, the slower pace, and the quaint ambience of an island protecting and preserving the past, particularly the past of Lucy Maud Montgomery.

While Jeni will probably have you believing that we did nothing but pay homage to Lucy Maud Mongtgomery, I really only planned one L.M. Montgomery or Anne of Green Gables activity a day. Actually, one day they decided we could do two.

We had a wonderful tour of L.M. Montgomery’s birthplace home at Clifton Corner. The docent there was excellent and gave us a good introduction to Lucy’s life. I loved seeing many of Lucy’s scrapbooks on display. It was interesting to see her collages of cats, flowers, and fashion plates and to read the stories she liked and had clipped out of magazines. There was one that told a legend of the first kiss. I couldn’t read it, but I wondered how much it had influenced her telling of the first kiss in The Story Girl. I was also intrigued by a video and display we saw later at Green Gables, “Imagining Anne,” that described how the pieces gathered in Lucy’s scrapbooks were later incorporated into the creation of the character Anne.

Later in the week we had a nice walk from the McNeil Cavendish home site, through the Haunted Woods to Green Gables.

“The peace and quiet of this dear old spot is very sweet to me. There is no place on earth I love, or will ever love as I do it.” – L.M. Mongtomery

“I can’t go through the Haunted Wood, Marilla … I would be sure that white things would reach out from behind the trees and grab me.” Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 20, “A Good Imagination Gone Wrong.”

“To the west a dark church spire rose up against a marigold sky. Below was a little valley, and beyond a long, gently-rising slope with snug farmsteads scattered along it. From one to another the child’s eyes darted, eager and wistful. At last they lingered on way away to the left, far back from the road, dimly white with blossoming trees from the surrounding woods.” Anne of Green Gables, Chapter 2, “Matthew Cuthbert Is Surprised.”

What girl wouldn’t have fun on a dream vacation like this? At the end of the day, we did Mom’s favorite thing: we went back to our little yellow cottage overlooking the ocean. The cottage was such a tranquil spot that Mom just wanted to sit on the porch and look around her all day long.

I’ve enjoyed every minute of the time. I don’t see how I am ever to return to common life again.


Sorenson family trio said...

Wow the trip sounds great. I finished reading Anne of Green Gables not that long ago so it was neat to see your pictures. I am glag all of you had fun.

Lauri said...

So glad I found your blog on Gina's site!!! You girls are so funny - I laughed out loud. Better than chick-lit ;)
I am so jealous of your PEI trip. I don't have sisters, but maybe I'll drag Shawn there one day.