Prince Edward Island 2019

Oh, my beautiful Island, I simply cannot keep away from you…

In keeping with our tradition of spending time in Prince Edward Island at least every two years, Adam and I returned to my beloved, soul-awakening island this Summer. We went in July, which is later than we usually go and we were treated to an Island even more colorful than when the lupins are out in mid to late June. Lupins bring vivid splashes of color to the Island in late Spring but Summer blankets it in multiple shades of green, yellow and gold all mixed in with the blue of the ocean and the sky, the red of the cliffs and beaches and the lavender of the sunsets. I will admit that we weren’t planning on travelling this Summer but with the year we were having, Adam and I decided that a bit of time in a place so familiar and dear to us was needed. It helped us to ground ourselves and talk some things through. I have been struggling with isolation and solitude for months now, which are feelings quite common among women going through infertility and pregnancy loss, so while we were away, Adam and I began to talk about adding a dog to our family to help ease my loneliness. One thing led to another and our little golden retriever will be joining us in October. I am therefore very much looking forward to driving up to Prince Edward Island with her for our next visit and having her to frolick in the waves with. Because yes, Prince Edward Island is very dog friendly. The only beaches dogs are not allowed on are in the National Parks and even there the ban is only in place from May through October to allow Piping Plovers to nest. So perhaps the next time we go to the Island, we will give a Fall trip a try so I get discover more of my woundrous Island’s colors.

UpdateSince completing this post I have learned that 80% of the coastal forest in the western portion of the Cavendish sector of PEI National Park were lost due to the damage it sustained when the Island was struck by the remnants of Hurricane Dorian last weekend. The same area of the park also lost 2 meters to coastal erosion during the storm. I strive to keep this blog and my social media profiles as free of political discourse as possible, however in the name of my love for Prince Edward Island, a location that is extremely vulnerable to climate change due to the highly fragile nature of the red sandstone that it is formed of, I will ask this: please, vote in the upcoming election and when you do, vote with the climate in mind.

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Wild, Colorful, Newfoundland

 

 

It is no secret that Adam and I love the ocean, although for completely different reasons. Adam loves to lie on the beach and soak up the sun, while I love getting in the water regardless of how cold it might be. With this in mind along with the fact that Adam wanted to go someplace neither of us had ever been this year, we agreed to spend one week of our Summer vacation in Newfoundland.

Adam and I have now been to all three Maritime provinces and have enjoyed all of them immensely with Newfoundland, we discovered, being the most natural, untamed maritime province. It is the least densely populated with only 1.5 inhabitants per square kilometer. When you take into account the size of the province (405,212 sq. kms), you can get a bit of a feel for how rural a place it is, especially when you know that most of the island’s inhabitants live in the capital city of St. John’s. So if you are going to visit Newfoundland and want to see more than St. John’s and its immediate area, you need to enjoy driving. Adam and I rented an SUV for our one week stay and by the time we returned it I had driven a solid 2000 kilometers and we only visited the Avalon Peninsula, which is the Northeast and Southeast of the province.

How was the weather, you might be wondering? The weather in Newfoundland is notoriously difficult to predict and can change very suddenly no matter which part of the province you are in. Typically, if it is not nice in your neck of the woods, it will be sunny about an hour up the road. Just check the radar and head to where it is clear. We got a bit of everything while we were in Newfoundland, including some lovely, sunny, 30 degree (celsius) days where we went to the beach and got a tan. What we got the most though was, yes, fog, very, very dense fog. I can guarantee you will encounter fog several times a day, every day in Newfoundland and if it is a rainy day you will have to contend with that as well. If you want to learn more about the geography of Newfoundland and what makes it so foggy, you can read this Wikipedia article. Suffice it say, not only do you have to not mind driving if you want to have fun in Newfoundland, you also have to be a fairly relaxed driver, no matter the weather. I do not recommend driving at night if you can avoid it, regardless of how confident you are behind the wheel because on top of the dense fog, you may also encounter a moose. There are roughly 150 000 of them in the province and while we did not encounter a single one during our week-long vacation, there are on average 600 moose vs. car collisions in Newfoundland every year. Most of them are not fatal for humans, however the same cannot be said for their cars or the poor moose which is why many Newfoundlanders prefer not to drive at night. If you do have to drive at night and catch up to another driver, stay behind them as driving in groups is safer.

I wholeheartedly recommend visiting Newfoundland if you have the chance, it is an absolutely beautiful, peaceful province and Newfoundlanders are a very kind and welcoming bunch who will be happy to help you enjoy your stay in any way they can. If you want to get the most out of you trip to this unique province, I would recommend visiting as many wildlife and nature reserves as you can. I thoroughly enjoyed Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve and we both absolutely loved our whale and birdwatching tour with O’Brien’s Boat Tours. The historic town of Trinity was another of our favorites, we visited there twice and both times we ate at the Trinity Coffee Company and Mercantile. Trinity is also a fabulous place to shop for locally made arts and crafts for yourself or as a gift for friends and family. Finally, do not pass up on enjoying the view from the cliffs of Bonavista and keep an eye out for puffins of whales, we saw plenty of them!