One week ago today, my mother and I took Sarah and Olivia to Prince Edward Island (PEI) for the day* to see “Anne of Green Gables”, the musical. It’s something I (we) have been waiting to do for many years.
I am a voracious reader. According to personality tests, my number one strength is “input” – information. I read books, blogs, magazines, cereal boxes, etc. The best part of being on bedrest when we were having babies (I did the equivalent of a full year in bed during those eight years) was all of the uninterrupted reading I got to do. We didn’t have a laptop in those years, so my mother would bring me – literally – bags of books from the library which I would devour.
I started reading the “Anne of Green Gables” series by Lucy Maud Montgomery while I was in elementary school and have read every book in the series multiple times. I watched the CBC television series as a teenager and saw the play at the Charlottetown Festival when I was about ten.
Earlier this summer, my mom asked about the possibility of a girls trip to the Island to see the musical; we both knew it was the right year to do it as Sarah is 11 and Olivia is nine; perfect ages. We watched the weather and decided last week would be the day! We were lucky – the show was close to sold-out, but we were able to get tickets to the matinee.
On Tuesday, my mom sent them a message inviting them, so they would have some time to get excited and anticipate the adventure.
We left our house as D’Arcy was about to serve breakfast to the guests and drove via the Confederation Bridge. It’s almost exactly two hours from our door to the other side of the bridge, and an easy trip. One of my favourite moments during the drive was when my mom had asked what Sarah was reading, to which Sarah replied, “Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse”. My mother declared that this was one way she and Sarah are different – she would never have read a book like that when she was that age. Sarah immediately looked at the copyright date in the front of the book and said, “Well, that’s because it was published in 2008 – it wasn’t written when you were my age, Ginna!”
We stopped at the village at Borden-Carleton in PEI for a bathroom break and to explore the gift shop where Sarah & Olivia convinced their mother to buy them sunglasses (which they had neglected to bring). I also bought new trivets for the table and a pair of potato scrubbing gloves. (The texture is the same as you would use to exfoliate your body!)
After, we headed straight for Charlottetown where we were fortunate to find a parking spot directly outside of Province House. My mom had packed a picnic for us, which we ate in the stands while watching the Confederation Centre Young Company’s “Voices of Canada” production. (Free weekdays from 12:45 – 1:00 until August 20, 2016.) We had seen it a couple of years ago, but Sarah declared this year’s a more enjoyable production.
The Anne matinee began at 1:30, which was perfect timing. We went in and found our seats. I told my mom and the girls to watch out for my friend, Amanda, who was also supposed to be attending the show. Amanda & I grew up together in Truro, and she has stayed involved in music and now lives & works in Chicago after many years in New York City. Imaging our surprise when she, her huband, daughter (Anne!), and mom sat directly in front of us!! We spent so much time chatting (and because I had turned my phone off in the theatre) that we didn’t get a photo.
The show was amazing. Wonderful talent, songs I know every word to, fabulous sets, and wonderful choreography. I must admit, I shed tears a couple of times.
After the show was over, we walked to our favourite pub, the Gahan House, for dinner. It was as good as always with safe food for Olivia, attentive service, and good beer. My mom & I each had fish tacos made with halibut, Sarah had a hamburger, and Olivia had a club – no mayo, made in a tortilla, with veggies on the side. My mom commented during the meal that she could certainly understand why we always eat there while in Charlottetown, as they were so good about Liv’s allergies.
We went for a walk after supper to try to find the “2016” statue which the girls were disappointed to discover is no longer on the waterfront. We walked back up to Province House to at least get their photos taken on the 1864 statue before walking back to the car and heading home.
Along the way home, we stopped at the cave by the train bridge in the Wentworth Valley to examine it. Of course, Sarah & Olivia both declared that was the best part of the whole day! All in all, our first girls’ day was a success and one that I hope our girls remember with nostalgia when they are mothers.
*We left our house in Truro, NS at 8:15am, and were back home by 8:30pm the same day.