Tuesday, July 7, 2009

That merrie girl....

Today was about four things for me... 1. Celebrating the birthday of my husband and making sure he had a good time and that his 'love tank' was full (5 languages of love reference, sorry to those who dont know what or where their 'love tank' is) 2. Visiting Green Gables, the place from my imagination, 3. Lobster, and 4. Missing my Mom.

1. The Birthday. It really stunk that Rich's birthday fell on the Prince Edward Island day. This day of all the days was the one where the things planned were specific to my interests. We did find 3 geocaches, so that made him happy. We went to the drive-in movies and saw The Transformers. The waitresses at the restaurant sang him the birthday song and brought him chocolate cake with a sparkler coming out of the top instead of a candle - how fun is that? He is such a great guy though, he didnt complain that 'his day' was spent doing me things. Instead he just loved being with me while I enjoyed this day full of things I had been looking forward to. He says he likes to see the sparkle in my eye when I am having fun. I didnt know I had a sparkle, but if I do, I am glad I sparkled for him on his birthday. I wont talk about how he lost his credit/debit card on his birthday. Oops...did I say that out loud? (We are off to try to backtrack and find it this morning. Good news is that we know where he used it last!)

2. Green Gables. Well, have to start with the drive leaving the hotel. I love to travel. I love to see new places. I can find something fun or unique or beautiful in almost anyplace I visit. I have seen breathtaking scenery in Alaska, Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and some places in the US. I have never seen anything that took my breath away like Prince Edward Island. I took more pictures yesterday than I have taken in my life. Every turn on the road brought a visual vista more spectacular than the one before it. The colors: greens, reds, blues......all so vivid. Cows grazing in the lushest greenest field with the expanse of the ocean, not diamonds on the water but an ocean cresting again and again with waves. Marshes, and dunes, red clay roads, evergreen trees....and beautiful quaint homes. Every where I looked was like a picture post card. I had to stop and put my feet in the water. So we stopped at a fishing village and I got out of the car and walked on the pier and put my tootsies in the water. Now I was ready for lunch (yeah, lunch..boy did we get going late!) and Green Gables! We stopped at a little diner for lunch. I had a fish sandwich and Rich a hamburger and we shared an order of poutine. We have been seeing poutine on the menu all through canada and wondered what it was. Poutine is a heart attack on a plate, but boy do you go with satisfied taste buds! Poutine is french fries, drenched in gravy that is pure yumminess, then covered in melted cheese. So good, I cant even tell you...SOOOOOOO good. If you get a chance to taste poutine - do it! We headed off for Green Gables after lunch. Bought the combo ticket for the Green Gables Tour and the Lucy Maud Montgomery homestead tour. Saw a sign saying that the next tour was in 10 minutes...so waited, not very patiently I will admit. The little tour guide girl was not particularly knowlegable. In the reading I have done from the Anne books, and the biographical information I have read on Lucy Maud....I easily pointed out (not out loud, just to Rich) several inaccuracies in the information she was sharing. I started to get less patient..shifting my weight, just wanting to get off and see the house and stop listening. I was polite and quiet and remained with the tour. I was with Rich after all, infojunkie extraordinaire...the tour and information assimilation is what he loves best. Green Gables looked just as I imagined, just as Lucy Maid described in the books. I walked through the house noticing the tiniest details...even to the tiniest detail I found items described in the book throughout the house. One of the antique books in the bookcase was titled 'Uncommon Spunk' and I just laughed to myself, that describing Anne completely. I am sure the person who found that book and placed it on that shelf did so for exactly that reason, wondering how many people would notice and make the connection. I would have done something like that - and do quite often in theatre sets. We finished walking through the house, and then came the part I was looking forward to most. The walk through the haunted wood. The house was wonderful, but so concrete, as Anne would say 'it leaves little scope for the imagination' but the Haunted Wood...this was Anne's imagination come alive and I couldnt wait to let my imagination take flight with hers during this 45 minute stroll. It was beautiful. No sooner had we cleared sight of the land and I noticed some buttercups. I havent seen buttercups (that I noticed anyway, you know how that is..life gets busy and you dont notice) in 25 years. I quickly picked one, and held it under my chin asking Rich "Do you see yellow?" He replied "yes" to which I replied "that means I am in love" and kissed him. I then held the buttercup under his chin, saw yellow and told him that he was in love too. He was chuckling by this time, as you can imagine. As we walked...there were wildflowers...purples and oranges, and yellows, queen anne's lace and daisies, and dandilions. I couldnt help myself. I started picking a wildflower bouquet. Not a big one, rather small...one of each of the flowers as we travelled through the woods holding hands and talking about the books, and imagination, and each other. It was delightful. Those woods, that walk with flowers and Rich were the highlight of my trip so far. I cant explain why in words, it was just somehow a tremendously fulfilling experience on many levels. No trip is complete without a visit to the gift shop. Rich actually dragged me in there. I knew I wanted a shirt, but wasnt going to get 'presents' for myself on his birthday so I was walking on past. He bought me the shirt I liked that says "kindred spirits.' He also bought me paper dolls. I remember as a girl, everytime we went somewhere that was what I wanted from the gift shop - paper dolls. I am going to put these away in my Trunk of Memories at home. They will remind me of my trip to Green Gables, but also be a warm reminder of my childhood. We also got a couple of post cards. One of 'the bridge' and Rich found a bridge fact book and I realized how high that bridge really was over the water. Today, I will have to encounter it in the daylight. Scary.

We left Green Gables and headed off to find some caches, with a beach detour on the way. I wanted to go to the beach where there were 'white sands'. I found lots of amazing rocks on the beach. The water was off limits due to tremendous rip tides, but I did put my feet in and got more than I bargained for. Just at that moment there was a bigger wave that hit the shore and I ended up with my jeans wet to my knees. (Have I said they are having unseasonably cold weather? It has been jeans and sweatshirt weather here. No beach day today as the itinerary had planned) Since I was already wet, why not keep wading...so I did picking up beautiful stones from the shore. Rich laughed at my sweatshirt pouch full of rocks. He said "are you keeping those?" I said "yep"...he shook his head. It started to rain, and we went off to find a geocache up the road a piece. A lighthouse we thought. In the meantime I was shimmying out of my wet jeans and into a pair of sweats in the car. We found the cache amidst some of the beautiful red cliffs that we had seen from the distance. No lighthouse, but we found the information needed for the cache nontheless. I love seeing the smile of accomplishment on Rich's face when he finds a cache. I suspect it is similar to him liking to see the sparkle in my eye. We headed back to North Rustico at this point in time to find........duh duh duh duh....... #3 - LOBSTER

Prince Edward Island is famous for Lobster suppers. My taste buds have been tickled for days just waiting for this. We had dinner at Fisherman's Wharf, which from my research, was the home of the Lobster Supper. We had surf and turf...which came with all you can eat salad bar, all you can eat seafood chowder, all you can eat steamed mussels and a 1 lb lobster and a steak. Yum. It was all so good. After eating the salad, and the chowder and the mussels..finally the lobster came. I de-shelled Rich's lobster, then attacked my own with gusto. It was so good. So so so so so so so so good. I was stuffed and the meal came with dessert still to come! I had strawberry shortcake like my Mom used to make - on a biscuit not one of those sweet sponge things you get in the south. I ate the biscuit and left the strawberries - they were too sweet for a diabetic. Rich had lemon meringue pie and then they brought him chocolate cake with his birthday song and a sparkler. Happy two dessert supper for him!

That brings me to 4. Memories of Mom. So much of my childhood my parents and assorted others shook their heads at my imagination, verbosity, eccentricities. After reading the Anne Books I always imagined them saying 'that merrie girl' the way the folks in the book said 'that anne girl' Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was because I had perpetrated another mini disaster. Making breakfast all over the floor with the contents of the refridgerator, or making dinner of meatloaf with whole sausages and eggs scrambled into the middle (it was worse than dog food i assure you) ...from spilling paint that I had used to anchore my fort in the basement, to falling in the water on a bull frog catching hunt. Heads shaking...and 'that merrie girl' was always what I imagined them saying. Particularly Mom. I was a walking talking foreign language to my mother. She never tried to quell my imagination though, just.....much like the practical Marilla from the Anne books...keep my head out of the clouds enough to deal with reality. This place...PEI......my Mother would have loved it here. Every new turn in the road bringing such incredible views of the ocean my mother loved...I would think of her. She was truly with me yesterday. I felt her all day. I felt like I had brought her with me, and she was sharing in this island she would have loved so much. I miss her, still sometimes it is an ache...sometimes a smile where I think of her...sometimes.....I see someone in a restaurant who, for a fleeting moment makes me think "oh, there's mom". I have been aware this whole trip that it culminates with her Memorial Service...It makes me want the trip to linger. I dont know if I am ready to put her to rest. I like her taking vacations with me.

Ok....time to get moving for the day.......

'that merrie girl' hasnt even made coffee yet and I promised I would!

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