Family travel on Prince Edward Island (part 1)

My first visit to Prince Edward Island was last summer, when we spent two night at a B&B on tall red bluffs overlooking the ocean. The boys hunted for sea glass on the shoreline, we climbed a lighthouse during a wild storm, and Danny fell hard for a locally distilled gin.

On that trip we played Anne of Green Gables on the minivan’s DVD player and didn’t resist falling in love with the Gentle Island. We knew we had to come back to explore more of P.E.I. and this summer it happened, with a little help from their tourism board.

Travel is a big part of our developing family food culture; our children learn about and sample the local fare, whether it is freshly dug clams or pan-fried fish. This topic is a little different from my usual blog content, but as many of you enjoyed reading about Mexico and Nova Scotia, I thought you’d like to join us on the beautiful Prince Edward Island.

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Brussels Sprout, Walnut & Pesto Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust

Our first daytrip as a married couple went awry when we found ourselves sitting in an empty restaurant somewhere in the Croatian countryside, starving, and staring at an indecipherable menu.

The drive through the top corner of Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia had been beautiful, but about two hours past lunchtime, we were desperate. We hadn’t bothered to pack anything to eat from our villa back in Lake Balaton region of Hungary, planning to stop along the way and sample the local fare. After all, half the fun of spontaneous travel is tasting the regional cuisine; the only trouble was, we hadn’t seen anything other than the occasional farmhouse.

As our rented Opel Astra bumped along the absurdly narrow roads, I kept busy looking for a roadside restaurant or any sign of food. We finally pulled into a gravel parking lot where a low building flashed a neon Pizza sign in the window. Pizza? That was unexpected, but to us at the time it sounded glorious.

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Our Nova Scotia road trip Part 2: markets, darn good coffee and more

Did you catch Part 1 of our summer road trip? I shared our favorite eats, views and trails.

We kept up a rigorous pace for our family road trip to Nova Scotia, but it never felt overwhelming for a couple of reasons:

  • the province is quite small, so even our bigger driving days meant only a couple hours in the van.
  • there are no mega metropolises outside of Halifax to navigate through, only clearly marked small towns and villages and so we traveled the 2600 kilometers without getting lost. Success!
  • we took plenty of breaks…I was forever requesting a roadside stop to take photos, and we made time along the way for local markets, antique shops and, of course, good coffee.

More on that last subject after the jump, along with my remaining six highlights from our trip.

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Our Nova Scotia summer road trip: beaches, trails, lighthouses and good eats

Part 2 of our road trip is now live. In it I share our favourite markets, goooood coffee and much more.

We are home from a 2600 kilometer (1600 mile) summer road trip around the previous undiscovered (to me) province of Nova Scotia and have lived to tell the tale! Actually, we thrived, despite our jam-packed itinerary which put us in a new town nearly every night with a host of sights and tastes in-between.

I’m excited to share a few of the highlights with you in a couple of posts as I attempt to put into words the rugged beauty of the coast, the quaint towns and the and generous people who occupy them. Experiencing this portion of Canada opened my eyes to the true diversity that our country offers. I eagerly drank in the coastal beauty and ate up the local fare. Both were spectacular.

sunset over Cheticamp lighthouseSunset over Cheticamp lighthouse.

As we sank into our own bed last night, surrounded by duffel bags and laundry, Danny asked if I had a favorite part of the whole 12-day trip and I really couldn’t narrow it down to a single experience or place. Each day was an adventure and brought a magnificent new vista; each town offered their take on seafood chowder and lobster rolls. I never tired of either!

Rather than retrace our steps around the province, I’ll feature my top twelve highlights from our Nova Scotian adventures, delivered in two posts.

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Q&A: Your best family road trip survival tips

In a little over two weeks we will be packing everything from baby blankets to windbreakers, handing the keys to the house-sitter, and heading to the airport to fly East.

There we have a minivan reserved for our ultimate family Maritime road trip around Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, including the Cabot Trail on Cape Breton Island.

This is basically half of my entire lifelong bucket list getting packed into one trip. I can’t believe I’ve never been east of Montreal, but have always longed to visit the lighthouses, sandy shores and rolling hills of Canada’s Eastern seaboard.

I am fully prepared to taste all the lobster, scallops, oysters (from Tatamagouche itself) and clam chowder. Did you know there is an official chowder trail? I know. Talk about my kind of road trip.

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