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2017-08-14 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Final Day on PEI; Farewell Banquet

We took this day to ready the Villa for travel on our own. Today is the last day of the caravan!

We began with a quick trip to the local Chevy dealer in Charlottetown; the “Check Engine” (emissions) light had come on the dash. After a quick check through their computers they determined that it was the result of a loose gas tank cap – operator error… We were in and out in 15 minutes… Airstream dealers could learn something about how Chevy service centers operate…

We cleaned the Villa and reorganized the back of the truck. Busy day all around. In mid-afternoon we took a break and went for ice cream at Cows, a PEI favorite:

2017-08-14 COWS

This evening is our “Farewell Banquet”.  It was at the Delta Hotel in downtown Charlottetown – it is a Marriott… We arrived early (duh!) and enjoyed some informal socializing as things got set up.  The food was spectacular!  Hats off to the Marriott for the spread they put out!

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I have no idea what flamingos have to do with Airstreams, but many people think they are firmly linked…

We snapped a few pix of our group…

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Our MC for the evening was Linda Belcher.  She is a real live wire and very funny person.  She goes all out to make sure she, and everyone else, is having a good time…

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After the dinner we gave out some door prizes, but mostly we took part in our own home-grown “entertainment”.

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Most of the “entertainment” was silly and hokey – we just enjoyed hanging out and showing off our talents, whether musical, dramatic, poetic, or silly.  (My contribution was a recitation of the age-old mairy fail of Rindercella…)

Of course, we had to make fun our Trevor and Gale Lake, our caravan leaders:

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And pay they tribute, as well…

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So, again, we all had a good time. Many good-byes were said. We headed back to the Villa and reflected on the end of the caravan and the beginning of our new adventure, heading west towards home…

2017-08-13 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Quiet Day on PEI

We had a quiet Day on PEI today.  We prepared our vehicles for the return trip home, and we visited the town of Victoria.

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Victoria is a charming town on the water, just north west of Summerside.  We strolled the waterfront, and selected the Landmark Cafe for lunch.

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We sat on the porch overlooking the town…

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Lynda had a tuna steak sandwich; I had PEI mussels. We shared a bottle of wine from a local winery named Matos. We were so impressed with this wine that we set out after lunch to visit the winery.

Matos Winery & Vineyards is a family-owned and family-run business.  In 2007, after spending much time researching the growing conditions and suitability of establishing a vineyard in PEI, Jim Matos and his family purchased a 50 acre parcel of land in St. Catherines.  They applied the French concept of terroir – finding a place where the combination of soil, slope, sun exposure and the peculiar weather vagaries allow certain grape varieties to unfold their unique characteristics.  To this end, they consulted with the finest European vintners who visited PEI to provide their expertise.  We approve of their results!

We tasted and bought wine. We also bought a bottle of anisette – a licorice flavored liqueur.  We love anise, pastis, absinthe, and the like, so we thought this would be a great bottle to have.

We returned to the Villa and relaxed for the rest of the afternoon – we walked down to the water, then jumped into Happy Hours.  I pulled out my little bottle of absinthe and we taste-tasted it against the new anisette.  They are nothing alike!  Our opinions varied as to which one we liked better…  And an enjoyable time was had by all…

 

 

 

 

 

2017-08-12 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Visiting Friends on PEI and Span of Green Cables

Today we visit friends who have a summer home here on PEI…

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But first, we join other caravanners in visiting a Windchime maker:

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For the last 20 years, Peter Baker has been making wind chimes at his studio situated atop the hills of South Granville – one of the windiest locations on Prince Edward Island.

Peter developed a taste for rural life while working in Vermont. A holiday visit to PEI with his family, in 1971, convinced him to live the rural life Island-style. In the early 1980s he began producing wind chimes with his brother. At the time, people were not familiar with them, but they soon became very popular.

Today, Baker operates his business from a converted barn not far from the old farmhouse he bought when he came to the Island, and where he still lives. In the first year of production, Baker turned out 1,000 wind chimes.

What is unique about these chimes is that they are musically tuned, in several different keys, in major and minor tones, plus the pentatonic scale. Each chime is hand built using quality components to ensure consistency in excellence of sound, durability, and appearance.  They use a galvanized stainless steel alloy, resistant to rust, with high tonal quality.  The length and diameter of each tube determines the pitch and timbre of each note; the longer and wider the bell is, the lower the note.  Each bell was tuned using a silver flute to find the perfect pitch.

My favorite was the chimes with the pentatonic scale. There are, of course, 5 notes – what equates to the black notes on the piano.  These five notes are familiar to most of us in one of two ways: It is the scale used in most Negro Spirituals – think “Amazing Grace”… These five notes are also the only notes used in the tunes produced by slot machines in casinos – this is done so that, while the tune of each machine is different, when played together they don’t clash, but make a semi-musical cacophony…

Anyhow, the last thing we need is more stuff, so we passed on buying any chimes, although many of the caravanners did.  It was quite a profitable day for the wind chime store.

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We left Island Winds as it began to rain.  We arrived at Bob and Cathy Adams’ cottage about noon:

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Bob and Cathy are Airstream friends from San Clemente, CA.  Cathy was born here on PEI, and she and Bob own this cottage, on the shores of the Northumberland Strait.  New Brunswick is across the water…

Bob and Cathy travel from San Clemente to PEI every year to visit their cottage and to repair damages that have been done over the past winter…

It is a lovely cottage; Bob and Cathy had the fireplace roaring, and it was cozy, or “forty”, inside as we caught up on news from our mutual friends.

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After a lovely lunch of lobster rolls and PEI potato salad, we relaxed, drank some wine, and relaxed some more. About 4:00 we headed out, bound for Charlottetown.

Charlottetown is a great little city – very walk-able streets and diagonal parking on most blocks.  We parked and found a little Italian bistro for dinner, then we joined the rest of the caravanners, along with about 2,000 other folks, to see, “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical”.

Anne of Green Gables is an entirely fictional creation, but her legend has been milked as assiduously as the plump cows that decorate the island’s fields. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s semi-autobiographical novel fuels an entire industry, and Anne’s curly-ginger-haired visage is adored by thousands of young women.

This is a live show; it has been running for 53 years in Charlottetown.  Just about all the creators of the show, and everyone connected with the inception of the show, are dead, but the show goes on.  Not being a fan of annoying, self-absorbed girls, Anne of Green Gables was never a big favorite of mine.  But the show was well done, the singing was good, the sets were creative and interesting, and an enjoyable time was had by all.

 

PS:  When the Confederation Bridge from PEI to New Brunswick was built (1996 – 1997) it was yet un-named.  After seeing that the steel reinforcing bars being used in the construction were encased in a green-coloured coating, locals dubbed the bridge, the “Span of Green Cables”…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017-08-11 Nor by Nor’east Caravan – Airstreams on the Ferry!

Yes! You can take Airstreams onto a ferry:

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Our tin cans are packed into a bigger tin can like sardines!

We are traveling from Caribou, NS, to Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island.  This will be the final campground location on the caravan…

We left the campground in Baddeck, along the shores of Bras d’ Or Lake, at about 6:00 am, to catch the 8:30 am ferry.  We found a few other folks who had the same idea:

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Soon the ferry arrived:

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When the ferry arrived, and had discharged its load of cars and trucks, it started loading for the trip back to PEI. Cars first. Cars, cars, and more cars went into the ferry.  When all the cars were on board, they started loading trucks, and more trucks. Then trailers, including about 10 Airstreams.  The ferry seemed “bottomless” – it just kept loading in more vehicles. Once on board, it looked like this:

 

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Once on board we found that there is a lower deck where all the cars were parked; trailers and trucks filled the main level. Upstairs were lounges, a cafeteria, and outdoor areas to experience the fresh air.

It was a fun ferry ride. We had breakfast in the cafeteria, watched the opposite ferry pass by, and enjoyed time with friends.

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When the ferry landed at Wood Islands, PEI, we were one of the first off. We had researched the area before hand, and we knew there was a Visitors Center where we could gather information on the island.  Others had the same idea… (Maybe because there is a Provincial liquor store there as well…):

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Our campground is on the northern end of PEI, just north of Charlottetown; Wood Islands in on the south end. However, we were too early to arrive at the campground, lest we annoy the parking crew.  So we just headed south, not knowing (and not caring) where we were going; it was beautiful!

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And when you wander around an unknown area, pulling your Airstream trailer, this is what you find:

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We found a winery!  Rossignol Winery… Of course, it was a beautiful place, right on the ocean:

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We parked the rig and went inside to taste what we could taste:

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We only tasted the wines made from grapes; it wasn’t bad.  We also tasted their Creme d’ Cassis, a black current wine (or liqueur) ; it was great!  We bought a few bottles to supplement our “cellar”.  We also admired the various sand sculptures on the property:

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Moving on, we continued around the southern end of the island.  We finally stopped for lunch in the town of Montague; Windows on the Water was a delightful spot to enjoy the early afternoon.

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The town of Montague is located on the water, and once was a lively port city…

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After killing enough time, we headed north towards Charlottetown, and to our campground a few miles north of there.  We settled in and readied ourselves for happy hours…

That evening, we joined two other California caravanners – Larry and Kathy plus Phil and Donna – in a bizarre game called Joker.  It is an Airstream tradition.  It is basically Parcheesi, but playing cards are used in lieu of a spinner or dice, making it even quirkier. Since I despise games of chance, I try to avoid Joker at all costs, but Larry and Kathy had done us many favors, so Lynda volunteered us to play with them…

Boys won. I pulled the winning card.  An enjoyable time was had by all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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