Fifteen years ago on July 3, 1999 Beloved and I were married. It seems fitting that 15 years of marriage is celebrated with the most fun day of our adventure on Prince Edward Island. It also seems fitting that it was our favourite day not by design but happy accident. That’s pretty much how we roll.
Souris is a scenic 60 minute drive up the far eastern side of PEI from our home base of Murray Harbour North, conveniently passing through the town of Montague “the Beautiful” also known as “Montague, home of the only Tim Horton’s for 60 km in any direction.” We set off to Souris with two objectives in mind: Chef Michael Smith’s Flavour Shack, and beachcombing for sea glass. We nearly drove by the Flavour Shack on our way into town – it sits with a few other lovely little shops on a boardwalk on the beach right as you’re coming into Souris.
We arrived just as they were opening for the day, and in addition to perusing the selections of autographed cookbooks (bought one!) and embroidered aprons (bought one!) there are some unique PEI products and ingredients, as well as some original illustrations by Chef Michael himself. Did you know he was a design student before he became a chef? That explains the lovely neat chalk writing, eh? And while we perused, we chatted with the influx of his staff, who were busy preparing for the Village Feast scheduled for the day after we were to leave PEI. Despite the fact that they were dealing with minor fiascoes like the Chef’s flight being delayed and a hurricane bearing down on their event with less than 48 hours to go, they were remarkably kind and friendly. And this photo is going up in a frame in our kitchen:
While we chatted with the staff, I could hear Tristan and Simon talking to one of the young ladies affiliated with the Flavour Shack. (They all seemed to be related, but I lost track of who belonged to whom!) She was telling them about Basin Head with its “singing sands” and a bridge from which you could jump into the water. I have great admiration for a young woman who can speak with such kindness and enthusiasm to a couple of pre-teen boys! Once we had had our photos taken and tucked our new purchases safely into the car, we spent another little while wandering the beach right beside the boardwalk looking for sea glass and other treasures, but the tide was fairly high and while we filled our pockets, it was admittedly nothing quite like what we’d seen in Nova Scotia in 2010.
We had a quick lunch in town (I’ve grown rather fond of seafood chowder, something I’d never tried before this trip!) and explored the Souris Lighthouse with an exhibit of sea glass and its various sources.
Tristan and Simon lobbied hard for a visit to Basin Head beach after listening to Brittany’s recommendation. It had been windy and coolish in Souris, and after being pelted with sand the previous day at Cavendish beach the day before, we weren’t sure if we were up for another beach day. With nothing else in mind, we figured at the least we’d go and check out the singing sands and stick our toes in the surf. Best decision of the day!
Despite the fact that the water was a brisk 13C, you can see we stuck a little more than our toes in the water.
Sitting on the sand at Basin Harbour with my camera in my hand watching the boys play was the happiest I was in our whole vacation. It was truly a perfect afternoon and a wonderful way to celebrate our wedding anniversary.
The boys were thwarted in their plans to jump from the bridge into the inlet, though. Brittany and her friends may get away with it, but the “NO JUMPING FROM BRIDGE” signs were enough to convince me it was a bad idea, despite the handful of teenagers who were doing just that. This was the only jumping in which the boys indulged at Basin Head – but it was enough to keep them happy!
On the way home, the tide was receding and we couldn’t resist stopping one more time near the boardwalk to hunt for sea glass.
There was a bounty! This is just a portion of what I had stashed in my pocket.
And we chatted with this gentleman who was harvesting soft shell clams for a local restaurant. He’d only been at it for about 20 minutes and had filled one entire bucket.
And this morning, a mere 72 hours after we left PEI, I found myself googling “Souris vacation rentals 2015”. I can’t think of a better endorsement for the day than that! This time, though, we’ll be sure to time our visit to catch either the Mermaid’s Tears sea glass festival or the Village Feast – if not both!