We’ve had an amazing first week in PEI, but I have to tell you that it’s been a bit of an uphill struggle to be cheerful about the relentlessly awful weather. We’ve been here seven days, and it’s rained for seven days. Every single day, the forecast calls for showers for that day, and the next day or two — but the day three days hence will be partly sunny, and by the fifth day summer returns! And then three days later, it calls for showers for that day, and the next day or two — but the day three days hence will be partly sunny! It reminds me a little bit of the vacation version of this:
Ah well. We have seen a few bright spots, with blue skies breaking out for part of the day in Basin Head and Thunder Cove. I was so surprised to see blue skies when I woke up yesterday that I actually jumped out of bed to take a closer look, and I mean JUMPED out of bed and ran to the window. Blue skies! First actual blue skies since we arrived! Within an hour, I kid you not, it was raining. I mean, you expect a day or two of rain, and maybe a cool day or two, but this is truly relentless. We haven’t even cracked 20C in the last four or five days.
I’m not the only one who has noticed, either. Apparently the police in St John’s NL have issued an ABP for summer, and arrested two local weathermen for “failing to provide the essentials of summer â€“ sunshine, good forecasts and blue skies â€“ and trafficking of rain, drizzle, and fog.”
— RNC (@RNC_PoliceNL) July 22, 2015
Leave it to the Newfoundlanders to find the humour in the situation. So, while I think it’s fair to characterize the weather as pretty much miserable, we haven’t let it stop us from getting out. We headed out yesterday in the rain toward Souris to check out the Mermaid’s Tears Sea Glass festival. We love sea glass! On the way, we deked up to the north coast toward Naufrage to have an early lunch at a restaurant I’ve heard mentioned a few times, and it turned out to be one of our new favourite PEI restaurants. The Shipwreck Point Cafe in Naufrage is a perfect place for families – casual, affordable and delicious. And the view would have been breathtaking, if it weren’t raining and glum. I did pause to take a photo of the Naufrage Lighthouse through the wild roses, though. It gives you a good idea of the sort of morning it was.
By the time we zipped down to Souris, the rain had let up again, and we headed down to the Mermaid Tears sea glass festival. It was truly delightful to see some of the ways people have turned beautiful shards and pebbles of sea glass into works of art. We timed our visit perfectly to hear an author reading and book launch by Teri Hall for her new book A Sea Glass Journey: Ebb and Flow. We’d been hearing about this book for most of our visit; the author was interviewed on the local CBC radio afternoon program, and when we arrived at Chef Michael’s FlavourShack, they were just unpacking a fresh crate of them. Turns out the author and Chef Michael are close friends, and he wrote the forward to her book. We even spotted a certain celebrity ex-wife at the reading – if you watch Chef at Home as often as we do, you’ll know who I mean. 🙂 If you love sea glass, it’s a gorgeous book and we were able to get ours autographed by the author and the photographer who contributed to it.
And there was fun for the kids, too, although mine loved just looking at all the sea glass crafts and speculating what we can do with the buckets full we still have at home!
Also, second lighthouse of the day. A two-lighthouse day is a good day!
After a few hours of sea glass, we headed back up the Points East Coastal Drive toward home and made a detour to check off one more item on my PEI bucket list: a hike through the famous dune trail and boardwalk at Greenwich in PEI National Park. It was grey and threatening to rain, and the low pressure seemed to be making the mosquitoes even more aggressive than usual, but it was still a spectacular hike of nearly 5 km through wild roses and raspberries and fields of wildflowers I couldn’t identify, a small but dense wood, and then the path opened to the floating boardwalk across Bowley Pond.
While I might have preferred a deep cyan sky with wisps of white clouds for these photos, I do admit that the textured sky does add a different sort of dimension to it. I think this photo sums up my battle with the weather this week just about perfectly:
At the end of the floating boardwalk, you head up and over the dunes and you can look back for a spectacular view of where you’ve been:
Or you can head over the dunes to the sea, which is a welcome sight in any weather as far as I’m concerned. You can see Beloved and the boys have gone ahead without me – see the tiny people specs on the beach? I have spent a lot of this vacation running to catch up with them after getting distracted by one photo op or another.
We collected a lot of sticks. It doesn’t take a lot to make us happy.
And then, after you’ve had your fill of beach, you head back up over the dune and do it all over again. First, you stop to dump the sand out of your sneakers and leave it on the dunes where it belongs.
And you go back to the cottage and play noisy, giggly rounds of Scrabble and Uno, hoping that tomorrow the sun will come out to play… but knowing that any day that has sand and sea and fresh salty air is a good one, even if it’s a little damp and grey. And hey, the weather forecast says the day after tomorrow is supposed to be sunny…