2008 Keys 2 Canada travel blog

war memorial - Charlottetown

one of the beautiful churches

Saint Dunston's Basilica

waterfront view from the restaurant

they call it 'The Hippo' but it's like a 'duck'

concert on the green

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Young Dancer & Fiddle Player

Speak but the word and my soul will be healed” - Saturday, July 26

Today we enjoyed several more events, each of which was a highlight in it’s own way. It started with another trip to Charlottetown, which is a fair sized city on the waterfront 9 miles from our campground. We had reservations for a play at 2:00 P.M. and since urban parking for an RV can sometimes be a problem we headed in early. When we got there the narrow streets and busy area around the Cultural Center looked like parking might be a problem, but we lucked out and found a nice spot on a side street two blocks from the downtown Confederation Centre of the Arts.

The play was Anne of Green Gables the Musical, written some fifty years ago and performed here continuously for the last 44 years. I doubt that Lucy Maud Montgomery had any idea her creation would have such amazing staying power. (I was relieved to learn that they aren’t still using the same Anne who started the run 44 years ago.)

The theater is large and modern, and the center that houses it is an architectural beauty. The musical uses an 18 piece live orchestra. From the first notes of the overture to the thundering standing ovation at the end, the play was absolutely delightful - as good in it’s way as the Broadway production of Gypsy.

The young woman who played Anne was a study in talent - bright and expressive with a wicked wit, a razor sharp tongue. She had a great sense of comedic timing, and the supporting cast which numbered about 30, were equal to her talents. The play was funny, sometimes hysterical, but it could be moving as well. The ending was a two hankie affair that had the audience on their feet the moment it ended.

After the play we browsed in the galleries and shops a little, then headed for our RV. On the corner we passed St. Dunston’s Basilica. The church is the diocesan cathedral and a stately and impressive structure. The doors were open and people were going in, so we walked across the street to look inside and found a Saturday evening Mass just starting.

Mom’s been missing church since she’s been with us, and it’s years since I’ve been to a Mass, so we decided to stay for it. The woman singing had a great voice and it was a good experience. The church has new windows, stained glass but modern in theme. Two of them picture many of the past clergy that have served the church, while the rest picture scenes of church sacraments and activities. The figures in the pictures are overwhelmingly men - a testimony to the Church’s historic and continuing paternal stance.

We retrieved our RV and went looking for a lobster dinner. We’d originally planned to go to a place in New Glasgow some 30 miles away, but checking out the Charlottetown waterfront on the way out of town we spotted a seafood restaurant right there on the water, so we parked in the public lot and went in. Should have gone to New Glasgow!

It wasn’t the lobsters’ fault - they gave their all, and were expensive but good. But from giving us menus written in French, to giving us food with no utensils, the service was terrible. Their lemon meringue pie looked good, but by dessert time we just wanted to get out of there, so we walked over to the wharf hoping to find an ice cream stand.

At the wharf a crowd was gathered on the green, and two musicians were playing. Their show was nearly over, but for a quarter of an hour we stood and listened to the finest and most intricate fiddle playing I’ve ever heard. The violinist has played all over the world, even for the Queen of England. He was getting notes and sounds out of that instrument I would not have thought possible. It sounded like at least two or three musicians, and it was wonderful. Some of the families watching had kids and several of the little girls were out there step dancing on the grass. If they are that enthusiastic and good at 5 or 6 they will be amazing by the time they’re teenagers.

Right next to the little park was a Cows Ice Cream Parlor - almost too good to be true! Madolyn had Turtle Cow and I opted for Mooey Gooey - and the cones went a long way toward making up for the dinner. A couple walking past said ‘hello’ but everyone here is so friendly you get used to that. However we saw them again a short time later and had the opportunity to have a good conversation.

When we got back to our RV a very awkward and embarrassed Chinese man came up to me and said he couldn’t get his car ‘open’. I thought he’d locked himself out, but then he asked us if we had any ‘cables’. He could barely speak English, but we determined that his rental car (“I just rent it today!”) had a dead battery and would not start. His wife was huddled in the back seat with their child looking very worried.

The poor couple looked absolutely lost, so I rummaged through the outside storage until I found my jumper cables, and the young parking lot attendant left his post to bring his car over. The couple who’d said ’hello’ at the wharf were walking by and stopped to lend a hand, and between us we got the family off and running. They were extremely grateful, and we were all glad we could help them.

After they left we talked to this nice couple for a long time. They too are RVers and had just gotten home to P.E.I from an 11 month trip that included a visit to California. They also have a Winnebago RV and we had a grand time comparing notes on places we’d been and RVing in general. The conversation was so typical of the warm friendliness that makes Prince Edward Island such a special place on this tired old planet.

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