Rainy day, Hopewell Rocks and PEI
Jul 26, 2018
|Today was another early day with the 6:45 breakfast routine like yesterday. Today, though, it is because we start our long travel day to Prince Edward Island (PEI). Not only did we have to go to breakfast early, we also had to have our luggage out by 6:45.
While at breakfast, I realized that I had the wrong shoes on for today. It is suppose to rain (no problem), but one of the stops is to walk amongst the Hopewell Rocks at low tide (also the reason to leave early in order to arrive at low tide) and the ground will be very wet and muddy on a non-rainy day. So I quickly ate my breakfast, left Jean and ran upstairs to grab my luggage key. (I had thought that the bags would be in the lobby.) As I arrived in the hallway, the bags were still there! Yeah! However the bellhop was gathering the other bags, so I quickly got my key and switched my shoes, just in time. A good day so far.
Our trip has been in the rain which makes me glad I was not driving. Kim came around to take orders for included meals for the next couple of days, and for who is going on the extra trips. Then we stopped at a rest area just after passing Saint John to let off Allen, the young man from Grand Circle headquarters who has been traveling with us. He was returning home today. Once back on the road, Kim talked about the Queen, her role in Canada, and then she talked about Canada in general.
Our first rest stop was in Sussex, a town that Jean and I had driven through earlier on our own to see the 21 murals for which the city is known. We had a 1/2 hour rest stop for WC. I walked over and took shots of a couple of murals since I was driving last time and didn't take any pictures.
Since Jean was always cold on the bus, layered with hoodie, my sweatshirt, her jacket, etc., Kim decided to give Jean a tuke, which is just a Canadian knit cap, from her pre-trip to Quebec. Everyone wanted Jean to model the tuke.
Our next stop was the Hopewell Rocks. On the way on the two lane road, traffic was stopped because of an accident. We lost about 10 minutes as we waited. At the Hopewell Rocks visitor center we walked down to the restaurant area for lunch. It was cafeteria style where we had a choice of two items (soup & sandwich, soup & salad, or salad & sandwich), plus a drink and a dessert. I chose the chowder & a chicken sandwich, Jean partook of a salad & vegetable soup.
When we would come up back in the 1960s, we would always stop, climb down the wooden steps and walk amongst the rock formations. My mother was always overawed by them. At that time, I thought they looked like flower pots. Now I had a chance to share them with Jean and see her reaction.
At 1:00, we had to meet at the whale's tail in the display room of the visitor center where we met our guide, Joe (whose voice and a mannerisms reminded myself and Jean of Nathan Lane) who showed us some clips on an overhead screen about the rocks (rocks formations that look like animals, time-elapsed video of the tide, etc.) Then we boarded the bus for the short trip down to the viewing area.
Joe continued to talk about what we were observing while Jean and I and others walked down to the shoreline. It was low tide when we arrived and the rain had stopped and the water was receding. At the bottom of the stairs, there was only a small section available on which people could walk. Five minutes later the water had receded enough for us to walk further down the beach looking at the rock formations. About 10 kayaks pulled up going through those rock formations that were still surrounded by water. On the way back to the bus, it began to rain again.
Back on the bus we headed to PEI. Kim was going to show a video (no, not "Anne of Green Gables"), but the machine wasn't working again. So, when we arrived in Moncton, we stopped at the CoachAtlantic bus company for Jason to fix it. We played famous movie lines while he was fixing the system. Jason was unable to fix it so we continued on after 20 minutes.
About an hour down the road, we crossed the eight-mile Confederation Bridge. I was a little , unlike the bay bridge tunnel, it did not have any rest stops. We did not stop on either side to take pictures. But we did stop at store for WC, where crazy Kim dressed up as Anne while we were listening to a woman from the store talking about the free potato chips (PEI is known for its potatoes). The store had a section where you could dress as Anne for $4.00 CD and pose in front of the farm backdrop.
Back on the road for another hour and a half to our hotel in Charlottetown. It was 5:45 when we arrived at the hotel. Jean and I quickly disembarked because we had tickets for a dinner theater show at 6:15. Luckily, the show was in the hotel. We were seated with a couple in their late thirties, unmarried. She works for the Canafian government. They were a lot of fun and we all enjoyed the evening. Dinner was a salad, two bowels of PEI mussels for the 4 of us (yum), our entree choices were chicken or fish, and a brownie for dessert. In between courses, our waiter/singers would entertain us and advance the plot.
The show was "Up in Smoke" where the premise of the show was - we were attending a fundraiser to save a local potato farm. We were potential investors. When no one wanted to help the potato farm, they brought up changing the crop to marijuana. The show was fun and the six waiters/singers were good.
The show ended at 9:15. We paid our bill and returned to our room. Our luggage had been delivered and we unpacked for our three nights in Charlottetown.