2018 Canada Trip travel blog

Taylor entertaining us

Sorting mussels

Jean talking with Taylor

Canning sand

Walking around town

Today we had a leisurely morning since those who paid for the extra trip to Georgetown did not have to be on the coach until 10:00, and those not going had the whole day unto themselves. It was a beautiful morning as we were awaken by the sun.

We were on the coach at 10:00 for our hour drive to Georgetown. Upon arrival in Georgetown, we were greeted by Perry, who invited us in to a church hall that he rents to entertain Grand Circle and others tour groups. We were entertained by Taylor who singing sea shanties of the guitar as we walked in to find a seat.

Then we went over to two tables to sort mussels. Once we had sorted the mussels, Taylor entertained us for about 20 minutes while they were cooking the mussels. He was singing modern sea chanties and other songs that he and other fellow Canadians have written. His real job is as a physical education teacher where uses some of the songs with exercises, and during the summers travels around the country and world doing his thing.

Then the mussels were done and we choked down on bowl after bowl. Those who did not like mussels had a vegetable, meat, cheese and fruit platters. I. Had three plastic soup bowls. Remember, that sounds like a lot, the shells take up a lot of room, and the actual oyster is small, so you don't get much in the small bowl.

Then Perry talked about how they raise mussels by dropping frayed rope from anchored lines and making sure that the rope hangs above the bottom of the bay, otherwise starfish and other creatures will come along and have a feast. They then transfer the babies to more secure areas. When the mussels are ready to harvest, any oversized or undersized mussels are discarded, as are any that have been damaged. The generic name for PEI mussels is blue oysters, like the oysters, there are many varieties.

Next, Perry talked about the lobster industry from which he had retired six years ago. (He is now into the tourist industry.) He talked about how his grandfather, father and he himself have trapped lobsters, and the way the industry has changed. The talk was very similar to what we had heard on the whale watch trip to Campobello Island a few days ago.

After Perry was finished talking about the industry, we went on a walking tour of the town. They are really proud of the local theater/community center. It had burned to the ground in 1996 in no time flat. By the time the volunteers arrived at the firehouse directly across the street, it was too late. It was rebuilt with major improvements to the stage and backstage and we're back in production in 18 months (the lost season was held at the local K-8 school). It is used quite a bit all year round for shows, concerts & comedy shows.

We ended up at the docks by Perry's business. There was a table he had set-up outside to show us how they used to can their products. Now he sells novelty products in a can. He poured PEI red sand into an empty can (small cans like tuna cans), and then he placed it in the canning grinder, similar to the grinders mom used to use. I volunteered, since I was closest, to crank the machine. And, for my efforts, I received the novelty can of PEI sand. He already had others processed tins on the table. You had a choice between PEI sand or PEI fog - great gag gifts.

We then hiked back into town to the Maroon Pig for our lunch of corn & sausage chowder and a biscuit. It was quite delicious. We sat and talked with Sally., who was a teacher. Over in Lower Merion Township near Philadelphia. We had a little time after lunch for WC and looking at the local gift stores.

Once we arrived back in Charlottetown, and after dropping our day packs in the room and refreshing up, Jean and I went for a walk along the streets of Charlottetown. We stopped in four book stores, two were used books, one new books only, and one comic book store. We also walked all the way down to the waterfront. We saw a couple of interesting stores, including a store that sold only PEI dirt shirts, another interesting novelty. We passed by the Beavertails store and looked for the brother of the franchise which we visited in Saint John, but he was not there.

We returned to the room about 4:45 and had an hour to get ready for our dinner and show. We met downstairs at 5:45 for our walk over to the Confederation Centre to have our buffet dinner in a small ballroom. The buffet was composed of fresh salads, haddock, chicken, PEI potatoes and vegetables, with strawberry shortcake for dessert. We sat with two other couples and Bob, the coach driver. Bob had some stories about coaches and his dogs to entertain us.

We then went to the theater in the same building to see "Anne of Green Gables : The Musical." This musical about Anne deals with the first book "Anne of Green Gables" from her arrival until the death of Matthew and her decision not to go to college. This was a more professional production from last night. There was a cast of over 30, and the dancing and music was phenomenal. They were taking a collection at the door (ala Actors Fund on Braodway) as you left in memory of a favorite actress who passed recently. The government was matching, dollar for dollar, any donations made. Jean dropped some dollar coins in the basket that Anne was holding!

We then walked back to the room about 11:00 and plopped in bed. It had been a long day.

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