It could be said that Prince Edward Island wasn’t the destination but rather the gateway to the Magdalen Islands. From the Confederation Bridge, we drove directly to Souris on the eastern end of the island. We had just one evening, a cold and rainy one at that, to relax at a provincial park beside the ocean before boarding our ferry to the Magdalens the following morning.
We promised our friend, Erin, that we’d make time for a visit after two weeks on the Magdalens. And so, on our return we spent three beautiful days over on the north shore, not far from Naufrage Harbour, visiting with our old pal.
We know Erin from Ontario. Back in 2009, we worked with her to design and publish her book, Sourdough – A Recipe for Life. The last time we saw Erin was five years ago at the beginning of our van life travels. Back then she was living in St. John’s, Newfoundland working at Raymond’s, a fine dining restaurant and had transitioned from bread baker extraordinaire to server. Following that visit, Erin began studying to become a sommelier. She now works three seasons at Chef Michael Smith’s Inn at Bay Fortune as head sommelier and in her off time, writes songs and performs periodically. She loves PEI so much she bought a house there.
‘Erin of Green Gables’ has a mile-long red dirt road which leads directly from her house to what amounts to a private beach on the north shore. Erin, her two dogs, Elsie and Loralie, Christian, MacDuff and I happily swam every day. We tested the waters at Cable Head and St. Margaret’s too. We’ve always loved the north shore since the 1990s when Christian owned a farm there. It’s been a long time plus one long bridge since we spent summers ferrying on and off the island with the kids.
Erin wanted to introduce us to the Inn and her colleagues, so the three of us attended Oyster Hour, which takes place each evening at the rear of the farm property. Guests sample delicious bites and cocktails before being ushered into the Inn for a five-hour eating extravaganza. We were only there for the Oyster Hour. It was there we ate one of the most delicious things in our seven weeks wandering Atlantic Canada. Wood-fired oysters with lovage butter. Oh, em gee! Wow! So good! We ate some other things too that were mighty delicious, but those oysters topped the charts.
We spent the rest of the evening at a good old-fashioned kitchen party at the home of Erin’s friend Louise. Louise, who lives a stone’s throw from the Inn, made us delicious strawberry gin and tonics. When the sweet muddled strawberries ran out, we moved onto glasses of sparkling Nova 7 while chatting with a gregarious group of friends. What fun!
We were sorry to leave PEI as quickly as we did. We sure would have loved to meander around the island for a couple of weeks, but we had plans to visit our old friends David and Katherine in Pictou, Nova Scotia.
Before boarding the Wood Island Ferry, we stopped at Wood Island Seafood for a delicious bowl of chowder, some fresh steamed clams and a lobster roll. That made it a little bit easier to leave the island of Green Gables.