This is a picture heavy post. So, not much reading involved..bonus!
Our first real day in Prince Edward Island started early around 6:30am, with an impromptu stroll along the oceanfront directly across from the hotel. After gulping down a couple of coffees to get my “old heart started and blood flowing”, off we went.
Unfortunately, Lynn had woken up somewhat struggling to get excited about the day ahead.
Where “old coffee mugs” go to die.
A short clip of what the morning stroll was like.
This stretch of oceanfront was to provide in a couple of days, one of the most awesome wildlife viewings I’ve ever experienced. So, stay tuned!
After our time on the beach, we headed back into the hotel for some breakfast, before heading into Charlottetown to meet someone Lynn had made friends with from a Facebook Group “We Love Prince Edward Island.”
Breakfast started with more coffee followed by pulled pork eggs benedict with a lemon hollandaise sauce over rosemary focaccia bread and herb PEI mini-potatoes, while Lynn opted for a somewhat healthier freshly baked croissant with island preserves.
Oh my, I sound like a food critic!
Once stuffed, we headed to the car and off to Charlottetown to meet Ian, our guide for the morning.
Our first stop was St. Dunstan’s Basilica, which is the Cathedral of the Diocese of Charlottetown. As much as it is a tourist attraction, it is also a place of worship. Both Lynn and I tried to take a low profile during our time in the sanctuary, as people came in and out; spending time in quiet reflection and prayer.
The Basilica is named for St. Dunstan an Anglo-Saxon saint from Glastonbury. The current stone structure was rebuilt in 1916 after a fire. The Basilica is located on Great George Street, between the harbour and the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
The Basilica was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.
Next on our agenda was Confederation House located just up the street. Confederation House is where the “Fathers of Confederation” met in 1864 to discuss and eventually agree on the formation of a new country……Canada.
Unfortunately, the building has been closed since 2015 to undergo extensive renovations and restoration and is not expected to open for several years.
We spent the rest of our time today in Charlottetown walking around and looking at whatever happened to pop up along the way. As much as we enjoy visiting the more tourist type of things when we explore someplace, we really like just walking old areas or neighbourhoods just seeing what there is to see.
Unfortunately, we didn’t walk around the harbour area as much as we would have liked.
I guess it’s another reason, a good reason to go back!
Victoria Row, however, is a wonderful closed-off street behind the Confederation Centre of the Arts full of unique shops and restaurants.
For those so inclined, a game of checkers.
Some colourful homes along a side street.
Interesting exteriors; notice the canopy at the back of the picture is the entrance to a very quaint and rather pricey boutique hotel.
Pretty sure Lynn took this photo as a reminder for me to “walk a straight and narrow path.” Whatever that means?
We found this little fella at the entrance to the lobby of the Confederation Centre. Eckhart the mouse. Eckhart is the main character from a children’s book called “The True Meaning of Crumbfest” written by David Weale one of PEI most celebrated children’s authors.
In the book, Eckhart, who has “an exceptionally long tail” and is very much an explorer, sets off on an adventure to discover the answer to the “mystery of Crumbfest.”
There are apparently nine of these little bronze statues located throughout the downtown.
Now, who hasn’t taken young children on a vacation? If you have, how many 6, 7 or 8-year-olds like being dragged to look at old buildings, historical sites and alike.
My guess would be ………… let me see……..none.
From the website: Downtown Charlottetown Inc.
“Downtown Charlottetown Inc. has created, based on author David Weale’s little mouse explorer “Eckhart in Charlottetown” a sort of scavenger hunt. It is a permanent interactive fun attraction for families and children of all ages. Nine of our little bronze mice were installed in their “hiding places” around the City. Can you find them all?
What a great way to see and read about many of the historical sites in the downtown, while having your kids involved in a scavenger hunt to help find the clues leading to discover the nine little Eckhart statues? Just pick up a pamphlet and you’re set to go!
Notice the “Cold Beer Store” part of the sign.
I’m just saying that, if you find that you and your lovely wife have just left say, the Confederation Centre, it’s 9:30 or a bit later at night and that you’ve found your throat to be a bit dry, not to worry.
Walk into The Gahan House restaurant; tell the hostess you would like two beers(or more) to “take-out” and she will be most happy to fill your request. Now, these won’t be the 341ml sizes you might find in Ontario. Nope, these will be 500ml bottles of the sweetest nectar imaginable to soothe that dry and parched throat you have.
Two “take-outs” will set you back about $8.00. Not bad!!
These are the pillars of the original bridge that connected Charlottetown and the town of Stratford across the Hillsborough River.
After having lunch at a local restaurant in the downtown…..
………we headed out of Charlottetown to check out New Glasgow.
As we were starting to find out, much of the island is only 25 minutes from another part. New Glasgow was no exception after a short 25-minute drive from Charlottetown we arrived.
I had visited New Glasgow in 2000 for dinner as part of teachers convention. Funny, I didn’t remember being there until we showed up and I said to Lynn, “Geez, I’ve been here before.”
New Glasgow is famous for many things, including its lobster suppers. As we were there in the afternoon, we strolled about and visited the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company.
Catering to the tourist trade, they make jams, preserves and such and have a restaurant and gift shop on site, as well as a beautiful relaxing garden that the workers were just getting cleaned up.
It was a pleasant way to spend an hour or so.
One thing though, they have a glass window that looks down onto the shop floor where you can watch the folks making the preserves and jams. I would think that one might feel like a fish in a glass tank with everyone watching what you’re doing all day long.
After leaving New Glasgow, we drove yet another 25 minutes to the Cavendish area of Prince Edward Island National Park. Here we found some spectacular cliffs and ocean views.
As I wrote in a Play of the Week(click to give it a read), this was an unplanned stop. We were just trying to see some of the areas and really kill some time before heading back to Charlottetown.
But, lucky for us we stopped. This is without a doubt, one area of the island that MUST NOT be missed!!
Our return took us back to Charlottetown for a quick bite to eat, and a visit to…….
Before heading the Confederation Centre for the Arts to see “Million Dollar Quartet.”
“Million Dollar Quartet” is a musical based on the real life events of a December 4, 1956 jam session recording that involved Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash at the Sun Record Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.
From what I’ve been able to read, the session happened by chance. Twenty-four-year-old Carl Perkins who had success with “Blue Suede Shoes”, was in the studio to record with his brother and another guy on drums. Sam Philips who owned Sun Records has just signed an unknown piano player named Jerry Lee Lewis and was going to have him play piano on the Carl Perkins recordings.
At some point in the day a, 21-year-old Elvis Presley, who was originally signed by Sam Philips(Sun Records), but now with RCA Victor, show up with a girlfriend to visit with Philips.
Apparently, Presley listened to what Perkins had recorded earlier, like it and went into the studio to jam with Perkins. Not long after Johnny Cash(another Sun Records artist) arrived. And thus the “Million Dollar Quartet” was born.
The engineer(Jack Clement) who was working the controls that day for Sam Philips said in an interview later, “I remember saying to myself; I think I’d be remiss not to record this.” Apparently the recordings exist and have been released a couple of times since 1956.
The term “Million Dollar Quartet” was coined by Phillips that day. During the recording session, he called someone at a Memphis newspaper about what was happening. The reporter came over; Phillips did an interview and called them the “Million Dollar Quartet.”
From what I’ve read, this is considered by music historians as a seminal moment in rock and roll history. Each was huge at the time or soon to be huge and their careers had major impacts on the birth and direction of rock music.
This is the actual picture taken during the session. Jerry Lee Lewis(on the left), Carl Perkins(with the guitar), Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley at the piano and Elvis’s girlfriend sitting on the piano. Most pictures have the girlfriend cropped out.
The musical we saw was excellent, to say the least.
The level of musicianship and vocals were outstanding. It was 90 minutes(no breaks) of constant music each of the four had made and recorded over their careers.
The fellow who played Carl Perkins in this show was one of the best guitar players I’ve witnessed in a very long time.
After the show, we headed over to The Gahan House(see above) and then headed back to “Dalvay By The Sea” for the night.
The next day was going to be a long one but was to start with an adventure that fell out of Google Earth.
Thanks for reading.