Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island
Yesterday I walked for 6 hours and saw nobody — not one person — the entire time. Five of those hours were spent on the beach. Just me and sky and sand and sea. Bliss.
In 2004, I spent two weeks with my family here on Prince Edward Island. I fell in love, but was unable to return until 2009 when I brought my Mom. After a week exploring the island together, she went home and I stayed on by myself in Cavendish, my favorite part of PEI, for another heavenly week.
I spent so much time over the next six months daydreaming about my island that I vowed I would not wait another five years to return. By then, our travel budget for the year was gone so I asked myself the question “How can I get to P.E.I. this autumn?”
I contacted Kindred Spirits, the inn I stayed at with my Mom, and was able to book their least expensive room for 8 nights, which got me a long-stay discount. They also provide breakfast so at least one of my daily meals would be taken care of.
My room is right above the entrance doors.
I phoned all the restaurants within walking distance of the inn. Only one would still be open during my stay, but that took care of another meal. I budgeted $20/day for my dinners.
I phoned the local taxi companies. It would cost me $56 for the ride from the airport. I doubled that, included a tip and added the total to my PEI budget. Taking a taxi meant I wouldn’t have a vehicle during my stay, but Kindred Spirits is within walking distance of both Green Gables and Cavendish Beach and they are the only two places I really wanted to spend my time anyway.
I began tucking away $20 a week in a special envelope in the top drawer of my dresser, right next to my children’s baby teeth and Santa’s reindeer bells. If my calculations were correct, I would have enough money in place to pay for everything by the time I boarded the plane September 30th.
Ah. The plane. My biggest challenge. I could use some of our Airmiles without compromising our next family vacation, but how was I going to pay for the taxes?
Aha! My birthday and Mother’s Day are always within a week of each other so I asked Stephen if, instead of flowers or dinners out, he and the boys would pay the tax for my trip to PEI.
It’s funny, even though I knew it was coming, when my youngest son presented me with my gift while we sat around the dinner table on Mother’s Day, I still burst into tears. It was happening. I was going to PEI!
That’s not to say that things went without a hitch.
When I phoned the restaurant last week to see how late they would be open the night I arrived, I found out that they were closing a week earlier than anticipated. So, along with my clothes and books, I packed tins of soup and tuna and the fruit cups I put in my sons’ lunches, Babybel cheese and crackers, apples and trail mix and home made cookies.
Good thing, too. The two meals I did eat out were almost double my allotted allowance!
So my days are filled with the solitary delights of reading, writing and imagining myself living in a gentler time as I roam the woods and beaches of Anne’s land. And every night, thanks to the wonders of our modern world, I can still tuck my sweet boys into bed.
I’ve already tucked a $20 bill into a hidden corner of my wallet. It will go straight into my empty envelope when I get home. Seed money for next year’s dream come true.