Although I have been sleeping well in the tent, I have to admit that it felt good to sleep in a bed and have a hot shower this morning!  I was the first one up – around 6:30.  I got up to finish adding photos to the blog.  The internet was spotty and taking a long time, so I had given up last night.  Because I don’t have to look at the computer to type, I’ve been multi-tasking and typing in Word while we drive and then copy & paste then add the photos.   Isn’t technology great?!  If I don’t write it down right away, I forget everything that’s happened…

Everyone got up around eight and we had breakfast and got cleaned up.  We repacked a fair bit of our stuff, putting our camping stove, etc. at the bottom of the trunk, since we won’t be using it anymore. Packing & unpacking for six people is a lot of work!  We were finally ready for the day’s adventures around 10:30.

As we were trying to get out the door, we realized that Sarah’s sneakers were still soaked from last night. We stopped at the bank to get some cash and I ran into the discount store to pick her up a pair of crocs.  We were planning more hiking and geocaching and her flip-flops would not cut it!

The rain had stopped, but the wind was bitter.  I think the temperature is only 12C, and when the wind is blowing off the ocean, it cuts right through your clothing.  We went to Dungeon Provincial Park which was amazing. As we drove up the road, there were horses, roaming wild, and grazing in the pasture.  There are two geocache sites there. The first was to calculate the diameter of the dungeon.  D’Arcy & the boys did it by walking around measuring their paces and then using a calculation to find the circumference of a circle to find the diameter.  (One of those times it’s handy to have a math teacher along…)  The girls and I wandered along, staying away from the edge!

The Dungeons

Learning about how the Dungeons were formed. Sarah is loving any interpretive signs, now that she can read!

Trying to figure out the Math

So beautiful and rugged

A tender moment

Olivia's "Clubhouse"

The Dungeons, NL

Geocaching

Geocaching - the cache we finally gave up on.

We never did find the second one.  Evan & Sarah gave up and went back to the van to read and get warm.  D’Arcy thinks he knows where it is, but the kids (and I) were nervous about him getting too close to the edge of the cliffs.

From the Dungeon, we went back to the Bonavista Lighthouse.  My father gave Sarah some spending money for the trip and she was determined to buy postcards.  We were also hoping to see some whales now that the fog had lifted.  As we drove up to the lighthouse, we could see the whales spouting in the water.  In the parking lot, a couple from British Columbia told us that there were five whales playing.  We climbed up to the top of a rock and there turned out to be a whole pod of whales, probably a dozen, spouting and breeching.  It was fun to watch and the kids were excited.  A family from Saskatchewan were there and told us that the whales were feeding on capelin.  When the kids got tired & cold, we went into the gift shop and Sarah found postcards – a package of ten for $5.00.  You’d think she won the lottery!

Two of the whales in Bonavista

Bonavista Lighthouse

We had a late lunch of leftover pizza and chocolate milk in the van before going to see the replica of the “Matthew”, the ship that Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) sailed on and landed in the New World.  While we were there, D’Arcy had a call from St. Pierre Tours to tell us that the mail had been delivered, but Alex’s passport wasn’t with it.  We went to the library to find a C@P site so that D’Arcy could try to track the package.  He was able to call someone at Canada Post who told him that it will be delivered today by courier.  We are trying not to panic.

Model describing The Matthew

Description of John Cabot landing at Bonavista

Exploring The Matthew

Alex

In the Galley

On our way out of Bonavista, we stopped at the Old Bonavista Boardwalk for a final geocache.  The boardwalk runs 1km around a pond.  The girls were excited to see ducks, since they’ve been keeping a “wildlife list”.  We all got out of the van and searched for the geocache, but it was D’Arcy who found it.  For this one, we took out a glass traffic light charm and left a small toy turtle.  The kids think this game is great fun – and so do we!  What could be better?  We’re outside, working together as a team, using our brains to solve problems and – best of all – it’s free!

More geocaching

Ducks!

Found it!

From Bonavista, we drove to Terra Nova to stay with our friends Krista & Stefan at their cabin.  Their children, Gabriel & Lily are the same ages as Sarah & Olivia.  They stayed with us just last week on their way home from a vacation in New England, so the girls had been asking how long it would be until we get to go to Gabriel & Lily’s?  We’re all looking forward to having two nights in the same place and having a great visit!

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PEI Vacation 2009

August 25, 2009

We had such a FANTASTIC time, I don’t even know where to begin describing it.

I didn’t know what to expect when I “won” an RV Rental in the TIANS Silent Auction in December. We’ve always talked about how we thought it would be fun to travel with the kids that way, so this gave us a chance to try it out at a discount to see if enjoying it would be fantasy or reality. We booked my parents to come and take over the B&B and started planning our vacation in PEI.  (THANK YOU!!)  We booked into a Campground called “Twin Shores” in Darnley, PEI and it has spoiled us for all other camping!! Movies, kids activities, a playground, a store, Karaoke, Shuffleboard, Bocce Ball, a Baseball Diamond, and a Private Beach are just SOME of what they had to offer. Four nights was just not enough!

D’Arcy & the kids picked up the RV outside of Halifax on Monday morning and brought it home to pack. Not knowing what we would need, it took us awhile to get everything together. D’Arcy looked at me funny when we got everything in and I asked him how we were going to take five bikes (two with baby seats) & a tricycleplus the double stroller. Being the resourceful man he is, he found a way! We left for the Island shortly after one and took the Confederation Bridge to get there. We stopped in Summerside, near where we had rented a cottage last year, for groceries, and got to the Campground around suppertime.

We immediately set off exploring our new home. I’ve put our photos into slide-shows, chronologically for each day, with captions. If you click on them, they should start automatically.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: RV Trip Day1
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Day Two, our first full day, was Alex’s 9th Birthday. Nobody slept very long and Alex was anxious to open the gifts & cards we had brought along for him. We had breakfast of waffles with strawberry butter & bacon (Alex’s request) then cleaned up and headed for Mill River Fun Park, on the West Coast of PEI. (Also Alex’s request!) We discovered this fun park through our friends who are PEI natives, when Sarah was a baby, and have gone every year since. It is reasonably priced ($9/person over the age of six) and has water slides for every age/level of comfort. We spent the day there. It was so convenient to be able to go to the RV at mid-afternoon and have a snack (cheese & crackers & jalapeño jelly, olives, yogurt & drinks), clean up and go back to the park! Alex took the time to call my parents then too because he was “officially” nine!

We stopped for lobster on the way back to the campground and fed the kids nachos (Alex’s request) as the lobsters cooked. We all went off to Karaoke then came back and had a bonfire. The evening was topped off with sparklers & a waterslide cake that Evan made for Alex with minimal help from his mother… All in all, it was declared to be and “AWESOME” day!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: Day 2 - Alex's birthday
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On Day 3, when we woke up, D’Arcy told me, “You have to bid on this RV Rental if it’s at the Silent Auction again this year!”  We had made a decision to stay at the campground and not go touring around the Island.  We went running, flew Alex’s kite, rode bikes, spent time at the beach, played bocce ball, had a bonfire, etc.  It was so nice not to be on a schedule!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: RV Trip Day 3
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Day Four was more of the same.  We built sand castles & hung out together.  We ran into a number of people we knew, including our former neighbours!!  As it turned out, one of our favourite guests from the B&B had been at their campsite visiting just the night before.  I wish we’d known!!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: RV Vacation Day 4
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Our last day found us getting up and pulling everything together to check out of the campground by eleven.  I think we pulled out at about 11:05 (story of our lives!)  We went into Cavendish and played Mini-Golf and toured the "Ripley's Believe it or Not" Museum.  It was great.  We went to "lunch" at Boston Pizza in Charlottetown. At some point, I asked D'Arcy what time it was and he told me it was 3:50.  We realized that there was no way we could make the 4:30 Ferry, so we changed our plans and took our time.  We caught the 6:30 Ferry and tried to find a campground in the Pictou area, but they were all full.  (Our original plan was to spend the night on my farm in Tatamagouche, but taking the 6:30 Ferry meant we wouldn't get there until after nine and if things didn't work out, we'd have quite a drive to find another park.  We finally decided to camp at a campground within a half hour of home so that we could unload everything in the morning and get the RV back to Halifax by 11:30.

Once we made that decision, everything was great.  Sarah wasn’t happy on the Ferry (she doesn’t like the noise!) although she insisted we take it, rather than the Bridge!  Once we bought them all drinks, they were happy.  When we got to the campground and parked & hooked up, we were able to set the girls up with a movie while we played a game.  We had a blast, although I’m sure we were all very aware that this was our last night of freedom for quite awhile!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: RV Vacation Day Five
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While Olivia conked out, Sarah managed to stay awake, watching her movie until midnight.  We got the RV unloaded and back on time.  Well, we were five minutes late, but there were other people in front of us!   “Their Last Breakfast”:

IMG_7412

It was an amazing vacation, one that our boys say is second only to Disney World.  That’s got to be saying something…  We made many great family memories last week and I’ll be sad to have school start again next week.

From the words of one of the songs in “Anne of Green Gables – the Musical”:  “Why can’t it always be summer?”