A few months ago I popped "Anne of Green Gables" into the DVD player. A perfect movie for an afternoon by myself, when I am feeling particularly girly and want to multi-task and get some cleaning done at the same time. As I watched Anne with and "e" get melodramatic and run through fields and stand at the edge of red cliffs overlooking the sea I had this vague memory of someone saying that the story took place on Prince Edward Island (and, indeed, much of the movie was filmed there as well). Then, I vaguely remembered that the island was near Nova Scotia on the East Coast. The wheels kept turning and I had the realization that I now lived on the East Coast. Henceforth and thusly, an excursion to the island really wouldn't be that difficult. I dropped everything, did a little internet research, made a call to my husband at work, and within 20 minutes we had planned to go (pending approval from both of our employers).
Normally, I have at least a tentative itinerary for all of our trips. However, this time, we were both so swamped that there was barely anything planned at all. We made requisite reservations (plane tickets, hotel, car rental) and bought a travel book. I remember reading enough of the book at one point to find out exactly how small the island is and thought, "Good, I won't need to plan anything, we will just wing it." And that is exactly what we did.
We went to a winery and went to the Anne of Green Gables heritage center. (Of course I had to drag my husband to that.) Primarily, though, we just drove. We drove to the eastern coast of the Island and saw the lighthouse where one of the first SOS calls from the Titanic was received. Then North to walk along the Singing Sand beach. The sand does, in fact, squeak and it is a little bizarre. Another day we drove West out to the furthest tip of the island where there is a wind farm and a restaurant with plenty of windows so that you can watch for seals in the ocean. Then quibble with your husband over whether they were actually seals or just ducks making up the little dark spots on the water's surface. Then you can bring the waitress in on the argument. Then you can win that argument. There were totally seals.
The peak season for tourism (which is a MAJOR industry on the island) ends in Sept. So we traveled just off peak enough for the island to be fairly quiet and for many of the shops and restaurants outside Charlottetown to be closed. For me, this only added to the charm. Little traffic on the roads. Spotting many little shops with handmade signs saying "Closed for the Season" or "We'll see you next June!" And watching field, after field, followed by fishing village pass my window. It was very much like being allowed into a shop after hours. Everything staged for the following business day and only the employees bustling about doing their own behind-the-scenes work without any regard for you. We were able to simply soak it all in. No agenda. No place to be. Simply driving.
Perhaps I have a few wires crossed, but this is when I am most content. In a car, with my husband (and the pets too when the occasion calls for it). The rearview reflecting all that we have left behind the road ahead leading to infinite possibilities and nothing holding us in one place. Just constant momentum. Constant forward motion.