Here are 19 Fun Facts that I discovered about the smallest province in Canada:
- Everyone’s nice. I’m so excited for Newfoundland if they’re considered nicer then the Islanders on PEI. Because here, everyone is so nice! They are all friendly and helpful. We pulled over twice to check the GPS and three people came by in those two times. Then we went to a friend’s house and got lost so she drove us to her house instead. If you ask the islanders for directions, just know that you won’t get directions, you’ll get driven there.
- There are foxes. We saw one fox after another while driving in Charlottetown. They were so cute! One made a burrow in a roundabout.
- They don’t let you leave. No, I’m just joking. They let you leave… You just have a small cost because they don’t want you to leave. It’s totally free to come on the island and explore for however long you want but once you want to leave, it’ll cost you.
- They’re very close with the royals. They have a Government House in Charlottetown where Prince William and Kate Middleton stayed a few years ago. Their roads are also named King St., Queen St., Prince St. The Queen of England went as well a few years ago.
- It’s small. When they say that PEI’s the smallest province, they weren’t joking. The land mass is pretty big but still the smallest in Canada. The population is 147,000 which is less than half of Markham so everyone knows everyone.
- There are only a few roads. I’m pretty sure that we drove on every road on the island (even the ones under water). The island has probably one sixteenth of the roads that are in our small community of Markham. (And that’s not counting Unionville or Thornhill or Richmond Hill)
- Everyone has an RV. We passed house after house and everyone had an RV. There are RVs parked everywhere; at the Walmart, in backyard, at grocery stores…
- There’s a cemetery and church every five minutes. We drove around and saw cemetery after cemetery and church after church. There are all different kinds of churches; Anglican, Christian, Catholic. And many different sized cemeteries; where some have only a few tombstones and others looked too full to be able to take anyone else.
- It’s really red. The second we drove onto the island we could see all the red rock everywhere. We learnt that the red is because of the amount of iron in them.
- There are a lot of potatoes. The islanders take their potatoes very seriously. Driving around almost anywhere on the island, you see fields and fields of potatoes growing, surrounded by red sand. They love their potatoes so much that they have a potato museum!
- There are a lot of roundabouts. We went around our first roundabout when we were less than five minutes on the island and have been around so many more since then.
- There are an insane amount of mosquitoes. It’s the time of the year of course but the little insects are everywhere. I have more bites then I can count!
- There are no traffic lights but also no traffic. They have stop signs and roundabouts everywhere instead. We watch one or two cars drive by every few minutes and that’s when it’s busy! There’s never traffic which is so great coming from Toronto.
- Not one house looks the same. We’ve passed by so many homes and not one of them looks alike. Drive down almost any street in Markham and you’ll see that most of the houses on that block look the same with maybe a few minor differences. You’ll see that the homes are overall the same size and the same look or design. In PEI there’s none of that! Every house is built up differently, has a different shape and size and is made with different materials. One may be brick while the next is aluminium siding.
- You’re always a short drive from the water. Since we’re on an island, we’re surrounded by water. We’ve been told that you’re always a fifteen minute drive from the water from anywhere on the island.
- Everyone’s casual. The islanders don’t really dress up, in fact we’ve seen about three people dressed up and walking around. When we dressed up for out dinner and ended up going to Richard’s, we were so out of place.
- It’s very bilingual. We’ve heard as much French as we have English. At the Village Feast, we met so many French people! There are license plates everywhere that read Québec and Ontario. And a good portion of the islanders are bilingual.
- There’s no rush. Everyone is super chill and relaxed. We booked at tour at 10:00 and went to get our tickets. The girl then told us that the times vary everyday and that day it started at 10:30.
- There’s no service. We’ve driven all around town and the most bars I’ve had are two. While my mom’s working, her calls drop sometimes! When we went to a friend’s house, she told us about her phone and wifi issues too.
Saturday morning, we had to wake up bright and early. We went to Charlottetown, the largest town in PEI with 50,000 people. We took a land and sea tour which was so cool! The tour guides were super nice and so awesome, as well as Captain Mike! We boarded the Harbour Hippo and took a cool drive downtown. The guide told us all about cool history of the different places we passed and the town itself. Then we went in the water! The Harbour Hippo drove right in the water and we didn’t even have to get off of the boat! We saw a ton of jellyfish and got lots of waves from passing people.
After that we went to the Farmer’s Market and got a healthy burrito. We saw a bunch of greyhounds and got to pet them.
We went for another University tour… this one was at UPEI. It was so cool! The dorm rooms were huge with a bathroom and kitchen! Our guide was giving us awesome information about the university and students who go there. They have 4,400 kids that attend UPEI. That’s only double my high school back home! We got a little package which included a lot of information on the school and a free pass to cross the Confederation Bridge.
We stopped for a snack afterwards at the Chip Shack with the Queen of Fries! She made the best fries and she was super nice! She had a book and called it her happy book and she would let customers, or anyone, sign it with things that made them happy.
We started on our GPS QuestTour where you get a GPS, to walk around the town and follow clues to fill out a crossword puzzle. We learned a lot of history about things all over downtown and the harbour. On our walk, we had to snack on something of course, so we got an ice cream from Island Beach Co. We stopped for dinner at Water St. Fish and Chips and had a lobster roll, recommended by the tour guide from Hippo Harbour. We got another one from Dave’s Lobster which was so good! To finish up our dinner, we got a lobster poutine from the one and only, Queen of Fries (My first poutine ever). The day was awesome!
Comment below and let me know any cool places to eat in Newfoundland because that’s where we’ll be in a few days!
We were supposed to go out for dinner to Chef Michael Smith’s restaurant, Inn at Bay Fortune but we ran late and didn’t make the dinner time. Since we were all dressed up, we went over to Richard’s Fresh Seafood which was highly recommended by every local we met and even some of the people from out of town. We were told to order the lobster roll which is an extremely popular dish all over PEI. We got one as well as some fish and chips and a lobster club. And oh my God! They were so good! The fries were awesome and the dishes themselves were amazing!
On Friday, we went to visit a friend. She lives right next to the water and has a private beach! Her house was originally a log cabin but her and her husband renovated and now it’s an awesome house with so much land all around! When we left her house, we drove two hours to The Great Canadian Potato Museum. Who knew that potatoes had such interesting history!? There’s a ginormous potato in front of the museum which was so cool! Too bad it wasn’t real.
We followed the potatoes through the exhibits and when we arrived to the end, the potatoes turned into fries! When we finished, we bought some seaweed pie – gross right!? It was actually so good! It kind of tasted like strawberry shortcake. I didn’t even taste the seaweed.
We also got some cinnamon buns which were awesome! We took the scenic route back to the campground and went to one tip of the island. We stopped at a harbour and then stopped in Summerside, the second largest town in PEI. We had a lobster roll with some fries and ice cream from St. Eleanor’s Dairy Bar. We went to the Atlantic Superstore which was kind of like Loblaws back home and we stocked up on groceries.
The day was so insightful, I’m more in love with potatoes then I was before.
Comment below and let me know any good places to go hiking or trails for walking in Newfoundland because we’ll be there soon!
We had a wonderful time at Michael Smith’s Village Feast. And can you guess what we did the day after? Nothing! We sat around, I read a book and wrote a little bit, Dad worked on the website and Mom did some work. It was kind of fun though, to take a day off and just relax while enjoying the view of the water from our RV.
The day after we cleaned and organized the RV and had a delicious barbecue dinner thanks to Dad.
Then on Wednesday, we went to see Anne of Green Gables up in Cavendish which was so cool! We looked at the house that inspired Lucy M. Montgomery to write the series. We saw the barn and walked the Lover’s Lane and Balsam Hollows trail. We walked all along the trails and found the Green Gables Golf Club. We stopped by Butter Churn Café and grabbed a bite to eat. We had some pralines and cream ice cream and an apple pecan muffin. They were so good and perfect to snack on before the trek!
We went over to Avonlea afterwards, which is the town that was created in the book. There was an ice cream place called Cow’s where we got some amazing ice cream. We stopped into Anne of Green Gables’s Chocolates and got some weird but yummy snacks! We tried chocolate covered potato chips and raspberry cordial just like in the book and we also saw some chocolate covered lobsters! We stopped for COW’s ice cream while exploring the town. It’s voted best in Canada and best in the world!
We then went down to Cavendish and walked along the beach. I found some cool seashells and there were parts of lobsters and crabs on the beach. We took a walk on the Cavendish Dunelands Trail where we crossed a bridge and I found a mussel! It was so nice and lots of fun.
Comment below and let me know any good places to go shopping in Newfoundland! We’ll be there soon!
Chef Michael Smith runs an annual Village Feast where all the locals attend. They buy their ticket and get lobster and/or steak while listening to live music and meeting new people. Since we found ourselves in PEI at this time, my parents and I volunteered.
We got there at nine in the morning and left at nine thirty at night. It was a long day but lots of fun. When we got there, we helped set up the tables and chairs. It had to be enough for 800 people! After that, my mom and I went inside to help with the kitchen stuff. We had to separate frozen biscuits and stack them on these carriers. There had to be 1024 cartons! We then went back to helping with tables and chairs and putting table cloths on them all. We finished that and then went to help some army guys set up a tent. Easy right? Nope! The tent weighed more then I did! It was so heavy! My mom and I spent at least 10 minutes trying to unroll it while the army guys had already done two. We learned how to set it up properly and then we had to tie it all together. One army guy told us that if you can’t tie knots, tie lots.
We had a lunch break after that and ate some pizza that was homemade in a stone oven. Then it was right back to work… We built another army tent and then had a quick volunteer meeting where Chef Michael and the coordinator spoke. My parents and I were busboys, where you pick up the garbage and utensils that the people were done with. We did that from quarter to three until six thirty! It got hot but overall was a lot of fun. We then got dinner; the lobster and the steak. It was an awesome first meal in PEI! We were stuffed after that but man, it was worth it. We helped with tear-down after supper which was much faster. We helped the army guys again and took down all the tables and chairs.
Overall, we met so many cool people! Not only did we meet Michael Smith but we met Chef Matt Pennell! He won Chopped Canada (season 1, episode 21) and he is executive chef at Legends Restaurant. We can’t wait to check out his restaurant in Moncton when we head over to New Brunswick. We met some other really cool people from all around Canada and even a woman from Indiana. The Village Feast was so much fun and I would for sure love to come back!
Comment below and let me know any cool places to see in PEI before we head off to our next destination!
I hope you all had a phenomenal Canada Day yesterday!
We did, we had a tribute to Liberty Burger back home in Markham by eating their burgers (Check out the website for dad’s special version of a Liberty Burger). We had some friends who happened to be camping in Kingston and enjoyed an awesome barbecue with them. The fireworks were so cool; they made a bunch of smiley faces and hearts and had awesome music. Afterwards, we went to a little ice cream place, White Mountain, which was so good! We made Kingston our first stop because it is the home of Sir John A. Macdonald who is the first prime minister of Canada. I learned that this year is the bicentennial so there was a huge parade!
Yesterday we went to see the Queen’s University Campus which was so cool and really interesting believe it or not. I saw what the dorms are like and a bunch of lecture halls and the libraries… There were so many good places to eat at on campus as well as a drug store in case you were sick and a bunch of gyms and workout equipment. Our tour guide was pretty funny and he talked about all the stuff he did throughout his years.
My mom and I went out to lunch after the tour to a little sushi place called Aji Sai Sushi. It was by far one of the best Japanese places I’ve ever been to. Everything we ate, we loved!
For dinner, our friends took us out to Lone Star which is always a hit no matter where you are.
The campground that we stayed at, Rideau Acres, was pretty cool. We got to bike around and see some cool things. The view from the water was beautiful and there were some pretty weird animals. We saw some chickens, lots of geese and ducks and some peacocks!
Overall so far, the trip’s been great. I’m so so so excited for our next adventure which is Prince Edward Island!
Comment below and let me know cool stops on the way (from Kingston to Prince Edward Island)
Our trip has finally begun! After that long count down, finishing school and packing, we’re finally here. We arrived at Rideau Acres Campground last night, after stopping in Campbellford Ontario. It’s such a cute little quaint town, perfect for a quiet weekend away. In town, we found my new favourite bakery, Dooher’s bakery, where everything is made fresh. We tried a bunch of different treats; a blueberry muffin, a cream-filled doughnut, a maple pecan doughnut and an apple fritter. I’d say if you’re in the area, you need to check it out. Everything they make is awesome!
We walked all around the little main street area and made our way to Sharpe’s, the local grocery store. After, we made our way to The World’s Finest Chocolate Canada Company. Then we went to the Empire Cheese and Butter Co-op where we tested some Havarti, cheese curds and Greek cheese. Surprisingly enough, they were all amazing and we ended up buying a bunch for our burgers later tonight for Canada Day.
We then made our way to Belleville Ontario where we stopped for Reid’s Dairy, my favourite ice cream place! We have a soft serve twist and it was a perfect pre-dinner treat.
I’d like to thank everyone who helped us get ready for this awesome adventure. That also meant less trips up and down the stairs that I’d would have had to take so a big thanks for that. We emptied our house a few days before leaving which meant that we had to sleep in the RV. We had an awesome night a few days ago when some friends and family dropped in to say goodbye. Some friends gave us t-shirts with our TAC logo on it.
To prep for the trip, my mom, dad and I had our hair cut. My mom and I donated 12 inches each to cancer. It’s a lot easier to take care of now, saving shampoo, no hair in the shower and it’s faster to brush.
We are now in Kingston for Canada Day! We will get to see fireworks and have a great barbeque. I’m pretty pumped for tomorrow because we are going on a campus tour of Queen’s University and a boat ride to the castle!
Comment below and let me know any good places to explore in Kingston, Ontario!