Saturday 30 August 2014

My PEI Vacation (part 2)

This week, my maternity leave ended, and I returned to work. I'm making it through, but with a return to work, the stress and work has begun, so I'm going to procrastinate and finish sharing my favourite PEI places!

(You can see #1-3 in the first part, here.)

4) Souris:
I've been to the "Points East" end of PEI before, but not for many years. I wanted to have a bit of an adventure, so we hopped in the truck and headed for Souris. Why Souris? The Flavour Shack! Chef Michael Smith has a shack (literally a shack) full of autographed cookbooks, aprons, and all his favourite island items. They also have some of his jackets there for you to wear for photos. The woman working at the Flavour Shack was wonderful! Very friendly, very helpful. You could tell that she enjoyed being there. She even took my picture with Chef Michael's jacket from the Olympics. I couldn't leave empty handed, so I bought two signed copies of his cookbooks, Back to Basics and Family Meals. (It's been so hectic with back-to-work this week, but I'm hoping to try out some recipes this weekend!)

The Flavour Shack!
(See the chalkboards
with colourful chalk writings?
Just like on his show!)

I got to wear Chef Michael's
jacket from the Olympics!

My new cookbooks - autographed!

The Flavour Shack is part of a small group of shacks along a gorgeous beach. There is a little boardwalk, picnic tables, and a playground. It's a great place to stop for some shopping, food, a swim, play in the playground, or just a sit to enjoy the scenery. For such a little place, it certainly made an impression. I loved it, and it was definitely worth the drive. 

Next to the Flavour Shack was the Lobster Shack.

It was approaching lunch, so of course we had to stop for a lobster roll. So, while Little C munched on cheerios, yogurt, apple sauce, and other goodies, we enjoyed a delicious lobster roll, chips, and pickles!

We decided that we were going to head to the other end of the Points East Coastal Drive, to visit Kings Castle Park, but before we did, I took a walk on the beach, because I had heard someone say that the beach was famous for sea glass. I have always loved collecting sea glass, but in recent years, it has become very difficult to find on our beaches. (I'm not sure if it's because there are fewer glass bottles and jars or if it's because everyone collects it all for crafts.) Well, that person was right, because I only spent a few minutes wandering along the beach and returned to the truck with this! Next time, we'll plan to spend more time there and try to arrive at lower tide, so we can have some beach time. It was a fairly high tide, so there wasn't much beach visible, but it looked like it was nice and sandy with a gradual drop into the water.

5) Kings Castle Provincial Park

I mentioned before that Kings Castle Provincial Park is a bit of a throwback. There is a little beach, canteen, and picnic area. That's all great, but not at all why I wanted to visit. For me, the attraction is the old-school playground and statues.

There is a huge playground area filled with older style swings, slides, wooden climbing structures, a tunnel, and even a merry go round! (You know the kind - it spins around and around and around until you can't take it any longer or fly off.) There are new pieces of equipment too. Between the multiple sets of swings and all the slides, Little C. had a blast! (And we got to add an extra playground to our summer bucket list!)

Older slide... The Old Woman in the Shoe?

Little C is sliding!


I couldn't let Little C have all the fun!


3 Little Pigs,
a Big Bad Wolf,
and a cute little boy!

After playing at the playground, we headed over to a wooded area. You walk through the woods and there are statues of various fairy tale characters. The three little pigs and the big bad wolf, the three bears, the goose who laid the golden egg, and my personal favourites: Dorothy, Tinman, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion, from the Wizard of Oz. They're definitely showing some wear, but still make for some fun pictures.

6) The Great Canadian Soap Co.
I think the only "must stop" while visiting PEI this summer was the Great Canadian Soap Company. We needed to stock up on their soap - a must-have in our household. The best part about visiting the Soap company is that it's two visits in one - the goats and the store! We visited with the goats, chickens, and kittens first. 

You can tell the animals love being here. The goats are friendly, gentle, and seem very happy. I think they like all the attention. After all, who could revisit them? 

Mama cat and her many kittens.
Little C and a goat - this one didn't
sneeze on him, so he liked her.

Then it was time to go in the store, which smells heavenly. I wish I could post smells here. I love the Soap Company products. Their soap cleans well, but is mild, and the scents are light and not perfumey. They have a natural smell. 

They always have deals. The more you buy,
the more free stuff you get!

Our pile of soap, filled with all of our favourite products. Obviously, their soap is #1. I love the tea tree and licorice scents, but I think my new favourite is pear. It smells just like a fresh pear. That's what Little C got, because pears are his favourite. My husband's favourite scent is the peppermint with poppy seeds. The poppy seeds make good scrubbers.
We also picked up a shampoo bar. I had used on in the past, and it wasn't for me, but I don't think I had the right one for my hair. This time, be bought a tea tree and peppermint bar. I've been using it for the past week and I love it! I still use a little conditioner, but my hair is soft and shiny.
I also stocked up on tea tree astringent (one of my favorutie products), some body butter (one for sore muscles and the other is vanilla,) and new lip gloss.
Seriously, try their products. They are amazing. If you can't get to PEI, visit their website. They have some great monthly deals. I'm sure I'll be placing an order before I get back in person!

7) Village Pottery:
Despite being told by my husband that I couldn't buy any more mugs, I managed to buy another mug! I think I may have a little obsession with pottery mugs, and an even bigger obsession with Village Pottery. I swore I would find a way to get there, and when one of my mugs broke about a week before we went to PEI, I realized that was my "in." I needed a replacement mug, and what better back-to-work present than a new coffee mug! (Honestly, it doesn't take much to get my husband to agree to anything, but I think I felt the need to justify spending more money on our budget-friendly trip.)

When we stopped in, Little C was sleeping in the backseat, so I even went in by myself... that could have been dangerous! How is that for husband-wife trust? I was good though, and only came out with one mug. It's so pretty, isn't it. I swear my morning coffee tastes even better in it.

Their store is eye candy, inside and out. The pottery is displayed proudly inside the shop, organized by glaze colour. Upstairs, they display artwork, but my favourite spot is the back room. There is a little play area for kids, in a hidey hole under the stairs. It's a kid's dream. In the same room, there is always a shelf full of "seconds" - pieces that are a little wonky or are flawed in some way.  I didn't buy anything this time, but I have bought some fun pieces - bowls, candle holders, and mugs. That's my Village Pottery tip - visit the wonky shelf. You never know what you'll find.

Those are the highlights of our PEI vacation. We visited some other places, but these are the most memorable ones. We were able to check everything off our original list, except we  weren't able to get to Charlottetown. It's too bad, but there just wasn't enough time.

Little C had such a great time that we're already thinking of booking for next year, so the question is, where should we go? I'm still trying to figure out the whole Irish moss harvesting thing, so maybe we'll visit the other end of the island next year and try to find out more about the harvest.

Comment to let me know what other gems I've been missing while visiting PEI!

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