Amy Artisan

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Visiting Anne

(seeing how this week is 1 year since we were in PEI, it’s high time to continue sharing our adventures…)

Indeed, Anne of Green Gables was the catalyst for our trip to PEI. Rebecca is a huge Anne book fan (and is proud of never seeing the onscreen adaptations). Our goal was to see some of the Anne sites but also find the right balance with just enjoying the island for its own charm.

On Tuesday evening, we headed towards Charlottetown to enjoy a preview performance of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical a clever and fun send-up of Anne in a classic musical format. This production was in its 53rd season. For dinner before the show, we enjoyed patio dining at a farm to table restaurant, Terre Rouge Craft Kitchen – the clouds looked ominous as we were seated but the rain managed to hold off until the last bites of our meal. It was a packed theater for the performance and it was fun to see the multi-generation family groups partaking in their annual tradition of the show and also see the varied audience there to enjoy some classic fun. The laughter and reactions of a gentleman across the aisle from us can only be described as pure joy & added to our enjoyment of the evening.

Our PEI home was essentially across the street from the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace – so our first stop on Wednesday morning was this house. We were the first visitors of the day – after an introduction presentation, we wandered through the rooms of the house on our own. I picked up a couple of non-Anne books & was treated to them being stamped by a special museum stamp.

Our next Anne destination had us driving over the Lake of Shining Waters and to the Anne of Green Gables Museum. Descendants of LMM still own this house and it is filled with family heirlooms – some of which inspired elements of Lucy’s stories. Rebecca also enjoyed the Silver Bush novels and said it was very evident that this house was Silver Bush.

From the museum, we headed towards Cavendish and the Green Gable Heritage Place. This was the “most crowded” place we visited and even that crowding was minimal.  We wandered through the house that has been decorated as Green Gables is described in the novels. In Anne’s room, we smiled at the brown puff sleeve dress hanging on the closet door. After touring the house, we ventured a bit down the 2 paths on the property: Lovers Lane and the Haunted Trail.

After a morning and early afternoon with Anne, we decided it was time to get lunch. When our first choice restaurant option had a full parking lot and people waiting outside we went with plan B – look for nearby restaurants via the map search feature on the phone. In just a few minutes, we were at By the River Bakery & Café. We each opted for a soup and sandwich combo: for me, the seafood chowder & roast beef sandwich were the perfect choice; for Rebecca, the corn chowder and a ham & cheese sandwich. On our way out the door, we picked up some scones for future breakfasts (& boy were they delicious…even as they aged).

After lunch, we were in the mood to just drive and explore so we headed toward the town of Summerside. While it no longer evokes the charm Rebecca read about with Anne, we did enjoy a walk along their recently refurbished boardwalk/shoreline park. Then, a quick stop at a grocery store for some breakfast basics and some island honey to bring home. On our way out of town we spotted a cute coffee shack so we treated ourselves to iced coffees from Jo Momma’s Coffee Hut.

Back at home, we enjoyed a bit of relaxing and reading before it was time to go next door for dinner at The Table, an amazing evening that deserves its own post…

Previous stops on this adventure: Acadian Adventures & Meandering to PEI

Meandering to PEI

(…picking up with tales from the great Sisters Road Trip with Rebecca in June…first to Acadia National Park and then to Prince Edward Island…the adventures continue…)

On Monday morning, we packed up to depart Acadia and begin working our way towards PEI. We knew we needed to be on PEI by Tuesday afternoon but we didn’t have anything specific on the itinerary for our driving routes on Monday & Tuesday – other than a planned Monday evening stopover in St. John NB.

As we left Twilite, Chuck offered up a few suggestions for things to see in our Maine meandering.Breakfast was at a cute café in Ellsworth – Flexit Bakery & Café. After fried seafood weekend suppers and big, sweet blueberry desserts, our veggie laden breakfasts were just what we needed to start the day.

Leaving Twitlite and a veggie fuel-up!

As we left Ellsworth and headed out on US 1, we decided to drop-down to wander through the Schoodic Peninsula portion of Acadia National Park. The park was mostly empty and we enjoyed pulling off the road at several pretty spots before getting back on the road towards Canada.

Exploring the Schoodic Peninsula

We passed through the HQ town for “Wreaths Across America” – little did we know that we would be a wreath recipient 6 months later…

In Machias, we detoured to Jasper Beach at Chuck’s suggestion. We spent almost as much time navigating out of our parking spot as we did on the beach – but it was still a beautiful stop with a few rocks added to our collections.

A quick stop at Jasper Beach

Late Monday afternoon, we easily crossed the border into Canada and in short order we were pulling into our Airbnb for Monday evening. For dinner, we went to a local pub, Britt’s Pub & Eatery, for a tasty meal and local ciders. Rebecca had a burger and corn chowder; my salmon with a blueberry sauce was delicious. The evening was for reading and enjoying the breezes coming through the open windows at our stay.

Now, into Canada

On Tuesday morning, we were up and out the door by about 7:30 – our first stop was Tim Horton’s for breakfast and coffee and we also picked up a couple of donuts for a mid-morning break. Then we headed out of town on Route 11 to see the Bay of Fundy. The Fundy Trail was a great way to experience this amazing space. Because we were there early, it was almost 2 hours before we encountered any other visitors at any of our stops. Since it was low tide, at the end of the trail we were able to walk out on Long Beach and pick up a few more rocks for our collections.

Exploring along the Fundy trail

After enjoying our donuts with a final view of the bay, we wound along back roads to reach NB-1 and continue to PEI.

Down along the Bay of Fundy shoreline

At our fuel stop in Petitcodiac, the cashier noticed my Green Bay Packers front license frame and asked if we were from Wisconsin. Her dream trip is to visit Laura Ingalls Wilder locations (in Wisconsin and beyond) – so she thought our trip to PEI was pretty cool.

By mid-afternoon, we were crossing the Confederation Bridge to “finally” arrive on Prince Edward Island. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center (and picked up our PEI oval decals for the cars) and then made our way to our charming farmhouse rental, Summer House. As we arrived to our home, we were surprised to discover that next door was “The Table” where we had reservations for Wednesday evening.

The Confederation Bridge is an impressive engineering feat; Summer House – our charming rental

Now that we were on the island, it was time for some Anne of Green Gables adventures…

(more tales to be shared in the next installment of Travel Tuesday…)

Across the Pond…Again

Last week brought my third business trip to the UK in less than 3 months. A full week of workshops outside of London was on the schedule and I planned to stay through till Sunday to enjoy a weekend in London.


The work week was busy – I was glad that on Monday evening a colleague & I had made plans to check out a nearby tavern right on the Thames. Dinner was the best fish & chips I’ve encountered during these recent travels & the setting was a nice respite from the workshops. Throughout the week, I got caught up in World Cup fever as colleagues from multiple countries were in “full on” team spirit.

On Friday afternoon, as work wrapped up a car picked me up to take me into London for some fun. Once again, I enjoyed staying at a great hotel “in the middle of it all” using points from my WI travel. Once I settled into the hotel on Friday afternoon, I walked a couple of blocks to hop on the tube to the Swiss Cottage stop. On the agenda, catching up with a friend from my book club days in Chicago. It had been several years since we had seen each other so there was much catching up to do – in addition to “life” we were also trading book recommendations back & forth.

Saturday was a “full on” tourist day. After enjoying breakfast delivered to my room (thank you concierge status!), it was time to see the city. My first stop was The British Museum. I was there for about 3 hours and yet I know I only skimmed the surface of this amazing collection of artifacts.

After the museum, I strolled down Oxford Street to do some shopping. My main shopping goal was a return to Liberty to get one of their beautiful scarves. Along the way I did a bit of other shopping to pick up treats for family. I arrived at Liberty to signs of big sales – so my plan to get one scarf ended up morphing into picking up 2 of their gorgeous scarves on sale for the price of 1. After shopping, it was back to the hotel – an iced coffee, panini & coverage of the Royal Ascot races provided a respite from the hot day.

Late in the afternoon, I hopped on the tube & headed across the river to the London Eye. It was a gorgeous day to hop into one of the carriages for a “spin around the city.”
From the London Eye, I walked along the River Walk and came across a steel drum performer with a haunting performance of Amazing Grace. A walk across the Jubilee Bridge brought me back towards my hotel. Along the way, I walked past Trafalgar Square and then turned onto Leicester Square.

My goal was dining al fresco in one of the many cafes that line the square. A table at Muriel’s Kitchen provided a lovely end to that goal. My sister texted that I needed to get a slice of banoffee pie to end the day. The restaurant didn’t serve it. Thanks to my iPhone, I googled “banoffee pie near Leicester Square” & saw mention of a cafe in the area – as I walked back towards my hotel I came across the cafe & ordered a slice “takeaway.”

On Sunday morning, the city was just starting to wake up as my car took me back to Heathrow. After being in the middle of such hustle and bustle, it was nice to see the quieter side of the city. The flight home was for catching up on movies and reading…and also for tea time just before landing. I think one or two more UK trips will be on the horizon as the year progresses – I wonder what tourist adventures await on future trips.

A Sunny Sunday…London Style

This time last Sunday, I was tourist for a day in London ahead of a meetings at one of our locations outside of London. Meetings started on Monday afternoon – so a Saturday overnight flight & a few hotel points from all my WI travel allowed for a Sunday afternoon and evening in the midst of it all. A colleague flew in early too and was game for some Sunday adventure.
A postcard view from my hotel room

A postcard view from my hotel room

As I opened the door to my hotel room, I was greeted with an incredible view of the London skyline – I think I might have a postcard that looks just about the same. After cleaning up a bit, it was time to set out for some London fun.
In Trafalgar Square

In Trafalgar Square

First, a stroll practically around the corner to Trafalgar Square. On such a warm and sunny afternoon, the square was bustling with people & performance art. We wandered through some of the galleries at the National Gallery – in our tired state, the commentary we had about some of the paintings was quite rich.
The view from the cafe

The view from the cafe

After recharging with an iced latte & a ginger biscuit, it was time for a bit of shopping. A quick taxi ride dropped us in front of Liberty of London.
About to enter Liberty

About to enter Liberty

It was great fun to stroll through the floors at Liberty – the florals truly are amazing. Some purchases were made and ideas for purchases on future trips were filed away.
A glimpse of the red carpet

A glimpse of the red carpet

When our shopping was done (or rather we knew we needed to leave before doing anymore damage), we met up with a colleague for drinks before walking to dinner. As we walked, we passed the theater & red carpet for a BAFTA awards show.
My postcard view - the nighttime edition

My postcard view – the nighttime edition

After dinner, it was time for me to grab a cab back to my hotel & “finally” get some sleep. Upon my return to my room, I stared out the window for a bit watching my iconic skyline view come to life with the night lights. Thanks to the marvel that is FaceTime, I gave the family a touring of the darkening skyline before calling it a night. On Monday morning, a taxi ride to Waterloo Station and then a 45 minute train ride transported us away from being a London tourist to our several days of planning workshops. More trips may be on the horizon…I wonder what tourist adventures I’ll be able to incorporate into them?

Business Trip Tourist: London

The last week of March, I had a couple of days of business meetings in London. In addition to productive meetings, I managed to insert a few touristy activities to make the most of my first trip to London.
I arrived to Heathrow on Monday morning. After collecting my luggage and passing through Border Patrol, as I walked through the doorway of the passenger arrivals area to a sea of people waiting for friends & family it was a given that “God Only Knows” would be the ear worm that filled my head.
London Scenes
Since my meetings didn’t start until Tuesday, I had Monday for exploring. Before arriving, I had grand plans to explore a couple of museums; however, those plans were sidelined by a blister (all that DC walking) & the reality that I would be doing a fair bit of walking to/from the meetings each day. After a quick rest at the hotel, I mapped out a new plan with the help of the concierge – I had a ticket for one of the on & off tour buses and away I went.
London Scenes
It was a sunny & crisp afternoon – sitting in the open air of the upper level of the bus was perfect for keeping me awake when my body was saying “just let me sleep.” The tour guide was a delightful fount of information – I could have easily stayed on the bus for the entire route. But, at the Houses of Parliament & Westminster Abbey I hopped off the bus so that I could achieve my one goal for the afternoon: enjoy a proper afternoon tea.
London Scenes
While web-planning things I wanted to do in London, I had stumbled across the website for a cafe on the grounds of the abbey that seemed like a perfect option for tea. Indeed, the afternoon tea at The Cellarium was a lovely recharge for my very tired self.
Tea Time
After tea, I hopped back on the bus for a bit more sight seeing before heading back to the hotel.
London Scenes
Once our meetings concluded on Wednesday afternoon, I had the evening free since I wasn’t flying home till Thursday morning. I caught a cab to Leicster Square and went to the TKTS booth to see what shows had “special” tickets for the evening. I had decided that I didn’t want to see a big musical or something that was “easy access” back home. I picked up a 2nd row ticket to the new play “Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense” based on the works of P.G. Wodehouse. I’ve been a fan of the actor Matthew MacFadyen since I discovered the MI-5/Spooks television series on Netflix several years ago – it was a treat to see him originate the role of Jeeves and be very comedic after mostly seeing his dramatic roles. To complete the tourist experience for the evening, my dinner before the show was fish ‘n chips & a pint at a pub around the corner from the theatre.
Taking in a show in the West End
While the trip was quick…the work meetings were worthwhile & the moments of touring were a lovely first introduction to London. Needless to say, I will not be disappointed if I have another meeting there in the future.
One the flight home, I looked out the window & saw Iceland

One the flight home, I looked out the window & saw Iceland

In 17+ years of business travel, I’ve managed to find all sorts fun moments in the midst of work. This trip was no exception!

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