And just like that, a dream came true. There I was, on Prince Edward Island, holding his hand, standing in front of Green Gables. Yellow leaves crunching, the smell of October making everydayness and little moments feel magical and special and full of hope. I'm being dramatic, but that's the Anne Shirley in me.
I wish you were there too, whomever you are. I think you'd love it.
This house was the inspiration behind Green Gables in L. M. Montgomery's writings. In real life, her aunt and uncle lived here (not Matthew and Marilla), and she had many fond memories here as a child. The grounds are now part of Parks Canada, and each staff member was so very kind and welcoming. Visitors travel from around the world to feel a little closer to the story of Anne. Who knew! Most people visit in the summer (it is Canada, after all), so it was nice and quiet while we were there in October.
The staff told us about a woman in her 90's traveling from Japan to visit Green Gables this summer. She was an orphan (one of many after World War II), and the Anne of Green Gables story provided her a tremendous amount of hope as she waited and hoped and prayed to belong. It was her lifelong dream to visit Prince Edward Island, and she finally made it.
Anne of Green Gables has been translated into at least 36 different languages and has made its way around the globe. So it's no wonder Prince Edward Island welcomes many international guests each year. But good grief, that story made me teary!
There are nods to the story around the house. Like this dress with puffed sleeves.
And this shabby, old-fashioned carpet-bag.
And this shattered slate, which she broke on Gilbert's head when he called her Carrots.
And these apple-scented geraniums in the kitchen windowsill. (Bonny is obviously up in Anne's room.)
This island, I tell ya. Crops are grown in red soil. The only traffic in October is caused by truckloads of freshly-harvested potatoes.
Flocks of blue jays. Buzzing tractors. Wagons of pumpkins for sale in nearly every driveway. Jackets pulled tightly. Gas stations are actually grocery stores. Farms atop cliffs overlooking the ocean. I'll never, ever get over it.
Red dirt road after red dirt road...
...some of which seemingly lead into the sea.
The employees at Enterprise in Boston laughed when we rented a full-size truck. But we NEEDED this baby in PEI! (And truth be told, we really didn't want to give it back at the end of our trip.) It had around 600 miles TOTAL on it when we picked it up. And about 2,600 miles when we gave it back. (Not to mention quite a bit of red dirt on the carpets. Sorry, Enterprise!)
Here's the sweet little cottage we rented at Brackley Beach.
^^^ And this was our view each morning. I'm not sure why we left, to be honest! I'd sure like to move in.
We drove to the far west side of the island just to take a peek at this lighthouse. It was a lengthy drive, but completely worth it. We were the only ones there. Just me, Kyle, and this fox.
Kyle was NOT thrilled with how close I got to this guy. I went to get just a bit closer, and Kyle yelled, which made both me and Mr. Fox jump out of our skin. He looked pretty cute, though!
As we drove away from Prince Edward Island early Friday morning, I asked Kyle, "Do you think we'll ever be back?"
He said, "I have a feeling we'll have a little girl someday, who has a little Anne Shirley in her. And we'll have to take her to Green Gables. We'll be back."
I hope so. I sure, sure hope so.