So Renee penciled PEI into the travel itinerary before we even left St. Petersburg, FL (our home town). She wanted to visit PEI because of their famous mussels. See it goes like this: she worked closely with the Research and Development Team at Bloomin Brands (BBI), working with R&D included tasting the delicious recipes they made. BBI operates Carrabba’s, an Italian themed restaurant chain that (you guessed it) serves PEI mussels. Not that important but it is the reason we decided to visit PEI, yes mussels! Tim’s dad reminded us later that Tim’s great grand parents are from PEI, oh and his mom told Renee that Tim should have all the “mussels” she needs! As it turned out PEI had a lot more going for it than just mussels.
PEI is of course an island, you used to only be able to get to the island by ferry but in 1997 the Confederation Bridge opened for business connecting New Brunswick to PEI. We took the bridge to PEI, we had anticipated it would be a big deal but the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in our home state (Florida) is overall a bigger structure. The big deal about the Confederation Bridge is that it is the longest bridge in the world crossing ice-covered water (in the winter). I guess that is a big deal.
Our first stop was to The Sheperd’s Farm a certified organic farm and the only Harvest Host on the island. Another free stay at a Harvest Host, this time they even had hook-ups! Hook-ups for you non-RV’ers means electric, water, and sewer. The farm is owned and operated by the Cousins family. The owner, Stephen met us as we drove up to the farm. Stephen and his wife Cindy have 5 children, the youngest is 16, and have owned the farm for 22 years. Spend a little time with Stephen and you will be impressed.
The Cousins have two beautiful Golden Retrievers that helped us walk our dogs around the farm before retiring to Peg for the night. Little did we know we were in for a long night. Apparently it was black fly season. When I say black fly, I mean the biting, blood sucking variety! We got attacked by hundreds of flies. They were small enough to get in through the window screens. We closed Peg up tight and got ready to battle. What a massacre, Renee grabbed the hand vac and went to work sucking up each and every one of those blood sucking killer flies. We survived the night, although as of this writing we still have remnants from the bites. Black flies aside we enjoyed our stay at the farm.
The winter was long and harsh this year and so the farm was just getting underway. Check out the two pics showing February in Key West FL vs. PEI. We also purchased fresh eggs and lamb chops. Renee cooked herself a lamb chop dinner, she was happy.
After two days at the farm we hitched up Peg and took her to the other side of the island to a magical place called Twin Shores Campground. Twin Shores Campground was a destination in and of itself. The campground is surrounded by miles of private beaches and small cliffs. We showed up the day they opened and were actually the first campers in the park (besides the folks who have a seasonal residence). While staying at Sheperd’s Farm, Stephen informed us that his cousin Darren is part owner of the campground - small world. We did not meet Stephen’s cousin but in another twist we met the other owner, Brian. As it turns out Brian is our neighbor in St. Petersburg. Really he lives a few blocks away. He works all summer long at the campground and spends the winters in Florida. He recently purchased a house in St. Petersburg. When I say he works, he works! During the summer, they get upwards of 3,000 people at the campground. Apparently that would make the campground the 4th or 5th largest city on PEI. Quite an operation and quite a place and they take Passport America (PA) for the first 21 days in June – jackpot, normally the site we had cost $60/night, we got it for about $21/night (factoring in the PA discount and exchange rate US $ to CA $). Check out some pics and videos we took at the campground.
PEI is known for its food. So Renee was in heaven!!! Stephen told us to eat dinner at The Home Place, a B&B/restaurant owned and operated by his cousin Chef Glenda. Wow what a place, it was where the locals go for a good dinner, certainly not a touristy place. The food was really good and the service was great. Apparently Glenda won the “Burger Love” award for the best burger in PEI. This is not just a burger, we are talking gourmet. The ingredients are as follows; barbonaise sauce, beer braised red cabbage, onion, bacon, cream cheese pesto, grilled pear and kettle chips. I know sounds crazy but it was crazy good!! Renee definitely knows her food, and it was the best burger she has ever had!!
Glenda’s daughter Morgan lives in Vancouver but came to PEI for the summer to help her mother with the business. While visiting with Morgan, we asked her where we should go to have a traditional lobster supper – a PEI tradition. She indicated the lobster suppers were a bit touristy and over priced. She told us where we could buy-cooked lobsters for much less. Check out the video of a lobster supper “Mullen Style” and a short video of our romantic walk on the beach.
We had some cold and rainy days during our stay on PEI but we also had some very nice days. The weather in July and August is ideal but it is also high tourist season. We enjoyed our time on PEI and who knows we may go back some day and stay longer. Check out some more good pics from PEI in the slideshow below.
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