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Sights, Sounds and Smells

Experiencing the warm hospitality of PEI

By Marg Prevost

Having just returned from Prince Edward Island, where we took part in the Explorer RV Club National Rally we’d like to share what a wonderful time we had.

Our initial amazing experience was seeing the Confederation Bridge for the first time; what a wonderful example of engineering at its finest. As someone who has lived in Ontario all of their life, the idea of not being able to drive wherever I wanted, when I wanted, was unimaginable. My father was raised on PEI and told us stories about crossing on the ferry but until you are there, you don’t really understand the complete story of it.

When we arrived at Crystal Beach Campground we were greeted with a friendly smile and the offer to help with anything we needed. That same wonderful service continued throughout our time there. Others had also experienced it. Thank you ladies for picking a great place for us to stay.

Thursday was registration day and that evening we had a pot-luck dinner. Some may think that pot-luck at an RV rally would be an offering of just simple buns, meat and cheese, but oh no, we ate like kings: salads of various kinds, hot dishes such as meat balls, casseroles, corn on the cob, and heavenly desserts.Friday started early with everyone loading onto buses and travelling to the North Cape. As we travelled, our very knowledgeable guide provided interesting information about the areas that we were travelling through and going to. Upon arriving at the North Cape we wandered along the cliffs looking to where the Atlantic meets the Strait. We were lucky enough to even see sea lions swimming together at what we assumed was an area of good feeding for them. The Interpretive Centre was an impressive place to wander through as well. Lots of information about the island, light houses, wind turbines, and more.

Then we headed off to the Stompin’ Tom Centre for a wonderful lunch and lively musical entertainment. We were able to wander the building reading about his life story, see the one room school house that he went to and then we even had a chance to sing Stompin’ Tom songs, karaoke style! We had a lot of fun doing it.

Have you ever thought of going to a potato museum? I thought that it would not be anything that would interest me but I was so wrong. There was an impressive display of antique items from medical equipment and household items, to farming equipment and more. Who knew that there were so many differences in the types of potatoes? And….potato fudge? That was a new and yummy experience.

Then it was back to the park for a delicious dinner of either chicken or pork with lots of sides. What a full day but it wasn’t over yet. Afterwards there was a fun gathering around the campfire overlooking the Malpeque Bay.

Saturday started off with an interactive cooking demonstration by Martin and Gail Aller-Stead and an information session by Amy Perks of Gary Steeves Insurance. The ladies had games planned for all for the afternoon as well as crafts in the building (painting rocks) but unfortunately Mother Nature decided to play a trick on us and it rained. Did that dampen our spirits? No way. People gathered for discussions about their camping experiences, sharing stories good and bad.

Saturday dinner was AMAZING….the catering guys really outdid themselves serving either a whole lobster or steak dinner. After dinner, we were entertained by some members of the College of Piping. To finish the night out we had a fun evening of playing games such as Beer Pong (without the beer) and shooting the ducks off the cans, etc. The theme was “Under the Sea” and many people got into the spirit by dressing up as jellyfish, sharks and other creatures.

The raffle prizes this year included an iPad, an ice maker, an ERS/Roadside emergency kit, a wine basket and of course camp chairs.

Sunday morning the ladies had lots of tasty food for us for breakfast before we all hit the road to head back home. A wonderful weekend finished, leaving us with hopes of attending again next year.

Thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors and for the donations. The rally would not be a success without all of you.