Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anne of Green Gables Day

You can have a brilliant time at Prince Edward Island if you are not an Anne of Green Gables fan; however, you may have more fun if you are an Anne fan. There are a few requirements to have a splendid Anne day at Prince Edward Island. To begin with, you must wear a dress with "puffed sleeves." In this picture we are wearing our puffed sleeves and singing the song that the minister's wife performs at Diana's wedding: "so promise me that some day you and I...."

If you do not have red hair, buy a straw hat with synthetic orange braids so you are worthy of the insult "carrots." Now you are dressed for Anne success.

Visit Green Gables.

We went to the Green Gables house that inspired Lucy Maud Montgomery. Yes, Green Gables does exist. Be prepared to see lots of Japanese. Apparently, Anne of Green Gables is extremely popular in Japan; it became required reading in Japanese public school sometime after WWII. Random, right? So here are two little Japanese boys sitting in the Anne buggy for a picture. We also took pictures - with our Anne hats - but these boys are so much cuter than we are.

Lucy Maud Montgomery lived next door to Green Gables. Here it is. Magical.

The inside of Green Gables is a museum of sorts that displays how this may have looked during the time that Lucy Maud was growing up. Can I just say that I love the name Maud. My sister mentioned it as a potential baby name and I thought it was terrible, but now I adore the name.

Visit Lover's Lane and the Haunted Woods. Lover's Lane and the Haunted woods also exist.

Ah, and there is a bridge on Lover's Lane. A friend of mine says that only good things happen on bridges; we often reference Anne and Gilbert for the prime example to back up this statement. I think it is fitting that there is a bridge on Lover's Lane.

Here Sophia and I are holding hands on Lover's Lane.

This is the pathway that Lucy Maud would walk to church. Her house was right next door to Green Gables.

This is the property that Lucy Maud grew up on. We went to a small little museum that was run by teenage girls that are Lucy Maud's relatives.

The only regret we had on our Anne day was not finding the "Lake of Shinning Waters." Yet there were other things that made up for this. One of these things was the memoribilia we bought at the shops. We are trying to look as young as we feel wearing these t-shirts. But then again, I don't feel like a school girl professing my love for Gilbert Blythe. Who does not love Gilbert Blythe?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cycling through Prince Edward Island

There is a bike trail that goes around the whole of Prince Edward Island, so we rented bikes one afternoon and cycled along part of the coast of PEI. I admit, part of our reasoning was to recreate some Anne moments; like when Gilbert falls into the pond while racing Anne. Next time that we visit PEI, and I will visit again, I am determined to bike a large part of the trail. Now I am not a great biker, in fact there are family stories that attest to the opposite, but I would cycle this trail because it is perhaps the most picturesque bike ride one could envision. Here our bikes resting while we explore. I was wishing for more of a retro Anne style model, but "you can't always get what you want."

I can rock a bicycle helmet.

Seriously, can you find any place more gorgeous than this island?

Okay so there was one pregnant sister on this trip. I am not that sister; however, I look more pregnant in this photo than she did the entire trip.

I adore this photo.

These just grew wild on every roadside. Even the side of the roads - perhaps the ugliest and smuttiest part of any country/city - was verdant and gorgeous. They are called Lupine, which makes me think of Lupin from Harry Potter; yet another reason to love these flowers.

After our cycling, we visited the red/pink beach. We climbed the cliff in order to recreate an Anne & Diana moment. Afterwards I surfed down on the sand; everyone thought I was going to kill myself, but I had complete control the whole time. It was possibly the "coolest" moment of my life.

Okay, so we are not the best at recreating the scene, but it felt legit.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Anne's House of Dreams

We drove from Montréal to Prince Edward Island - affectionately known by many as P.E.I. On that scenic drive, we went across one of the longest bridge in the world: Confederation Bridge. It is over eight miles long. It was a little unnerving to be driving on a bridge for that length. We arrived at our little house that we rented for the week, and it was just as special as Anne's House of Dream. This is picture of us walking into the house after our long road trip.

This is our little beach.

My mother making dinner. I went and picked those wildflowers by the roadside and brought them to her.

Here we are in our puffed sleeved dresses outside our house of dreams.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Montréal, je t’aime

Montreal reminds me of Europe with its large parks, cobblestone streets, cathedrals and
elegant architecture. Oh, and the fact that they speak French also adds to that European vibe. Although the city you see to your left is beautiful, Montreal was not always such a classy place. During Prohibition Americans would cross the boarder for a night of drunken splendor. I wish all red light districts would turn out this well. It has calmed down since then, or at least the part of town we were in seemed mildly tame. Our excitement came from getting lost and intermittent torrential rain during our exploration of the city.
We walked to the top of Parc du Mont-Royal, which proffered an incredible view of both sides of the city. The landscape was designed by Olmsted, who also did the landscape for Central Park.

As you can tell, we were soaked by the time we
reached the top of Olmsted's masterpiece.

One of the greatest things about the park is that McGill University buildings are perched around the edges. I would love to teach/attend McGill. It is simply a magical university with Neo-Gothic architecture surrounded by lush greenery. If I can't attend Hogwarts, this is a satisfactory substitution. I better stop practicing spells and start improving my French.

The Montreal City Hall is a brilliant building.
Just look at the lovely copper roof.

Like many European countries, the food was scrumptious. Yes, it was scrumptious. We had pastries in the morning - pain au chocolat -creamy soups and sandwiches for lunch, and tasty polish food for dinner. This is a table view of our food at Olive & Gourmando.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quebec: They Really Speak French

Since I grew up a few hours from the Canadian border, trips to Whistler did not really seem like a foreign excursion. The line on maps delineated a different country, but crossing those lines physically made the distinction seem arbitrary. I mean, they spoke English without any telling accents. I don't think this was entirely fair criteria to test Canadian nationality. Yes language does contribute an important role in a sense of nationality, but language certainly does not generate/encapsulate all feelings of nationality.

Well this summer I went to Canada and it did seem like a foreign country because I visited Quebec. You see, in Quebec they speak French. Yes, they really speak French. Well, it sounds like a different language than the Parisian French I learned - they incorporate the hard Canadian "aye" into their pronunciation.

Do not worry, I still found a way to communicate despite the Quebec accent. When we got lost in a less touristy part of town. I had to use my mad French skills:

est le magasin de

Those three years of high school French and five semesters of University French really paid off.

Coming Soon on Musings of an Elitist: More on my summer excursion to Quebec, Prince Edward Island & New York

Monday, June 20, 2011

University Student Design on a Dime

It's been an experience moving into my new home at the John Taylor House. I've learned how to wash my own carpets using a Rug Doctor, paint my first wall, replace couch cushions, and assemble IKEA furniture very poorly. While I am by no means finished, last night I felt satisfied with the basic furniture of my living room: I now have a vintage TV stand, an IKEA dinning table, vintage couch and chair, freshly painted walls and clean carpets.

I've made some mistakes & learned some valuable things:

Do not buy expensive paint before looking at samples.

Vintage cushions may shrink when washed in a washer.

Finding replacement foam for couch cushions is expensive, and the foam must be cut with a butcher knife to fit the dimensions of your cushion.

People at Home Depot are your friends. Get to know their names, because you will be
conversing with them often.

Cheap furniture is cheap. You may not return it after you assemble it, and it may lean after assembled.

Know your weaknesses and exploit your friends that have strengths in those areas. I'm terrible at assembling IKEA furniture, but my friend Janet is brilliant at it. I'm a novice at painting walls, but my friends Rebecca and Whitney are experts.

Despite all the mistakes, I feel that my room is turning out splendidly so far. Please excuse the terrible quality of the photos; I do not have a camera at the moment so I am using my computer.

Next steps: find proper shelves for my books that are currently residing on the window seal, purchase dining chairs, paintings, lamps, rugs, pillows and throws.