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E x p l o r e

E x p l o r e, travel

That Thing Called A Honeymoon // Prince Edward Island, Canada

October 18, 2017

“You never know what peace is until you walk on the shores or in the fields or along the winding red roads of Prince Edward Island in a summer twilight when the dew is falling and the old stars are peeping out and the sea keeps its mighty tryst with the little land it loves. You find your soul then. You realize that youth is not a vanished thing but something that dwells forever in the heart.
|  l. m. montgomery  |

 

If there’s one thing every girl dreams of at some point in her life, I’m pretty sure it’s being Anne of Green Gables. I never read the books as a girl, but saturated myself in the movies. So often I took the name of “Anne” as I put on my makeshift edwardian clothes and traipsed through my backyard as I pretended to be the heroine. She had an extra hold on me I guess because I was a writer, or wanted to be, so the personality seemed to fit. But there was one thing that I could never quite get past in this pretend world. I could make due with my clothes not being “just like Anne’s” but the backyard I played in, my backyard of creek gravel driveways, pine trees and the smell of rural Tennessee, just wasn’t Anne’s Avonlea with sand dunes and Island smelling countryside. I longed to see Prince Edward Island for myself someday. There was a little girls dream, that went on hold for the unforeseeable future.

 

 

Fast forward 10 or so years later, my wonderful fiancé spills the beans on where he wants to take me on our honeymoon. . .you can imagine the huge smile that lit up my face when he told me. We planned things sparingly the next few months, contacting friends who had been to the island about their “must see’s” but leaving most of the exploring til we got there. It added so much fun, and more than a few adventures by taking this route.

 

 

 

 If staying in a little yellow cottage like Rachel Lynde’s house for a whole week didn’t give me the shivers enough, staying at a place called “Shining Waters Country Inn” definitely sealed the deal. It was the most charming hotel I’ve ever stayed in; with painted white trim, and blooming flowers hanging from the porch. It looked like it had stepped out of one of L. M. Montgomery’s novels.
Each day on this storybook-like island etched memories in my mind that I will keep forever.

Here is the day-by-day in photos of our adventures. I’ll spare the words and let you just “drink it in”.

Day One: First view of the island + Cape Tryon Lighthouse. 

Day Two: Green Gables exploring + Cavendish Beach

Day Three: Rainy day on the island + Cavendish Boardwalk + Cow’s Ice Cream

Day Four: Heading off the Island, Confederation Bridge + New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Day Five: Charlottetown exploring + Wharf

Day Six (Last day): White Sands Hotel + Stanhope Cape Beach + Covehead Lighthouse

And so ended our week of travels to the destination of my childhood, it seems a dream even now.
Every boardwalk street we walked, every coastal farmhouse we sighted, all the red cinnamon colored sand between my toes… I wish I could pack it all into a suitcase to unzip everytime a needed a little “vitamin PEI”.  Truly, pictures do not even do this incredible place justice.
It needs to be experienced, soaked up, explored.

I’m leaving a list of the highlights of our trip below, the “must see’s and do’s”.

Resturants/Food
1. Cow’s Ice Cream – Anywhere on PEI
2. The Lost Anchor – Cavendish, PEI
3. Cavendish Fish & Chips – Cavendish, PEI
4. Raspberry Cordial – Pretty much anywhere on the Island
5. Pizza Delight – County 911 Jail, Charlottetown

Beaches
1. Stanhope Cove Beach
2. Dalvay Beach
2. Cavendish Beach

Our Hotel
>Shining Waters Country Inn<
Great service, included breakfast, minutes walk from Green Gables and very central. We loved staying in Cavendish. 

Lighthouses
1. Cape Tryon Lighthouse
2. Covehead Lighthouse

 Places to Visit
1. Cavendish Boardwalk – we spent our rainy day here, great souvenir shops and just a fun place!
2. Green Gables (of course, it’s SO worth it!)
3. Confederation Bridge – Super fun, a bit expensive, but worth seeing what’s on the other side.
4. Victoria Row/Charlottetown – worth taking a whole day or a few days to explore, the wharf was amazing.
5. Anne & Gilbert Musical, Charlottetown – we made it a night on the town, definitely a must see!
6. Victoria Park, Charlottetown – breathtaking and a beautiful view of the town
7. “White Sands Hotel” or Dalvay by the Sea – bike rentals were here, and all the nostalgia. Beware, the inside is dated and not like shown in the films. 😉  But the outside it just beautiful.


8. NOTE* we tried finding the “Stanhope by the Sea” which was where the inside of the White Sands Hotel was filmed. But according to some sweet local ladies who informed us it burned down a couple months ago.  SADness.

 

Thanks for tagging along with these adventures! If you’re planning a trip to PEI, or want to one day, feel free to contact me for anymore info. I’d be happy to share a “tourists” favs.

A B B Y

 

E x p l o r e

Front Yard // Spring Textures

April 13, 2017

I can’t get enough of wandering. . . some of us carry an inherent need to explore.
Textures. Fragrances. Sounds. Air. Shadows. Movement. Patterns. Light.”
// Victoria Erickson

 

I’ve been trying to figure out in my brain what it is exactly that makes spring so exciting.
Like, you know, the breath of fresh air that it is because it is, seriously. The pizazz that makes you want to do a happy dance or something. Or for those of us that aren’t as loose-limbed, attempting a happy dance. . . and looking much like a kangaroo on steroids (which I’ve never actually witnessed, but dug up the image from my brain files at this moment in a try-to-be-witty attempt. #fail)

 

 

But really, spring is just a happy season! Even the name of it sounds “bouncy” (fist bump to you if you thought of Tigger.) My travel/roadtrip/downtown shopping/car-riding itch is reenergized once again with the turn of the weather here in Tennessee, it always is when the sun shines 70 degrees.
Also, giving a boost to my new love of exploring different textures, because I wake up to some new sight outside every morning it seems like. Whether that be the slick green shoots of grass, the rough creek gravel of our driveway under my barefeet (hello, winter pampered feet), or the soft cotton touch of my new favorite tee.

 


My life is a constant crazy ever since the beginning of the year. I like to compare it to a hibernating bear, asleep and snoring for a couple years being normal and nothing too exciting to look at on the outside, but that is now waking up with a roar and an energy I didn’t know existed.
I want to slow it down. But ironically I want to go racing right with it too, matching it’s pace.


 

 

 

I hold on to these days tightly but gently, knowing they’ll slip through my fingers like sand if I’m not seeing them each day for what they are. I never want to be too busy to see the grace of God in every day, never too crazy to contemplate what story He’s writing for me, never too tired to patiently take steps knowing that He holds the ultimate blue-print of my life in his hands.

 

 

 

 

I’m a sucker for memory-triggers! Yep, a familiar place or sight, a smell, a type of music, or wearing the same outfit (you can officially freak out) will spur a memory in my probably much-messed-up head. So, all these spring textures. . . they are doing it for me. And I can’t help but smile.
I just love spring here at home, it holds a kind of beautiful promise for me of how the Lord brings change after a dead season (winter) and the vibrance of everything embracing that change. And to think, I get to be on the receiving end of this and see it every morning!

If I ever travel the world someday or leave my home, I will always want to remember my house, in the spring. The azalea bush, the brick walk, the creek gravel driveway. And oh yeah, especially the walk to the mailbox, which is probably my most favorite walk. And not just the house itself, but every single moment that happened under it’s roof or in the front yard.

 

 

My childhood is here. I see it so well in retrospect, the smells and sunshine of this season bring back a flood of memories. And while part of me wants to just grasp after those moments and relive them (ok, I’m a huge sentimental guys, you’re welcome) the more realistic and probably grateful side of me is just so ready to embrace the new memories, which hello! I’m making everyday.

 

 

 

 

See the textures around you in your own life, and not only the physical ones. But the ones of your life, the woven tidbits and texture of your own story that the Lord is weaving for you.
Textures are unique, different to the touch. So is your story, it has shape and uniqueness. . . some parts are rough, others smooth. Your life is a textured, beautiful work-in-the-making.

See that and embrace it.

 

E x p l o r e, lifestyle

Later, Not Goodbye // Clarksville, TN

June 22, 2016

“It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later.”
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     Three years ago a little family (then of only 3) made their way to Clarksville, TN to make it their home via the military. Knowingly they came, we met, and became kindred spirits with the knowledge that three years was also how long they planned to stay before skipping on!
So, year one and two snuck by on us all. We became close, we watched this little family grow with the addition of another kiddo, we watched them grow stronger as dad shipped out for a nine month deployment and mama and boys continued faithfully at home, we watched with joy their reunion as the leaf of year three turned over. That’s when the realization hit us.

Wait, they wouldn’t be here forever?!

     As this little family moves on from our embrace to the many other amazing adventures I know the Lord has in store for them, I am just overwhelmed at the memories we’ve shared, the laughs that have shaken us to tears, the bond of friendship that has grown ten-fold stronger because it is united in Christ.
This is something that even an ocean can’t separate.
So, we send the dear H. family off with embraces that long for them to stay, but also with urging hands nudging them on to the place, people and hearts the Lord has for them to touch next!
.   .   .   .   .
Of course sending such a family off requires one last hoorah of memory bank filling, so my sisters and I leaped at the chance when (finally!) a free calendar square made itself known!
The Saturday morning started with cinnamon rolls. Can you get much better?
I think know not.

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As we finished off the tasty pastries and wiped our upper lips we discussed plans for the day, the unanimous decision being to hit the local farmer’s market! While mama got ready, some play time in the most bright and cheerful play room was in order!
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Needless to say, these little guys know how to play! From dress up to Duplo skyscrapers to hilarious quotes of their own (“You’re goin’ in the trash can tomorrow!”) with the addition of looking stinking cute in the process! They reminded me of the little Lost Boys from Peter Pan, which upon my asking them if they had heard or watched Peter Pan, their reply was “Who’s that?”

We also talked all things Toy Story and Finding Nemo, which of course included watching the upcoming sequel teasers of both!
But as always, play time can’t last all day, no matter what Peter Pan may say.
Jammies were exchanged for shorts and t-shirts, blonde hair was combed, and we headed into the real life of the day!

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“I love to walk a city, whether I’ve been there once or a thousand times before. It’s amazing what sort of inspiration you’ll find when you steal a second glance .”
| erin hiemstra |

     How little I knew of Clarksville ’til we took the time to see it! I had been downtown briefly a couple years before, and driving it once every week, I thought I knew it well! Only until we turned another corner downtown did I see a whole new little world of charm! Makes we wonder what other cities I so quickly check off my list as “explored”.

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The thirst quencher of choice was some one-of-a-kind homemade lemonade that totally hit the spot!
I could see local farmer’s markets being a new favorite Saturday activity, having been to very few myself I forgot how exciting they are!
Seeing a glimpse of the diversity of talents and expertise these people share, combined with tempting smells, a fresh breeze through the aisle of tents, the beat of vibrant music from some local musicians, and just watching new faces pass by.

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2016-06-15_01062016-06-15_0097     Of course, it goes without mentioning that outings like these always call for a token/souvenir to remember them by! And as the mama in this sweet family being the extraordinaire paint brush handler that she is, it seemed all too spot on to head to the little pottery studio situated on Franklin Street, called Horse Feathers.
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The personalities of these people. I have loved watching these little guys grow up and getting a sneak peek at their unique quirks that makes them who they are. And also watching their sweet mama and dad nurture those quirks while walking and leading them along the path.

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Our creativity fix satisfied, we headed back out the antique aqua doors and back toward the car, taking in the sights slowly as we did. Seriously, this downtown area has me itching to come back for a more in-depth snooping!

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1 universe.

9 planets.
204 countries.
809 islands.
7 seas.
And I had the privilege of meeting you.

You’ve touched our hearts in ways that can’t be put into words, we are so thankful that God put Clarksville on your map for a season! See ya later sweet friends, we know new adventures are calling your name, but we’re totally keeping those old ones under lock and key!

E x p l o r e, travel

// The Traveling Life. . .

June 30, 2015

“Live in the sunshine. Swim the sea. Drink the wild air.”
//Ralph Waldo Emerson

June. It’s been an amazing month.
It’s difficult to believe it’s at an end and we ring in July tomorrow!

I do chuckle at myself when I realize how little I’ve participated here at
Tittle & Jot like, since April?!
*clears throat*
I do apologize to my readers!
So, while it may have been very quiet in this corner over the past few months, I’ve been far from lazy in other areas!
In other words, my suitcase life has been hopping!

My family and I vacationed for a whole week with some dear friends in the Carolinas at the beginning of the month, the major sightseeing spots being Charleston and Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina! Boy, oh, boy! How does one begin to describe the time we had? It was a much needed and amazing break, if I do say myself!
Sullivan’s Island was that quaint little coastal town that captures your heart immediately upon arriving, even though we left much redder and crisper than we came, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything!
All the memories were worth the peeling skin! 🙂

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And as to Charleston…
I personally have this thing for old historic towns, and Charleston was no disappointment! I must go back someday soon to explore those cobblestone streets with a greater thoroughness. . . one day was not enough time!

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Travel. Even the word itself holds such mystery and excitement!
I think it’s the thought of seeing, tasting, sensing, feeling and exploring new things that has all the intrigue. Something you may have seen gobs of pictures of, but haven’t yet experienced them with your own eyes.
For what camera can capture the salty taste of the ocean spray? The texture of uneven cobblestone beneath your feet? The majesty of the June sky overhead? Or the thrill inside you when you arrive at your destination?
These things can only be experienced in person.
This is why travel is exciting, it’s discovering something never before found. Like a toddler standing on his own two feet without assistance for the first time.
There is a sense of wonder involved.
Needless to say, what a welcome intermission this adventure was! The places seen kindled a greater desire in me to return someday, which I definitely hope will be the case!
Until then, I am left with the beauty of the Lord’s creation I witnessed, the memories shared, and the excitement, though dwindled a bit, that still carries on!
This is the where the word “Unforgettable” sums everything up.

>>>a b b y