Subject: Tales from my PEI Vacation!
I have just returned from my vacation adventures and thought you might like to share them with me... My grandchildren - a boy age 8 and a girl, 11, travelled by themselves on the train to Montreal, arriving at noon, Thurday, July 12th. We stayed with them overnight in a downtown hotel perched at the top of a commercial building. While in Montreal, I escorted them about the city by subway to show them some of the sights.

Friday evening at 6.40 pm, we boarded the train for the Overnight 16 hour journey to Moncton, a city in the maritime province of New Brunswick. We had dinner in the Dining Car on the train then retired for the night. Our 2 bedrooms were in the dome car at the end of the 15 car train. Of course the children looked out the windows as we travelled along, finally becoming tired enough to sleep about midnight. Next morning, we rose to have a complimentary breakfast served to us in the lounge part of the car, finally arriving at our destination at noon.

We rented a car and drove for two hours through the countryside and over the bridge to the province of Prince Edward Island. The bridge, completed in 1998, is 12 km in length, and replaces a ferry system used until then to convey all traffic to and from the island.

When we arrived in Charlottetown, the Provincial Capital city, we stayed at the University of Prince Edward Island. The student lodgings are available each summer at very reasonable prices for tourists travelling in the region. While there, we met a group of 150 French-speaking students, aged in their teens, who were taking an intensive English course for a 5 week period. They enjoyed meeting and talking with the children, using them to hone their language skills. They came from towns all over the French speaking province of Quebec and also from New Brunswick, a Bi-lingual province. The students were forbidden to speak French anywhere during the length of the course. During our stay, the boys taught my grandson to play basketball and the girls had many conversations with my granddaughter.

We were in Charlottetown for 5 nights during which time we kept the children busy with a number of activities such as a Sailing Cruise in the Charlottetown harbour on Sunday; seeing the 'Anne-of-Green- Gables' play on Monday; a deep-sea fishing expedition Tuesday morning (all fish caught were filetted and taken home to eat); and a 40 minute Trail Ride on horseback in the afternoon. Wednesday, we took the 'double-decker' bus tour of the city in the morning; saw a free Brass Quintet performance at noon; and a free play outside the Confederation Center at 1 pm. After supper we took the children to a 'Fiddle and Dance' show of Celtic music. The following morning we left the island returning to Moncton for a one night's stay before boarding the train for the return journey.

While in Moncton, we decided to investigate the Hopewell Rocks National Park on the Bay of Fundy. Some of the highest tides in the world are found here - about 40 feet. When we arrived at the site, the tide was out but the children enjoyed walking down to the beach. The shores were of red mud and kids being kids, they found it! After literally taking a 'mudbath', they became instant 'photo-ops' for the other tourists. At least 7 took pictures of the 'muddy duo' and 2 took a video of the scene. Then it was back up the stairs to be washed off with cold water and scrub brushes before re-entering the car for the return trip to Moncton.

On Friday, July 20th, the children spent most of the morning in and out of the pool at the motel. The train arrived at 5.15 pm, we boarded and started our journey home. After an early dinner in the Dining Car, the children took themselves to bed by 8 pm, totally worn- out from all their activities. We arrived in Montreal at 8.20 am the following morning after having the complimentary breakfast on board once again. We had to wait until 9.40 am to board another train to their home near Cobourg, Ontario - a 4 1/2 hour ride.

The following 7 days we spent by ourselves in a small cottage by the lake, seeing our grandchildren occasionally for activities like seeing my son race his motorcycle on the Sunday at a nearby raceway; seeing the family on the Wednesday; and taking my granddaughter and her other grandmother to a musical called Swing, Swing, Swing on the Friday night.

On Saturday, July 28th, we left for our home in Montreal after a great vacation.