Monday, July 03, 2006

How Does One Interpret Moss?

There was nary a soul out and about when we crept to the car at o-dark-thirty this morning. Ok. So it was really 9:30, but that's seriously early compared to previous departure times. Why this venture into the AM, you ask? Because today we went "up west," as the Islanders say. Along with the beautiful coastal drive, we had two destinations in mind. One was to visit Lennox Island, home to the self-titled First Nation of people here on PEI, the Mi'kmaq. They had a cultural centre, a gift shop, and a welcome centre. And that's about all that can be said for this stop on the map. Oh, and also they didn't have a changing table, so I wrestled with Katy in between two sinks and underneath a soap dispenser. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mother, who has fostered a great love of sinks in my daughter's heart. Thanks, Mom! :)

After this very brief stop on Lennox Island, we went on to the city of Miminegash. When doing research for the trip, I heard this was home of the somewhat-famous Seaweed Cafe. How is this anything but exciting? Are all their dishes made from seaweed? Can they possibly make it look appetizing? Most importantly, how does seaweed food taste? Also of interest was the Irish Moss Interpretive Centre. PEI is just chock-full of interpretive centres, I tell you. Turns out this particular centre is a room that someone took great pains to make into the best darn moss informational centre you'll ever see! Actually, it was done by the Women in Support of Fishing...or something like that. They are the wives of men who work at sea, and their aim is to increase awareness/usefulness of their familial trade through making desserts out of seaweed and luring gullible tourists into the centre to watch boring DVDs. And while you may not think this a lucrative trade -- hey, we went in. So, yes, we did watch the boring DVD, but it provided fodder for our mockery clip. (See Deven for a copy of OUR interpretation.) And we also ate seaweed desserts. Apparently they use a product made from the Irish moss, not just straight seaweed. I recommend the cake over the so-called pudding. After this second dud stop, I was beginning to feel very pessimistic about the "up west" region. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and Stephen took a turn towards the beach. It was beautiful! We decided to brave another stop and head up to North Cape to see the lighthouse.

Sadly, it's not nearly so fun to share about the good things as it is the negative parts of the day. The lighthouse was wonderful. Katy got her first experience with the ocean. I think the noise scared her at first, but then she wanted to play in the water. We weren't quite prepared for that degree of wetness, but we did let her stick her feet in. We picked up some momentos in the gift shop, got some shells, etc., from the shore, and went for a walk along the cliffs. We attempted to follow a nature trail, but something didn't go right. Either we turned into complete bluthering idiots who couldn't read the trail map, or they didn't have all the promised learning centres up yet. I'm hoping answer #2 is closer to the truth. I'm not prepared to see myself as an idiot.

When we had our fill of the lighthouse, we began the long journey homeward. For supper we stopped at a scary-looking restaurant that turned out to be quite the hot spot. We gave Katy her first hamgburger, which turned out to be a mistake. She stuffed too much in her mouth, gagged, and threw up. Yippee skippy. I felt obligated to offer to clean it up. Of course, any waitress in her right mind should know that I didn't mean it. But the teenage girl was not in her right mind, and so I mopped up the mess using the nearly empty paper towel roll and two rags that she gave me. Motherhood. Yikes. You should just be glad we didn't take a picture of that one! Anywho, lovely dinner except for the puking, wonderful drive home... To end the night, we subjected ourselves to the army of mosquitos to enjoy the Kindred Spirits campfire time. We were purely in it for the marshmallows. Duh.

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