Today I drove Nick and Nora to the groomer in Kensington about 40 minutes from Charlottetown down Hwy 2. They go to the groomers every 3 months for coat stripping and a good bath. It is stressful for them, so it is a long day. On the way down they sleep on the back seat in their blankets with the air con going full blast, they like it.
The groomer lives on a big piece of land surrounded by woods and fields, the road is call 19 and it is a very simple turn off from the Hwy. like any intersection. She lives there with her mother who has her own house about 300 feet away. She has a ton of budgies and 8 huskies who have tons of land to run around. Of course when we arrive down the long driveway they start to howl and Nick and Nora do not like this one bit. Nora wants to kill them and Nick wants to protect Nora, quite the comedy.
Kensington is a small community, the police is known for being very strict about speed limits, so you do not date go more than 40Km. They are also known for their sense of humour which makes the news on the Island. About 3 years ago, they would arrest people and bring them to the police station all the while playing very loudly music by the rock band Nickelback. Apparently this was a deterrent to bad behaviour.
In the Summer when we are at the cottage at French River we come to Kensington about 10 minutes away for grocery shopping or lunch in the former train station. It was when we had trains on PEI a famous station, like Petticoat Junction.
From Kensington after dropping Nicky and Nora at the groomers, I went on to Summerside which is about 9 Km away to have lunch at Samuel’s, a very nice coffee shop in an old bank building. Summerside was until the 1990’s a big Royal Canadian Air Force Base. It was also a sea port and it has a famous light house way out in the harbour called Indian Head. Summerside is in section a very beautiful town and at the same time can be a bit of a mishmash with an area of big shopping malls for the region and other modern parts with nondescript architecture. The town did burn down 3 times in 90 years which is very unlucky, however a big effort to reclaim the bay shore area as a park and beautify the area around the city hall and the old armoury makes for a pleasant town of about 16K. Life is also less expensive in Summerside. The big industry in town is Agro-food Cavendish Farms (potato) owned by Irving Oil.
In Summerside one big attraction is the boardwalk area and Holman’s Ice Cream shop which is located in the former mansion of the family built in 1855. The Holman family are well known for their big department store both in Summerside and in Charlottetown. The department store is gone but not its building which sits on Water street and is now offices.
The family home was to be demolished a few years ago and a business man came to the rescue and renovated it and repurposed the building keeping all the woodwork and its beautiful garden full of flowers and sitting across the street from City Hall a building of similar period.
In PEI you probably heard plenty about COW’s ice cream which is a big industrial concern. I for one do not care for it but it is flagged to the tourists as the best. I much prefer Holman’s, it is made daily and the flavours change constantly, they even make flavours customers will request. However once the flavour of the day is gone, that is it. So on any given day they offer 15 flavours and yesterday at the shop there was a lot of people. They did not have pistachio but I bought sugar free Blueberry swirl and it was very good.
So this morning we went out to York to see about buying a small fern in a 4 inch pot. This is pretty much the end of the season to buy flowers for the garden and they did not have anything like that in stock. So up the road is Jewel which is a farm/market store with 6 huge green houses with an incredible selection of plants and flowers and we did find that miniature fern with the help of the staff because there is so much it is a little overwhelming. It is so beautiful to look at in all its variety.