Saturday, August 29, 2009

Getting there

We planned to drive down to the Island over Easter weekend, with both kids in tow. An ambitious plan indeed. We decided it was prudent to set up a house inspection for the same time as our one and only scheduled showing, since we likely wouldn't be back again until the summer. And should we decide to buy it on the spot, we wanted to be fully prepared and know what we were getting into. After several calls to the agent, we set up a showing for the Saturday morning of Easter weekend at 9 a.m. and a house inspector was to arrive at 10 a.m. We figured that if we hated it, we'd eat the $300 of the inspection and consider it money well spent in saving ourselves from many years of work, stress and expense.

We piled the boys (and their books, DVDs, games, activities, snacks, drinks, etc.) into the car on Thursday afternoon before the Easter long weekend. After the five-hour leg from home to Quebec City, we had a lengthy stop there for dinner and a change into PJs before hitting the road for the overnight shift. After a while the car was silent but for the sound of snoring from the back seat, and Chris and I had nothing but the open road ahead, and many hours of watchful driving through moose country. We had loaded up on Red Bull and coffee and we felt excited and eager to just get there.

Chris drove straight through the night and finally called for a switch around Shediac, only about an hour from PEI. (He's a trooper when it comes to driving long distances.) I took over and had the rest of the drive to myself in total silence. The sky to the east was just starting to lighten to a pale silvery glow, as we approached Confederation Bridge. It was at this moment that everyone woke up and the thrill of crossing the bridge to the Island took over. As we came off the bridge onto the red soil of PEI, it was tempting to just drive straight to the house for a sneak peek, but tiredness and car fatique took over and we headed for my inlaws' cottage first for a rest, breakfast and a break from the car. After a family nap, we hit the road again to go check out the house. Our official showing and inspection weren't until the next day, but we wanted to see the house and investigate its location. It was in a part of the Island we weren't all that familiar with, and we didn't even know how to get there. With map in hand, off we went.

We were pleased to discover that the area past Summerside to the northwest was just as pretty as the central north shore that we were used to. We drove over bridges that spanned sparkling rivers and inlets, farm fields sloping down towards glassy bays and edged in lines of dark spruce. Brightly painted country churches and shingled farmhouses dotted the roads, which were in terrible condition after a harsh Island winter. As we came into the tiny farming village of Port Hill, I was charmed by its old homes, churches and community halls. At the one and only corner, we turned right at a stop sign and soon found ourselves face to face with the house.

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