Day 15 – Prince Edward Island (Part 2) central part of the island

Another 58 miles added to our trip as we drove from Alberton, PEI to Cabot Beach Provincial Park in Kensington, PEI. On our way out of the area, we stopped at a Tim Hortons for Zach to have some donuts. It’s probably the only Tim Hortons for MILES around and also one of the busiest I’ve ever seen (probably because it’s the only one for miles around).

We headed straight for Cabot Beach Provincial Park to pick out a campsite, set up camp, have a picnic lunch and then drove to Cavendish to go to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium. Zach’s dad and I visited the Odditorium 21 years ago when we were visiting PEI and I knew that Zach would find it cool. It was crazy to see how much this area has been built up over the years. 21 years ago, the Ripley’s attraction was just this one small building in what seemed in the middle of nowhere that we just happened upon as we were driving past. Now, it’s in a new building and there’s an entire boardwalk of different shops, eateries and attractions, as well as go-karts and a small amusement park close by.

The Odditorium cost us about $24 US to get in and was a bit overpriced for what was there, but it was something I had planned on going to anyway because Zach had never been to one and loves the Ripley’s books, so seeing some of this stuff in person was a treat. We had wanted to go to one in Williamsburg, VA but it was even far more expensive than this one and I couldn’t justify it back then, so this one was definitely a must on our list.

The two exhibits that Zach found the most fun were the one with Robert Wadlow (World’s Tallest Man) and the exit tunnel at the end of the tour. Ever since Zach had his growth spurt and now towers over me, I’ve thought he was tall and felt dwarfed by him. Seeing him next to Robert Wadlow, who was 8 foot, 11 inches at his tallest, he didn’t seem so tall after all! There was a video playing of news clips of Robert and Zach couldn’t get over how tall he was. 

The exit tunnel at the end of the tour was a bridge in a tunnel that rotated back and forth and had mirrors on either end so it gave the illusion of the bridge swinging back and forth. As you walked through, your equilibrium got thrown off and you ended up trying to catch your balance. Zach stayed in this tunnel for a good 20 minutes, saying it was the most “fascinating thing ever.” I couldn’t stay in it long or look at it long because it made me sick to my stomach, but it was fun to watch Zach as he tried to stand upright on what I knew to be a stable and stationary bridge.

When we got back to the campground, I saw a sign for a ceilidh (pronounced Kay-lee), which is a traditional Scottish or Irish gathering of song, dance and stories. I’ve been wanting to go to one ever since my first trip to PEI and Nova Scotia back in 1996 but never had the chance. The ceilidh was not far from where we were camping and it was for the same night, so we took a trip into the little village of Stanley Bridge for their Stanley Bridge Hall Ceilidhs put on by Tom and Mike. This pushed Zach to his limits a bit, as it lasted a little over 2 hours in a tight, standing room only, old town hall that started out air conditioned, but with all those bodies, got a bit warm, but the music was phenomenal, great stories, amazing voices from different generations of one family, lively step dancing, and there was ice cream in the basement of the hall as part of a fundraising effort by the women that keep the hall alive.

Zach also created his own game while driving around. He drew pictures of states and countries and I had to guess which ones they were. I love his creative and artistic mind. He threw me for a loop with some states!

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