Writing Nook #5: Elmwood Heritage Inn, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

“Predictable,” a man in full beard and Berluti shoes tuts as he skims over the tattered papers he’s found lying on my desk. The fact that the gentleman is both uninvited and unwelcome plays negligibly on his burly face. “Predictable,” he repeats in a rumble of his lungs, “Disappointingly, so.”

“Really?” I feign kindness as I maneuver myself closer to the door. There’s bound to be someone within earshot who’d gladly clobber this bloke. “You expected Canada after the Midwest? You expected a writing nook in Prince Edward Island after Wisconsin?” I’m rather proud of my pension at surprising and do not enjoy it being lambasted by a wandering blowhard. “How did you get in here anyhow? I’m not in the habit of keeping my study door unlocked.”

“Pfft,” he blows out wetly through his whiskers and flails a thick hand at the compromised lock. “Child’s play for the determined.”

“Determined? For heaven’s sakes why?”

“You are several days late posting your blog. Your followers may be few, but they are hardy in resources.” At this, he points to himself quite expansively. “I excel in finding tardy bloggers. One might even call it my specialty.” He lumbers toward the door. “I had hoped with your mental peculiarities to find your absence more interesting than the simple, predictable Christmas what-not. A blogger’s involuntary committal is always nice to add to my resume. Try harder next time, Ms. Stowe.” He winks.

“You can leave now.” I even point.

“Oh, and Canada?” He snorts derisively as he eases his way out. “A trifle too eager to surprise, aren’t we?”

“Shut up.”

I have never read Anne of Green Gables. I should state that up front.

The story of the little orphan girl who is sent to live on a farm on Prince Edward Island has never been more to me than a tale I’ve never been told. Alas, Lucy Maud Montgomery was never on my summer reading lists in school (a fact I’m mourning at the moment.)

So when I picked PEI as my latest Writing Nook locale I was embarrassingly ignorant of the island’s literary ties… Another nick against my account, I’m afraid. But let’s keep this from Mr. Berluti-Shoes, shall we? I am loathe to suffer another visit today.

Anyhow, I have always been intrigued by Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to visit four provinces in my time but lingered only long enough to enjoy a small nibble of their treats. I’ve always wanted more. And more is something Canada can certainly offer. (Do you realize how immense Canada is? There are countless crannies for every imagined nook. It is a wonderful land to settle in for a write.)

So, without any further nonsense on my part, here’s the spot my journal and I would curl up in first…

The Elmwood Heritage Inn

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada

(Rosa’s Room)

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The Elmwood Heritage Inn… Ten days in December-next sounds perfect. Pencil my muse and I in!

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This is “Rosa’s Room.” The fabric-draped walls surrounding the queen bed remind me of the quilted tents a wee-me made underneath the dining room table. I feel a magical, children’s tale beginning to grow.

View: I have no idea (a theme I’m surprisingly coming to accept more and more). The Inn is located in a quiet residential area in the historic district of town, so I have few worries that the view out my third floor room would be objectionable in the least.

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The Victorian sofa, the cushioned rocker and the little desk tucked cozily against the wall lend a a warm preciousness to the 45-ft long “Rosa’s Room.” Oh, please, let it be winter when I nook here.
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Under the eaves of the inn lies the perfectly charming private bathroom of “Rosa’s Room.”
diningroom
What a welcoming dining room! Even I with my anxiety/panic disorder in two would feel comfortable here.

Quirkiness of Place: I have three words for you… Prince Edward Island. While visiting relative in Maine as a child, I remember hearing talk of vacations spent on the island… a prince’s isle! Yes, my imagination was quite sharp (annoyingly so, some would say) even then.

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The provincial capital, Charlottetown’s population teeters over 35,000… and averages 114 inches of snow a year!
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Where in the world is Prince Edward Island? Here, my dear friends, here.

Environs Exploreability: A whole island to explore? One with literary roots poking out all over the place? I could stumble around there for years.

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Literary historians suggest that Aunt Josephine’s “Beechwood” house in *Anne of Green Gables* was in fact inspired by Elmwood. As a child, Lucy Maud Montgomery would have passed this elm-draped buggy lane to the grand house quite often.

Per custom, the images are linked to the Elmwood Inn’s website, a fascinating place to stop for an online visit. History and recipes abound!

http://www.elmwoodinn.pe.ca/

And so this is where I’d settle in next to write… with a copy of Anne of Green Gables tucked firmly at my side. So, Mr. Berluti-Shoes, look for me at the Elmwood if you ever lose track of this blogger again.

Until our next nook…

Chloe Stowe

Above: A few of the 8 original fireplaces of the Elmwood, built in 1889 for the grandson of the Samuel Cunard (founder of the British steamship line.)

 

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