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Celebrating the Joy of Living & Home Making ~

Baking, Cooking, Decorating, Tea Time, and taking Inspiration from those I love and the world around me...

A sharing of my heart and my home from a Christian perspective

...with a wee bit of whimsy added.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

A Piece of History

I can't help flying up on the wings of anticipation. It's as glorious as flying through a sunset. ~ Anne of Green Gables

Good morning dear friends! Hope you are all having a lovely day.

While I was away from my blog, my youngest son spent a week in Paris at a conference; his fourth trip to France! I never dreamed he would do so much traveling but life does surprise us. 

This is a photo he took out the window while flying across the English Channel. On the left is England and on the right is France. I thought it was a cool picture.
He took a few pictures of Notre Dame. You can see at the top right, some of the damage caused by the fire. I'm glad he saw it a couple of years ago, before the fire took place.

One never sees Paris for the first time; one always sees it again. ~ Edmondo De Amicis

My son couldn't remember where this was but it's impressive.

In a couple of months he flies to Portugal where he has been once before. He has been to Europe a number of times in the past seven years. This is one of the perks of his job. 

Why am I telling you all this? Well, I am leading up to something.

Folks travel all the time and they have been doing so for centuries. Back in the late 1800s, Alexander Macdonald, a wealthy Scots-born industrialist, who immigrated to Ohio, took a trip to Prince Edward Island with his family and fell in love with it. So much so, that he commissioned a summer home to be built here in 1895 which he called Dalvay by the Sea. Dalvay being named for his boyhood home in Scotland. 

For many of you, this will not look familiar but for those of you who are Anne of Green Gables fans, you will recognize this hotel as the White Sands Hotel, a grand gathering place for many events in the Anne of Green Gables series as well as the Road to Avonlea series.

This beautifully built hotel is exquisitely designed both inside and out in the Queen Anne Revival style. It was a bit of a playground for my hubby when he was growing up and he introduced me to it when we were going together. When his sister got married, she held her reception there. It was a lovely setting for such a memorable event.

Sunday afternoon, we went out to take some pictures. When we first arrived, we were delighted to see dozens of Canada geese down by the pond getting ready to take a swim. They were very tame and didn't seem to mind our being there at all.

Every summer Mr. Macdonald would bring his family and staff to Dalvay, PEI and spend his vacation here. At the end of the summer he would throw a huge party and invite the surrounding community where my hubby grew up. Mr. Macdonald was a very hospitable man and of course, the Islanders of the day loved him.

I don't know the story behind this carriage but I'm sure there is one.

I think it is serendipitous that this hotel was chosen for both the Anne and Avonlea series. Anne of Green Gables is famous the world over and the grand hotel, is one stop of many for visitors to our Island. 

In July of 2011, it was the scene for Prince William and Kate when they visited the Island.

courtesy of Pinterest

Hubby and I were there and saw their helicopter because we were on Dalvay beach that day. It was rather exciting for us because the beloved royals were visiting Hubby's old stomping grounds. There was no opportunity to take pictures that day because they were closely guarded but it was the talk of the town for quite some time. At one point they enjoyed a feast of lobster and clams on the beach. We Islanders found the prince and his wife very down to earth people, but then the prince is his mother's son! Diana was loved the world over.

For many years, Dalvay beach has been a favourite spot for us to relax and soak in the wonderful salt air. This beach is a little quieter than the others further up the coast.

There are tidal pools for the little ones to play in and the ocean for the many swimmers who go there.

I love the Island this time of year because it truly is a beautiful place. We have clean fresh air and miles of sandy beaches to walk. One can visit Green Gables and explore the grounds and all that it has to offer, or go to the Charlottetown Festival and see the Anne of Green Gables play. There is more to see of course but today I'm talking about the grand hotel and Anne.

If you're ever on PEI, you must visit Dalvay by the Sea as well. They serve scrumptious meals in their restaurant. And if you listen closely, you may be able to hear Anne Shirley reciting The Highwayman.  
courtesy of Pinterest

Sharing from my heart ~ Sandi


  1. What a fun post. I loved Anne of Green Gables( especially the tv adaptation from the late 80s early 90s) My children and I never missed an episode of Avonlea as well. I would love to see this part of the world. Have fun in some pastries for me.

    1. *Giggles* Oh, it's not me who went to France, but my son. Would love to though. Thank you for your visit.

  2. My sister invited me to go with her family to PEI one summer and one of the highlights of the trip was staying at Dalvay-by-the-Sea. It was there that I had Sticky Date Pudding for the first time. And I remember my brother-in-law and niece going for a row out on the pond. My sister and I had tea on the porch and my other niece sat down at the piano and played the theme song from Anne of Green Gables. A trip I will never forget!

    1. Victorian Girl, it sounds like you had a splendid time! I'm so glad you got to visit and stay at the hotel. I have been making my own Sticky Date Pudding for a while. I believe the recipe came from the hotel! Thanks for visiting.

  3. A beautiful post and I would love to visit Green Gables. One of my favorite books.

  4. Thank you for the lovely tour. I love the wraparound porch on the White Sands Hotel. I used to fantasize about living in a house with a wraparound porch. But my budget wouldn't allow it. HA!

  5. What a lovely post, full of history, good people, and Anne. We visited PEI a few years ago and drove along the coastline to Lennox Island, then back to East Point Lighthouse. We must have passed Dalvay by the Sea, but I didn't notice it. Rats! We did stop at a beach with boardwalk access like William and Katherine are on in the photo and enjoyed a lovely wide open beach. Someday we hope to return.

  6. Great post Sandi. Alot of interesting facts and history. So neat the Royals were at your hubby's old stomping grounds. Must have been exciting and doesn't surprise me either they were laid back. Love the Royals loved Diana.

    Friends are from Portugal and have a home there. Beautiful place.

    Enjoy your day


  7. I enjoyed your post so much this morning Sandi. Lovely pictures too. I hope you are doing well dear lady. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  8. I would SO love to visit Anne of Green Gables' house. PEI sounds like a most beautiful place to see. Nice post! Susan

  9. What an interesting "travelogue" post today. Further convincing me that I would LOVE to visit your island someday. I do hope you are feeling some better after having some time of rest and relaxation. I actually sat down and read most of the Anne of Green Gables/Avonlea books recently. I had never read all of them before, and it was such fun. I tried to watch the new Anne series on Netflix, but I was not happy with it. It seemed so "dark" and not light and happy like I believe Anne was. I couldn't watch it. I prefer the older version. Anyway, I enjoyed this, and I would love come to PEI one of these days!!

  10. Yes, the new Anne series is "dark" and strays too far from the books which is why I don't watch it. I'm certain LM Montgomery would not approve of how her story has been portrayed. I know you would find the Island a beautiful place to visit. Thank you for your visit, Pam.

  11. Oh what a lovely, lovely post, Sandi! Enjoyed the pics from your son's trip. And of course I love anything Anne and I certainly recognize the "White Sands Hotel" from the old movies. (Couldn't watch the new Anne series either -- I agree it strays too far and is too dark. That's not the book at all.)

    I do hope that one day I'll visit PEI. It was on my hope/wish list for years as a young woman. Was always going to meet my penpal there, as we both loved all things Anne and PEI.

    Thanks for a lovely visit.
    Brenda xox

  12. We only spent two days on PEI last year, but LOVED it! Did not see The White Sands Hotel, so next time (and there WILL be a next time) will be on the list. Thanks for a very insightful post, Sandi. Very cool photos that you are sharing from your son's trip. I knew that France and England were pretty near, but WOW! That one shot really shows just how close.

  13. Sandi, I loved this post and will definitely revisit it. Thanks for the tour of your beautiful part of the world. Would so love to visit it! Dalvay/White Sands Hotel is beautiful with its wraparound porch.

  14. Thanks a lot for a such lovely tourcand story. I would like to visit the White Sands Hotel

  15. I always love seeing pictures of your surroundings on PEI, Sandi. The beach looks so inviting and the hotel has such charm. How nice that your dear son get to travel so much and see the world! I hope all is well, my friend! xx

  16. Oh your photos are all delightful! I've been wanting to have an Anne girl marathon and watch our DVDs! They always make me feel happy! Love seeing the beach and hearing the stories about the Royals! What a wonderful post!


I am delighted to have you visit me and I read every comment. Please forgive me for not being able to visit you all as there are so many of you lovely bloggy friends now. I will visit as much as possible. I wish you a day filled with JOY!

Also, due to the amount of spam I've been getting, I have had to set Comment Moderation. ~ Sandi