On the road to P.E.I. with three dachsies
STANHOPE, P.E.I. — Our entire brood — my wife, myself and our three miniature dachshunds — arrived at this pet-friendly, adults-only cottage on the north shore last summer after five days of adventures on the road.
We’d travelled tout ensemble from Toronto via Quebec City and St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, N.B., through pouring rain, beautiful landscapes and via the 12.9-km Confederation Bridge.
Pet-friendly travel has come a long way in the last 10 years, as we have discovered from driving to Florida with the three dachsies over the last few winters.
Sadly, that was to be our last summer with our beloved eldest dachsie, Kishka, who left us in mid-June of this year.
A friend had encouraged me to check out the Stanhope area on the north coast of P.E.I. — known for its golden sandy beaches, all contained in Prince Edward Island National Park.
Lucky for us, there was one spot left at GoodView Cottages, right across from the ocean. The little community in which our tiny two-bedroom cottage was located was not only pet-friendly but gay-friendly too.
We departed Toronto in a raging rainstorm — rain that followed us all the way to Quebec City. The dogs were real troopers, having made it through the pouring rain in Quebec City and the car ferry ride across the St. Lawrence from Riviere-du-Loup.
Denise and the three dachsies in front of the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City. (Sue-Ann Levy photo)
On our third day, we arrived at pet-friendly Windsor House in St. Andrews, N.B. — a former sea captain’s home from the 18th century on the main drag of this quiet resort town. Our room was spacious and full of antiques.
The next morning, after a deliciously filling breakfast of eggs, bacon, yogurt, berries, local jams and bread ably prepared by the inn’s owner, Jay Remer, and his partner, Dureall Ramsdell, we discovered just a few hours before we were to go whale-watching in the Bay of Fundy that Kishka was very ill.
The B&B’s general manager, John Gardner, got in touch with the Mayfield Vet Clinic in nearby St. Stephen and booked me an appointment for the afternoon so we could still go whale watching (Kishka was given antibiotics and was back to himself by the second day in P.E.I.).
I could breathe slightly easier when we headed down to the wharf to suit up in our bright red dry suit to prevent us from getting cold and wet on the Jolly Breeze Adventures jet boat we took to be as close as possible to the whales.
Sue-Ann Levy, left, and wife Denise are ready for their whale watching trip on the Bay of Fundy.
Good thing for the dry suits since the cold spray was continuous. But it was well worth it when we saw two humpbacks breaching (jumping fully out of the water and slapping the water on the way back down).
With a car loaded full of groceries and a surprise cake for my wife, we arrived at GoodView by dinner time the night before her birthday.
We were welcomed to our cozy, charming two-bedroom cottage by owners Suzanne and Lester, who have operated the cottages since 2008 and have their own cottage on the property.
We had a nice grassy area in front for the dogs to roam and were a 10-minute bike ride from the beach, the bikes loaned to us by Lester.
One of the GoodView Cottages, located right across from the ocean on the north shore of P.E.I. (Goodview Cottages)
Suzanne says they decided to accept dogs because they loved their own and found it hard to find a place to vacation where they could take him.
“We love dogs … we find most places cater to children but not to dogs and having had both, we chose to go with dogs,” she said.
”Most owners we deal with are very responsible and respectful,” she said, noting that even though P.E.I. is a very dog friendly place, most accommodations do not take dogs.
On Denise’s birthday we drove the 20 minutes to Charlottetown for a special dinner at Claddagh Oyster House, which specializes in seafood and steak.
The week flew by during which we spent our time at the beach, travelling to the small towns to enjoy mussels and other island specialties, and cooking the fresh lobsters Denise bought down the road.
We got to know our next-door cottage neighbours, Rosemary Gillan, her dog Maya and her partner Aline, who’ve been coming to GoodView for a couple years.
Gillan, who is originally from P.E.I., says she refers to the island as “home from away.”
She chose GoodView because of its “perfect location” on the north shore, adding the cottages are “clean and well-equipped” and Suzanne and Lester are “very accommodating.”
”As a nature photographer, P.E.I. never disappoints,” she said. “It is picture perfect with iconic landscapes and birds galore.”
IF YOU GO
The only things Suzanne and Lester ask of dog owners who stay with them is that the dogs be house broken, owners pick up after their dogs and the dogs are not left alone in the cottage for hours on end.
For more info or to book contact, goodviewcottages.ca or 902-316-6039.
For more on Windsor House, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 506-469-5000.