Wednesday, 8 July 2015

A Day Discovering Rustico, PE with the Barachois Inn

Ever since I awoke this morning I've been living the Prince Edward Island dream here at the Barachois Inn. Excited to be fully immersed in everything that the Inn's unique location offers, I was excited to go to breakfast and then start exploring! Visiting the Gallant House, the Barachois' other property, for breakfast, I was greeted cheerfully by Gary and Judy, shown the dining room and given not just a cup but a whole pot of coffee to enjoy!

One thing's for sure, they definitely understand me and how I love my mornings. The coffee was delicious, rich and plentiful; exactly the way to begin my day surrounded by the Dining Room's warm and elegant atmosphere. Warm candlelight and cheerful sunlight reflected onto the lovely antiques and exquisite local art that graced the bright and beachy colors that make the Gallant House so refreshing! Sharing breakfast with Judy the Innkeeper was a wonderful way to get to know her property, family and passion for the Island; she is the heartbeat of the Barachois Inn.

An assortment of fruits prepared into a fresh fruit salad and accompanied by a glass of orange juce to start off breakfast was delightful! Crisp, sweet and juicy pineapple, melon, pear, watermelon and peaches in their bright hues matched this sunny day! Yummy and healthy, this old-fashioned tradition is something I hope will continue into tomorrow's breakfast!

The main was a multi grain french toast dusted with powdered sugar and served with a side of wild Island Blueberries, banana and thick cut bacon. A sweet start to my morning, I drizzled some maple syrup onto my french toast and paired each bite with a combination of fruit. The rustic flavor of the multi grain was delightful when tasted simply with the maple syrup but became alive with juicy blueberries and creamy bananas. The savory thick-cut bacon was a great balance to the plate's fresh and fruity flavors and left me feeling just as satisfied as all of the lively conversation Judy and I shared!

After breakfast I decided to talk a walk through the ground's Victorian Garden, a fragrant and ornate enchantment of flowers that can be enjoyed as you stroll quietly through, listening to the serenade of local birds. A meditative space in this tranquil getaway, I could have simply spent hours looking, listening and being a part of this lovingly tended garden. An opportune spot for photos, I can easily understand why the Barachois Inn is not only popular for Wedding Photos but also entire weddings. There's a soft romance about this place which is magnified by the beauty and environment which surrounds it.

My next stop was to one of the special historic sites just steps away from the Barachois. The Farmers' Bank of Rustico, which was once the hub of this community in the days of yore has been transformed into a museum which honors an integral piece of the Island's past. A colorful memorial to the creativity and ingenuity of rural PEI, the stories and artifacts at the museum breath life into the past while their interpretations illuminate it for future generations.

Not just an account of the Farmers' Bank, but a history of Rustico's whole unique and enterprising history is held in this special establishment. It's a love letter to the people and ideas that built up the community which people are enjoying to this very day. The schools, community, church, stores and artistic endeavors of Rustico's ambitious locals continue on in the strong voice of it's active community, paying tribute to the people who founded where they live and share with others. Keeping it's ties with modern days, I was amazed to find QR codes next to prominent artifacts that gave even more details into these unique pieces. The impression this building, it's contents and most definitely it's people left me with is one that I will carry on forever in my memory. Walls decorated with photos, art, quotes, letters and diary passages, I am privileged to be embraced by this community's bright spirit and dedication.

A fun fact for those of us at the Barachois Inn, there is a portrait man who originally built the Inn's Gallant house right in the museum!

On the same property of as the Farmer's Bank and tied into it's admission and guides is the Doucet House, a fully restored Acadian Homestead that features original wood and artifacts that are over 200 years old. Like an extension of the history that you learn of at the Farmer's Bank, you go from seeing history through photos and artifacts to living and breathing it while guide Sarah opened up its' story with her passion for history. Built by Jean Doucet, one of Prince Edward Island's Acadain settlers he, his wife and their nine children shared this small three room home over two decades ago.

Like stepping back in time, I would love to return here during August for their Acadian Days festival when you can book to share an authentically Acadian Dinner prepared in the Doucet Home hearth and outdoor oven. That's some seriously delicious history, right there!

My last stop on today's tour was St. Augustine's Church, the oldest Catholic Church on Prince Edward Island with it's pastoral roots dating back to the 1700s. A towering presence, it's dove white exterior a bright silhouette against the rolling hills of Rustico and it's glistening bay. Entering the Church there was a reverent hush, myself and my photographer the only ones there, it felt very peaceful, very holy, in a special way. The clear PEI sunlight reflecting through the stained glass windows cast rich colorful hues against age old statues and the rows of pews where the devout come to worship faithfully each Sunday. Personal touches, such as crafts and prayers donated by locals and those inspired by the church decorate it's walls and give even brief visitors a taste of how deeply the roots of Rustico's devotion run.

A day of discovery, peace, reflection, beauty, fellowship, the past and present, I am ecstatic to know that I have grown in my understand of PEI and have been so positively effected by what I have gained from my day in Rustico. I would recommend everyone and anyone to come and see what this outstanding community has to offer.

Now to go and relax in my Suite at the Barachois, how divine!

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