Polly in Oregon

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Polly came along on our trip to Oregon. She was mesmerized by the beauty inside the Lan Su Chinese Garden in the heart of Portland.

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She helped the Mavor sisters make Speculaas, molded Dutch gingerbread cookies.

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She drove south of Portland to Willamette Valley, Oregon’s wine making region.

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It was really gorgeous out in the country. Polly loved Oregon!

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Polly’s travels

While Polly is away, let’s take this opportunity to review her previous traveling outfits and adventures. As you can see in the following photos, Polly doesn’t mind posing in front of the camera. Dressing appropriately is her first priority. She is sure to share her experiences in Oregon and Utah when she returns. In the meantime, check out Polly’s travelogue on Instagram and Facebook. See if you can pick out where she’s been. Answers are at the bottom of this post.

Antarctica, Cuba, Yosemite, Provence, Ireland, San Francisco, Scotland and Prince Edward Island.

road to PEI

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On the drive up to Prince Edward Island, we stayed a night in Wiscassett, Maine, which was as pretty as advertised. These photos are from my early morning walk into town from our B&B.

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We drove to Booth Bay Harbor, which is right down the road and had dinner with friends.

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The next leg of the trip brought us just across the Canadian border to St. Andrews, NB, where I took another early morning walk through the neighborhood.pei-5pei-6

In the afternoon, we arrived at our friend’s cottage on the south east coast of Prince Edward Island. It sure was beautiful!pei-24pei-23

One day, we drove to the charming south coast village of Victoria for dinner and a concert.

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pei-14pei-16After a wonderful visit to PEI, we headed home, stopping again in St. Andrews at the Rossmount Inn, where I took this photo of their spectacular background garden.

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Anne of Green Gables & family ties

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During our trip to PEI, we visited Green Gables, of course. Although L.M. Montgomery never lived there, her cousins’ house and farm was the inspiration for the setting of her famous book Anne of Green Gables. The property has been designated as a National Historic Site of Canada and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.

Our friend and hostess Polly (yes, a real life person!), Rob and I were glad to be there on a less crowded week day and freely roamed around the lovingly restored house, inside and out. After perusing every possible Anne themed souvenir in the gift shop, Polly (doll above) sighed with relief when she came across a stack of books.

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Green Gables is set up as if the character Anne Shirley and her adoptive family of Matthew and Marilla lived there in the late 1800’s. The rooms are furnished with a wonderful collection of period pieces and Anne’s room includes important book related items, like her carpet bag and puffed sleeve dresses.

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This is where the family tie to Anne of Green Gables comes in. But, first a little family history. Growing up, I heard about our relatives in Toronto, the “Canadian Cousins”. We were the only branch of the family to move to America, where my grandfather followed his career in biology. My father’s grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins in Canada seemed so much more interesting than the few family members we knew at home. The stories of their lives emphasized an unconventional and creative spirit, full of drama and public service. I never met them in person and that may be why they still loom large in my mind as colorful characters who were celebrated for their leadership and vision (at least in Canada).

I heard about my totally eccentric great-grandfather, James Mavor, who through his connections with the Canadian government and Russian Tolstoyans, helped arrange the mass immigration of the Doukhobors from Russia to Saskatchewan in 1898. I’ve never met an American who knows about the Doukhobors, but I think most Canadians have at least heard of them or know their descendants. There were also stories about James Mavor’s daughter, my great-aunt Dora Mavor Moore who is considered the Grand Dame of Canadian Theater. My father talked about Dora and her son, his first cousin, Mavor Moore who was a multi-talented creative force in CBC radio and television and the arts. These relatives and my parents are gone, but the family remembrances live on through stories, creating narratives beyond mere names and dates on a genealogy chart.

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In Charlottetown, we saw the last performance of the season of “Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™”, which I really enjoyed.  I already knew that Mavor Moore had been involved from the show’s beginning in 1965 and was Co-writer of the lyrics.

What I didn’t know was that his daughter, Charlotte Moore was on stage, playing the leading role of Marilla. During intermission, I read the program and couldn’t believe it when her name and picture popped out. We had not met, but I was aware that she was a professional actress and singer, carrying on the family theater tradition.

 

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After the show, it seemed almost impossible to send a message back stage, but another actor told us that the cast sometimes gathers in the bar at Mavor’s Restaurant (named after Mavor Moore) in the same theater complex. We only waited a few minutes in the bar before I heard the name “Charlotte” being called out behind me. I turned around and there she was, my real life “Canadian Cousin”. After some quick introductions, we had a great chat about the family. I also got to meet Mavor Moore’s widow, opera singer, Alexandra Brown Moore, who was visiting PEI from Victoria, BC.

We were all so delighted to finally meet each other! I felt connected to the Canadian branch of my family in a way I hadn’t experienced before. Our interaction made me realize that sometimes just showing up, taking notice and making a little effort can make all the difference in how life unfolds. It’s daunting to think that I am the older generation now. How could that possibly be? After all, I still play with dolls, for goodness sake!

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Polly in PEI

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About a week before we drove up to Prince Edward Island, I remembered that Polly would need a new outfit for the trip. At first, I was blind to the obvious, but within a few minutes, her new persona became as clear as day.  With her red braids, there was only one choice — Anne of Green Gables! So, I quickly made her a pinafore and straw hat.

I must admit that I hadn’t read L.M. Montgomery‘s books until fairly recently. If I’d had daughters and/or a TV in our home, I probably would have read the stories to them and watched the PBS series. But, the wonderfully written books were enough to make my middle-aged self fall in love with the spunky character of Anne Shirley.

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Polly loved the PEI coast, with its red sand. She compared antique tractors, horse teams and geese at the Dundas Plowing Match, a local agricultural fair.

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She had dinner at Mavor’s in Charlottetown and learned about my cousin, the restaurant’s name sake, Mavor Moore, who was a well know Canadian writer, producer, actor, public servant, critic, and educator.

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It was harvest time on PEI.

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She stayed with friends on the coast of PEI’s King’s county.

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Of course, Polly felt right at home at Green Gables.

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Polly spent her last evening in Canada in the garden behind the Rossmount Inn in St. Andrews. It was a great trip to a beautiful part of the world!

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Island vacation

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Is it still a vacation, if you spend a fair amount of time working? I admit to being a stitch-a-holic, because I can’t sit idle, when I could be MAKING something! It’s a compulsion that many of you can identify with, I’m sure. During this vacation, I made a set of Ltd. Edition Fairies that will be in my Etsy Shop in a few weeks. I didn’t spend all day stitching, though. We hiked around the island, swam in the creek and took photographs.

My husband Rob and I spent the past week on a private island that’s not far from our home, but it’s so peaceful and solitary that it feels like a world away. We traveled there on our boat and were the only ones on the island, except for some friends who came to visit on their boats.

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Many mornings, the light beckoned me out of bed, sometimes before sun rise, to walk around and try to capture the island’s unique beauty with my camera. This selection of photos were mostly taken at dawn or dusk — the magical hours. I hope that you enjoy this tour of a special place!

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Remembering Turkey

Five years ago, when we visited Turkey, the world was different. The news of violent clashes and turmoil in the country is upsetting, especially since I had the fortune of experiencing its astounding beauty and the gracious warmth of the Turkish people. I’ve taken this opportunity to review my photos of the trip and have selected a group of my favorites. You can see all of my posts about Turkey here.