Ben and I know a couple named Chris & Tory Tolles who, because of Tory’s affinity for Anne of Green Gables, honeymooned on Prince Edward Island. Most people would scoff at such an idea. No all-inclusive, all-you-can-eat, all-the-sun-you-can-take resort? To me, it sounds like a Canadian piece of heaven, but I’m prone to burning rather than tanning, and I can never say no to free croissants at two a.m.
I, like Tory, adored the sassy, spirited redhead from Avonlea, and recently devoted ten hours to rewatching the Anne of Green Gables movies. If in your head you’re calling me a slug, you’re not too far off. But I’m happy to kick off my summer holiday from teaching by spending six hundred minutes with my favorite Canadians. It had been over a decade since I watched either of the first two films. Since then, a third installment revealed that Anne & Gilbert have grown up considerably, finally married, and together encountered headier challenges than simply figuring out which bottle is raspberry cordial and not currant wine, or how to handle the impossible nature of the Pringles clan at King Ladies College.
When I was a girl, I wanted to be Anne Shirley. I romanticized the idea of being an orphan, rising from the ashes of poverty and anonymity into a loved, accepted, and accomplished young woman. I was certain that, were she real, Anne and I would be best friends kindred spirits, and even more certain that Gilbert Blythe would want to marry me.
Watching the first two movies again, I had the exact same feelings as when I was younger. I loved to watch Anne get herself into messy situations then struggle to climb out. I knew just about every line from every scene. Even the music was familiar. This being a special ladies blog post, I can say here that I cried for much of the film. A piece of my childhood is embedded in those movies.
I was less sure what to make of the third film. While curious what time had done to Anne & Gilbert (who, I am relieved to say, were still played by Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie), I was also reluctant to let go of their childhood selves and release them from Prince Edward Island into marriage, a world war, and all the messiness of adulthood.
So even if you can’t honeymoon there, carve out half a day sometime soon to visit Prince Edward Island. Then convince your husband it would be in everyone’s best interests to relocate there pronto.