07/04/2011

In PEI on the royal trail

From a bustling Quebec to a slower-paced Charlottetown. But this tour is anything but sluggish. Here are 5 things to know from the Star's Katie Daubs about the royal tour as it hits PEI:

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive July 3 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. (Ryan Remiorz/CANADIAN PRESS)

1) Nothing is open after 10 p.m. in downtown Charlottetown except restaurants, so if you need something, there is nowhere to go. Even the convenience store is closed.  After walking around for 30 minutes and not finding anything, you may as well walk into a big hotel, even if it isn't yours, and ask for products at the front desk. You know, toothpaste, toothbrushes, that kind of stuff. The only problem, of course, is when they tell you they'll send the goods up to your room.  That's when you turn around and run.

2. This is Prince Edward Island, There are not many places to run. People are so nice here, that when you admit that you're not actually a guest, more of a "fan" of the hotel, they'll still help you and give you what you need.

3. I've said already there's not much time to eat on the tour. (You really just don't want to miss anything.) Yesterday, I think, I said you should pack some snacks. I recant. There is not even time to stop and buy snacks to pack. And when there is time, you're in PEI, and it's 10 p.m, and the convenience store is closed, and you'll just have to eat fried rice and a bottle of water, and let the MSG soothe that chocolate bar you got on the plane. My whole point here is that you should probably pack a dozen energy bars before you leave your home.

4. PEI really is as nice as you think it is. They let you park on the weekends for free, and if you want to show up to watch the Duke and Duchess land, you can park your car alongside the entrance to the airport, like it's your buddy's  laneway. 

5. This whole "Kate loves Anne of Green Gables" thing has never been actually confirmed. I was speaking with the man who organized the tour a week ago, and he told me that he'd never been told Kate had a particular fondness for the redheaded posterchild of PEI. He talks to St. James Palace officials daily, so you'd think he'd know if Kate expressly said, "Oooh, oooooh, let's go to PEI please, I want to find a bosom buddy and drink cordial." But that didn't stop the PEI tourism people from giving us all a bottle of cordial and Anne of Green Gables pamphlets and chocolates. I know what you're thinking - there's some food for you to eat. Well, there was a schmozzle with the bus and that bag is long gone. I'm sure it's my fault.

- Katie Daubs

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This whole "Kate loves Anne of Green Gables" thing has never been actually confirmed. (Andrew Vaughan/CANADIAN PRESS)

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What a waste of money. This is costing the canadian taxpayers $1.2 million which doesn't even include security costs. Has the government lost their minds?

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