All my life, I have been proud to be an avid reader. I have read every single Harry Potter book, I’ve read more than my fair share of Goosebumps, I even have a small library of books in my room. Despite all of that, I had not once heard of the Anne of Green Gables series until this vacation. If you’re like me and haven’t heard of it until now, let me give you some background. Anne of Green Gables was written in the early 1900s by a woman named L. M. Montgomery. It is about a 13 year old orphan named Anne who is adopted by a sister and brother named Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert. The book basically follows this girl around as she gets into mischief and adventures thanks to her wild imagination and running mouth. If I never read the book, how do I know so much about it? Well, it’s all thanks to one of the best tourist attraction spots I have ever been to. Let me tell you about Avonlea Village.
Based on the main setting in the book, Avonlea Village is a place where fans of the book can come and meet the personifications of the memorable characters of the book. Some key scenes from the book are played out throughout the day to give those uninitiated a taste of what could be in store. When the characters aren’t on stage, they’re hanging out around town to show visitors a good time or just pose for pictures. Before I move on, I just want to say that each and every actor was magnificent. They owned the roles they were put into and quite obviously were having fun with them. All of them were fun and professional. Special mention goes to the guy who played Moody, by far my favorite character and actor of the day. He was extremely funny when giving the announcements after each story segment, he was hilarious while hanging out with the visitors. Although I didn’t witness it, I’m told he had some fun with my girlfriend’s mother, hugging her and just being a little flirt. I’m told it was very funny and cute and to tell Moody that Susan had a wonderful time and you were fantastic.
Besides the actors and characters, the village itself was very quaint, not being very large at all. In fact, a person could probably walk around the entire thing without going into any stores in maybe 5 minutes tops. The small size of the village, however, does not at all detract from the amount of things you can find to do. There was a chocolate shop where everything looked absolutely delicious. (Except the chocolate covered potato chips. That looked revolting. Sorry, Avonlea, that just sounded and looked awful.) There was also a building that had period costumes for men and women to dress up and take pictures. While I didn’t take part in that, it did look like a fun and funny idea. The only restaurant in the town was the Moo Moo Grilled Cheese Diner, which served many types of sandwiches. The place was pretty quick with the food and the food was very good as well. There were two stores, a special clothing shop and a souvenir shop. The stores were fairly good, though the only thing I bought was a small snowman ornament for my mother’s birthday. Honestly, it was pretty pricey at $30 for a small trinket, but I don’t regret buying it at all.
All other buildings were reproductions of buildings from the book and the times. A small church, a barn, a school house, that sort of thing. Most of the buildings were used for activities and other things, so not a spot on this small amount of land is wasted.
One of my favorite parts of the day is the “country fair” portion. Basically, it’s a series of events set up on a field for both kids and adults. I participated in a potato sack race for the first time since I was a kid. All that was in my head was “I don’t want to come in last.” And I was about a foot away from meeting that goal when I fell flat on my face. I didn’t get hurt and it was actually pretty funny. I also took part in “manure tossing.” Basically throwing a bag as far as you can. I failed miserably but had a blast. They also had other activities for kids, including a relay race and scavenger hunt. Only suggestion I have is having some sort of a tug o’ war game. You had the ropes, Avonlea, but you never used them like I thought you would. Maybe it’s a safety issue or something, but some tug o’ war would probably be fun if you added it. On the other end of the spectrum, the pig races, while hilariously narrated by Moody, were just kinda lame. It was over in 2 seconds, and I felt it was unnecessary.
In the end, this was a fantastic day. As an experience of watching a book come to life, it’s absolutely amazing. I wish more of my favorite books would get this type of treatment. The characters and actors are all spot on, the activities are plentiful and great. The story segments that were acted out were very enjoyable. And to the actors who sang at the end of the day, fantastic job, especially Moody. Who knew you had a beautiful voice? I will definitely be returning to Avonlea Village in the future. Bravo, you have gotten me interested in the story. Even if it’s one I probably won’t read. Maybe I’ll just watch the movies.
(Nothing much else was done for the rest of this day on the trip. Mostly, Laura and I went to the pool at our cabin and hung out. But we did a lot more on Day 3.)