Monday, July 14, 2008

Kingston, Ontario

As I write this, Monday July 14th, I still can't believe we have the "Bella Luna" all the way up here--what an amazing feat to think we started out in North Carolina and got all the way to this point! We have to pinch ourselves daily to believe it's true! It makes both Louis and I wish that North Carolina could/would combine all our rivers and lakes via locks (we have the dams) and connect our beautiful coast with our beautiful mountains--what a great trip that would be--sign us up!

We arrived in Kingston Friday mid-day. We had spent Thursday night at the bottom of Jones Falls near a historic hotel-- we combined our leftovers and had dinner on "Prime Time". Thanks guys! We went to bed on a beautiful evening listening to the roar of the nearby huge waterfall. We had decided that it was such a pretty evening (cool, no humidity, and the sky full of stars and a half bella luna) that we would sleep with the windows and hatches open. MISTAKE!! We woke early in the morning to find it was raining, and our comforter was soaked--what a mess! It continued to sprinkle throughout the morning, but by the time we got to Kingston, it had cleared and was a beautiful day again. TYJ.

We have OFFICIALLY "Done the Rideau"--and in a way we are kind of sad to be knowing that this part of our trip is over--and we'll never get this way again. Both of us feel the closer we got to Kingston, the prettier it got--wide open spaces, and the water appeared cleaner and clearer too. So we finished all those Rideau locks and settled into Kingston for a long weekend. Whew!

We stayed Friday and Saturday nights at the Kingston Marina, along with "Prime Time" and "Phantom of the Aqua". After getting tied up Friday, we rented a car and hit the high spots of Costco, West Marine, and Wal-Mart--what fun!! We got back to the boat just in time to have a small gathering on our boat--we're so glad to finally catch up with our friends on "Sandpiper". Three couple wound up going to this wonderful Irish pub for dinner--Toucan's & Kirkpatrick's--although by the time we got there, most of their daily specials were gone--poor Louis and Bob!

Saturday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at Pan Chancho's (where they bake all night and open at 7am to crowds of people every day!) and walked a little further down to catch a trolley bus tour of the town of Kingston. This once capital city is known for their military (The Royal Military College--similar to our West Point), universities (2), and their penitentiaries (10). They also have more restaurants per capita than any other city in Canada! There are 173 parks and about 120,000 people. Our particular weekend was the annual festival of the Buskers--a street festival of sorts--featuring amateur jugglers, dancers, pogo jumpers, fiddlers, accordion players, drummers, face painters, hot dog stands, etc. We walked the streets (Louis got a haircut!!!!) and we enjoyed the youthful energy that these fun people brought to town (although both Louis and I hoped all those Buskers had good "day jobs"!). Saturday was also Bonnie's birthday--"Phantom of the Aqua". In the afternoon and after all of us wished and sang "birthday" for her--complete with flowers from husband, Bruce,--the three couples went to Chez Piggy for dinner--a very famous restaurant started by one of the original "Loving Spoonfull" members. It was pretty, delicious, and a great evening--Happy Birthday, Bonnie! Love that sangria!

Sunday, we had to move out of our marina--it being primarily for slip owners--and the three slips we had, the owners were coming back! It was a very convenient marina for downtown and close to all the action and such, but we had done all we needed to do, and so were not upset to leave. So we moved over to Collins Bay Marina where "Sandpiper" has been for the last few days, and we were glad to join them. After getting tied up here, we went to "Lucy's" famous Sunday Brunch--famous since 1947--complete with white table cloths and a fabulous piano player--he never took a break! The buffet was simply delicious--probably the best french toast we've ever had (sorry Catherine!) and we all stuffed ourselves. Boat people are always hungry--doesn't "the water" make it so? At our table, we all tried "Name That Tune"--won't say here who was the winner!

Monday, today, Louis has been diligently cleaning the boat outside and I've been inside cleaning and grocery shopping (fresh produce mainly) in preparation for our leaving here tomorrow. We plan to leave early Tuesday morning and go all the way to Trenton (@ 60 miles)--the beginning of the Trent Severn Waterway--and yes, more locks. It will probably take a week for us to navigate through these locks and we'll be staying mainly on "walls" at night, enjoying the small villages that we'll be going through. This will be the series of locks where on one occasion they will take "Bella Luna" completely out of the water, put her in straps, put her on a railway car, and lift her over a huge hill to water on the other side! It's called The Big Chute--and we can't wait for that! What pictures that'll be--wonder if they sell tee-shirts! What will Buddy think?!

1 comment:

Jay Stockard said...

It was great to "see" you even if it was only through video conferencing, and it sounds as if the experiences just keep on coming for you guys! Yeah, I'm still jealous! We had a wonderful time with all your family last weekend and wish you could have been with us. Stay safe, and keep the blogs coming, we really love them.