Tuesday, August 21, 2012

kingston in pictures

sometimes you just feel like leaving town, getting on a train, and exploring a random city. I did that one weekend with my mom, partly as part of a birthday trip for her, and also as what's probably going to be our last trip together before i get married.
our hotel, on the water
city hall. and a boat.
when we arrived in Kingston, there was some sort of festival going on, involving giant boats. they were pretty pretty big. and fancy. it was like Cruise Night in Kanata at the Hazeldean Mall, except with giant boats, on dry land, pulled by trucks that were also so huge people sat under them to eat lunch while they hid from the rain
a lovely picnic under the truck
whoa check it out - the Rideau Canal
we had dinner at Chez Piggy's, one of those places in Kingston that everyone says you gotta try. The weather was looking promising when we sat down on the patio, but soon enough it started to rain again. The waitress ran around bussing tables while wearing a handkerchief on her head like a babushka.
in the evening, mom and i hung out at the hotel's hot tub and then got facials.
the next morning, we went for breakfast at Pan Chancho's, which was another place that everyone tells us you gotta go. they are actually also owned by the people that run Chez Piggy, so maybe everyone i talk to gets a special commission for recommendations.
breakfast burritos! my favourite!

after breakfast, we took a walk around the harbourfront. the big boats were still there. we asked a local what event was going on.

"poker run," he said.

"ah," we nodded. wait. poker didn't explain the boats at all.
fancy boats at the harbour
fancy mac's downtown

we took the ferry over to Wolfe Island, which was free. free! Ottawa take note. free ferries are awesome!
mom, waiting for the ferry
the ferry ride gave us a beautiful view of the water and all the people out in boats doing apparently poker related things, all enjoying the summer day.
spot the poker reference. because we couldn't.
a school of kayaks! or whatever you'd call a group of them.
i named this island Sad Tree Island

finally we arrived at Wolfe Island, which was full of all sorts of quaint shops.

okay, maybe "full of" is a bit of an exaggeration. it's a quiet sleepy place, like islands often are. we went to the tourist office to find out what there was to do.

"do you have a car?" they asked.
"no," we said.
"hmmm. there isn't much to do here," the tourist office said. I appreciated their honesty.
but wait, where are these people going to?
after some wandering around though, we discovered one thing that i'm not sure how the tourist office forgot to mention. the Wolfe Island Music Festival. hell, yeah! As if I didn't get enough summer festivals from the previous weekend, mom and i snuck into the festival to see what was going on.

it was mostly the bands sound checking. oh well. mom and i got back on to the ferry to enjoy the boat ride back.

there was an ambulance on the ferry, lights flashing with a patient inside, but we were on island time. you can't hurry a ferry.
there were also horses on the ferry, and small children driving them.
once we were back on the mainland, we did the next most touristy thing: Fort Henry!
the fort goat. his name is Henry.

although massive and impressive and simulataneously beautiful, our tour was a reminder that army life is not for me. at least, not early 20th century army life under British rule. i saw what those toilets looked like.

there were, however, small children running around with rifles, some of the kids so small their rifles were bigger than them. they seemed to want to join the army. i found this sight to be somehow both adorable and mildly disturbing.
after the Fort, mom and i did pizza at Woodenheads.
we ended our stay by hanging out at the harbourfront, watching black swans compete with Canadian geese for the best parts of the pier, paramedics drink beers on the pacing boat, wedding guests file in for dinner at Kyle and Kylie's reception (I wanted to crash it). It was a lovely stay.