Back from another holiday within a holiday, this destination was a village called Sydenham just outside Kingston. Sydenham itself was a nice little village and where I stayed was so peaceful.
- Things I loved about Sydenham – birds and silence, there were no Street Cars or raccoons disrupting my sleep, cups of tea in the morning sitting outside, barbecues, bonfires, toasted marshmallows, ice cream, sunbathing, reading, village stores, smores, I have never had a proper smore before – they involve toasting a marshmallow and then squishing it with with chocolate between two crackers (not jacobs, more like a sweet biscuit, like a Belvita breakfast biscuit). Sydenham is also home to Trousdales, Canadas oldest general store.
- Things I did not love about Sydenham – mosquitos, I got eaten alive. No exaggeration. Every single bite turned into an allergic reaction. I stopped counting at 20 on my shins and feet and developed an addiction to antihistimines and an irrational fear of the outside. Turns out, even taking 5 times the dose of one antihistamine brand, a couple of another, bite relief and calamine lotion does not stop the itching.
Canada Day – we were in Sydenham for Canada Day and went down into the village for a mooch about the village fair at Sydenham Point. There were pony rides, face painting, guess the sweets in the jar etc. Most importantly, there was CANDY FLOSS. Or “Cotton Candy” as they call it here. I also tasted a Candian food called a Perogi – a stodgy cheesy potato type thing served with sour cream – quite tasty, but needed salt. We had a bonfire in the evening and the afore mentioned smores.
Also in Sydenham – we found a bees nest and watched bees working a away to fix it whilst the queen loitered inside and met a snapper turtle. Alongside all this, I managed to have a good long chat with a friend from home on a video call. It is crazy how much changes and how quickly the kids are growing and doing more stuff in only a couple of months.
I went into Kingston on two days, once for the Penitentiary already written about and once for a 3 hour boat cruise around the Thousand Islands. There are actually 1,864 islands, along the Canada/ USA border in the Saint Lawrence River. I had wanted to go on the cruise that stopped at Boldt Castle, but it was a five hour one and actually I am glad I opted for the three hours as that was enough. I am also glad that I was prewarned to take warm layers – it is cold at sea! The cruise was nice and I enjoyed the gentleness of the boat, I could have fallen asleep if the chairs were not hard wood. I broke the rules and smuggled on a Subway roll and cookie for lunch. The islands themselves were interesting to see (it went up around the Admiralty group of Thousand Islands passing Fort Henry on the way) and I loved looking at the houses. Some stunning houses in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some islands just had rocks and seagulls. I enjoyed learning that there is a spot called Half Moon Bay where religious sermons would be delivered from a rock whilst locals attended and sat listening from their boats in the water. I could definitely see myself living on one of these islands, what a lifestyle. I just need to find a few million dollars.After the boat trip, there was a Food Festival in Kingston. It was really busy. I pottered around a bit but, annoyingly, you couldnt pay for food with money. You had to queue to buy tickets and then queue at each tent to pay for what they were selling with the tickets. I headed for the shops instead where I discovered it was the one day of the year that they put sale and surplus stock on the streets outside the shops and sell it at massive discounts. I got a few bargains and a beach towel that is the Canada Flag.
On the way back to Toronto, we stopped at the Lake on the Mountain in Picton, Prince Edward County. Gorgeous views and it was a lovely sunny day to stop for a drink and something to eat at a cute little pub.
Unfortunately, the spell was broken all too soon hitting traffic as we neared Toronto, the Pan AM games have begun. Gridlock. We stopped at a Wendys for dinner – it is just like McDonalds, but the burgers are square.