Kingston Holiday

By now all those of you who have me on facebook are well aware that the kids and I spent a week in Kingston and Cloyne. Andre came with us, and we did have his laptop, but if you recall in Kansas City I had a fair bit of free time to blog while he was rehearsing. There were also only the two of us sharing computer time. In Kingston our free time was greatly reduced because there was just so much to see and do, AND we were sharing the computer among four of us. Computer time was at a premium, and obviously Mom’s blog ranked pretty low in importance.

We drove to Kingston on Tues, Aug 9, through crashing rainstorms the whole way. It was not a pleasant drive, and I’d prefer not to recall it, even to describe it to my loyal readers. Actually, my most loyal reader was in the front seat with me as I was clinging to my steering wheel trying to see more than a few feet ahead of me through the rain. Not nice, not nice at all. Enough said.

On Wed we headed to Old Fort Henry. I had pre-booked tickets online for both the day at the fort and for the evening Sunset Ceremony, basically a military tattoo. There was so much to do and see at the fort; we just kept moving from one activity to another. We started with a guided tour, then caught the end of the gun races. Sean and I joined a “Great Escapes” tour, where we learned about various escape attempts of prisoners detained at the fort over the years. We had some lunch from the Canteen, then attended the “Victorian Schoolroom Experience”. Personally, I thought this was the best part of the day. We were ushered into the schoolroom by an uptight schoolmaster who proceeded to lecture us on appropriate dress for school. We all failed. He gave a couple guys with long hair instructions to go have their hair cut, and pretty much all the women/girls were admonished for our improper and immodest attire and hairstyles. He instructed us in the correct protocol for answering questions in class, and then began with a geography lesson. Incorrect responses were met with derision and mockery. A far cry from today’s classrooms… He selected a teenager to demonstrate penmanship on the blackboard, and she failed miserably – and was sent to stand in the corner as a result, with her nose literally touching the wall. I volunteered to try my writing skills, doubting he could fault me. And he really couldn’t. But he tried. He said my Q should be rounder and my V more pointed, but overall it was a “moderately acceptable” performance. HA!

Sean participated in an initiatory exercise and received a certificate inducting him into the British Army of 1867. He was told he was allowed to spend the remainder of the day with his family, but at nightfall would be expected to report to the fort….

We went out for dinner, then returned to the fort for the show, which was spectacular. Following the show we had signed up for a Ghost Tour, which was fun, though we didn’t see/experience any haunty things.

On Thurs we went to Bellevue House, once the home of Sir John A Macdonald, then took the afternoon off to shop. Brianna, Mimi and I spent a few delightful hours at the local Value Village and came out with a couple big bags of acquisitions. In the evening we reported to the dock for our (once again booked online) boat cruise of the Thousand Islands. This was lovely, though a bit chilly. Luckily we had dressed for it.

On Friday we took a ride on the Tour Trolley to all the significant sites around the city, and decided to spend some time going back to a couple. We took pictures of the only surviving gas streetlight in the city, and then toured the penitentiary museum. This was actually Brianna’s idea, but it was a good one!  When we were finally done in Kingston, we headed to Cloyne, stopping for dinner in Napanee en route. After several relaxing days there we returned home, via a hiking spot called the Hell Holes. This was amazing! Glacial action during the last ice age had created this incredible valley between monstrous rock formations. It was so lush and beautiful, the rocks all covered in moss, and these huge outcroppings of rock overhead. There were rather more bugs than I like to encounter, but otherwise it was a really fun hike.

And of course on the way home it rained. So I got to drive home in the dark, and in the rain. Lovely.

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