Sunday, August 5, 2012

Canada Vacation: Ontario

The reason we chose Canada for our summer family vacation was because Matt had a business meeting scheduled in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  It was scheduled for the middle of July so we took complete advantage.  We decided to start a 9-day vacation in Niagara Falls and take a road trip over Lake Ontario and on into Quebec to incorporate his meeting.

This stop on our trip (what this post is about) was pretty much to break up the long drive from Niagara Falls, ON to Sherbrooke, QB.  We stayed in Napanee, Ontario, which is very close to Prince Edward County for two days before venturing on.

In full disclosure:  The iPads were a constant companion.  I hope the children looked up once and awhile to view their surroundings but I guess only time (and their memories) will tell.

I won't name names but a son of mine somehow managed to take the iPad into the bathroom with him.  At least he kept it away from the toilet.

The iPads made for some peaceful long car rides but in the back of my mind I wonder what they would have noticed about their surroundings had they not always been LOOKING DOWN.

Our first stop once in Napanee, Ontario were the Tyendinaga Cavern and Caves.

This was amazing.  Our tour guide (half owner of the property) was so excited when she found out where we lived.  She said we have a ton of natural caves in our area.  Perhaps spelunking should be in our future?

We ventured down into the cave and noticed the sudden drop in temperature.
Our tour guide pointed out numerous stalagmites and stalactites.
(If you look closely you can see little stalactites hanging from the ceiling.)
(Lauren said she already knew all about stalagmites and stalactites by watching the Little Einsteins cartoons!)

The tour guide had us walk through a narrow passage way deeper into the cave and once there she turned out the light.  Total darkness (and our eyes would never adjust.)

Lauren and Tyler loved this experience.  Lauren even said she liked the caves better than Niagara Falls.  I will definitely learn more about the caves in our area.

When the tour ended we were free to tour the property...above ground.

Next stop was Prince Edward Island.
We drove around sightseeing, stopped at a few restaurants and on request by a local checked out Lake on the Mountain
It is basically a lake on a mountain.  The Bay of Quinte is far down below but lo and behold there is a lake at a much higher altitude that has no known source of fresh water.  It is "cloaked in mystery and legend."  (you'll have to read from my link above to learn more.)

Mystery and Legend aside it sure was windy the day we went.
This is a timed picture half a second after Matt's hat flew off his head.
You can tell he's trying not to react.  =)

Instead of driving back the way we came we took the Glenora Ferry as a shortcut to our hotel.
The kids loved driving over Picton Bay.

The next day we packed up and headed East.  Our destination was Quebec and we made the most of the road trip through Ontario.

the Thousand Islands
(as seen from the Thousand Islands SkyDeck)
(I couldn't see Ranch though) (hehehe)
(get it? salad dressing)

Thanks to the French speaking couple who took our family picture!

See that bridge down below?
It leads back to the U.S. and we took it to check out Boldt Castle in Alexandria Bay, NY.

After making our way through the "the mean guy" line at the border (he questioned us over just about everything and made us roll down the back windows so Tyler and Lauren could each state their name and age to him) we finally made our way to Boldt Castle.

Actually this is the Boldt Yacht House.
We toured that (very quickly) and then took a ferry to the castle.

We took our time exploring the castle.  It has a very sad history but I'm glad it's being finished.

There were quite a few artists out on the grounds with their sketch pads and Lauren really took note.  She asked for my iPhone so she could take some pictures and paint them later.  She definitely has her Dad and her Grandma Jan in her.

Lauren's be painted:

She asked her Dad to take this for her.

She hasn't taking to painting them yet but I'll remind her one of these days.

The end of our road trip (back across the Canadian border) found us at the Times Hotel in Sherbrooke, Quebec.  This was where Matt had his one day business meeting.

Stay tuned.

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