Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Hot Day in a Cool Place

If you look at the water in the foreground, you can see two currents meeting each other and creating lots of turmoil.
Best thing about retirement: you don't have to wait for a weekend. Earlier this week -- on a Tuesday! -- we visited friends Yves and Paula who live in a gorgeous condo on the St. Lawrence River. They took us out for a personal tour of the Thousand Islands.

We seriously couldn't have asked for a better day for our tour, and the pontoon boat they took us on had a canopy that kept us delightedly in the shade with a sturdy breeze blowing through.

Rosie scooted from one door to another throughout the ride.
The St. Lawrence River is a commercial and pleasure boating, fresh-water seaway. Lining the Canadian shore are many fabulous mansions.

I quail at the costs of renovating or updating that house.
 There are spectacular homes, with fantastic landscaping.
Yes, let's have our own lighthouse.
And there were a few smaller homes -- usually converted boathouses or old cottages -- tucked in as well.

Nan's Place -- should be mine. (Except mine would have an apostrophe.)
Because it is a shipping lane, we did encounter some large watercraft, like this barge.

Yes, it has right-of-way.
I've always loved the rocking of the wake from a fast-moving boat, but this time I was left feeling a little queasy, so I was happy when we approached Sparrow Island for a wee pause.

Where we moored.
Sparrow Island is part of the City of Brockville's leisure program. You can moor for a day or even camp overnight. It's pretty rustic -- there are outhouses and fire pits, but that's about it -- but a very accessible, inexpensive getaway.

He's a braver man than I.
As soon as we stopped moving, we felt the heat, so Yves and Steve (Haha! That rhymes!) jumped in the water. Eventually, Paula did, too. I was the last one in, and I only climbed down the ladder on the back of the boat and dipped myself up to the chest. It was COLD!

Rosie did not go into the water at all -- she doesn't like getting wet. Kane would have been in that water in a millisecond.

After a bit, we went for a ramble in the forest.

Rosie waited patiently while Paula used the outhouse.
When we got back to our dock, a large tanker ship came by. Given that my stomach had only recently stopped roiling, I went ashore and avoided the rollicking wake.

Shortly after that, we got back in the water for more touring.

Retirement suits him.

We passed this island that brought Hitchkock's The Birds to mind. These are cormorants and they have taken over this island. Their excrement has killed most of the vegetation.

We don't know what those pilings were for, but suspect there used to be some commercial mooring on the island.
After we said goodbye to Paula and Yves, we continued on to Gananoque, where we watched Jake's Gift at the Thousand Island Playhouse. It was a moving, one-woman play that had us laughing and crying.

After the show, we went a little further west to Kingston where we stayed on the waterfront using our hotel points. When we checked in, the clerk told us that we had received a premium water-view room. There wasn't much to see at night, but I opened the curtains first thing the next morning to catch the view. This is what greeted me:

Right at eye level.
I screamed.

I looked out a different window and saw this view.

Ah. Much better.

After a leisurely breakfast, we moseyed back to Ottawa and were greeted with delight by Kane. He almost never jumps up on me -- he's not supposed to -- but he was beside himself with joy. His tail waggled his entire body. Such a warm welcome!

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