Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cottage Life in the Thousand Islands

As many of you know, my youngest sister, Ruth, died of pancreatic cancer in late March. Two of the greatest supporters of my sister, Mary, and I during this difficult time in our lives were Ruth and Bill's friends Al and Linda. They opened their home in Montreal to us, fed us, updated us when we were unable to be there, etc. We will never be able to adequately thank them.

One happy result of this terrible time is that we now had two new friends to visit on our trip home. And they just happened to have a cottage in Ontario's Thousand Islands. Where we were planning a long (10 days) rest stop before heading home to Nova Scotia.

The cool thing about the Thousand Islands is that many of them are small and many cottagers own their own, private island:
one cottage per small island is the norm
As do Al and Linda. Boats are the major means of transportation in this area (some islands are so close to shore you could swim to them but a boat does seem more sensible) So cottage owners must pick their land locked guests up at the marina:
Here comes our ride

What a beautiful setting
you "park" in the boathouse rather than a garage
A cozy and relaxing spot to spend "down time"
Visitors with their own boats  arrive at this dock and deck

Al and Linda actually have two islands with this bridge between them
Al's sister, Helen, and her husband, Ron also own one of the Thousand Islands and have a lovely cottage on it. As it turned out Arch and I graduated from the same college in Montreal as Helen and Ron. All be it a few years later, so our paths did not cross. One afternoon Al and Linda took us over to meet them:
From left, Arch, Ron, Helen, Linda and Al
 I love this picture, what a bunch of healthy looking oldsters.

Al also took us on a private boat tour of the Islands. There are lots of boats that do tours and I recommend you take one - it is the only way to really get a feel for the area.
Lots of people on the tour on this beautiful day
The International Bridge spanning the islands and the St Lawrence River
Another day Al and Linda took us to the Kingston Public Market. Ontario's oldest and longest running market:
A great market - go if you are in the area on a market day (Tues, Thurs. and Sat - April to November)
After the market off we went to another foodie experience - Wendy's Country Market. It is a little out of the way:
But the trip was worth it:
located in a historic school, it was rustic, to say the least but the food was very real and local.
To quote Wendy's website
"I am a proud 6th generation farmer from Lyndhurst, Ontario. I have always held a strong interest in agriculture and a number of years ago, after talking with some local producers, I felt the need to help connect consumers and restaurants with a healthier food system. Thus, our journey into the local food delivery business began and my husband Rick and I started Wendy’s Mobile Market and Wendy’s Country Market.

We now proudly sell an ever expanding list of our own vegetables along with an abundance of produce grown by my parents on their farm,Corn Acre Farms, and food from over 70 local producers. We have developed a business that makes it convenient for consumers to have all things local in one stop shopping as well as giving the producers we work with another avenue to market their products. Since we are open all year round area producers are able to expand their growing season because they are no longer limited to seasonal farmers markets.

With Wendy’s Mobile Market we deliver to individuals, restaurants, B & B’s, independent local food grocers and deli’s covering an area from Napanee to Kemptville. On the other hand, Wendy’s Country Market, which is located in a 19th Century heritage school house on my parents’ farm, provides consumers with the full country experience complete with animals, pick your own herbs, a seasonal greenhouse and children’s play area."

The greenhouse and pick your own herbs
Eat in (in the garden) or take home
Unique Menu
Even if you miss the Public Market in Kingston be sure to go to Wendys. Directions are on their website.

We dined at Linda and Al's several times while we were there and one night they joined us at the Adventure Bus for dinner:

Thanks Linda and Al for your great hospitality.


  1. I was very excited to see you title. My mother lives in Clayton, NY on the St. Lawrence. We have taken the boat tour of the islands several times over the years. They always go by two small islands connected by a bridge. I wonder if it is your friends place. Does the boat tour usually go by their place? We sit in the evening at the town dock after getting ice cream and watch all the boats arrive from Canada to get their evening treat. Isn't it just a wonderful area! John and always take a day and go over to Kingston for lunch. We take a ferry to Wolf Island and then ride our bikes across Wolf Island to catch the ferry to Kingston. It is a nice city to bike all around. Too bad we can't bring back the fresh produce from the market. It always is tough to stop by and just look.

    1. Some tour boats do go by there so if the bridge you saw was arches it is likely theirs - only one I am aware of in that area. isn't it great how we are able to go back and forth across the border in that area - I saw the fence between Arizona and mexico -lets hope that doesn't happen on your northern border. BTW have you been to Pan Chancho Bakery in Kingston - fabulous - go next time you visit the area.

    2. Thanks, Anne, for the bakery info. Kingston is always on our schedule when we are in the area visiting my mother.


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