This past Saturday was our 16th anniversary so my husband booked us a day cruise exploring the historic city of Kingston and Thousand Islands. Or, at least, he thought he did. The description was misleading and by the time we realized it, it was too late. That's how our family ended up on a busload of elderly Persians at 7 in the morning in Scarborough. We had a quick stop for breakfast at a roadside attraction/restaraunt known as The Big Apple in Cramahe, ON.
And and rode around Kingston for a guided tour where we were sad to learn we couldn't get off the bus to explore, except for a washroom stop at City Hall where I took this pic:
Then we were driven to a random retirement village-looking motel/restaurant for an awful buffet lunch... I'm getting to the good part, I promise. This place had a bar at least, and my husband and I drank while the kids watched snakes and frogs on the riverbanks.
Finally, we went on a boat ride...
and saw what Thousand Islands are all about - lots of tiny islands, many which are occupied by just one house.
One of which has a castle.
Boldt Castle, built on a heart-shaped island by a Philadelphia hotelier for his wife who died before it was completed then left abandoned before it was bought by the guy who invented lifesavers.
Now it's a hotel and tourist attraction but it's on the American side of the islands so we weren't allowed to visit it.
I asked the bartender if this area is where Thousand Island dressing comes from and she said yes and gave me a card with the recipe.
It was invented by the Boldt chef in Philadelphia to pay homage to his boss' favorite place. The chives, green pepper, and dill pickles bits are supposed to represent the many tiny islands and the orange pink hue is supposed to be reminiscent of the sunset. Who knew?
I had to come all the way to Canada and take a weird bus ride to go out on a boat to find that out.