1,000 Island Dressing
Trip Start Jul 10, 2012
17Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Merry Knoll Campground
We didn't get to Merry Knoll RV Park until almost 7 PM. The gracious park owner called a restaurant and made reservations for my birthday dinner. YUM, we split crab cakes, salad with 1000 Island dressing (after all, this is the area where it was created), a Lobster Stuffed Chicken Breast dinner, and chocolate pate - just outstanding! The name of the restaurant is the Clipper Inn, and I highly recommend it if you are ever in Clayton, NY on the St. Lawrence River.
Tuesday - July 31st - We took a guided boat tour out in the Starchipelago that straddles the Canada-U.S. border in the Saint Lawrence River as it emerges from the northeast corner of Lake Ontario. They stretch for about 50 miles (80 km) downstream from Kingston, Ontario. Actually there are about 1,800 islands. Some are fairly large, and some are tiny. One island named Tom Thumb barely sticks out of the water, but it does boast two trees.
The highlight of the tour was the huge and glorious Boldt Castle. George Boldt, the proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel had fallen in love with this area and purchased a number of the islands. He built an exquisite castle for his wife on Hart Island with rooms and facilities to entertain over 100 guests. He was so enamored with his wife that he rearranged the coastline of the island into a "heart shape" and renamed the island Heart Island. The heart motif is seen throughout the island in landscape plantings, iron and plaster work and in the fabulous wood trim in the house. Unfortunately, she died under mysterious circumstances just a month prior to the presentation of his Valentine gift to her. It is said that he was so broken hearted at her death that he never set foot on the island again.
Wed - Aug 1st - Thought this was going to be a slow uninteresting day. We visited St Mary's, a Gothic cathedral in Clayton, NY. Built in 1880, it is gorgeous and inspiring. Then we drove to Alexandria Bay, which is almost within swimming distance from Heart Island and the Boldt Castle. It is an interesting tourist trap.
We had a great lunch overlooking the bay while dozens of large boats sailed in for lunch. The people watching was outstanding! We decided to cross the bridge across the St Lawrence (7 miles wide) into Canada, but we stopped on Wellesley Island (3 miles by 7 miles) and poked around.
It is a very interesting place; some houses are single wides, while others are in the multi-million dollar range. The Boldt Castle Boat House was built on the east end of Wellesley Island. The Boat House, I use the term loosely, is enormous and beautifully constructed. Then we finished crossing into Canada and visited the village of Gananoque. OK, you say it.