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A Spring Shakedown - April 27-30, 2017
We are finally getting back on the road for the new year. We winterized the Roadtrek and parked it at a friend's place in St. Lazare last December before we headed off on a 2 week holiday cruise in the Caribbean. We visited it every few weeks over the winter to top the batteries and check it over.
We brought it home April 10th to start getting it ready. We took it back to St. Lazare from April 20-24 while we returned the storage favour by some dog sitting. This gave us a chance to finish the de-winterizing and check out all the systems while we used it as our bedroom. Weston "The Roadtreking Beardie" had a chance to play with his cousins for a few days.
Lillian had an appointment April 27th after which we had a few days free so we decided to head down to Prince Edward County which is south of Belleville, ON for a few days to pick up some wines and enjoy some music. We needed to be back by May 1 to take care of a couple of commitments and unload the wine.
Day 1 - April 27, 2017 - On The Road Again!It has been a while! We hit the road at 14:54 after Lillian's appointment. Since we were a bit late out, we decided to head for the 1000 Islands / Mallorytown KOA which we knew to be open since April 14. We met Susan Marcoux at the KOA booth at the Montreal RV show.
As we were getting close, Lillian mentioned that she had a hankering for some BBQ chicken for dinner. We therefore stopped at the Swiss Chalet in Brockville to pick up a chicken, a couple of salads and a couple of sauces. This should be good for a couple of meals. It is a good thing we were doing take-out since the dining room was closed for renovation and only the take-out was operating.
We got back on the road and arrived at the campground after a short drive. We met Susan outside and chatted for a few minutes before she sent us in to see Richard to check in with instructions to note we met at the RV show.
We got set up and, after taking Weston for a short walk, we settled in to enjoy our chicken. It was a really warm day - we even had to put the AC on for a bit before bed to make things comfortable.
The Numbers For Today
Day 2 - April 28, 2017 - Back To "The County"
We actually rolled out at a decent hour. Lillian had a pot of great coffee on as usual. We hit the road at 8:57. Since the KOA was on route 2 we just turned west knowing it would bring us to Gananoque eventually. It was too nice a day to waste on the 401 and we were in no particular rush. It was a nice change. Even when we were doing the "quiet roads" along this area we were usually on the 1000 Islands Parkway rather than route 2. Route 2 was the old Montreal - Toronto highway before the 401 was built.
We stopped for fuel at the Canadian Tire in "Gan" and headed back along 2 with a thought of visiting Fort Henry. We first wanted some breakfast so, as we approached Kingston, we headed up Joyceville Road to the truck stop near the 401. The restaurant is not what is was in the old days but it met the need.
We got back on the 2 and headed on to Fort Henry. We arrived to discover that it was closed. It seems that their season begins May 20 so we will have to file that one for later. It has been at least 20 years since we were last there and we would like to see what has changed.
We continued on 2 on through Kingston and on through Nappanee and Desoronto. We headed south on the 49 noting that the gas was 99.9 a liter on the reservation. As we passed through Picton Rod suggested lunch at the Saylor House Cafe in Bloomfield before we headed to Sandbanks Winery. The plan was accepted since we could always depend on Susan for a good breakfast or lunch. Rod enjoyed a chili and Lillian had a grilled cheese on their wonderful rye bread. After lunch Lillian toured the shops while "the boys" wandered the streets and took a couple of picture. We tried not to take too many since there are many others on file from previous shopping waits.
Time to find where we were camping. Rod had noticed that Quinte's Isle Campark had an "extended season" starting April 15th. We also knew that the Brighton / 401 KOA was also supposed to be open. Since we preferred to stay in the county, we headed off to the former. It turns out that they were open and had lots of space. While their prices were higher than some, they had a 30% off-season discount. It seemed to be a nice park in great condition. We booked 2 nights. We imagine that the place would be "a zoo" in peak season - packed in with families - but for now it was gorgeous. That is why we travel off-season!
We then headed off to the Sandbanks Winery. We were on the hunt for any 2015 Sleeping Giant - a Foch & Baco Noir blend that we have been enjoying immensely this year. We noted that the "Giants" on the shelves were 2016. We asked and, after some digging, they turned up 15 bottles of 2015. We took the lot. We sampled the 2016. While we won't scorn it, we like the 2015 better at this point. We also sampled a couple of white and took a couple of bottles of the Pino Grigio for Rod's aunt and uncle to try.
We headed back to the camp site. We made it just in time to pick up some firewood on the way back in. It was NOT 30% off. We set up camp and the boys went for a walk as is our habit. We then opened a bottle of the "Giant" and Rod made hot chicken sandwiches from the leftover BBQ chicken. Rod sat around the fire while Lillian went in to keep warm.
The Numbers For Today
Day 3 - April 29, 2017 - Another Day In "The County"
A more leisurely start today. The usual pot of "Dead Man Walking" coffee to kick things off then Rod made some grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches to break our fast. Comfort food on a cool morning.
Our main plans for the day were shopping for Lillian in downtown Picton. She especially wanted to drop in to a favourite kitchen shop and the wool shop. Rod wanted to drop by the little Train Museum in Brighton. He read about it in one of the county magazine we had brought home last year. Finally we planned to have dinner and enjoy some music at the Barley Room Pub at the Waring House Inn.
We finally head out at 10:46. Parking in Picton was not too bad for a Saturday. Got a spot on the main drag near the Armory. Lillian head off to shop while "the boys" head off to walk and take pictures. There were a couple of folks on horseback wandering up and down the street. While Rod was curious, we kept a distance since he was not confident with Weston and the horses. When Lillian reappeared she asked the folks. It turns out that they were promoting The County Carriage Company who do winery tours. We later saw them with the horses hitched to one of their tour wagons.
Since it was lunch time we dropped in to The County Canteen with our mouths set for some calamari which we have enjoyed in the past. That part was a disappointment since it had been dropped from the menu. Lillian had a Caesar Salad and Rod had a homemade cream of portabella mushroom soup. Not the squid but good none the less. We washed it down with glasses of Casa Dei Cabernet Franc Reserve.
We now headed off to Brighton to check out the Memory Junction Railway Museum. We should have checked the web site - it only opens June 1! We took some pictures of the outdoor exhibits and headed back into the county via Trenton.
As we headed back Lillian asked if we could pop in to the Casa-Dea Estates Winery. Rod figured she was hunting for more white for Rod's aunt and uncle. Since it was only a minute or so off the path, off we went.
After a couple of tastings, we again picked a couple of Pino Grigios. Lillian then moved on to her real objective. She had heard Rod rant on about a couple of wines that they made from Cabernet Franc grapes dried on the vine. She wanted to taste and she also wanted to buy one as a treat even though they are a bit pricy. Mission accomplished.
We head back to camp for a bit then headed off to The Waring House Inn. We were originally going to forage on a couple of "snack bowls" that they used to have on the appetiser menu - specifically the calamari and the shrimps. It seems they too are gone. Siiggghhh!!!!!.
We settled for a burger for Lillian and a chicken pot pie for Rod. Both decent as the food in that pub usually is. The entertainment was a local group Seventh Town who we had not heard before though we know the bass player, Fraser Hardman, from other gigs in that same bar often in combination with Mark Despault. Good music.
We did not stay too late but headed back to camp for an early night after a bit of fire time.
The Numbers For Today
Day 4 - April 30, 2017 - Heading Home
We started the day somewhat casually thinking we had a few hours before the rain was forecast to start. We had mostly packed up before retiring but there were still a couple of things hanging about.
It seems Mother Nature had not read the forecast and 8:00 found the rain starting. Before it rained too hard we packed up and hit the road about 8:40. Since we had not taken time for breakfast, we decided to leave The County via Belleville so we could stop at Darlin' Debbie's Restaurant just before the bridge. We figure there is no better breakfast stop in The County (possibly excepting the Saylor House Cafe). Lillian had eggs and pea meal bacon while Rod had their homemade corn beef hash with a couple of poached eggs on top and some rye toast. I don't know anywhere that does corn beef hash better.
We then headed over the bridge into Belleville and headed east on route 2. We took a slight side trip on route 49 to the Mohawk Plaza and turned in to fill up just as the low fuel warning sounded. We tanked up then headed north on 49 to join the 401 and head for home.
Other than being followed by rain the rest of the trip home was uneventful. We stopped at Lancaster for a last sip of fuel at Ontario prices the rolled for home arriving about 15:02.
The Numbers For Today
The Numbers For The Trip