After spending 2 beautiful days in PEC, we decided to add another destination to our short but awesome Ontario road trip: Kingston. I like to think that I’ve travelled a bit, yet, I had never visited Kingston before, which is like two hours away from home. Brian had gone there once for work before and he loved it, so we decided to go.
We had spent the first few days of our trip just the four of us, but my Mom and Frank were joining us for this leg of the trip. Now that we were 6, we decided to try an Airbnb instead of two hotel rooms. We went back and forth trying to figure out where to stay, and man oh man did I made the right choice. I’m so glad we decided to go with my pick! Hello AMAZING!
We arrived in Kingston around lunch time and decided to have lunch on the terrace at The Kingston Brewing Company. With a view on the water, delicious homemade food, craft beers and drinks, we had the perfect start to our time in Kingston. After lunch we decided to simply walk around and explore, which included sitting by the water while Logan was running around trying to scare the seagulls. We booked a trolley tour for the next day and then walked to our home away from home. I call this home because I was sooo pretending that I lived there! A 175 years old, 3 storey stone house, full of character, with unique features which are just too crazy amazing to explain. We took a few pictures but they really don’t do the house any justice. If you’re ever in the Kingston region and you need a place to stay… the Captain Burn’s house is definitely where you want to go!
The boys needed to blow some steam before diner so we took them to the Mini-Golf and Go-Kart track. Of course, the child sitting with me lost the race which then turned into a meltdown, but we still managed to have a blast!
Diner at Olivea was simply perfect. All of our pasta dishes were AMAZING, and the warm bread was delish! We once again had a table on the terrace, and I just love that!
One of the best asset of our Airbnb house was the location. Five minute walk from the lake and the busiest streets, which mean we didn’t even needed to use the car, we just walked everywhere we wanted to go. When we weren’t walking, it’s because we were on the Trolley tour! We visited many Canadian landmarks and learned so much, I definitely recommend it if you are visiting Kingston. I honestly feel like it’s the best way to learn about the history of a city. The trolley brings you to all the major and not so major parts of the city while the drivers share personal stories about it.
We then had lunch at Chez Piggy, which was the boys’ decision simply cause they thought the name and the pig on the sign was funny. Well they made a smart choice as we sat on one of the coolest patio in town, they had Wi-Fi and some Beau’s IPA, something for all of the boys in my life. Our server was great and the food was good, so I would totally recommend having drinks and snacks there if you can snatch a table outside.
As part of our hop on hop off, we visited Fort Henry but didn’t pay for the real tour of the fort, instead we simply walked around and enjoyed one of the best views of the city. I find that the boys are still a bit young to understand or care about why this place was built and what it represents. They do understand a lot of English (thanks to You Tube), but listening about our history was a bit of a challenge for them. I would like to take them back to Kingston once they understand a bit more about our heritage.
One thing you DO have to do in Kingston is to SHOP! Princess Street and the surrounding streets are simply amazing! We loved to wander through the streets and go from one store to the other. I’m in love with all the one of a kind shops and boutiques. My fav has to be Midori, a Japanese store with all kind of unique stuff, ranging from Hello Kitty to Pokémon. I could have stayed there for hours!
So on our second night while we were having diner on the rooftop terrace of Jack Astor’s, Brian was scrolling through is Instagram and then he just looked at me and yelled “Rory Taillon is in Kingston, TONIGHT”. So let me tell you about Rory Taillon. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know we visit Beau’s Oktoberfest every year religiously. At Oktoberfest we usually just walk around all day, drink beer, and eat food, without any agenda, except for the Rory Taillon’s gig, which is the thing he can’t miss during the weekend. I’m not kidding, he’s like a real groupie for this guy. And he’s been after me to go to a show forever!
So when he found out about the show happening that night, it was a no brainer, and he told us that we all had to go. The show was at Mussikki Café, which was like 70 meters away from where we were having diner. So we made our way through this tiny bar that opens up on like the best courtyard ever, with a huge tree, hanging lights everywhere, mix matched tables and Rory Taillon in the middle. My husband was star struck!!! The show was about to start but he still managed to buy his vinyl record and chat with him for a minute. My mom and Frank stayed for a little while but then left to bring the boys home while we stayed and watched the show. I have to agree with him, it was an amazing experience. His voice is really something and we both loved our evening. It was the perfect ending to our getaway.
So our time in PEC and Kingston was coming to an end, but with so many good memories. So many things about our trip surprised us. I knew we would have a good time, after all, every vacation is awesome, but I never thought I would enjoy this one so much! Of course I wish we would travel to Europe and to some far away destinations, but for now, in this season of life, we decided that we were gonna stay close to home, and we were so lucky to find some really great places that we now love.
Not sure where our next adventure will be (well, we did road tripped to Boston the following week!), but I know that everywhere we go, we keep on finding new amazing things to do, which is the best. Well that, and also spending time together. See you later Kingston!
If you ask me where I want to go next, I will immediately say Disney. If Disney isn’t an option, well I have a long list of other places I want to visit, and until not long ago, Picton was not on it. Honestly, I had never really imagined I would want to go to Picton one day. Like I didn’t really knew much about it and had not really paid any attention to that part of our province before… well that completely changed the day I saw those pretty pink doors! You can call it the power of pink. Yep, pink freakin doors on what is now the cutest motel I’ve ever stayed at! I stumbled upon these now famous doors in late 2017, and ever since, I’ve been obsessed about visiting The June Motel in Picton. Which I just did!
So one night earlier in July, with absolutely no summer vacation plan ahead, and with all of my friends literally traveling either across the world or across Canada, I was kind of bummed about my summer so far. So right before going to bed, I begged Brian that we should really GO on a road trip to The June Motel in Picton. He didn’t really know anything about Picton other than The June Motel since I had been talking about it for over a year now. Well let’s just say that he wasn’t too hard to convince once he had Googled what to do in Picton and saw all the vineyards in the area! So by midnight, he had booked us a room at The June Motel and we finally had a destination… well three destinations I should say, since he actually bargained a stop in Kingston on our way back and then a road trip to Boston to go see his beloved Red Sox the following week. But guess what, no problem my friend, ANYTHING you want as long as you bring me in front of those pretty pink doors so I can take a selfie!!!
Now, all I had to do was to find places to visit, where to eat, things to do and plan all the pictures I was about to take! We were bringing the boys with us, so it wasn’t only going to be a grown up trip to wineries and breweries, as we had to find things to do for them as well. Well that ended up not being a problem at all while visiting wineries and breweries, you’ll see why later on.
We were going to stay 2 nights at The June, and my excitement was over the roof! So we left on our road trip on Monday morning, with a latte in one hand and my camera in the other. Prince Edward County is a short 2 hours and 45 minutes’ drive from home, or a bit longer if you’re like my husband and always insist on taking the back roads. So after a short discussion, which I lost, we ended up on the scenic route between Gananoque and PEC. Even I have to admit that this was the right thing to do, cause for about half an hour more we got to enjoy the beautiful view alongside the St-Lawrence. We even took a ferry from the mainland to PEC, which was the best, especially for the boys – for the three boys I mean.
Since we made it there around lunch time and check-in was still a few hours away, we decided to hit the Parson’s Brewery first. Brian had heard about it from friends and colleagues, and wow, what a great way to start our PEC tour. From the moment we arrived we knew we were going to love the place. They have such a great spot and landscape for a brewery; AND they have entertainment for the kids. I have to admit that going to PEC with kids was a bit intimidating. My boys are usually pretty well behave when they are entertained, and when they are not entertained, well we always have the iPad ready to keep them busy. In PEC, while visiting a winery or brewery or distillery, they weren’t even interested in the iPad as they would find something fun to do everywhere we’d go. At Parsons, the first thing they did was to ask for their Polaroid to take pictures. Then, we got a great table on the outside patio. Well, all of their tables and sitting areas are pretty amazing. The boys ran around the property for hours, playing ping-pong, bocce ball, horseshoes, while spending most of their time climbing on the wooden play structure with the other kids there. They only came to us when they were thirsty from running around, and then they were off again to the play structure. As for us, we enjoyed our food and drinks and cheered to our two week vacation together. Brian had a flight of beers and a charcuterie board that was delicious. I had a lovely Hibiscus Mocktail and some fresh guacamole and chips. Perfect start to our journey! The boys made some friends and didn’t want to leave, which usually means they had the best of time. We were all very happy that our vacay started at Parson’s Brewery.
Then we stopped a small winery on our way back, Black Prince. We had fun walking around, visiting the barn and watching the outdoor pizza oven (I so want one in my backyard!) and took some more pictures while Brian had a few tastings. Then, it was finally time to head out to the main purpose of our visit, our pink-door-motel!
LOVE!!! It’s the only way I can explain how I felt when we arrived! The boys were so excited for me and the pink doors! They knew this was for me and they were so happy about it. They have the cutest lobby ever where we were greeted with Rosé by the friendliest staff. After Brian had finished his and mine Rosé glasses, we finally got our retro room key and on our way we were to room 6! We’ve stayed in really nice hotels before, and I kind of feel stupid saying this, but I don’t remember being this excited about opening the door of a hotel room before. So I opened the door and our room was A M A Z I N G! We were in love with it the moment we stepped in. The boys thought it was the cutest room ever and I had to agree. So fun, fresh and girly, yet, my 3 men loved everything about it.
Brian unpacked while I was busy taking pictures of everything! And I mean everything, from the wallpaper, to the cute note from the cleaning ladies, the pink bathroom, the mini fridge, the beds, the pillows, and of course a million shots of our pink door! Instagram dream location alert!!!
Once we had settled in our room, we decided to go visit the Picton village, which is about 3 minutes away. You can even rent, free of charge, gorgeous bikes from The June, but since we had the boys with us, we couldn’t use them during our stay. Picton is a small and cute town, with a perfect main street just like I love it, where you’ll find an old movie theater, hip coffee shops, a book store, some other one of a kind stores and so much more. The vibe is mellow, with nobody in a rush, where everyone seems to be having a great time. We were starving and decided to have dinner at The Vic Café, a modern and colourful diner restaurant. We had a huge booth with colourful pillows, to-draw placemats as well as a huge bright window to do some people watching! The boys even showed us a card game they have learned at school that we now can’t stop playing. I got the burger and it was sooooo good! Brian got the butter chicken which seemed delicious, while the boys had… PANCAKES! They thought it was the best thing ever to have breakfast for dinner. Logan’s new thing is to say ‘I know you’re going to say no, but I would like to…’ when asking for something. So let’s say they were both really impressed with me when I said yes to pancakes for dinner. Now they want to do this at home, we’ll see about that! I really recommend The Vic Café if you visit Picton. They also have a great patio, but it was cloudy and a bit cold on our first day so we opted for indoors. Next time we will definitely try the patio.
Back at The June, it was Movie Monday. They set up a large screen on the patio where you can watch some old time 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s movies by the fire with a glass of Rosé, craft beer, popcorn, and of course S’MORES! Unfortunately for us, the movie wasn’t really kid friendly so we parked the boys in the lobby with their iPads while we watched the movie outside – Mom, don’t panic, we weren’t even 20 feet away and we could actually talk to them through the screened door! I had to cut my Movie Monday short because Logan was coughing a lot and I knew it was now time to put them both to bed, so I will never know how Dazed and Confused ends. At least I now know where Matthew McConaughey’ alright, alright, alright quote comes from, which was definitely the best part of the movie.
Next morning we woke up bright and early and got ready for the beach. We got some delicious lattes’ from Miss Lily’s Cafe and then we made the short drive to Sandbanks. The boys decided that we would be going to The Dunes Beach, because there’s a Mario Bros level in French called something like the dunes… so yep, we’re now visiting places because of Mario Bros (that’s life with boys). We had been told that the water was still high and it was, which made getting to the dunes a bit tricky but oh so awesome! We were almost alone when we got there so we scored a great spot. We had fun building a pool for the fishies that we catched, played a bit of football and had an amazing time swimming. All of us except Brian who HATES the beach and the sand. But we did win him over after a little while and I believe he actually had a great time. After a few hours at the beach, we decided to pack up and start visiting some wineries.
We were starving so we decided to head out to Norman Hardie Winery and Vineyard for some wooden oven pizza and some wine tasting. The property was amazing and so was the pizza. The boys played on a trampoline and Brian had a few tastings while I enjoyed the scenery. After that, we visited Casa Dea’s Winery, which was right in front. So Brian enjoyed another wine tasting while I sat and relaxed watching the boys having a great time playing chess on a large outdoor set.
We then visited PEC Lavender. I still haven’t visited my beloved Maison Lavande this year so I was super stoked to get the chance to visit a lavender farm. It smelled heavenly. We were almost alone in the fields and it was just the best. The boys had fun running and playing hide and seek across the lavender field while we enjoyed some Lavender Gelato on the Adirondack chairs. It was great to just sit and relax a bit after such a jam packed day. I would definitely recommend everyone to stop at PEC Lavender in between two wineries if you go to PEC.
Not too far away was Closson Chase Winery, my favorite winery of our tour – and I say this basically due to the gorgeous purple barn on site, as I didn’t tasted a single drop of wine on our trip. I also loved their outside patio area and the presentation of the wine tasting, while Brian really liked both of their Chardonnay. I truly recommend a visit there right after you’ve been to PEC Lavender. By then, the boys were getting a little tired and luckily for them there were some hammock style swings close to the outdoor patio where we were. They spent the entire time there in the hammock and they loved it. I keep on mentioning what the boys did at each of our stops because I know some of you might hesitate to bring your kids to PEC, as it may seems more like an adult style destination, but throughout our trip we felt that our kids were welcomed everywhere we went, and we know they had a great time following us, because as I said earlier, they didn’t asked for the iPad once! So don’t hesitate, book your PEC trip and bring the kids with you!
We had kept the Kinsip House of Fine Spirits for last. Brian’s expectations were like really high for this place. When we got there he seemed to be as excited about Kinsip as he is every time we visit his beloved Beau’s Brewery. So he did multiple tastings while chatting with the friendly staff at the outside tasting bar. Apparently people have to go through a long line-up during the weekends to get to the tasting bar, but it was Tuesday afternoon, and we basically had the place to ourselves. So Brian stayed at the bar, talking to the staff member for like an hour, tasting what seems to be all of their fine spirits, then bought some whisky as well as a t-shirt, which means that Kinsip did not disappoint and truly met all of his expectations. Like, as soon as he came back with a t-shirt, I knew it, cause all he usually wears are his Beau’s tee, so for him to get a t-shirt there, I knew he was totally impressed with the place! The staff was so friendly and very interesting to listen to. I don’t drink but I love their bottles. They definitely have the best bottle designs. I also loved the feel of the place, while Brian loved their fine spirits. You absolutely have to visit Kinsip, that’s all I have to say. So I spent most of my time enjoying the patio, watching the kids and the loose chickens running around the farm. Then I had the best BBQ plate ever! Guess what, I was getting a little hungry, and lucky me, right there in Kinsip’s garden you’ll find Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse, which is to die for! No fine spirits for me but definitely the best beef brisket in town. All that while the boys made some new friends and built some sort of fort in the wooden area. They were running back and forth to grab some pieces of meat and then back to the fort! Kinsip was our favorite and the best way to end this wonderful afternoon.
We ended our day with dinner at The County Canteen, and it was soooo good! Probably the best mussels we ever had. We had a great spot on the patio, watching all the tourist walk around the Main Street. But we were all tired from our day that we decided to head back to The June for an early night. We missed Rosé O’Clock but we still had drinks in the lobby and on the patio, while the boys were playing nearby.
Our time at The June was coming to an end, but we still managed to enjoy our last evening there by playing a few games of cards before it was time to call it a night! Next morning we took like what seemed to be a few hundreds more pictures and then packed up our car to get ready to leave for our next stop of our road trip. Liam and I took one last picture in front of the lobby before it was time to hand back our number 6 retro key with a heavy heart. Leaving a place where you share such awesome memories is always hard for our emotional crew, and this time was no different.
We had the best time at The June and I can’t wait to visit you again, hopefully next time with my girlfriends! So June, this is not a goodbye… this is a see you soon!