So… apparently September all of a sudden became the month of many destinations for me. Amid a demanding work schedule, aggressively saving to start the adoption process, and trying to find balance in life, I’ve been up down and all around the province. Most recently I got the chance to head to Kingston with Julio for Kingston Pride and after a few days away I feel refreshed, ready for October and really excited to tell you about everything did. Why? Because you need to experience these things for yourself to believe that they are all waiting for you in Ontario!
First and foremost, Kingston is located on the traditional lands of the Huron-Wendat and the Mississauga of the Ojibways. To the local Indigenous Peoples, this place has long been known as Katarokwi, meaning “a place where there is clay.” In Anishinaabemowin, it is “Gaadanokwii.” In Mohawk, it is “Ken’tarókwen.”
Kingston/Katarokwi acknowledges the everlasting presence of other Indigenous nations, the Métis, Inuit, and other First Nations. We are grateful to reside in and visit this territory and acknowledge that each of us has a responsibility to honour these lands by walking gently and respectfully upon them and enjoying the immense beauty of the
Let’s always remember that no matter where we go in Canada, we are visitors and should respect the land and its caretakers.
For those of you who are curious about why Kingston and why now, you’ll have to understand that Julio and I continue to “do” the long distance thing. Without getting into the nitty gritty, it’s what is most financially sound for us to save aggressively for adoption to start our family. That being said, we recently discovered the Kingston is almost directly in between Ottawa and Toronto and it offered us a destination that we hadn’t explored in a long time. Not to mention that recently Kingston Pride was celebrating it’s parade weekend with festivities that sounded too good to miss, we opted to book a few nights away and explore the city all over again.
As many of you know, Julio and I have been slowly traveling from coast-to-coast together over the years. But sometimes we just need a getaway that is close and doesn’t need us to budget for it for months beforehand. Just a few hours drive, or train if that is more romantic (and let’s be honest, it can be) down the road for us respectively, this is a destination we’ve been trying to get to for too long so I’m glad we decided to finally plan a weekend. And just in time for my favourite season!
DYK that “Kingston boasts four Rembrandt paintings, two film festivals, and one vibrant downtown shopping scene? Not just that, it is also home to Ontario’s oldest public market and one of Canada’s liveliest live music scene. And some of the best reasons to go? It’s such a walkable city, where hidden alleyways contain antique markets and restaurant patios. With dozens of museums and historic sites, and dozens more unique shopping and dining experiences, Kingston offers you something old and something new around every corner.”
For those of you curious what our trip included, let me give you a quick 101 on how to recreate our weekend away (minus the pride parade and festivities of course). First off you’ll need to make a reservation at Rosemount Inn. Located literally steps from everything we did, the inn recently underwent a dramatic transformation and now is one
of the city’s premier boutique hotel. Chic is the word that comes to mind the moment you walk through the grandiose door.
“The new Rosemount Inn features a luxurious Modern Victorian interior, beautifully finished guestrooms, and modern amenities. Each room features Nespresso coffee machines and premium teas to help you start your day.”
Once settled you’ll want to make reservations at some of the city’s many incredible restaurants and dinning experiences. I learned on this trip that Kingston has the most amount of restaurants per capita in Ontario – and trust me, I wanted so badly to them all but here are a few of my favourites I would recommend:
- The Bank Gastrobar
- Tango Nuevo
- Union Kitchen + Cocktails
- The Everly
- Northside Espresso
- Black Dog Tavern
- Stone City Ales
- Chez Piggy
- Kingston Brewing Company
Of course it wouldn’t be a post about Kingston if we didn’t talk about the significance of historical monuments. For those history buffs out there like Julio, and the spooky loving witches like me, I highly recommend you book both the Kingston Penitentiary Tour and Haunted Walk Tours. I will caution those of you who are sensitive to energies and auras that the tours can be a bit intense. But they are absolutely educational, entertaining and made for memorable moments amid our weekend away.
Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t share how incredible it was to celebrate Pride with the Kingston locals. From chatting with friends at the community fair to pub crawls, the parade and supporting local 2SLGBTQIA+ artisans (stay tuned for Julio’s new and first ever ear piercing!) it was a lovely weekend celebrating with our community, And the whole city came alive to celebrate and support in ally ship.
Heads up if you’re looking to do something on my birthday in honour of me – check this out!
\Just send me a bottle or two as a thank you after your amazing experience, ok? ?
For those of you inspired by our adventures, or just needing to rediscover Kingston all over again after a few years of being away, I highly recommend you check out the www.southeasternontario.ca and www.visitkingston.ca websites. Of course you can join in on the social media conversation by following @southeast.ontario and @visitkingstonca on Instagram. Follow and use the #VisitKingston hashtag when you need inspiration and when you share your moments in this incredible city you have to experience for yourself to believe it!
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Photos: Daniel Reyes & All Social Media accounts listed above
Don’t forget to be kind & laugh a little more this year
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