This past week happens to be my wife's week off so that usually means we're going on a
few day trips. So, the week before we ordered tickets for the Thousand Island
brunch boat tour. The 3-hour tour would take place on a boat called the Queen
Island II. Now at first, I was worried about accessibility but was told they
would set up a table for me on the main deck and that there was an accessible
ramp onto the boat. So, everything was falling in order. We just had to take
the two-hour drive there which meant getting up at 6 AM so we could be on
highway 401 by at least 7:15 AM.
Thankfully so far everything was working out perfectly and it was smooth
sailing down the highway with us arriving at the time we hoped to and I was so
thankful to find a parking space close by but as we went to get out tickets for
the boat tour this is when our entire day took a turn. We actually both
made a mistake and didn't realize that the date at the top of the tickets was
August 2nd not July 26th. So, what did that mean well at that time it meant we
had made the trip for nothing. Now we were both looking at ourselves like how
could we miss this? It completely shocked us that we both missed the date. We
felt pretty stupid about the whole situation.
So, the ticket lady told us they did have an opening for tomorrow's brunch
cruise so we decided to reschedule for Wednesday. Then we walked around a
bit wondering what we were going to do - would we take that long
drive back home and do it all again tomorrow. Then we decided to go to their
other ticket office to see if they had any dinner cruise tickets left for that
day. And thankfully they did have some tickets so what that meant was now we
could exchange our tickets and board the cruise for 6:30 PM that evening.
At this point I was a little bit nervous wondering how we were going to get
through the day since we now had about 8 hours before needing to board the boat.
Thankfully with some nice scenery and some really nice restaurants we did
find a few things to do. Now I did not prepare for a day full of walking
because we expected to park close then walk a short distance, get on the boat,
enjoy the brunch and drive back home. So that is why I left my mobility scooter
behind at home because there was only supposed to be very little walking. Now
having to spend the entire day quickly meant it was going to be a very
physically challenging day.
So, I did my best to take it easy and to rest as often as I could. Now one
solution I thought of immediately after finding out we'd be there all day was
to see if we could find a hotel room for the night so we went to the local
Holiday Inn which sits right next to the Harbor to see how much it would be and
after finding out it the cost for one night was $320, we decided driving home
to be the better option financially.
So, we just went back to the harbor front and watched the people get on the
boat we thought we were going to be getting on that morning then also decided
to look on as it sailed away. After this we wandered around a bit and I took
advantage of some pretty awesome photo opportunities even shooting a few short
As lunch time approached, we found ourselves at Diane's Fish Shack and
Smokehouse. So, we relaxed a while on their patio with a cool breeze and
enjoyed some fish chips. We took our time and then the first challenge of the
day came when our lunch was over which involved me now needing to work up the
strength to get up out of my seat. See often chairs at restaurants sit very low
to the ground which make it very challenging for me to get up. Then after a few
minutes I worked up the courage to attempt to get up which involved me putting
my hands on my knees then shooting myself towards the table quickly placing my
hands onto the table in front of me as a support which then allowed me to get
up. It's certainly an entertaining show for everyone around.
After successfully getting up from my seat we walked around a little bit more
then eventually I needed to use the city's public bathroom located underneath
their visitor's centre which could only be described as disgusting and had me
longing for an overpriced hotel room with a clean bathroom. After this we
decided to head back to the vehicle to take a bit of a rest. Eventually we
headed back to their visitor centre to ask about their trolley tour of the city
and to see if they had an accessible tour available. They said unfortunately
their accessible tour bus was in the shop which meant there was no possibility
of me going.
So together we decided that my wife could go without me and that I would just
wait behind the visitor's centre on their back patio which thankfully offered
seating that worked perfectly for me. I would describe them as bar style chairs
which sit much higher than regular ones making them so much easier for me to
get up and out of. So after about an hour she returned from her city tour and
we headed back to our vehicle to enjoy some relief from some air conditioning
and to relax a little bit more before needing to line up to board the 1000
Islands Tour boat.
Before we knew it 6 PM approached and we found ourselves boarding the Island
Star. I walked on with ease but at first the swaying of the board really got to
me. It even made my legs feel weaker to the point where I worried it might
cause me to fall over. Now thankfully we made it to our seats pretty quickly
and once I sat down, I decided there was no way I would be getting up over the
next 3 hours. It simply wouldn't be possible. Now it certainly took me a long
time to get used to the swaying of the boat and thankfully I didn't suffer any
type of sea/river sickness. As I'm sure if that happened people wouldn't have
Now the food was decent, actually my wife's meal was so much better than mine
as she got beef brisket with vegetables. When it comes to my meal, I honestly
could make trout a lot better at home as on this day it was just okay. As far
as entertainment the music was good and a bit too loud but the view was
absolutely amazing. Once on smooth water the boat ride was great. I just found
the roar of the engine surprisingly loud as we cruised down the water. Even
with that I enjoyed the cruise but will admit I was constantly looking at my
watch to see how much more time was left as I honestly couldn't wait for the
cruise to be over.
So as scheduled and right on time at 9:30 pm we arrived back at the dock and
after a few tries I got myself up and out of my seat, then steadied my feet and
we were back on solid ground. The entire day certainly took a lot out of me
physically which resulted in me and my wife taking a very slow walk back to our
vehicle. At this moment I honestly could barely walk and pretty much collapsed
into the drivers when we arrived at our vehicle, rested a bit then we made our
way to the closest Tim Hortons, quickly used their bathrooms, grabbed some
coffees and my wife drove the entire two-hour journey back home.
So, was it a good day? In some ways yes as at least we didn't take another trip
to Niagara Falls and got to experience something different and even though the
day didn't go as planned we learned a few things - one to always check the date
on our tickets - two to consider always bringing my mobility scooter along as
on this day it would have really helped - three things don't always go as
planned and to do our best to be prepared for any situation especially when I
am dealing with some walking difficulties.
Now as far as Kingston is concerned accessibility is not great, even if I
brought my scooter many of the restaurants don't provide easy access and still
have steps to climb if you wish to eat inside. Then sadly accessible park space
availability is truly disappointing as they barely offer any and the 3-hour
parking limit the city places on those with accessible parking permits means if
you're spending the day there then every 3 hours you will need to move your
vehicle. Something not quite that easy for many with disabilities and good luck
finding another accessible parking space. Thankfully I was able to park in one
of the city's parking lots unfortunately with no accessible parking but
everyone who parked beside me left me plenty of room so I didn't struggle too
So even with our entire day taking an unexpected turn I didn't let any of this
ruin my day though I was truly disappointed with the price gouging taking place
by hotels in the area making an overnight stay impossible one positive is that
we now have a day trip to Kingston and boat cruise crossed off our list.
Now where should we visit next? I am just a little tired of Niagara Falls,
mainly because of the cost of hotels due to it being a tourist destination so
we haven't stayed the night in a very long time. See if hotels were cheaper or
at least offered a disability rate I could go more places and do more things
without having to worry about a late-night drive home or getting fatigued from
not having a proper place to rest when needed. Oh, some days I wish I was a
millionaire just so I could stay in hotels and enjoy life while I still can.
In the end the one positive from our day is that it was nice to get away and
experience something new. Most of all I am thankful I survived what turned out
to be a long day but I will certainly be taking it easy the next few days.
Please enjoy the short video I shot of our day spent in Kingston, Ontario below!