Monday, 30 June 2014

Breakfast and Wine: Welcome to the 1000 Islands

How do we kick off tourist season in the world-renowned 1000 Islands? With Breakfast on Refugee Island, an afternoon at the hydroplane races and then top it off with the Food and Wine Show!

Friday evening was the beginning of the 1000 Islands Wine and Food Festival. This is an annual event that started out being hosted by the Brockville and District Chamber of Commerce's Tourist office and is now being successfully run by the Leeds and Grenville Volunteer Centre. Over the course of the five year event, there have been a few different venues- including the kickoff at the Brockville Country Club (BCC) and then moving to the Memorial Centre for years following. This year, the festival made it's return to the BCC and in my opinion- was the BEST one yet!

With only four main ladies organizing this community-wide festival, I was blown away by the finished product. The Brockville Country Club has never looked so elegant and classy. Yes, there were less vendors then years past, but this is a prime example of Quality vs. Quantity. From the moment you walked in and were greeted by the many happy volunteers, to the guest speakers, delicious treats, tantalizing appetizers and the variety of beer and wine- this event was a HUGE HIT! Bravo to everyone involved, I'm already looking forward to next year!

Saturday morning my girls were up at the crack of dawn- literally...the sun came up and they were at our bedroom door asking if it was time to go. Why were they excited? We were headed to St.Lawrence Park to board a boat to Refugee Islands and check out the return of "Breakfast in the Islands", hosted by Brockville Tourism. As their resident blogger, Tourism was gracious to offer my family and I passes to check out their event. This has been held in past years, but took a brief hiatus due to a lack of volunteers and organizers. I believe the entire community was anticipating the return of this breakfast, as the dock was already packed 8 am when we arrived.

We had a brief wait to be chartered over to Refugee Island, one of the many stunning Islands on the majestic St. Lawrence River and then we were off! The boat ride itself was a highlight for my girls- especially Remy, now two years old and taking it all in. When we landed, we were greeted by many happy volunteers and the smell of bacon, maple syrup, fresh local berries and other delicious food smells wafting through the air.

Breakfast was incredible and when we were finished, we decided to take a short hike on the Island and check it out. There was yoga being offered on a scenic and relaxing point overlooking the water, but my girls were more interested in the glitter tattoos being offered by Tourism staff! When it was time to head out, we were greeted back at the dock- this time by the very cool "Wild Cat" boat, owned and operated by Captn. Andy Neteeson of the Blockhouse boat tours. The girls (and I think Nick too)- were so excited to have the chance to board this boat. Needless to say, it was the perfect end to the perfect breakfast.

We had an absolute blast at this event, and I really hope Tourism continues to host it. It is the perfect way to showcase what our area has to offer (and eat some great local food!).

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