FIC sails the sea to the 2013 Annual Meeting
The St. Lawrence Seaway is a name everyone has probably heard about. But how many have actually sailed on the St. Lawrence River through the Seaway to see Canada on one side and the banks of the USA on the opposite side, then arrive in the port of Quebec? Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? Indeed it was for the 22 FIC members who met in Kingston, Ontario and boarded the Canadian Empress, to relax, spend 6 days with friends, meet a few new ones, eat heartily, and learn quite a bit of American and Canadian history. We became such friends with the crew and 12 other passengers, that even our FIC Auction was held in the main dining room with everyone taking part in the bidding and fun of the event. The ship’s evening entertainment was not only fun (a magician one night and pop singers other nights), but also pleasurable with two symphonic musicians.
The scenery along the banks was delightful and the views on the water amazing, especially the sights of the ocean going vessels passing us by. Some of the latter were the size of several football fields. On one day we sailed around The 1000 Islands, varying in size from tiny to huge, with homes built on them. Fortunately, we dropped anchor in several spots, enabling us to explore the area. We visited museums and churches, toured lovely mansions and historic homes, and even spent half a day walking through an 18th century restored village.(We even bought bread from its bakery for our evening meal aboard ship!) For those of us who knew only the date of the War of 1812, we learned about the events leading up to the war, its battles and the results. Our visit to Ft.Henry gave us quite an insight into the war. In fact there is still a canon facing south, should that red white and blue enemy living below ever choose to invade again!
Finally, our last port-of-call was Quebec where we disembarked with sad notes of leaving the lovely crew and workers on the Canadian Empress. We made our way to the Hotel Ste. Anne, which was in the heart of the old town of Quebec, and our home base for the rest of the trip. It was here that our Annual Meeting was held. We enjoyed walking this French area, touring the city by bus, shopping a little, and of course, stopping for a bit of refreshment in the Hotel Frontenac. It is understandably the Paris across the ocean from France.