While we were on the boat heading out to Singer Castle on Dark Island, our tour guide pointed out a lot of interesting things along the way. There were two different dive teams exploring wreckage in the St. Lawrence River. We learned that most islands don’t have electric because you have to run the lines underground which is VERY expensive. Due to strict regulations sewage towers must be above ground (so they don’t contaminate the water) and since they are above ground, they stink unless you pay to have them pumped out regularly. We also learned how Thousand Islands Dressing got its name. It never dawned on me that the dressing I love so dearly on my Ruben sandwiches was named after the Thousand Islands region! There are many variations as to how it actually happened but it seems like everyone agrees that it happened something like this:
The rich back then often had parties out on their yachts and would return to dock and have a feast of salad and whatever else they caught. Each captain would have their own recipe for salad dressing that they would serve their guests. One time a captain realized he didn’t have any of his salad dressing left and him and his wife or staff (depending on which version you go by) quickly improvised with ingredients they had on hand. The guests loved it and kept asking for it every time they came back. Some say Mr. Boldts was on board, loved it and started serving it at his hotel the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Other say an actress, May Irwin, who was onboard the LaLonde family’s boat where it was first served, loved it and then passed it on to a chef at the Waldorf-Astoria.
Check out my gallery below. You can click on any picture to enlarge it, read descriptions of the picture, and then use the arrows to scroll through other enlarged pictures.
We also visited the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park which is in nearby Watertown, NY. I thought Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester was small. The New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is awful. I understand that they have primarily (maybe only) animals that are native to New York but we finished the whole zoo in less than a half hour! Maybe I am spoiled because I grew up having a membership to the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx Zoo is one of the world’s largest metropolitan zoos, with over 600 species from around the world. The Bronx zoo comprises 265 acres. I’m not sure how big the New York State Zoo at Thompson Park is but I can tell you it is small, really small. It also happened to be in the mid 90’s the day we visited so a lot of the animals were hiding in the shade. The butterfly exhibit was locked up and had a sign saying that it closed at 4:30pm. We didn’t quite understand why it was closed since it was only about noon when we got there! A lot of other exhibits were under construction. I took a picture of every type of animal we did see, other than the snakes, bugs, and small amphibians.
We searched and searched the exhibits but couldn’t find the Wolverine, American Black Bear, Guinea Hog, Seba’s Short Tailed Bat, Turkey Vulture, Red-Tailed Hawk, Gray Fox, Great Gray Owl, Great Horned Owl, Long Tailed Chinchilla. I think the Owls, Hawk and Vultures exhibits were in a building under construction but im not really sure. It’s not like there was any staff walking around to answer questions. Actually the exhibits themselves were pretty poor at letting you know what animal was inside. Most had small signs in one spot so you would have to walk around to the other side to see the sign sometimes. I hate to be so critical but I really don’t know what else to say. We were pretty much the only ones at the zoo except for a summer camp group. I love animals so I’m glad we stopped in. We actually spent most of our time watching the otters play. They kept showing off and climbing up the rocks and diving into the deeper part of the exhibit!
To read about what a disaster our first day was read, Back From Camping.
To read about other places we visited, read Sight Seeing around the Thousand Islands.