I remember the day we drove to Montreal to picked up the Boatel. It was June 1st, 2004 and we stood on the dock at the Old Port of Montreal looking at “our new boat” with a mixture of fear and excitement. We had just left the corporate world behind, sold our house and embarked on an exciting new chapter in our lives. When asked how long we would be doing this, we responded “until it’s not fun anymore”. As we look back and reflect on the past ten years, we have no regrets – we’re still having fun.
We have learned so much in the past 10 years about running Toronto’s only boat bed and breakfast, about boats and also about ourselves. The three most frequently asked questions that people ask us are:
#1 “How long does it take to get to the Bahamas?”
My answer usually gets an instant nod and a smile. It’s not how long does it take, but rather how long do we take. You can travel from Toronto to the Bahamas in three weeks in perfect weather but we all know the weather is never perfect. And traveling every day at full speed with long hours isn’t fun. To use an old cliche … It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey. It’s about the people you meet and the places you see along the way and the sunsets and sunrises that take your breath away. We like to say that our plans are firmly set in Jello. The only thing we know for sure is that we leave around October 1st and we get back before June 1st. What happens in between is our adventure.
#2 “How do you get to the Bahamas?”
First of all, yes we take the Boatel with us. Secondly we cross Lake Ontario to Oswego, NY and then through 28 locks to get to Troy, NY. At Troy we enter the mighty Hudson River to New York City. This is one of my favorite parts of the trip with stunning views of the cliffs, mountains and light houses along the Hudson. From NYC we head down to Norfolk, Virginia and then travel down the coast to Florida where we cross to the Bahamas. It is an amazing trip with new experience each and every time we do it. We are truly blessed to be able to live our dream. Our guests enjoy hearing Captain Ted recounting our adventures over breakfast.
#3: “Do you have a car?”
Yes people who live on boats and cruise during the winters also own cars. It stays in the parking most of the time because living in downtown Toronto we enjoying walking or biking as much as we can. We have over 6,500 restaurants in Toronto with 100’s within a 20 minute walk. Although we live in Toronto with 2.7 million people, the waterfront is a special place where the water meets the city.
The best part of running a bed and breakfast in Toronto is meeting people from around the world. We get to share our home, our lives and our city with some very interesting people. If we had to do it all over again, we would not change a thing. We have a slogan on the Boatel that we embrace “we welcome you as stranger, treat you as our guests and say goodbye as friends”. Thank you for the best 10 years of my life.
Happy 10th Anniversary Boatel!
We welcome our past guests to share your memories here with us.
Diane & Captain Ted