Oh, cottage season. What is it about the great outdoors that has us flocking to cabins and cottages as soon as the weather allows it? As much as I’m a city girl, through and through, I live for cottage season. I live for the fresh air, getting up at the crack of dawn – I’m convinced my morning coffee tastes better in cottage country. I love puttering about, taking the day as it comes and not constantly checking my phone or worrying about evening plans. I’m not an outdoorsy person, but in cottage country, I want to be. I want to learn how to boat and how to fish. How to chop wood and make an amazing fire for roasting marshmallows. There’s something wonderfully Canadian about ditching your city digs for a cottage.
As you can probably tell, I’m still coming down from my cottage country high from last weekend. My boyfriend, Scott, has a family cottage up in the Kawarthas, which is two hours northeast of Toronto. Though we only went up for three days, it was still three days of bliss, despite some rain on the journey up and back.
We went up on Sunday and were joined by Scott’s uncle and his dog, Luna. Scott’s grandfather and grandmother live full time in the cottage, which is perched on Big Bald Lake, just west of Buckhorn. It has amazing views of the lake itself and is surrounded by tall trees. Visits from flying foxes, hawks and deer are to be expected. Given that it was raining on Sunday, I immediately snuggled in and started devouring my book, while Scott went to work on some household things. I love the relaxed atmosphere cottages provide – there’s no need to rush; everything will get done in time, including my book. I also love that day-drinking is perfectly acceptable in cottage country. Nothing beats a 3’o’clock Caeser while looking out onto the lake, with a book in hand and a dog beside you.
The summer cottage diet is another plus to being away from the city and it consists largely of one of my favourites – barbecue. Just like my morning coffee, barbecued anything tastes better at the cottage. From steak to sausages to grilled corn, there’s something about the smoky flavours coupled with fresh air that makes for a perfect combination.
The real magic of cottage country occurs when the sun is out and the lake is glistening. Scott and I were lucky enough to take a boat out onto the lake a few times over the course of our stay. We happily drifted through Big Bald Lake and even made our way over to Pigeon Lake, which is further west and closer to Bobcaygeon. We saw many other people enjoying the lake as well, from people fishing, to water skiers – we smiled and nodded at everyone we passed. That’s another thing cottage country has on the city – friendliness. You feel like you’re part of a community. Everyone looks out for everyone else.
Of course all good trips must come to an end, and we packed up and headed back to the city on Tuesday feeling much happier and more refreshed. I’m already bugging Scott about when we can bet back up there and until then, I’ll be counting down the days, in my downtown apartment, while dreaming of cottage country.