after the insane goings-on of this week (you know what i’m talking about, and i’m sure you still have these fugue like moments where you wake up and go, really? did that just happen? and hope against hope it was all just some awful dream and then you open social media and realize NOPE. anywhay…) i figure we either get back to the hum drum of our daily lives or we start fantasizing about the things we really love because it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! … if you know what i mean.
at least that’s the case in our neck of the woods, where all the leaves turned shocking colours of orange and red and yellow and have pretty much abandoned their posts on their trees to litter the ground so that i can spend all afternoon cleaning them up. no, but there’s magic there too, though dylan seems to think that if it’s sunny outside it isn’t actually fall anymore. kids. they’re so dumb. kidding!
these frigid cold temperatures mean it’s time for sweaters and throwing another log on the fire (which we can do now! because we have an indoor fireplace and it’s ah-may-zing) but i also spend time thinking back to those summer days and all the fun stuff we did when we weren’t wrapped in layers of flannel and wool.
to celebrate my other half’s milestone birthday earlier this year, we were lucky enough to spend a few days at a cottage in prince edward county, which has to be at least fourth or fifth on the list of my favourite places in ontario. the countryside is absolutely beautiful, it’s mostly farmland but it’s super serene and everyone is laid back. not far off from what we have in our sweet little town, but more rural, and definitely a lot farther from “downtown”.
i think it would be safe for me to say that we fell in love, and even considered purchasing a cottage out that way. mostly because of the sandbanks, a provincial park featuring this incredible miles long beach that is the absolute closest i’ve come to bermuda’s pink sandy fare. the facilities are immaculate. clean, bright, policed and easily accessible to everyone.
(anecdote time: a four-some of university-aged girls were having their long weekend party and while they had their backs turned taking selfies by the surf at least 50 to 100 seagulls descended on their belongings making off with the contents of most of their lunch. this is also where a seagull snatched a string cheese right out of dylan’s hand, an incident she still recalls with disgust.)
i also have to rave about pec wine country. it is nothing like world-reknowned niagra (the growing conditions are just so different!), though just because 85% of my friends haven’t heard of it doesn’t mean it isn’t well-known outside of ontario. they do produce one of my most fave reds, though – the baco. yes! most of these vineyards are small and don’t sell to ontario’s liquor conglomorate the LCBO, which means you need to be there in person to see what they have to offer. and i was really impressed. there were a few standouts but my favourite will always be by chadsey’s cairns, a really charming vineyard on the lack that has a beautiful old barn where they host events, a brick cider house (where they host tastings), a cemetery dating back to the 18 if not 1700s, and an incredible story. at the time of our visit, the whole establishment happened to be for sale. if we had 3 million or could have figured out backing, yes. we would have been vineyard owners.
as for lodgings, the guy managed to snag us a vacation rental cottage 10 minutes drive from the park. it was massive, you could easily host a music festival or two. it backed onto the lack, with a dock surrounded by reeds. if it weren’t for the bugs eating me alive it would have made for a romantic sunrise/sunset. the cottage itself, with its wraparound porch, slept 6, plus had an adjoined apartment with room for 2-4 more, and everything you would need for a week or weekend or month long visit. not to mention a boat rental, as well as bikes and snowshoes for the winter. it’s the perfect space for kids, lots of room to run around and adventure, along with games and movies (on dvd! the only thing that would have made it better? vhs) to entertain if the weather turns poopie. you just bring your own food, grab from the local grocery store or order in.
can i also mention how cute the little towns are? i found picton to be a real throw back, and my favourite shop was called “dead people’s stuff”. they sell antiques. if you like quilting, this is also the place for you. quilts as far as the eye can see…
and did i mention this is the site of the lake on the mountain? i didn’t??! THEY HAVE A LAKE. ON A MOUNTAIN.
on this trip, i was also able to take advantage of something i’ve had my eye on for awhile – cottage crate. i don’t know about you but i’m a big fan of subscription boxes, since they offer a chance to try new things tailored to your personal interest, especially things you may not try on your own. there was some great stuff in there – the toddler and her friend really enjoyed the s’mores popcorn (especially since we were too lazy to make real s’mores) during movie time. i was partial the soul soap, aromatherapy shower bombs that release calming fragrances, much needed after a long day of sun and wrangling little people. and we all got a kick out of the bottle opener, which i was enjoying too much to get a solo picture of… a light piece of wood with a screw drilled into it. it’s so simple and so genius and it most probably floats (if i remember that kind of thing correctly) and i can’t believe i didn’t think of it and i love it!
whether the hugely popular muskoka region, or the lesser known prince edward county area (which, as told by our wine tour limo driver, is growing increasingly popular by the year), the great thing about “cottage country”, especially for canadians, is just how close, convenient and affordable it can be to vacation there. which would explain why so many canucks are obsessed with “the cottage.”
and, like i said earlier… it’s beginning to look at lot like christmas! if you’ve got your own cottage loving friend (or you just love yourself), cottage crate has a special christmas crate straight out of the heart of cottage country. are cottages great for winter? i think they’re better, because you have every excuse to skulk around in fluffy pjs all day drinking hot chocolate (spiked with whatever) and generally being lazy af.