A Family Affair

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We've spoken about the whole "cottaging" concept before in this blog. I'm so impressed with the way so many Canadians have a cottage outside the GTA and how they use it to escape the city into peace and tranquility by a lake somewhere. And in the warmth of summer, these cottages become more than just weekend escapes, and instead become a temporary home away from home as many people spend their entire summers at "the cottage".

As our 2 month summer break draws to a close, last weekend we were invited by Sharilou and Mark to join them at their family cottage in Orillia on the shores of beautiful Lake Couchiching. We drove up on Sunday and arrived around lunchtime. The cottage is a family cottage, making it a great gathering place for the whole family. As well as Sharilou and Mark and their kids Rebecca and Trevor, we also met Sharilou's parents, Sharon and Lou, (now I get it!), her sister Shannon and husband Adam, other sister Shelly and her kids Taylor, Brett and Caitlyn, as well as grandparents Jack and Kay. It was really nice to be invited into someone else's family for the weekend and to be treated so warmly.

We spent the afternoon relaxing, swimming and waterskiing, as well as being given a wakeboarding demo by Trevor. It had been years since I'd waterskied, and even longer since Donna had done it. In fact, the last time Donna had waterskied she was on the Greek island of Korfu with a young lady she'd just met on a Kontiki Tour called Sharilou. That was 20 years ago, and here they were again waterskiing together... quite a coincidence, no?

We enjoyed our time at the Couchiching cottage. It was nice to sit around, having a few beers and chatting. Most of the family had either been to, or lived in, Australia at some point so we had plenty to talk about. Adam and Shannon are very well travelled and have lived in both Australia and Singapore. They have also travelled extensively and have just returned from a trip through Mongolia and Russia so they had lots of interesting stories to tell. We boated across the lake to watch a sunset waterskiing show put on by the local resort, before coming back home to a DVD movie.

On Monday we went for a walk down to Jack and Kay's place, more people dropped in, and more chatting, drinking and swimming was done. Hard to take. A family friend and horse breeder, Sharon, dropped in with a tiny little miniature horse for the kids to play with. The weather was perfect the whole time we were there, and I think everyone had a lovely time.

We finally said our farewells late on Monday night before heading back down the 400 to Oakville. Thanks again to Sharilou and Mark for allowing us to be part of their family for the weekend. We had a great time.

There are more photos from the weekend here.

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