As promised, here is the blog entry about the cottage vacations. Enjoy! :)
We started our cottage vacation at a friend's parent's cottage near Sauble Beach. We were there last year with university friends and most of those same friends were there again. It's great to be able to catch up with our friends again. It's amazing how much has changed in a year! One couple is expecting their first baby in January and another are getting married in September. I guess we're all growing up now and being adults. It feels weird, in a way. I don't feel grown up at all, so how could our friends be getting married and having babies?
Everyone slept in tents which was fun. It was like camping but with a shower and flush toilet right there. Ten people shared the one bathroom so you can imagine that there were some lineups! It wasn't that inconvenient, though, and fortunately there were no bathroom emergencies :)
We enjoyed our time at this cottage. both because of the people and the location. It's very low-key, with no internet access or tv, and it's very comfortable. The beach is very, very shallow - you walk 20 minutes just to get to the beach (they have a lakefront cottage) and then you walk 20 minutes to get to water above my shoulders. I spent my swimming time learning how to tread water.
Whitestone Lake Resort
We left Sauble Beach to go to Whitestone Lake Resort with a different group of friends. The resort is very nice and kind of casual in a bed and breakfast kind of way. It There was a restaurant on-site and a small store with snacks and gas at the dock.
The hotel is right on the water and has a small beach and dock. Our room overlooked the lake and had a balcony on which we could sit and read (or dry our swimsuits) which was very nice. The room had very high ceilings and a ceiling fan but no air conditioner. Fortunately it wasn't too hot while we were there so it wasn't too bad in the room. There was no tub although there was a shower. All of the furnishings were solid wood and antiquey, if a bit small for the scale of the room.
The restaurant ran on cottage time. Breakfast took 45 mins, lunch one hour, and dinner two hours. The service tended to be as slow it wasfriendly - and they sure were friendly! One weird thing was that they mis-named some things. For example, the menu said that pancakes were served with maple syrup when they were actually served with packets of pancake (table) syrup. Also, they served something they called a creme brulee which was neither creme nor a brulee. Things like this struck me as weird - I think the person who owns the place makes up the menu and I don't think she really knows much about food. The food did taste ok.
We spent a lot of our time swimming, playing with the two- and four-year old children of our friends, and doing stuff with the boat on the water. I practiced treading water and am ok at it now :) :) I also practiced swimming and feel much more comfortable in the water. I'm very proud of myself. I'm also proud of my one friend who jumped into the water from the dock. She's not comfortable in deep water but she jumped anyways. Yay!!!!
We did some tubing and I also tried kneeboarding. I was able to get up once and to balance on the board correctly once. In that order, which is not the norm :) Ian helped me a lot. Doing this was a very difficult and therefore rewarding experience for me. I'm afraid of falling into space or overturning in deep water, and I overturned a lot while trying to figure out how to balance on the kneeboard. The first time I tried I got really, really scared and thought I couldn't do it again. I forced myself to try again the next day and I managed to work through the fear then. I was proud of myself for trying something new and working through my fear. Ian was proud of me, too.
Ian had kneeboarded about 15 years ago and picked it up really quickly. He was doing turns and everything! He's very awesome :)
It turns out that Sudbury is only about two hours away from the resort. It was supposed to rain one day so we wemt to the Big Nickel (Dynamic Earth) and Science North. The big nickel is cool. There's a museum there that's like a mine tour. It was cool in its own way but maybe less interesting than the mine tour we did in Scranton. That one took us way deep into the earth and this one took us about 75 feet down. They played a movie thing as the elevator took us down, too. I felt that it was very touristy and a bit tacky.
Seeing the "mine" was interesting - we could see what conditions were like one hundred years ago, fifty years ago, and today. Mining there is almost all automated now. They blast out the rock and then send it to be sorted. This is very different from a coal mine where each vein is worked individually and surrounding rock isn't supposed to be sent up with the coal. I liked the mine tour just fine but I liked the Scranton one way more. Still, if you're up in Sudbury, I'd recommend taking the tour.
Science North was very cool. It's a science museum and there are lots of hands-on activities for kids of all ages. We even got to try riding a Segway! We enjoyed poking around there quite a lot. They have very nice turtles :) If you're in Sudbury, definitely try to go to this place whether or not you've got kids.
Overall, we very much enjoyed our time away from home but as you can see it was very busy. We were in the sun a lot and we both have colour and freckles. I liked it - it reminded me of when I was a kid and played outside all day and evening.
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