Since the Whelando cottage is woefully under construction, I was lucky enough to be invited up to Dan's cottage for the last summertime adventure over the long weekend - and what a weekend it was!
The cottage is located just outside of Midland, in an area called Tiny Township (the cutest right?). Dan told me stories as we drove up about all the people who had bought cottages in this one little area after they moved down from the Ukraine and even today there definitely a tight-knit, family atmosphere in and around the place. Everyone seems to know each other and history is written in the storefronts, architectural details and people's smiling faces everywhere we went!
Dan's cottage is A-mazing. It's an old dream. But it's real, which makes it even better. I spent almost an hour when we first got there oohing and awing over all the amazing details, trinkets and fantastical furnishings! (Seriously, that teal couch below is the best thing ever!) I could shop Ossington vintage stores for the rest of my life my apartment will never be this cool.
After I had calmed down a bit overall decor excitement, we unloaded the groceries, and I sat quietly, writing down my list of meals I had up my sleeve for the weekend. I know some people like to get away to the cottage and relax and cook easy, no fuss meals but I like to use all the spare time I have to cook magical food splendours I've been waiting for months to get to! My favourite meal is brunch. Hands down. There something about a leisurely morning spent cuddling in bed as the sun soaks through the window and a day that looks out to be nothing but relaxed comfort, which energises you enough to make a giant, delicious pile of home cooked gourmet goodness. We dragged out a comfy blanket, laid it on the ground outside beneath the trees and dove into prosciutto & asparagus eggs Benedict and dark chocolate, berry parfaits! OJ on the side of course.
Nestled in the wood, with nothing but a belly full of food, Dan there beside me and the birds chirping overhead - I was in heaven :)
Dan is lucky enough to have a cottage near the beach and as seeing as this was most likely the last chance I would have before the Fall to actually enjoy the outdoors, we grabbed our books, towels and beers and headed out to the water. It was a gorgeous day - the perfect day. I waded out into the water and chased minnows around while Dan read quietly on the sand.
Rebels that we are, we had brought beers to the beach, but since it was technically forbidden, I quickly dug a giant hole in the sand to house the beers inside and lay a magazine over the top to hid it from security staffers (which there were!). Sneakily we drank in the sun and took in all that Vitamin D we would lack come the winter....
But the beach wasn't the only activity we set out to conquer that weekend! Dan knows very well my love of mini putt, and he happily took me along to the local course where we played a jaunty 18-holes on the quaint little patches of green turf, decorated with animals with quizzical faces and oddly difficult mechanical, spinning traps. I was the only one to get a hole in one that day (hurray for me!) but I lost out to Dan's superior mini-putt skills in the end. Skillz I tell you. We built a big fire one night and made the most of the time we had watching old VHS movies and snuggling on the couch - candy and beer in hand. Although I spent almost an entire day working (freelance) - I still managed to cook my little heart out too!...
I always regret not taking more pictures of the food we ate but the seconds it's ready - it always looks too good, and we dive right in - leaving not a morsel left to be documented. That being said, here are the precious few pictures I managed to take!
We ate peach cobbler, prosciutto BBQ pizza, jalapeno burgers; Mexican roasted corn, chilli lime BBQ tilapia, grilled veggies, fantastic salads of all kinds and of course popcorn and candy. Always candy. And beer! Dan went to so much trouble finding beautifully designed beer bottles from all over the world, and we had a different brand every night - felt almost like we were travelling the world right in that one magical place!
We, sadly, bid adieu to the cottage on Monday morning. Before leaving, we said our goodbyes to the roosters, the Travelocity gnome and finally to all seven dwarves (+ the Count). As we pulled out of the driveway, I could only imagine all those little creatures relieved to see us go so they could, no doubt, get back to their own devices... I bet they have some wicked small parties while the humans are away....
What a wonderful way to spend the last real summer weekend. The Mountain Goats played on repeat in the car, and the summer sunlight poured through the windows as we drove off - back to the city, back to work, back to the Fall that awaits us... Hand in hand, music in our ears and memories of such a lovely weekend bouncing around in our heads - I smiled as I watched the countryside roll by and stray zebras graze by the roadside.