Tag Archives: lake

Twin SteeeeeeeRIPES and Bestie Boat Rides

My best friend Lisa was visiting from Calgary this weekend! I haven’t seen her since Vegas in February, so I was pretty excited. We are lucky to see each other a few times a year despite the incredible distance between us, which is a good thing since we both suck at the phone. Lisa is working in Ottawa this week so she flew in a few days early to spend the weekend at her parents’ place. I made the trip there on Saturday afternoon for some quality time, a sleep over, and our plan was to take a little bestie road trip to Ottawa on Sunday.


Annnd we accidentally wore the same shirt for the occasion. Lisa was wearing a sweater on top of her t-shirt when she came out to greet me on my arrival, and she saw my shirt and got so excited that she ripped her sweater off to show me that she was wearing the same shirt as me, but she accidentally ripped the twin shirt off too. So she was standing in front of me in a white tank top pointing from her to me all excitedly and I was not understanding what was happening. Then I saw the twin shirt in her hand and realized what was going on. Twin steeeeeeeeRIPES.

We tend to wear similar things quite a lot. One time we were both staying over at our friend’s house, and we were sleeping in the same bed (as we do). We went to bed at different times and never saw each other change into pajamas, so in the morning when we threw the covers back we were shocked to discover that we were wearing the exact same thing and the most random sleep outfit ever: a brown ribbed tank top and green sweat pants with a big yellow waistband (a GT Boutique special). Quite the combo. We were dying.

Anyway, I guess we both thought that soft striped T-shirt was the perfect attire for a casual lake day.


And it was. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. Spring is finally here!!! This makes me so happy! For a while I was afraid it was going to be winter forever. Saturday was so gorgeous I was tempted to jump in that water…but still a little too chilly for that.

After a bit of a catch up fest, we hung out for a while with Lisa’s parents on the porch enjoying the sunshine. I have missed them as well so it was good to see them. I have also missed Diane’s (Lisa’s mom) cooking. She made us quite the snack.


Thinly sliced white bread topped with a mixture of bacon, slivered almonds, onion, grated sharp cheddar cheese and a bit of mayo. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes or so and bam. Dream snack.

We also hung out with little Roxy.



Who is so cute and so funny and so ridiculously food-oriented. I understand Roxy, I am right there with you.

Before dinner we decided to take the little aluminum boat out for a rip on the lake.


Still wearing our twin shirts. We just embraced it and both wore them all day.

We took the boat over to Lock 34 in Fenelon Falls, which connects Sturgeon Lake and Cameron Lake. Lisa’s Dad took us there last summer also. It’s a cool ride, I love all the rocks.


We also went through all the narrow water channels in the area.


I would like to live there. Or somewhere like it. One day.


Boat rides are the best. It was a good time.


When we got back it was time for wine and DINNER. I was looking forward to a Diane special. She made us chicken tetrazzini!


We started with Caesar salad and garlic bread…


And then loaded up.


I am usually a tomato sauce kinda gal, I will always choose that over a creamy alfredo sauce, but I LOVED this and will be figuring out how to make it myself.

After dinner we chatted some more with Lisa’s parents, and then spent the rest of the night in the hot tub. Good times.


The Cottage Birthday and Chicken Balls for Breakfast

We went to Evan’s cottage again this past weekend, likely the last time until next summer for me, although you never know.

Evan and I arrived Friday night, and sadly all of Saturday pretty much looked like this:


Overcast and quite a lot of rain. But that is A-okay, it was pretty relaxing just hanging out inside. Evan’s friends Ian and Dorothy were with us, so the four of us decided to go out for brunch on Saturday morning at a local Chinese restaurant, the Rice Lake Harwood Restaurant.


It was an interesting brunch choice but there was not really anywhere else to go in the area. We went to a more touristy spot first and found that the restaurant was closed for the season, so that was disappointing. But only disappointing until I saw the menu at this place, because where else can you get chicken balls with your breakfast?


I really love chicken balls and I have eaten many of them over the years. I need to say that those were the BEST chicken balls that I have ever eaten. EVER. I mean it. They actually had real chicken breast inside, were more chicken than ball (a problem I find with many chicken balls) and were just deep fried to golden perfection. I could not get enough. Best brunch I have had in a long time, and I excitedly told our server this as we were leaving. Dorothy actually grew up in Hong Kong so we were asking her about all the North Americanized Chinese dishes. Chicken balls are not a traditional Chinese dish in case anyone was wondering. Nor are spring rolls. But chicken feet sure are, and Dorothy says they’re actually really good!

Anyway, next time we are at the cottage we are going there for dinner. I need to try out the best of the Americanized Chinese deliciousness.

I have been excited for this cottage weekend for a while because my friends Dawn and Emily were coming up with their lovers Mark and Corey and they had never been to the cottage before. I had also not seen the girls since our sushi/Pravda night and that is just way too long, so I was anxious for a catch-up session. Emily and Corey had just spent a week on the east coast and were driving back from Nova Scotia on Saturday morning, so they weren’t arriving until later in the evening, but Dawn and Mark got there in the early afternoon. Just in time for a hat party.


There are a lot of good hats at the cottage…


So we all tried them on.


Sometimes several at once.


Dorothy brought out the best snack plate ever while we sat around chatting.


And Dawn was all “Lindsey, this is blog material!” And it was. There are few things in life I enjoy more than good cheese and crackers. And fruit I guess. And that was hot pepper raspberry jam, which sounds like an odd combination, but it was really good. Especially with a little brie on your cracker. I appreciate people who are snack-oriented so I loved Dorothy for busting this out.

For dinner Evan made us all vegetable and pork skewers on the barbecue. And he gets extra points because he cut both the pork and the vegetables up himself (and you can see all the other reasons why he is awesome here).


He also toasted the pitas with butter and picked up three different kinds of hummus and Helluva Good Dip (the dip was my request). I loved all the selections. Such a good dinner! We were all praising Chef Evan.

Since this was only a few days before Evan’s birthday we had a mini celebration for him. Dawn and Mark brought him this “special rum” from Jamaica that apparently everyone has to have a shot of on (or near) their birthday.


We all decided to try it, and at first I wasn’t sure about it…


Hmm…what is this?

But then it was pretty clear that I did not like it.



And I really regretted drinking any rum the next day. Beer! I need to stick to beer all the way! It is bad news when I forget this.

Evan took his shot much more gracefully than I did.


I think he might have liked it.

The six of us played Cards Against Humanity for about four hours while we waited for Corey and Emily to arrive (and no one had to go lie down because they were laughing too hard, so that is a success). Serious kudos to Em and Cork for even coming at all, because they had been driving all day long after a week’s vacation and I’m pretty sure if it were me I would have wanted to just go home and dive right into my bed. But they made it and they were in good spirits!


I was so excited to see them and hear about their trip.

And I was waiting for them to get there so I could bring out Evan’s birthday cake!


I don’t have any good pictures of the cake but it was so good! I picked it up at a bakery near my work and it was a Dufflet (apparently they are well-known) vanilla with buttercream icing. Seriously so moist and so good. Everyone was going on about it and there was none leftover, which I was very disappointed about in the morning. I think it would have cured my hangover.

Dawn and Mark also got this sweet party game for Evan.


Stick the pterodactyl on the pterodactyl spot. Sounds like a party and a half. We didn’t end up playing, which is sad because it looks like a fun time. But Evan saved it and we may have to bring it out in the future. And Emily and Corey brought Evan moonshine. It was quite the array of birthday presents. Looking back I wish we had combined the moonshine with the stick the pterodactyl on the pterodactyl spot, because that would have been pretty interesting.

When we woke up on Sunday morning it was just BEAUTIFUL. The entire day looked like this:


Sunny and clear skies!

We made a quick bacon and egg breakfast (I was on toast duty and I mentioned that there is no glory in it and toast duty is a thankless job and everyone started clapping and yelling “YEAHHH TOAST!” when I sat down, so that was nice) and then we spent the rest of the day outside. Emily discovered how amazing the hammock is…


We did a lot of fishing (well, the boys did) and tube leisuring…


And poor Dawnald got stung by a wasp on her pinky finger. Poor muffin. I hope that doesn’t make her associate Evan’s cottage with bad things because I believe this was a rare occurrence. I think they all had a great time, and I had a fun day with my beautiful friends.


Evan and I ended up staying all day and didn’t get home until about 10pm Sunday evening. I really just wanted enjoy it I knew it was going to be the last cottage day and winter is coming and city winters suck. So I achieved my goal and spent the entire day in the sunshine. Yes yes. It was a good weekend.


Lazy Lake Days

This weekend we headed up to Evan’s cottage again, so I hope you’re not sick of hearing about it yet. We’ve been there a lot this summer, a few times more than I originally expected, and it’s so nice to get away from the city for a bit. I love living in Toronto, but I feel very fortunate to be able to escape it sometimes. I am a country girl at heart and there is only so many crowded subways/traffic I can take. I will not live there forever, I’ll tell ya that.

I would be very content living somewhere like this:


Very content.

For this cottage weekend we had Brotherman, his fiancée Kelly, and their friends Ian and Dorothy in attendance.


It was a good group and we had a lot of fun.

We arrived late on Friday night and went to bed shortly after, so the party started Saturday morning. With juice.


I was really excited that they brought the juicer. I love a fresh citrusy drink with my breakfast.


We had a big family-style breakfast and I loaded my plate up with all the delicious things.


It was perfect fuel for a day of leisuring on the lake. I wish I could get paid for being a professional leisurer because I am naturally good at it.


Professional leisurers

I spent the day alternating between lying on the dock and reading, lying on a raft and reading, and lying in an inner tube and drinking beer.


This is not me. This is Ian.

And swimming also. Saturday was GORGEOUS. Just a dream day. Beautifully sunny, not a cloud in the sky, no wind, and it was hot but not humid and gross. What else was there to do? Nothing. Soak it up. Summer is too short. I got some exercise when I had to get up from my position lying on the dock, don’t worry. It is practically getting in and out of plank position.

I also had a lot of fun photographing Ian and Dorothy as they threw their tubes off the dock and then attempted to jump into them.




All good.

It made me laugh hard. 

And I have tube tricks of my own.


Not quite as mobile as the lifejacket diapers, but still a good time.

In the afternoon Ian broke out the blender and made us all pisco sours, but sans raw egg white as the original recipe called for, which we were all okay with. In the hot sun I’m not sure how good of an idea raw egg would be.


It was cold and refreshing and delicious. He used a bunch of fresh key limes and that really made the drink for me. I loved it.

We played frisbee cup…


I do not know…

And barbecued burgers with Brotherman’s slaw (that I still cannot get enough of)…


And we sat around the campfire for hours and made s’mores and talked and told stories. Perfect day.

Sunday was basically a repeat of Saturday, only it was a bit more windy and overcast. It eventually started to rain, but it held off until we were leaving in the late afternoon, so that is a win. On the way home Evan and I stopped for dinner with these two lovers:


We went to East Side Marios because it was right beside Walmart and we all wanted to do a little grocery shopping before we came home. I have not been to East Side Marios for YEARS and I kind of forgot how much I like it. Particularly their unlimited garlic bread and salad. It’s been far too long since this has been in my life.


I used to just die for their salad dressing. My friend used to work there and I would try to make him steal the dressing for me. Back when I was a starving student I used to go to East Side Marios, get the cheapest pasta on the menu, eat all the bread and salad, and then take my pasta home for lunch the next day. It was a really good system.

This time I stepped my order up slightly and did not go for the cheapest pasta.


Hell’s Kitchen Chicken with pasta and vegetables. Those mushrooms are so good! But I did still fill up on all the bread and salad so I had enough of that leftover to save for lunch today.

So yep, good weekend. It makes me sad that summer is almost over, but we do have one more cottage weekend to look forward to in September, which is a good thing because cottage weekends are my favourite!


The Cottage Leisure Weekend


I’ve been MIA for the last few days because I’ve been up at Evan’s cottage in middle of nowhere, Ontario.


And no complaints about that, it was beautiful.

I left on Friday right after work and I did have two blog posts planned for Friday and Monday, I just had to add my pictures. But then my internet randomly went down from Thursday night until sometime over the weekend so I wasn’t able to finish those puppies up (thanks Rogers, you’re the best!). Those will have to be saved for later in the week though, because right now I have some weekend recapping to attend to.

I have only been to Evan’s cottage twice before, and both times the weekends were filled with cottage renovations. On the agenda this weekend? Leisuring. Just leisuring. No painting, no installing new floors. Just a weekend of relaxation with my one and only lover. Since we had the entire cottage to ourselves for the weekend, we decided to both take vacation days on Monday so we would have two full days of cottage shenanigans.

Leaving on Sunday is always a bummer. The impending doom of packing/cleaning up up just looms over you all Sunday and you basically lose the entire day. It’s about an hour and a half to two hour drive from the city also. We were excited for the extra day.

I think that having a cottage is a big eastern Canada thing. I don’t hear a lot about them in other places, not even really in the western provinces. Around here cottages refer to a second, more rustic home, usually in kind of a secluded location on a lake.


Ontario has so many lakes that there are many places in the province that we refer to as “cottage country” because so many people have cottages there. They’re like summer homes, but less fancy. I grew up in cottage country and I have been to many, many cottages over the years, from basically shacks with an outhouse to elaborate lakeside mansions. The more rustic the cottage, the better, I think. No one wants to be fancy at the cottage. Certainly not me.

Anyway, this is basically what our Saturday at the cottage looked like:


Ohhhh yes. Just a dream.

We did take a break from the lounging to go swimming though. Evan has a bunch of inner tubes stored in the basement, so we busted out a couple of those and floated around for a while. With beer.


I found it difficult to paddle my tube while holding my beer, so I just hooked my tube up to Evan’s and let him pull me out into deeper water, and then we let the waves push us back to shore. It was a good time.

For dinner we had a pretty great barbecue…


Those are Ritz Cracker Chips on my plate. I had never even heard of them before but Evan saw them at the store and picked them up. They were so good!

Evan wins at the snacks actually, because he also brought these:


Teddy Grahams! I haven’t had those for like 20 years!

There has been an old wicker chair sitting in the fire pit for about two months now, and we had big plans for that.


It was just waiting to be burnt. It was so old and dry it burst into flames immediately.


But it was completely burned in about two minutes, so it didn’t last very long. We had a nice fire for about an hour until the bugs started to drive us mental, but we squeezed in some marshmallow roasting. The front of the cottage has a screened-in porch, so that’s where we headed to escape the mosquitos. We played games in there for a few hours.

Evan has some really awesome and modern board game selections kicking around his cottage.


Well alright, awesome, but not modern. Both are from the mid-80s. I have never heard of the TV show Chips, but that game was probably the worst board game I’ve ever played. There was absolutely no skill involved. It was pretty much Candy Land only with motorcycles and not as good. The A-Team wasn’t bad though. We also played a lot of Rummy (the card game).

Sunday was overcast and kinda rainy, and rather than spend the entire day indoors, Evan and I went to the Warsaw Caves which are not far from the cottage.


Which was insane and absolutely not what either of us were expecting. It is going to be a separate post for sure.

When we returned, we had some reading time and a nap, and then we decided to drag out the canoe.


Still overcast and it rained a bit while we were out, but the views were gorgeous.


Evan’s cottage is in a bay, next to a bird sanctuary, so we took the canoe all around the shoreline.



That was a pretty cool uprooted tree. I told Evan if I was a beaver that’s where I would be taking up residence.

So one of the useless skills I have picked up over the years (in addition to Guitar Hero) is the ability to make a loon call using my hands and mouth (here’s how to do it if you’re curious). While we were canoeing a loon started calling from across the lake, so I made the sound back to him. Evan joked that the loon was going to come over with essentially his pants down all hot and bothered, and I said there was no way the loon was going to mistake me for another loon. I’m sure the loons are smart enough to recognize a fake call. Apparently not though, because I was about halfway through that sentence when we heard the flapping of wings and the loon landed not far from our canoe with two babies.


It would seem the loon thought I was the real deal. The loon and I called back and forth to each other for about five minutes or so, but then I started to feel guilty like I was leading the loon on, so I put an end to that before the loon got the idea that we were soulmates.

We paddled around for a bit longer and kind of watched the sunset through the overcast skies before we headed back for dinner.


Dinner was grilled steak kabobs, salad with oil and vinegar dressing, and leftover corn on the cob. Delicious.


The kebobs are from Walmart and actually came with a small jar of the most amazing steak spice. They were so good.

By the time we sat down to eat it was about 10pm, so after dinner we just played more games until bedtime. And Monday was basically a repeat of Saturday, only with time to clean up the cottage and stuff before we left.

It was a really fun weekend and I am sad that it is over.


If you made it this far I just want to quickly tell you that Evan started a blog! He and his brother have their own contracting company, and the blog is basically a renovation/DIY/tips thing, but Evan’s a great writer (he is spelling and grammar savvy – very important!) so I think it’s pretty enjoyable. Check it out!


Adventuring Down Memory Lane

My weekend of nostalgia continued on Sunday. I had plans to meet up with my childhood pal Melissa to explore our neighbourhood and the forest where we grew up.

We have been planning our adventure down memory lane for about two years now, so I was so excited it was finally happening. Melissa grew up down the road from me, and we have been friends since I was about seven. She is the one I fought with over Jason Priestley Ken, and the Elvis Stojko newspaper clippings.

Melissa and I were inseparable as kids, and practically spent every day together. We were also always outside. In the summers we would swim in the lake, play manhunt, hike in the forest, ride our bikes for hours and hours, and generally cause a ruckus. In the winters we would skate on the lake (she is the one I blew across the lake with), toboggan, and cross country ski.

We basically lived outside. In the summer we would set up a tent in my yard and live in it for weeks. And during the school year we would get off the bus and immediately head into the forest to build forts until it got dark. The only time I can remember us ever being inside is if it was raining.

We look a lot alike, so whenever there were new boys up at the cottages in our neighbourhood, we would tell them we were sisters. And they actually believed us!

Melissa was even my date for my Grade 8 graduation.

Anyway, we were really good friends, is what I am getting at here. Sadly, her family moved away in my first year of high school, and though we have kept in touch, I have only seen her a handful of times over the past several years. So our childhood adventure date was long overdue.

On Sunday morning I drove to her house, and we headed over to our old stomping grounds together.

Oh, and we stopped by the old country store first to see if we wanted to get any snacks.

It has barely changed. The only thing that is different is there is now an LCBO (alcohol) and Beer Store in there, and they now offer sushi, which is so random and weird. It’s only available on special advanced order, so we assumed they probably pick it up from town and re-sell it. Classy, Nestleton Store. Very classy.

We passed by our old bus stop…

Which was a stop sign on a road alongside the forest. If it was raining, we would hide in the forest, and after school I would routinely walk through the forest to get home. It was actually faster than taking the road (and prettier), and convenient since the main trail came out right in front of my house.

Our first stop was the “park” next to my old house, which consisted of two swings and a teeter-totter.

And it’s pretty clear that no one takes care of it now, and the swings and the teeter-totter are now gone. We used to swing there for hours and hours though.

And you may remember this pic of me on the teeter-totter, back when I was cool…

I wish I could still get away with that outfit…

Our next stop was the forest!

The forest is huge. I am not sure exactly how big, but I am going to guess about 100 acres. We used to know every trail in there, so it didn’t take long for the memories to come flooding back, even though it looks different now, and a lot more grown-in. This would be the forest where I pretended I saw the ghost of the Indian Chief.

One thing we remembered about the forest was the spiders that would make a stupid web across the trail so you would walk through it and get all creeped out. But Melissa had a stick for that.

So no worries on this day.

I found the spot where I would go when I wanted to “run away from home” because I was angry at my parents…

I chose it because it wasn’t too far away from my house, and because I thought it was pretty. That log was also a lot more alive back then, and I was able to sit on it and cry. Ah, good times.

And we found random things that we had once made names for. Like the “Devil’s Arches”.

Uh, so basically just branches that hung over the trail. We were very creative with our names.

And we found the old bridge that in our minds used to separate the familiar part of the forest with the unfamiliar part of the forest.

And unfortunately, it is not a very good bridge anymore.

But we crossed it anyway.

We were on a mission. We wanted to find the locales of all our old forts. We had at least 10 of them, because we had a fat bully named Spoon who lived near us and who would find them and trash them to pieces. Spoon was his nickname because he had somewhat skinny legs in comparison to his huge torso, and therefore looked like a spoon. For an entire summer we had to just keep rebuilding our forts because Spoon would find them. It was a tough life, I tell ya. The forts are going to have to be a separate post sometime, because there were so many of them, and they were so detailed.

We were sad, because it was looked like no one was hanging out in the forest anymore, and we thought a new generation of kids should be out exploring. And then we found a teepee (or at least a sad attempt at one)…

And we were excited for about two seconds, because at least someone was doing something in there! And then we looked at the top…

Seriously? Duct tape? Get outta here. That is poor form. You do not use duct tape on teepees.

We also found a sign that said “Food” and had a crayon hanging from it, attached with wire.

I was sure it had to be a trap or something, and I was scared if I touched it a big net would fall on top of us and we we would be stuck in the forest until whoever made that sign would come back for their “food.” But I poked it a few times with a stick and it appeared safe. Just a sign with a crayon attached to it. Nothing exciting. Just weird…

Probably the biggest find in the forest was the old obstacle course that is randomly in the middle of nowhere.

We remembered it, because we had been to it a few times before. But it was far away from our houses, so when we were younger we had to ride our bikes along to the road to get to that part of the forest, and then the forest was too dense to bring them in with us. It was really tricky to find because there isn’t an actual trail leading to it. We had to do a lot of scary off-trailing to get to it. But we eventually found it!

Someone has rebuilt it into just a ropes course, but when we were growing up it was made entirely of wood and had crazy things in it…like a legit zipline! All we found from the original obstacle course was wood from the platform of the zipline.

We wondered why they didn’t build it up with wood again, but then we figured that child safety is a bit of a bigger deal than it was back then…and I don’t remember the obstacle course looking all that safe.

But we definitely tried out all the new rope obstacles.

Anyone else who walked through that forest with us would have been extremely annoyed. We were all “OMG, remember when this happened?!”, “Remember this place?!”, “Remember how amazing the view was from THIS fort?!” It was so awesome to go through it with Melissa, who was pretty much included in all of my forest memories. I do have a really good memory for that kind of stuff, but anything that I didn’t remember, Melissa was quick to fill me in on.

And we couldn’t drop by our old neighbourhood without checking out the lake.

Oh how I miss that lake. So, so much.

We checked out our old swimming spot, and my neighbour’s dock that we used to swim off of, because it was the best dock in the entire neighbourhood.

And it has not changed at all.

This is also the exact spot where Melissa and I accidentally blew across the lake.

It was such a fun day with Meliss. I am so glad we did this, and didn’t just say we were going to do it forever and not have it actually happen. It was a perfect day.

Just perfect. I loved reliving all our memories. We mentioned many, many times throughout the day that we genuinely had the best childhood ever. For years our biggest worry was whether or not Spoon would find our fort and ruin it. That’s it. I’d take that over grown-up stuff any day.

I could not have asked for a better place to grow up. My old neighbourhood will always hold a special place in my heart!


The Time I Blew Across the Lake

I have another frozen lake story from my childhood I’d like to share with you. This time, I was with my good friend Melissa (the one who I fought with over Jason Priestley Ken).

(Melissa and I last year)

When I was about 10 or so, Melissa and I were skating on the lake around my house, just like any other day.

It was really windy that day, and in a rare occurrence, all the snow had blown off the lake. The entire lake was frozen, snow-free, and the ice was perfectly smooth and inky black. There was not one bump on it. It was an amazing phenomenon. We could skate anywhere! There was no rink, and no boundaries! Usually there are snowbanks or bumpy ice that you have to watch out for, but not on this day. It was the best skating conditions I had ever seen on the lake (and I have never seen anything like it since).

Since it was so windy, we decided to open our coats like sails to see if the wind would blow us without us having to do any work.

We couldn’t believe how well it worked. The ice was as smooth as glass, and the wind blew us so fast! It was the best time!

We closed our eyes and coasted in the wind. We were racing over the ice.

We sailed in the wind for quite a while, having the time of our lives. Eventually we closed down our sails and turned back to see how far we had come.

Like halfway across the lake. We couldn’t believe how well our makeshift sails worked, we had been blown several kilometres from where we came from. My house was a speck in the distance.

We immediately panicked and tried to skate back…

But we couldn’t. The wind was too strong, and it continued to blow us in the opposite direction!

It was now starting to get dark, and we were starting to worry.

There was a house in the distance in the direction we had originally been blowing in, so we decided to continue to let the wind push us towards it.

We finally arrived, and walked up to the door in our skates and rang the doorbell. An elderly man answered.

Luckily, the man was very nice and let us come in, and we called my dad to drive over and pick us up. While we waited, the man’s wife gave us hot chocolate and cookies! It was great.

And that, my friends, is the story of how I blew across the lake.