On Friday we left Niagara in the late morning and drove up to Evan’s cottage on Rice Lake, Ontario. Cottages are super popular around here and I would say a good 60% of Ontarians have summer cottages on one of Ontario’s many lakes. If you don’t have a cottage you probably at least have a friend who has a cottage that you can lure them into bringing you to. In the other provinces they tend to call them cabins, but here it is cottage all the way. So, hitting up a cottage in the summer is VERY much a Canadian activity and it was definitely something we wanted to introduce our American friends Paula and Fabian to.
We arrived in the early afternoon, dropped off our stuff, and then hit up Golden Beach Resort, one of our cottage food haunts, for a late lunch. And when at Golden Beach Resort for the first time, this picture must happen:
Evan and I have the same one.
We started with the shrimp flatbread, which we had not tried before.
And man, it was GOOD. Surprisingly good. Will be ordering that again.
And Evan and I also hadn’t tried the poutine at Golden Beach but I do know their fries intimately, and they are quite good, so I assumed their poutine would be on point. I was not wrong.
Now THAT is a Canadian poutine right there. Note the cheese curds, and the gravy was delicious. Still not the best poutine I’ve ever had, but definitely an authentic Canadian example. We were on a mission to introduce Paula and Fabian to all the Canadian foods, and we were able to check off poutine, Ketchup chips, maple cookies, and butter tarts. Just missing the Beaver Tails, Nanaimo bars and authentic maple syrup, but next time! I also got the fish from the fish and chips to go with the poutine.
It was cloudy and about to rain by the time we got back to the cottage, so we had a little nap while the weather was less than ideal.
The cottage is made for napping. And drinking on the dock. We got started on that when we woke up and the rain had stopped.
And once the sun came out around sunset time the sky (and the water) were just gorgeous.
Beauty. We hung out on the dock for a while and watched Evan try to get his boat motor started. Again. Didn’t happen, but it was entertaining to watch.
It was a bit chilly out there, but we persevered. I broke out the flannel plaid jackets because nothing says Canada like flannel plaid.
My dad used to have that same jacket that Fabian is wearing. He wore it fishing alllll the time.
We spent the rest of the night drinking, also a typical cottage activity, and once it got dark I lured everyone back down to the pitch black dock so we could look at the stars. There is no light pollution at all at the cottage, so the stars are some of the best I’ve ever seen. It was a bit cloudy so they weren’t as awesome as I’ve experienced before, but still better than city stars.
On Saturday morning we woke up bright and early, had a decent breakfast, and headed to the Warsaw Caves!
More on those later though because it was quite the experience and I want to do it justice.
By the time we got back to the cottage the weather was perfect!
Perfect for drinking on the dock in the sunshine. It was so nice. We had big plans to take the canoe out, but you have to drag it from the basement down to the water and laziness won. It was also a bit cooler than it usually is this time of year, which our Florida friends were loving, but sadly meant that it was too cold to really be in the water, and too cold for the party dock. I had big visions of Paula and I floating around in that thing, drinks in hand, but it’s going to have to wait until next time (along with the Beaver Tails, Nanaimo bars and maple syrup).
We stayed outside on the dock all afternoon until it was time for dinner. Pork kabobs!
It seems to be our thing lately. Plus salad and warm pitas with babaganouj and Greek yogurt dill dip. I also bought some rhubarb barbecue sauce (rhu-becue sauce?) from a little market we went to that morning (where we also scored butter tarts), so we had that with the pork as well. It is a lot better than it sounds.
After dinner we showered and then headed to Ajax to celebrate my friend Emily’s birthday. We went to Yuk Yuks (a Canadian comedy club) with a big group of my friends. I only thought one of the comedians we saw was really funny, Eric Andrews. He had this awkwardness going on that was making me laugh hard, and he told a joke with the same punch line three times, but the lead up to the punchline was different each time and each time was funny, so that was impressive. He said it was his goal to have the crowd chant his name, then pick him up and carry him out onto the street. When he finished one of his jokes it was Paula who got the crowd yelling “ERIC! ERIC! ERIC!” and when it died down the club was silent for just a moment and I yelled really loudly “LET’S PICK HIM UP!!!” and I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but it really was at the perfect moment (and it kind of sounded like a “LET’S GET ‘EM!”). Evan was all “annnnd the Jambon makes an appearance…” (the ham).
After the show we saw Eric hanging around by the bar so Paula and I went over to talk to him. Since he wanted to be picked up so badly, I asked him if we could make his dream come true.
He was all “Ohh, I don’t know, I’m uncomfortable!” but I don’t believe it. He liked it.
And don’t let him tell you otherwise.
So that capped off a pretty amazing day. I wish we could have hung out with the group for longer but I am so glad that Paula got to meet my friends!