This past weekend was FINALLY the grand opening of Evan’s cottage.
We met Evan’s family up there for a nice relaxing time, because
That’s right, except…I wouldn’t exactly say the weekend was relaxing. We were essentially going up to do work, which I knew ahead of time so I knew what I was getting myself into and was A-okay with it. The dock had to be put in, there was some landscaping to be done, and this giant mound of gravel needed to be spread across the driveway.
Who doesn’t love shovelling gravel? The grass was coming up through the old gravel and the boards on the side were rotting away, so that had to be taken care of.
Evan and I hit up Home Depot Saturday morning to pick up the wood for this project.
That truck is a handy beast (and so is Evan).
We also picked up some cedar trees for the side of the driveway from the best garden centre I have even been to (cedars pictured below but not said garden centre).
And we may have also stopped at a few yard sales. I was REALLY tempted to pick up this DVD for the cottage.
Because nothing screams rainy day at the cottage like The Bodyguard. But I didn’t, and now I regret it.
We spent the rest of the day with Evan’s family digging up the old boards, putting in the new ones, weeding, planting things, and shoveling the gravel around. And you know what? It was a good time! It was such a gorgeous day and it was genuinely nice to be doing manual labour in the sunshine after sitting at my desk for 10 hours a day, five days a week since, well…forever. Not that I want to be a full-time manual labourer or anything, but it was a very nice change of pace. Shoveling the gravel and digging out the old boards was the best workout I’ve had in a long, long time. Evan and I were saying that we wish our gym would get a mound of gravel that you had to move around. Quite an effective workout, though I don’t know if you would get quite the same sense of accomplishment afterwards.
I also had Jack Johnson playing the entire time we were working and Evan’s whole family are now in love with him, and even requested that we play him again later…and again and again.
We worked very hard, and the driveway went from this:
So not the craziest, hugest difference, and nothing fancy or anything, but it does the trick and I felt pretty proud afterwards. I can’t say that I’ve ever shovelled like that before.
There were a few red ant colonies living in the old boards, and it is nuts how much they smell like citronella. I would pull out an old board and be all “what is that beautiful smell?” and then see the hundreds of red ants. It is a phenomenon. Actually I just googled about it and apparently they are called “citronella ants” because of this. I did not know that.
Anyway, we rewarded ourselves after all our hard work with a big and delicious dinner.
Beef, chicken, and bacon wrapped scallops. So good.
Topped that off with Moosetracks ice cream and these amazing little Portugese tarts from the St. Lawrence Market.
On Sunday we did finally get to relax a bit since we miraculously finished all the work on Saturday. We all headed out in the late morning for a leisurely breakfast at the Golden Beach Resort. On the patio, since it was beauty out. I ordered the eggs benny with a side of bacon.
With hollandaise on the side because I can’t stand when my entire plate is swimming in hollandaise sauce. This was PERFECT. Once we were finished eating Evan’s Uncle Gino asked if anyone was up for pancakes, and since I can never turn down food and I couldn’t let the poor guy eat pancakes by himself, I signed up for that.
I was expecting just one pancake… But I ate every last bite (though I did share my bacon) and was full for the entire day.
Afterwards we drove to the cute little village of Warkworth (which may actually be the cutest little town I have ever come across, really cool shops there) because we heard there was a lilac festival happening and we wanted to check it out. There were several “lilac alley’s” around, but we chose to walk the Millenium Lilac Trail.
You may be looking at that picture and wondering where all the lilacs are. So were we. For a lilac trail it sure did have a small amount of lilacs. There were actually more lilacs on the cottage property than on the lilac trail. But the ones we did see were beautiful.
And smelled amazing, as lilacs always do. It’s so sad that they bloom for such a short time and the rest of the year you are left with this ugly bush.
There were a TON of ferns though.
Fern gully, for sure.
And the trail itself was really nice.
I found a really awesome climbing tree.
But this picture is a bit of an illusion. I was not quite as high up as this portrays. I haven’t climbed a tree in years though, so I’m happy to discover I haven’t lost my knack for it. And I didn’t fall out of it and re-break my face, so that’s a win.
It was a good weekend with Evan and his fam (who I REALLY enjoy), and now that the cottage work is done I am ready for some leisure time by the lake next time we are up there.
Have a great weekend!