After a recent visit to Taboo Resort (in Gravenhurst, ON) it made me begin to think…there’s no other place on earth like cottage country, especially the Muskokas. So tranquil and peaceful and so breathtakingly beautiful. Ever since I was a kid we’ve had a cottage in the Muskokas (we sold it a few years ago… after my Grandpa passed away). Every chance we got we would be up north, swimming, boating, feeding chipmunks, and having a roaring bonfire roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories. I had a truly blessed childhood that I’m so grateful for. I was in heaven.
Driving out of the city on a ten lane freeway, eventually turning into a one lane dirt road is so surreal and it’s funny how the transformation of your stress levels change (It’s pretty amazing…). Driving amongst old trees and forests that have been around decades longer than me and you have is totally mesmerizing. When I’m up in cottage country I feel like I’m 10 million miles away from home; far removed from the hustle and bustle of our businesses. I find it so peaceful and grounding. I love it, (even though at some moments in time it can be scary giving up that control. That’s a whole other story I will share with you soon 🙂 ).
I think one of my favourite memories, and one that I’m sure many of you will relate to was stopping at Weber’s on Hwy 11 in Gravenhurst. This was the first time I’d been back in years, since before I’d been with Michael, so I was really excited to show him what it was all about. When you can see that old bridge start to appear over the horizon you know those old fashioned burgers and thin cut french fries are just around the corner. We had to stop, and on a overcast Sunday morning there was a lineup 50 people long, on both sides of the restaurant, Michael couldn’t believe his eyes. We shared a veggie burger (and some french fries), and after missing Webers for so long you begin to realize that; people don’t stop there every time they drive to or from the cottage for the food, it’s because it’s a meeting place for friends and family to re-aqquaint themselves with nature, a slower time, or just the good old days! My Mom (Kelly Childs) was definitely craving one of their famous chocolate milkshakes, she always says “They only have one flavour and it’s always great!” but Michael and her managed to resist the temptation. After that we we’re back on the road.
When we arrived, I could tell I was home. The smell of the evergreens and the fresh water is unmistakeable. We checked in and then took a short tour around the resort. It’s truly beautiful there, we went to the dock almost immediately, to inquire about a boat rental which Ken was all over. I think that’s truly where he’s at peace when he’s on the water. Having always having owned a boat from his first 10 stroke motor boat at 10 years old, to the sailboat and catamarans he sails when he’s in the Caribbean. But unfortunately it was really cloudy, and that’s about when the first spurt of rain started, and it didn’t stop until 7:00 the next morning. So we all got changed, and went for dinner at the restaurant there. We talked a bit about work and about the world, but what it comes down to is the ones you love and that’s what we really talked about. The day before we left, Michael didn’t get home until almost midnight, what was he doing? He told me that he was having a big talk with Kelly and Ken, about some of his issues, not being confident in his abilities, or that he wasn’t doing a good job at Kindfood. So the conversation came up, and really what it came down to was that we all have issues, especially childhood issues, but that’s what shapes us into the people that we are today. How could my Mom and Dad splitting up at the ripe old age of 2 years old, benefit me? But it has, it has given me the gifts that I have been blessed with today. I had to learn how to be organized, independent and how to deal with any situation that came up.
After our dinner conversation I sat outside and listened to the roaring thunderstorm. I found it to be so peaceful and soothing. I find that listening to roaring thunderstorms is absolutely incredible up north. With no city noise to drown out the power of Mother Nature and no light pollution to drown out the raging bright bolts of lighting, its one of my all-time favourite things to do. I was able to reflect on our conversation at dinner and allow it all to soak in. It was pretty powerful!!!
Connecting with friends and family is one of the most valuable parts about owning a cottage (…I’ve realized as I grow older…and maybe a little bit wiser). With little cell phone reception and crappy TV signal (at least that’s what we had) you really get a chance to connect with family members that maybe you haven’t seen or talked to in a while, or friends that you only get to see once in a while. I’ve realized that time at the cottage is truly quality time together. Our time spent at Taboo was no exception. We were able to sit on our balcony and listen to the birds in the trees, and the water hitting the shoreline… and just be together. There wasn’t the distraction of Kindfood or Kelly’s Bake Shoppe to take us away from talking and hanging out together. It was really nice.
Some people may say that having a cottage is a luxury… not necessary, but to be honest I’ve realized how tremendously valuable it really is…in so many aspects of my life. I’m so grateful and blessed to have been able to have a cottage throughout my childhood, and to know the true value of it for my family and me. I’m so happy we had the chance to spend a couple of days up north at Taboo Resort to revisit some of those childhood memories. I hope that in the near future we’ll (Mike and I) be able to invest in a cottage to create memories and great times… all our own.
www.kellysxo.com 401 Brant Street, Burlington, ON Canada
www.kindfood.com 399 John Street, Burlington, ON Canada