wonderfully made: Oh, Canada! | Ontario and the cottage - part 1

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Oh, Canada! | Ontario and the cottage - part 1

Oh, Canada!

Mark and I took a nice little babymoon up north to visit his family (many of whom I haven't met) and spend some quality relaxation time! We worked out a deal with my parents so they were able to join in on the fun as well and I think I can speak for everyone when I say we all had a great time!

lake kennebec ontario cottage

We started our trip on a Wednesday after work and took an evening flight straight to Toronto. We flew American Airlines and the flight was SO uncomfortable for this prego. We landed around 11pm Toronto time (they are 1 hour ahead of Texas time) and picked up our rental car to head to the hotel nearby.

Here's the thing about international travel - it's much more complex than staying in the US! We went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and I'm so glad we didn't have to deal with all of the minutiae that comes with international travel because that would have been a beating! I ended up purchasing the $30 international plan from AT&T because we needed to be able to text or call relatives as well as have access to maps as we were driving around Ontario. Well, I was paranoid that I was going to go over my 120mb of data on the first night so we didn't use my phone and its map to get us to the hotel. Instead, we relied on Toronto's horrible signage (how do you even get around in Toronto?!) and it took about 45 minutes for us to get to our hotel about 10km from the airport. 

We got a few hours of sleep and were up early the next morning. Mark has family all over Ontario and we had planned to see those on the east side later in the week, so we headed west to Kitchener (about 100km outside of Toronto) to visit with those that lived out that way. I was nervous when making plans because we scheduled this 'visiting day' on a weekday when many people were at work, but so many of them changed their plans so they could meet up with us and I'm so glad! 

We went to Mark's grandma's (Oma) apartment in Kitchener and spent a good 4 hours visiting with this Canadian crew (plus Veronica who had to leave a little early):

left to right: Don, Jessi, Janette, Sandy, me, Mark (top)
Kelly, Brayden, Oma, and Melissa (bottom)

I had only met 3 of the family members in that picture before! We had a great time and it was so good to see some of Mark's family. We left with full bellies and some super sweet Canadian gifts for baby B. It was so good to see them all!

We left Kitchener around 2pm and headed back toward Toronto to meet my parents. They had flown in with us but went to visit Niagara Falls while we met with family. We dropped off our rental car, jumped into theirs, and headed east toward Belleville!

Mark's cousins Stacie and Trevor are pretty much the nicest people ever (they're Canadian so that's kind of a given) and were the reason we were able to visit Canada. They ever so graciously offered up their cottage on lake Kennebec for our stay and we so gladly accepted! We planned to get to Belleville around 6pm and then head up to the cabin after dinner but after a long day of travel we decided to stay at their home in Belleville for the night. We are glad we did because we got more quality time with cousins and got to celebrate Trevor's birthday with them!

Stacie and Trevor have an awesome home (currently on the market because they bought a house built in the 1890's!) with an even more awesome basement. I really thought I was on an episode of Love it or List it because this basement was SO Canada! After our dinner of Swiss Chalet (weird, but yum!), Cameron challenged Mark to some foosball and then we watched some Canadian football. It was such a good night catching up and getting to know the family more (that we don't see enough!)

We got up Friday morning and headed to the cottage. Stacie said it was a hot summer day with temps in the 70's! The Texans were loving it in our pants and long sleeves! 

The cottage is about an hour north of Belleville and we arrived around lunchtime to this gorgeous view:

The view, the cabin, and the accommodations as a whole were pure HEAVEN. We made our lunch and quickly settled in on the back porch overlooking the lake.

Mark was feeling adventurous and set out in the kayak after a few hours of relaxation. I would have joined him but we were afraid I wouldn't fit with my big belly! 

He set off for the island right across from our cottage and my mom had fun watching him get out of the kayak and explore the island.

The water got nice and still and we enjoyed an evening watching the sun set and feeling the temperatures drop!

The cooler temps called for a fire!

The next day was overcast and 70 degrees, the perfect day for a canoe outing! After a hot breakfast we got ready to head out to the open water.

Mark chose to kayak while I took the middle 'seat' (on the floor) of the canoe with my parents. They made a little pad for me to get comfy on and it was pretty darn cozy. 

I got yelled at for turning around to take a picture of my dad when I rocked the boat so the best I could do was this selfie!

That's the cottage across the lake!

The land across from the cottage was all 'crown land', which we took to mean that it was a nature preserve. It was fun peeking up into the trees and looking for moose and bear but we had no luck. 

After a quick trip and lots of laughs (and splashes) we were back to dry land to do more of what the weekend called for: reading, sleeping, and whatever else we wanted to do! Mark was working on some Canadian crosswords here:

I took along The Girl on the Train and finished it! I'm not a huge reader (unlike the rest of my family) so this felt like an accomplishment and I really enjoyed relaxing with a book!

That afternoon, the 'gamers' went inside and played a game of Crokinole (I had to google the spelling). It was a fun game but I was horrible at it so I let my mom take the lead. 

Mark still beat the snot out of her. ;)

The two amigos stuck together and later went outside to fish. Mark was blown away by my mom's 'hidden skill' when she caught this fish in about 10 seconds!

She went on to catch 3 more fish in the first 10 or so minutes. Mark said he had no idea what he was doing and it was my mom that showed him how to bait the hook and then take the fish off the hook. Too funny!

Mark's first (and only) fish!

fishing lake kennebec

That night, we grilled steaks and enjoyed the water lilies as a centerpiece that Mark picked for me on his kayak trip. He's so sweet!

We finished the night with more games. First up was Sequence...

...and then the ultimate game of Scrabble!

I didn't come in last, so that's all that matters. Plus I made this combo which is pretty much everything that's important to me in life right now:

sweets and naps, all day every day!

That's just the first few days of our trip! Check back later this week for the end of our trip which includes more family, boating, and a day exploring in Toronto. 


Just to add a bit more to this already LONG post, please be sure to check out my Etsy shop! I've added lots of things, tweaked some things, and lowered prices on many of my handmade custom items. I hope you can find something you like and I always welcome your feedback. Thanks so much!!!

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