Chris and I have just got back from a fabulous, dreamlike two weeks in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada. A couple months ago, I had no Idea what or where “Muskoka” was. I had only heard of the fun summer stories that revolved around cottages, boats, lakes, and cocktails (or docktails as they like to call them).
We were generously invited to join some amazing friends who own a cottage on Lake Joe, one of the 3 lakes that make up the Muskoka Cottage Country, during our last visit to their amazing hometown of Toronto. I loved Toronto the minute I laid eyes on this big city that seems to be New York City’s twin in so many ways. In my mind I thought, how could Muskoka compare? Both cities being so different, they come no where close to comparison. One you get the fast pace, walk everywhere, keep moving lifestyle filled with artsy people and businessmen that walk along the same sidewalk. The other you have no choice but to slow yourself down, stare at the glassy water and meet new people who drop by on a whim and park their boats at your dock to party. I never understood what they meant when they said, “There’s nothing like hearing the lake water hit the dock.” I live by an ocean, Where there are waves and a constant sound of water crashing on the BEACH! Well… Now I get it. Waking up to the Loons singing their haunting song and the lake water lapping against the dock, with a scenery full of lush, green trees… there’s really nothing like it. Cottage life was a different way of living.
For two weeks, we ultimately slowed our life down. For the first four days, I didn’t even wash my hair… and that rarely happens. Rolling out of bed, putting a swimsuit on, and tossing your hair on top of your head is the thing to do. There was wake surfing, lake jumping, laying out under the sun, boat rides, paddle boarding, always meeting new people, and so much more. Lake Joe offered a gym, which was amazing for me, located outdoors under a tent with great equipment and fitness classes (we did a TRX class, and now, I need to get TRX bands). While each morning was spent with a cup of coffee, sitting in the silence of the lake, each afternoon and evening was filled with some activity.
Our friends know how to have fun. “Want to go for a cruise?” was often said before and/or after dinner. We would travel around the lake, wave at passer byers, and make new friends along the way. We had a beer with Paul Coffey, NHL Hall of Famer and Stanley Cup Winner, along with his beautiful wife, ate lunch with Leonardo DiCaprio’s mom, had cocktails with one of the board members for Lionsgate, partied with numerous actors at a charity event, and quite literally had the time of our lives. We met friends who didn’t want us to leave and offered their cottage to extend our retreat. We flew privately up, which makes the flying time go by so fast, when you are drinking Veuve and snacking on gourmet fruit trays, listening to music, and laughing with some of the best people on this earth.
Overall, Muskoka is a destination that will change up your scenery. You will leave with new friends, memories that will last a lifetime, a permanent picture of the gorgeous wilderness and beautiful lakefront, and probably a day or two hangover.
The air is so different in Cottage Country; more pure and generous. My jet lag didn’t exist (they are 3 hours ahead of PST), I was up bright and early every day and drank wine and maybe a few cocktails every evening. Sitting around the cherrywood fire telling stories and listening to Rock n Roll was our pace for the cool nights.
Cottage country was an experience of a lifetime, living the dream in a cocktail induced state, surrounded by amazing people, introduced to new people, with memories that could never be erased. Leaving was bittersweet. Although going on holiday is lovely, after two weeks of being away from your home, you begin to miss your routine. However, as we got further and further away from our retreat, I couldn’t help but miss our friends more and more. How did we get so lucky?
Touching down back in California, slightly jet lagged from the 8 hour travel day, and hungover from the night before, we were feeling ever so blessed to be invited on an incredible trip, with amazing friends, to a beautiful place.
As we curled up on the couch, I couldn’t wait to start planning our next adventure, after getting take out for dinner and catching up on sleep, of course.