Sometime in March of this year, my parents suggested a weekend at a cottage in Port Severn. It had been many years since my last summer cottage getaway and we were overdue for a bit of communing with nature. I loved the idea!
With our new home, almost every weekend has been spent on some sort of renovation or project that has eaten away at time for enjoying hiking trails, camping or day trips outside the city. So I eagerly counted down the days to our time with my family at a cottage my uncle found for us all to enjoy – even my parent’s dog, Jasper.
Our trip to the cottage took us on side-roads, as we avoided Highway 400 as much as possible. I can proudly say that there was only one moment when I said, “Ooops, I think we missed our turn.” Luckily I was using Google Maps on my iPad and was able to find an alternate route that didn’t lead us to a dead end.
Once we arrived, we were promptly bitten by several mosquitoes in the span of five minutes. They seemed to really enjoy my backside and thighs. One landed right on my inner left thigh. It was torture for the next few days as thigh-rub plus the mosquito bite made for a tortuous combination.
As to our accommodations, the cottage was what you expect cottages to be. Somewhat run-down – a patchwork of doors, windows and dated furniture. The tiny kitchenette’s redeeming quality was a fully functioning stove and a new refrigerator that kept our supply of food chilled and frozen.
Tiny bedrooms meant that one person was always stuck sleeping right along the wall – not something that I really enjoy, as I imagine creepy-crawlies walking up it to join me in bed. Equally bad was the one main sliding door, with a screen door that didn’t close properly, letting in big, fat mosquitoes. One of those suckers kept me up at night whining in my ear, adding to the chorus of snorers in the family (my husband next to me, my dad in one room and my uncle in the other).
The cottage property sloped down to the water, with numerous Canadian Geese enjoying the fresh grass. Of course, they left behind “presents” that made it difficult to step onto the dock without getting their green poop on your shoes or sandals.
The reality was that the cottage wasn’t as great as we could have expected it to be. The water along the shore was polluted by underwater plants and slime – so wading and swimming were out of the question. The canoe that was on hand was very unsteady and with my back issues, I couldn’t get in and out of it easily. No canoeing for me and Frank this time around!
So we did what’s a must-do at any cottage.
Eat, drink beer and play cards!
Over the span of two days, I learned how to play Cribbage, and beat my uncle and my husband at Blackjack. I even managed to hold my own with Poker. Going back into the memory vaults, my parents (with the help of handy entries in the Polish version of Wikipedia) taught us the Polish card games that I learned in my youth.
We could have bemoaned the lack of other activities, but we made do with the cottage amenities and enjoyed each others company. We left behind the daily work and commutes for some peace and quiet, reconnecting and laughing.
What a great way to enjoy a cottage! We’d definitely rent another cottage in Port Severn in the future – the area is pretty and not too far away from the GTA.
Have you ever “roughed it” at a cottage? What was your worst experience with a rental cottage? Have you ever rented a cottage in Port Severn?