A few years ago now, my husband and I took a trip up North to ring in the New Year.
It was idyllic.
After the Christmas rush ended, our family & friends were deep in hibernation mode. We decided to load up the car with some delicious food, our winter gear, swimsuits, some clothes, the dogs, and off we went. Straight up the 400, to the heart of cottage country, is where we were headed. After a quick break for some coffee and lunch, we were almost there.
Arriving at the Cottage
As we drove the winding cottage road, we couldn’t see another person. Although it was quiet, others were around but were hiding indoors from the cold, late-December air. There it was, we had finally arrived!
We quickly unloaded our cooler and bags and decided to explore our home away from home. With the dogs on their leads and our winter gear on, we went outside. It was as though we stepped into an Algonquin photograph: the lake was frozen over, snow was piled up to 3 feet high and smoke from a few neighbouring chimneys was billowing by. The snow was glistening in the sun and we were warm and cozy in our boots, snowsuits, mittens, and toques. What felt like only minutes turned into a 2-hour adventure that included a sight I had never seen — a doe and her fawn wandering through a farm!
When we arrived back at the cottage, we built a fire in the living room’s fireplace and made some hot chocolate. The dogs curled up by the fireplace and drifted off to sleep. We each found a comfortable spot to sit and watch the fire crackle.
Soon it was time to prep dinner, while I marinated the chicken and prepared the vegetables, my husband fired up the grill. It was such an easy dinner for our first night away, but it really hit the spot after our busy day of traveling and exploring!
That evening, we took a dip in the hot tub. It was dark and quiet; we each had a favourite beverage in hand. It was so peaceful, we could have counted the stars!
The next day was New Year’s Eve and although we had nothing major planned, we knew memories were going to be made on our getaway.
New Years Eve
We watched the sunrise over the lake while drinking some freshly brewed coffee. Later that morning, we decided to head into town for a bit of shopping and brunch. Exploring the town made us feel like we were in a classic holiday Hallmark movie! In town, we picked up some farm fresh eggs to have for breakfast the next morning as well as a bottle of champagne to ring in the new year.
After our trip to town, we headed to Arrowhead Provincial Park to skate the famous Ice Skating Trail! While there, we also learned they offer over 28km of classic cross-country skiing trails! We decided to add this to our to-do list next time we’re up North in winter.
Back at the cottage, it was getting dark, so, we decided to bring the dogs out for a walk on the frozen moonlit lake. What an experience that was! Seeing the whole lake before us, with nothing but the moon and the odd light from other cottages to light our way.
After some delicious chili we’d started in the crockpot earlier in the day, we hit the hot tub again for some more fresh air under the stars! With snow all around us, we couldn’t feel the cold as we sat under the bubbles of the spa.
When we realized midnight was just around the corner, we threw on our robes and ran inside! After changing into our comfy pajamas, we popped the champagne and watched the clock. As the clock struck midnight, we had our own little celebration of the new year and all it would bring.
Although that was a few years ago now, it was a trip up North to ring in the New Year, that we will never forget.