A couple of weeks ago I was so fortunate to spend time in Georgian Bay with my good friend and take in a week of pure relaxation.
I drove us up to Big Bay, ON, and couldn’t believe how awesome our little log cabin was. It was built in the late 1800s and boasts some of the original aspects (like the stairs), but has been renovated over the years for maintenance and updates. It faces the water and has no blinds – it’s perfect for being constantly connected to the outdoors… I loved it. Our host’s cottage was next door, and I can’t thank him enough for this opportunity.
This was the view from the kitchen out to the screened in porch where we spent every evening after being outside on the beach, doing yoga, and swimming.
I know, right? Absolutely incredible view.
The original stairs from the log cabin – as you walk up them you can feel how the knots in the wood were harder and didn’t wear down as quickly.
The view from the bedrooms were equally fantastic.
Our evening ritual after a day of walking in the area, exploring the beach, swimming, afternoon tea, (and then the bar opened!) was to watch the sunset and have dinner out on the porch, and then colour. I brought my new iPad and Apple Pencil and it was so relaxing to sit and colour. Shelly had a physical book and pencil crayons, but also enjoyed painting some of the rocks on the beach. Total creative freedom – it was perfect and simple.
I couldn’t get a decent picture of the sun setting. I really wish I’d brought my proper camera and tripod! It was this insane coral colour, sort of like what the reflection in the water looked like, but the yellow dot wasn’t at all what it looked like in person.
I took a video of the lake quietly lapping the shore just so I could experience it over and over when we got home.
This area really does have the most crystal clear water. It was shallow (and cold!), but amazing to look at! There were tons and tons of fossils. I looked everywhere for crayfish under the rocks, but never found any. After a particularly windy/wavy day I did find a few bits around the beach that had washed up, but no luck checking under the rocks.
One of our little walks around the area was to Keppel Croft Gardens up the road. It was super hot, but we still enjoyed our walk around all the gardens, and visited the aviary to say hello to these guys! Of course this was close to the little store that sold homemade ice cream -which we made sure to taste a couple of times during our trip…
One of the coolest things we saw was this huge northern water snake! It was about 3-4 feet long (small for the average apparently!). I was watching the water and saw a stick that wasn’t acting like a stick… so I went in for a closer look and we watched the snake swim through the choppy water to shore. It wasn’t interested in being around us, so we took our pictures and gave it space. We saw two other water snakes during the week, just little tiny guys, about a foot long. (And yes, we swam every day even though we knew there were snakes.)
The water would change really quickly, going from calm to quite choppy and back again during the day, so when we woke up one morning and it was fairly calm, we took the kayaks out. It’s been about 25 years since I’ve been in a kayak, but I had a great time, and didn’t fall out! Woo! The clarity of the water was even more spectacular as you paddled out to explore.
During one of our yoga sessions (always great to vacation with a yoga teacher!) we noticed this butterfly had just emerged from its chrysalis and was drying its wings before flying away. It stayed there for a couple of hours. There’s milkweed everywhere, and I loved seeing caterpillars and butterflies all over the place. That was one thing that makes the honey from the area so special – the abundance of wildflowers, and lack of commercial crops. We went to see one of our host’s neighbours, and learned about the honey he harvested, his homemade apple cider vinegar, and ate wild blueberries while he told us about everything. I came home with a lot of honey.
Not too shabby for yoga practice!! The gazebo was perfect. Open air, coverage from the sun… we even had a bat flying around one morning! (If you look at the post on the right, just near the joint, you can see the outline of the butterfly in the above picture)
Weather was perfect all week, we had one day that was a bit rainy, but it came and went during the day and we still got out and swam, and enjoyed the day.
This photo is showing only the water…. that’s how clear it is! You can see some bubbles at the very bottom, it was a couple of inches above those rocks.
My view from bed on the final morning, below. There was very little beach glass which surprised me with the rocky area, but I still managed to find a couple of little pieces. We had an incredible trip, and I’m so glad I’ve made an effort to travel more this summer. It’s not over yet, even with September looming, so I’d better get planning another mini getaway!