Girlfriends, homemade sangria and Canadian cottage country make for a great combination. Everyone needs a mini getaway now and then to disconnect from the deadlines and busy schedules, so I took this past weekend to do just that; with some of the women I love most.
Road trips are like a little source of therapy. Whether you’re alone with your thoughts or struggling to fit in a word over your best friends, the stretch of open road ahead calls for excitement and possibility. Even if it’s only for a weekend, escaping the city limits can be the perfect way to revamp and gain some perspective.
My friend Paige and I cruised down the Trans-Canada in her Ford Escape from Manitoba to Ontario on Friday evening. We were headed to Malachi, Ontario, a lake North of Kenora. We drove down three different highways for three hours before reaching the end of the “Malachi road”; a forever winding gravel path that keeps you guessing until you finally round the last bend to see two docks and a makeshift parking lot.
Malachi doesn’t have roads leading to the cottages on the lake, so four of our girlfriends were waiting for us on a barge to boat us back to the cottage.
Before we even left the docks we toasted the weekend off with a bottle of champagne celebrating my friend who had officially become a nurse earlier that day. It was black outside, and the barge puttered along in the dark, the other boats we’d seen at the docks passing us along the way.
It was 28 degrees on Saturday, an out of character weather trend for late September us prairie people. We started off the day with a short hike up to Old Baldy. And when I say short, I mean we wore flip flops and Toms. My girlfriends and I might live in perpetual flatland, but the hike had a slope was just high enough to get us to a lookout point where we could see the lake and forest for miles.
September at the lake is typically just cold enough that it is too cold to go swimming. We did anyways. Washed our hair too. With eco-friendly shampoo none the less.
We made the most of the summer sun with “Sangria Saturday”. Sangria from scratch matched with an afternoon on the lake was the perfect way to kick back and unwind.
If there is a single best thing about the lake, it is the Canadian night sky. Even after travelling all over Europe and parts of Asia, I never found myself looking up at the sky and finding anything come close to the stars at home. I found myself lying in the grass staring up at the stars. It sounds totally cheesy and completely cliché, but I won’t deny how humbling it was to spend time away from all of the background noise of the city.
Overlooking the lake and the sky on Saturday night, I felt the rush of one of my favourite feelings travelling instilled in me; the humbling realization of how tiny of a place you occupy in this world.
Maybe I’m getting confused with what it’s like to be “one” with nature , but I felt the same rush when I stood on top a volcano in Scotland, on top of a ski summit in the Canadian Rockies, and the summit of Parc Guell in Barcelona; the concept brings stress into perspective and pulls my feet back down on the ground.
Since my CreComm school program requires I become savvy with a DSLR camera, I took this weekend as an opportunity to become familiar with the mechanics of my new Nikon. I put together a little video to summarize our weekend escape, just for fun. For all you media techs who might feel like the video you’re about to see belongs in amateur hour, it does! I intend on improving my skills with little projects like this.