Friday, August 31, 2012

Muskoka Cottage where we are guests

O and her doll are ready for the boat trip
K and I worked together many years ago in tourism. We became instant friends when  she sauntered to my desk one day and  boldly but  lovingly  calls me  "OBE"(old blue eyes) as we resolved a serious issue on a booking to Antartica. We have both moved to different careers and still remain good friends.   K has a fun loving husband and two beautiful children.    It is a special birthday for K's father and I am commissioned to do some paintings of their beautiful cottage and surrounding area of Muskoka.  Muskoka approximately 2 hours from Toronto, is cottage country and many Torontoians and Americans own second homes.(celebrities are frequently seen) In summer the crystal clear lakes attract boaters, water-skiing and fishing.  In winter the lake freezes over and winter sports are enjoyed. We are greeted upon arrival by hand made signs, carefully scriped, in chalk,  by the children O and E

Following a Spanish themed lunch served al fresco, a familiarizatin trip by boat is decided.
Boathouse
Helen and K enjoy a drink at WindemereHouse
Sitting on  Muskoka chairs at Wndemere House
We take trips to the towns of Port Carling and Bala, through the Indian Reservation and this road sign took by breath away. Irish readers stop reading now!! I gingerly approached the sign with extreme caution and an eagle eye on the ground. (there is a small lake on each side of the road and presumably at certain times of the year there is mass slithering)

The air is clear. The temperature refreshing. The night sky is aglow with stars and the sound of the loon lulls us to sleep.

Have you been to Muskoka?  Which do you prefer the ocean or lake?



45 comments:

  1. Hello Helen:
    How magical this appears to be. And what fun to be meeting up with long standing friends, such a wonderful welcome from the children, and, following what sounds like a delicious lunch, to be whisked off in that very stylish boat, or should we say cabin cruiser, and then to enjoy a completely relaxing time in attractive and beautiful surroundings.

    Alas, we have not been to Muskoka. Most certainly our loss!!

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    Replies
    1. Hello Jane and Lance

      Muskoka is a beautiful corner of the world and the air is clean and the lake water sparkling and nights are cool. Our accommodation is luxurious and we we are being treated royally.

      Wishing you a weekend full of joy

      Helen xx

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  2. Muskoka sounds and looks a wonderful place Helen. How nice to be guests of old friends. Lots of catching up to do.
    I have never been to Canada.. only USA

    I myself prefer the Ocean. But that lake looks super.
    Happy painting Helen
    Enjoy your time with your friends.
    val

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    Replies
    1. Hello Valerie

      It is a beautiful place and the lake large. To enjoy Muskoka one must own or rent a cottage on the water. There are no public beaches as such, which differs from the ocean, where there are long sandy beaches suitable for walking and sunbathing. This is a much more private type of escape.

      Hope you have a great weekend.

      Helen xx

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  3. I have never been to Muskoka...beautiful! I prefer the ocean but still love the lakes immensely. WIshing you a beautiful weekend OBE! xx

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    1. Hello Mona

      I think you would enjoy the lake as would your cat boys. There were several chip monks who might have been a big temptation. She still calls me OBE hee hee

      Helenxx

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  4. Hello Helen,
    What a beautiful place to visit,I love anywhere that is close to water and over the years we have always chosen places to visit either by lakes or the sea.
    Sarah x

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sarah

      It is beautiful here by the lake and in particular this time of year when the mosquitos have gone and the evenings are cool and a feather duvet is heavenly

      Helen xx

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  5. 'Irish readers stop reading now!!'

    That made me smile. Just call in ol' St. Pat. :)

    Helen, this sounds like a very nice time. I love the chalked welcome. You always seem to have such beautiful weekends with loved ones!

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    1. Hello Suze

      You are right. St. Patrick would have had his work cut out here!!!

      The chalked welcome was totally unexpected and we are blessed to have good friends who still like us.

      Helen xx

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  6. What a delightful setting and such a lovely greeting on your arrival.
    My brother and his wife have a log cabin near Havelock, Peterborough County, which is a couple of hours from Toronto. My geography of the region is appalling, but I am sure it must be in that region.
    "O" looks a little cutie with her pretty curly locks.
    Have a wonderful time, and happy painting.
    I love the white flowers on the last photo, however, I am not familiar with them, and wonder if you know what they are?

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    Replies
    1. Hello Rosemary

      Peterboro is a beautiful area and is about two hours East of Toronto Muskoka is 2 hours North of Toronto but possible to drive between the two areas.
      O and E are very special children, who are so much fun and we miss them so much.

      I am afraid I do not know the name of the white flower- it is large possibly 6-7" in circumference - 5 petals.

      Hope you have a wonderful weeekend

      Helen xx

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  7. I prefer the lake for freshness and crispness but the ocean for excitement and spiritual connections.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Becky

      I love your description of the lake and the ocean and I shall remember this as you have worded it beautifully.

      Have a weekend of joy
      Helen xx

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  8. I am seeing this right before heading off to sleep and how lucky for me as it is certain to give me good dreams. Like our wonderful friends the Hattatts, yes the word is "magical" and there is none better!

    Gros bisous,
    H

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    Replies
    1. Hello Heather

      Hope you have a wonderful sleep and that the Blue Moon allows all of you, including Ben, a full night's sleep.
      Jane and Lance always select the most suitable word and I look forward to reading their posts and yours as you both use the English language so beautifully.

      Helen xx

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  9. oh I love both the ocean and the lake!
    The Muskoka area looks lovely.

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    Replies
    1. Yes you must come to Muskoka some time.

      I agree with you on the beauty of both the lake and ocean

      Helen xx

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  10. This looks stunning and beautiful! I bet you had a wonderful time. It has an air about of which I would say it is typical American - we do not have this over here or at least not in Switzerland. I love lakes for bathing but to me the Ocean is always something that overwhelms me. Thanks, Helen for this wonderful post! Have a good weekend! Christa

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    Replies
    1. Hello Christa

      There is a beauty and uniqueness about Muskoka and the subsidiaries of the five great lakes. Visitors are always in awe of the vastness of the lakes in this region. There are no beaches, as such, other than small sand areas by each cottage.

      Thank you for your kind words and wishing you a weekend of joy

      Helen xx

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  11. It looks fabulous there Helen:) Lovely photos!
    ~Anne

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    Replies
    1. Hello Anne

      Thank you for visiting and your kind words. The colours are beautiful and the weather co-operated.

      Helen xx

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  12. Beautiful! I love love the haunting sounds of loons. Lake are so tranquil, fresh and timeless, but if I could only choose one it would be the ocean.

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    1. Hello Jen

      You are right the sound from the loon is haunting and echoes.
      I am in agreement with you about loving the ocean over a lake.
      I was born right by the Atlantic ocean and the beach was our front yard.

      Hope you have a weekend of fun
      Helen x

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  13. "Mass slithering" - eek! Muskoka looks and sounds wonderful, very relaxing. I love both lake and ocean. I visit Lake Garda every year and dip my toes in the Med also in a variety of places. Impossible to chose!

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    1. Hello

      EEk is right. I was awe struck when I spotted this road sign. Muskoka is a great place to relax and wonderful for sleeping with such fresh air. Both the lake and ocean have their advantages and beauty.
      Hope you have a wonderful week

      Helenxx

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  14. My dear Helen, Muskoka looks like an exquisite place for a visit. It's like a similar version of the lake district. The blue sky and the glittering sea and the red roof which reminds me of the colour of cherry on the cake. Thank you so much for taking us to the most relaxing place...above all, seeing a piece of blue sky and the sea is always refreshing to me!!

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    1. Dear ASD

      I have yet to visit the lake district but I am sure it is beautiful. Muskoka is quite unique and has much to offer. It is a perfect get away from it all place and yet there are towns nearby. One has an excellent bakery. The Summer this year has been one of the best with record temperatures.

      Have a week of joy

      Helen xx

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  15. Dear Helen,

    I would love to go to Muskoka one day! It looks like a beautiful place. I understand why people from Toronto have a holiday home there! Your days sounds lovely!!

    Happy new week!

    Madelief x

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    Replies
    1. Hello Madelief

      You would like Muskoka and there is much to discover.
      Perhaps one day. Many Canadians have second homes and weekend traffic is hectic to get to their summer homes, some have farms and some cottages. Three hours each way on the weekend is not unusual.

      Hope your week is special

      Helen xx

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  16. This looks and sounds a wonderful place to visit, and a great area to have a holiday home.
    The brake for snakes sign must have been a surprise!
    Hope you had a great time visiting with your friend and family, and had a successful painting trip too.
    Have a great week Helen
    Gill xx

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    1. Hello Gill

      A wonderful place indeed. This was definitely a new road sign for us. We had a lovely time and felt rested from the fresh air and good meals.

      My painting is still in progress.

      Wishing you a great week

      Helen xx

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  17. What a pleasant time you must be having. Very touching, the welcome message the children provided.

    I like the ocean because of the sounds, but lakes are so calm and peaceful. I'll take both, please!

    Muskoka sounds so charming, but watch out for those snakes.

    Sanda

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    1. Hello Sanda

      Yes we were given a warm welcome and the children are so much fun.

      So glad we did not have occasion to meet a snake. It is a beautiful area and peaceful.

      Helen xx

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  18. what a precious photos of the baby dolls!

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    1. Yes the children were a highlight of the trip.
      Helen x

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  19. I love the name - "Muskoka"; there's a certain poetic ring to it. Everything you describe here, sounds so beautiful and in a very content way. Old friends, ocean breeze, clear blue skies - perfect!
    But where are the paintings? I hope we get to see them in a future post. And yes, that sign creeps me out too!

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    1. Hello Suman

      You are right, Muskoka is a great name. I believe it is an Indian word of the Chippewa tribe.

      We had a wonderful time and the paintings are still in the making.

      Hope all is well with you

      Helen xx

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  20. I have not been to Muskoka but would like to, one day. Isn't L. M. Montgomery's book "The Blue Castle" set there?

    I would not like the slithery creatures at all and would hope to NOT go at that time of year.

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    1. Hello Lorrie

      Muskoka is certainly worth visiting. I did not know LM Montgomery wrote about it and must find a copy of this book.Thank you for sharing this information.

      Have a glorious week.

      Helen xx

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  21. I love being near the water...ocean, lake or mountain brook! This looks like a fabulous area to visit at this time of year. I know you'll enjoy spending time there! And I look forward to more photos! We live different lives...but we're friends! That's one of the benefits of blogging! Sweet Southern hugs!

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    1. Hello Diane

      Blogging is indeed wonderful and I find I have learned so much and from your postings too, you write so beautifully about the lesser known areas of Florida.

      There is a uniqueness about Muskoka and the air and water are so clean and fresh.

      Wishing you a glorious week

      Helen

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  22. Hi Helen,
    I've never heard of, or been to Muskoka but it looks divine. Those shots were all postcard worthy. As an island girl, I'll definitely take the ocean over the lake.
    p.s. thanks for the kinds words about my store over on mixandchic and for checking out the goodies. Feel free to swing by the blog as well and see what we're up to. Have a great week.

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  23. The way you describe it, it reminds me of when I would come to New England on vacation. It's different - the feeling - than living here. and you've touched a memory - a feeling - but I'm not sure how to describe it. The feeling is almost like going to 'camp' but not. I think it's simply, you've stirred those feelings of being on vacation. (It's been a long, long while since I've been on a vacation. ;)) Good feelings!

    and, it's early in the morning.... I haven't been able to sleep.... and I know that my comment is rambling....stumbling thoughts... but I'll just leave them. It's how they came to me and I don't think that I could get them lined up how they should be if I tried, anyway. Ah, well! =]

    Have a lovely day, Helen!!! =]

    xxo

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