Here we are on the cusp of December and many of us are already dreaming of the wonderful things that we might enjoy next summer.
As images of black Friday shoppers trampling each other to get into the store first flicker across the television screen, my heart yearns for the peaceful, friendly days at the cottage.
Sunshine, beaches, swimming, barbeques, fishing, boating, campfires, nature trails and quality down time with the family might be some of the things that come to mind for you as well.
When my children were young, we got up in the wee hours, packed up our car and made the 6 hour drive to a beautiful place up north. Factoring in stops along the way for coffee, food, potty breaks and Toronto traffic - it was usually more like 8 hours to get there. After a long ride in the car the kids were hungry, restless and anxious to have some fun.
And at the end of the week, we would do it all again in reverse.
I think back to the countless times that I said out loud or thought to myself about Pelee Island, "Oh yeah, I have to check that place out one day..." Boy - if I had done that twenty years ago!!
Instead of an 8 hour drive, I could have had a 30-40 minute drive to Kingsville or Leamington. Once you drive your car onto the ferry and settle in for the 90 minute ride over to the island - you notice that you are already in that peaceful, calm vacation mode.
The ferry ride is just another part of the summer fun. Standing out on the deck, enjoying the breeze and the sunshine. Watching the wake of the Jiimaan in the water and the seagulls, terns and cormorants that follow the boat watching for the fish that will feed on their food sources stirred up by the wake.
I am still suprised at how quickly that 90 minutes passes! I love boat rides and this one is really cool - how often do you get to drive your car on and off a ferry in your lifetime?
As soon as you are on the island, you will notice a few things. After the boat traffic clears, there is a noticeable lack of traffic - even on a busy labour day weekend! Remember - this is "downtown" Pelee Island!
Next, and I know this might seem shocking - even painful, but, trust me - it will be OK, I promise. There is no Tim Hortons (or any other franchise) on the island. Breathe.... OK? There IS something even better!! Conorlee's bakery at the northwest part of the island - right on your way to North Shore Nest - has the most amazing coffee, tea, lattes, pizza, pastries, sorbet... Mmmm... I could so go for their chai tea right now - come on spring!!!
One thing you must notice and get with the program is - everyone waves to each other. As you drive along - any bicyclist, or the odd vehicle and people sitting out in their yards will wave to you as you pass by. Isn't this just the most welcoming, friendly, heart-warming community?
At our North Shore Nest - we LOVE our location! Our beach is shallow, sandy and quiet. Within ten minutes in any direction, some by car, some by foot - you can find many beaches to explore! If it's a windy, wavy day on one shore, just around the corner is another shore that will be calmer. If there are too many people on one beach, a short way away, you will find one more secluded.
Don't forget that this is the farthest south you will get in Canada. That means it's the most tropical environment you will find. Lake Erie is shallow which makes the waters warmer and the days hotter!! If you put on some reggae music - with the sun, the sand and the water - it's just like being in the Carribbean!
The difference? No airport hassles, far less costly, far more convenient. Easier for travelling with little ones. Easier if you have older ones. Mine are old enough that they work now. This way, we can all have a vacation. They can come out for a few days around their work schedule and we're all happy.
What are YOU thinking about for your next summer vacation?
January is said to be when the rush for booking cottage rentals takes place. Why not give yourself an early Christmas present and book your summer vacation on Pelee Island?
Our cottage, we've affectionately named "North Shore Nest" is a great opportunity. According to other cottage owners on the island, most are fully booked year after year by repeat vacationers. Since we are new owners, our calendar is very open for bookings and most of the peak rental times are available. It's a great time to get ahead of the crowds and claim your favourite week.
We would be so happy to have you as our guests and see you and your family enjoy the wonders of Pelee Island!