My sister was visiting from London recently, and during the visit we found ourselves discussing the ways that people relax in Muskoka at the cottage. Of course you’d be hard pressed to find two people who find the same things relaxing, but part of the joy of the Muskoka lifestyle is the opportunity to find new ways to enjoy cottage time, and what better way to enjoy life than to discover what others do for relaxation.
Here are a few of my favourites:
1. Working for the Weekend
When my husband gets to the cottage, his relaxation routine starts by immediately getting to work. He gets out the lawn mower, stacks the firewood, puts the sea-doos in the water, makes sure the boat is working… For him, the very best way to relax on his holiday is to start things off by getting all of the chores out of the way so he can do exactly what he wants, when he wants.
2. Jane Austen or Bust
My sister loves to read. It’s not uncommon for her to disappear for hours on end, only for me to find her down on the dock having some alone time with a glass of pinot grigio and a good book. For her, the ultimate in relaxation involves watching the waves and listening to silence.
One of the most important things you learn when you reach adulthood is the wonder of a good nap. There’s nothing quite like cracking open the windows, letting fresh air filter through the cottage, and having a little siesta. Need to refresh your cortisol levels? Napping is the very best thing for you. 20 minutes is all it takes to feel like a whole new person.
Seriously, go try it. I’ll wait.
4. The early bird always catches the worm
For some people, relaxation involves fishing poles and the kind of calm water you can only get early in the morning. Whether you’re bringing something home for dinner or you catch-and-release, most anglers will tell you that there’s nothing quite so relaxing as quiet time on the lake with a fishing pole in hand.
5. Break Out the Brushes
I love to paint, but not the kind you’d expect – I am no Picasso or Ryan Sobkovich. Instead, I love to go to Home Depot, grab a few brushes and some cans of paint, and return to the cottage to redecorate. I’ll paint everything from door trims to baseboards…you name it. If it has a chip in it (or even if it doesn’t), I’ll make it look pretty. It might be because my father was a builder, but for me, relaxing tends to involve construction, at least in some form!
6. Vodka Martini. Shaken, Not Stirred.
Some can’t wait to get to the cottage and crack open that first bottle of wine (and I don’t blame them). There is nothing quite so sweet as that first sip of your favourite beverage as you settle in to a relaxing evening on the dock (or the deck). It’s a great opportunity to unwind, whether you’re sharing it with a special someone, or having some laughs with all of your favourite people.
7. Did Someone Say S’mores?
I couldn’t complete this list without one of the most popular cottage activities – the campfire. Whether you like roasting marshmallows, singing songs, or just watching the flames dance, there’s nothing quite like it. A good friend of ours loves a big campfire, and the first thing he does when he gets to the cottage is get a good fire going. It takes great patience to build the perfect fire, but for him, there’s nothing quite so relaxing.
Everyone has a favourite activity that they do to unwind at the cottage, and these are just a few. What is your idea of relaxing at the cottage? Let me know in the comments.