30th ANNIVERSARY - aka VOW RENEWAL
2020 and before covid... we (hubby Richard and me... Cas 😬) were planning our 30th wedding anniversary. We love a good beach and had planned for a gathering of family and friends to attend a vow renewal on PEI. Beautiful seaside cottage on the dunes (steps from the sand!) was booked to accommodate 14 for Sept 1,2020. It wasn’t cheap (location, location, location) and after 52 years on this earth and lots of travelling under our belts... I know that when we vacation... comfy/cozy places that beat our modest Ottawa home are a priority. Nothing wrong w/ wanting a vacation that’s more than day to day life!
QUE COVID - LATE FEB/MAR 2020
We knew Covid would be an issue but remained hopeful right up until June. With all plans of travel cancelled... we decided to postpone our vow renewal till 2021 and then scrambled to find at least a family vacation (with our grown/flown two boys) option. Cottages seemed good option but none were available close to Ottawa and none had the sandy beach I wanted (I mean me cause... boys will sleep anywhere!). A good friend suggested camping. Say what?!? We used to camp when kids were little but from what I recall... was a lot of cooking, cleaning, daily rinse and repeat. Don’t get me wrong... amazing memories but all geared towards the kids with parents doing a whole lotta work and coming home exhausted. No thank you to sleeping on a hard ground, public washrooms and cold showers! So... I did what any Momma who was avoiding a rustic adventure would do and booked a 31 foot camper/RV on wheels. Yes to a bit of a bug barrier, hot showers and somewhat of a comfy bed. Next... needed to book some campsite. Was warned all the best campgrounds and sites would already be gobbled up. I got this... I am Mom - hear me roar lol... multiple campgrounds could work?! Sandbanks 2 nights, Presquile 2 nights... needed 3rd location close to home. Google was no help with everything else being booked but... I did find a small park - Bonnechere on Round Lake in Killaloe. Great reviews, big sandy beach, campsite backing on to a marsh... not perfect but would do in our pinch. Camper and sites booked... now we needed stuff cause summer 2019... had a garage sale and gave it alllll away (d’oh!🤦♀️).
1.5 HOUR ROAD TRIP - YEAH!
You know how when you search for something and magically those ads for the stuff you’re looking for start popping up... yeah... that’s what happened. Cottages for sale and real estate agents started hitting my feeds. Grew up at a cottage - Winnipeg Beach to be exact. Friday jump in the car, do lots of work at cottage, swim a little and head back to the city - rinse and repeat with what seemed like a heavy workload every single weekend. Nooooo thank you - ZERO interest in a cottage! Curiosity got the better of me though and I looked at the MLS to see what was available (I’m nosey like that and at 6am w/ my sweet java surfing web looking at non important stuff fir the bill that day - ha!). Voila... amazing 52” newly listed beachfront cottage popped up. I looked/loved what I saw and immediately wrangled the family for a road trip. It was hot hot hot (July 4th) and a 1.5 hour trip to peek at a cottage we wouldn’t buy and then spend the day at the beach... wasn’t to hard to sell!
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT ❤️
The minute we pulled up to the cottage, I knew... I knew it was something truly special and a hidden gem... the one so to speak/write. We all went straight to the beach... cause who cares what the inside looks like - lol. Amazing, incredible and unbelievable that a beach like this existed in Ontario and close to home too! The inside was a pleasant surprise too - little dated, lots of wood but it had good bones, layout, charm and crazy potential. We left, headed to Bonnechere Provincial Park and jumped in the lake... literally... for a few hours discussing this opportunity as a family. I swam, did handstands and kept my distance as they boys (all three of them) talked it out.... knowing that they needed to come up with the same conclusion I did - this property was meant to be! They agreed that the cottage and especially the location was extremely special and would make a great investment. Next day we headed to the bank, put an offer in and ugh.... of course... another offer came in. Last thing we wanted was a bidding war but we held tight and went after it dropping all conditions (dumb and I don’t recommend it!). Fast forward after a tense 24 hours and we were the proud owners of a beachfront cottage we’d seen once for less than an hour 😳
NEWBIE COTTAGE OWNERS
Needless to say, we canceled PEI Sea Dunes 2021 trip (equal to 6 months of mortgage payments!), cancelled camper rental (another couple months of mortgage payments... see part of my rationale here - lol!) and parks. Shifted to buying everything the cottage would need cause we nothing came with it. Ummm... trying to buy stuff during a pandemic with limited stock... not for the faint of heart!
SANDY PINES BEACHFRONT - NEXT STEPS
Our plan August 2020 was to live here until early Sept... to get a good sense of flow and what’s needed... and we did enjoying every moment spend at Sandy Pines! The plans have changed somewhat since then. Lots of renovations have happened including a BiG/NEW 28x14 deck with a beautiful pavilion for you to enjoy the view. Hot tub has arrived and much more is planned
For us, it’s all about creating family memories for us and our guests. An amazing location, incredible shallow and sand packed (no weeds, lilies or rocks) lake experience in a cottage that is comfy, cozy and a change from your every day grind. Relaxation and fun are at the forefront of Sandy Pines Beachfront providing you with all the little luxuries you deserve and the best bang for your buck!
We are new to this and for sure... my kids will say “Mom... way too much info!” but eh... I want to share w/ you. This is our Happy Place and maybe yours too?1?
LIFE IS GOOD
We are so excited to be able to share our little slice of heaven with you and your loved ones. We hope you’ll fall in love with the cottage, the sandy location on the lake nestled amongst the sky high pine 🌲 and birch trees like we have. Thank You for following us on our fun and crazy journey to transform this already special place into your “close to home” dream vacation getaway!
If you made it to the bottom of this post - please shoot us a message cause we’d love to hear from you and will answer any questions you may have. If you’ve any interest in booking a vacation here... just reach out❤️
Cas, Richard, Chas & Dylan