Spring Cleaning at Viamede

by Ben Samann, General Manager

My family has a long tradition of spring cleaning. There’s something so satisfying to seeing the first signs of spring, going outside in a t-shirt, taking a breath of (what seems like) warm spring air, then dashing into some unseen corner of the house to purge whatever’s accumulated there.

Both at home and at Viamede, we’re often surprised by what comes out, really.

Every year, Viamede closes in April to get ready for summer (we will be open for the Easter weekend!). Usually we do a lot of small projects we never get to otherwise, as well as just a general property clean up.

This year, we’re doing it a bit differently.

I’ve owned Viamede for over 8 years now, and honestly, there are crawl spaces and storage rooms I probably go into less than once a year. We have outbuildings that probably served a purpose at one point, but they’ve just been sitting here for a decade, housing wildlife and… stuff.

So, amid a dozen other projects (replacing some railings, building a more permanent sun shelter, changing our lock system, painting, staining, and similar), we’re also doing our first (annual?) yard sale, to raise money for Kawartha Land Trust.

We’re selling over 100 dining room chairs we no longer need, tables, old tools, mismatched wrenches, lamps, and just about anything else you can imagine. We have random odds and ends that came from the top shelf of a storage room that have been here longer than I have. There are kitchen implements we bought last year and just never used. There’s a box of St Patrick’s Day decor, and some oddly over-sized cocktail glasses (click here for event information).

Anything we don’t sell will be donated to Habitat For Humanity, or other charitable shops.

Now, as to our big projects for the season:
  • We are long-overdue to rebuild our railing on the second floor. We’re just waiting for the glass to arrive.
  • After a few years of an electronic keycard lock system, we’re ready to move on. That system is being replaced with a keypad lock, which will reduce plastic waste and cut down on guests who have lost their keys needing to find us.
  • We are getting rid of our umbrellas at the pool, and replacing them with a permanent shade structure. Additionally, we may or may not be able to make some changes to the pool fence to open up the view a bit more.
  • We’re replacing our conference tables (currently plywood) with solid maple tops, as well as replacing the bar in 1885 with a solid maple end grain butcher-block.
  • Plus lots more spring cleaning. Keep an eye on our Instagram to stay in the loop on what’s going on!

Packing For A Viamede Cottage Stay

by Alyssa Joynt

Going on vacation can be stressful.  The packing rush, the multiple turn-arounds for forgotten chargers, favourite stuffed animals, and bathing suits, and the constant chimes of “Are we there yet?” from the back seat make getting on the road difficult.  That’s why we want to make it easier for you with the perfect cottage packing list.  So grab a pen and paper and start taking notes for your need-to-bring list… wait, don’t do that.  We’ve done it for you!

Bedding and Towels

The last thing you want to worry about while on vacation is laundry, so it’s a good thing you don’t have to.  All of our cottages get full housekeeping service, so your beds will be freshly made (yes, we provide sheets and blankets) and your bathroom is fully equipped with full sets of fluffy towels.  It might not be a bad idea to bring your brightest beach towel to decorate your porch railing, though.

The Kitchen Sink

One of the things people like about our cottages is that it gives them the opportunity to cook their own food (and if that isn’t your shtick, you can get all of your food at The Boathouse or even enjoy the comfort of home-made food minus the prep, by ordering from our signature BBQ Menu).  We provide the pots and pans, all of the dishware, coffee and a coffee maker, a fridge, a microwave, a toaster, and even an oven and a stove, depending on the cottage you book.

If you are particularly partial to a specialized coffee, or you can’t live without your morning smoothie, bringing your coffee machine or blender might be a good idea.  We don’t have a lot of specialized cooking ware, but we do give you the counter space for it!

All cottages also have a barbecue, because what is cottage country without a night spent grilling, drinking a beer, and catching up with family and friends out on your front porch?  And don’t worry about packing the kitchen sink – our cottages all have sinks, dish rags, and dish soap to help with the clean up.

So all you need is any food you won’t be eating at our restaurants, and any specialty cookware you can’t live without.

Toiletries

You know what’s also annoying to pack? Hair products.  To this day we are still perplexed about how to conveniently travel with something that isn’t quite solid and isn’t quite liquid.  With our full housekeeping service comes regular refills of shampoo and conditioner, so unless you have a specialized kind we’ve got you covered! We also provide hair dryers, but I personally prefer the beach-hair-don’t-care look. We also provide soap, so the only supplies from your bathroom that you’ll need are sunscreen, toothbrushes and toothpaste (but if you forget those we have some at the Front Desk!). And maybe makeup and hairspray (but we encourage you to go cottage-chic and throw the hair in a pony, and freshen your complexion with nothing more than your fave sunblock).

 

We hope you’re looking forward to your vacation almost as much as we are looking forward to having you, and we hope this has helped answer some of your perplexing packing problems.  Just remember to pack underwear, bathing suits, sunscreen, and your sense of fun, and of course your camera so you can relive it all when you return to real life.