Viamede’s Summer Bucket List

Summer is officially here (anyone else ready to say so long to that cold and rainy spring?)! School’s out, long weekends await, and cottaging season is on. We put together our top 5 picks to check off your summer bucket list – Viamede style.

Feed Farm Pigs

Guests can go to the Viamede Farm at any time to visit with our turkeys, ducks, chickens, and quail. If you come along for a farm tour in the afternoon (part of our recreation schedule), you can help feed our pigs! We’ll also tell you all about how our farm works, where eggs are collected, and let you cuddle with a silkie chicken (they are very silky).

Feed Pigs at Viamede Farm; located at Viamede Resort in the Kawarthas

Join a Wild Food Hunt

Come along with staff for a foraging expedition and learn more about how wild food can be used in your kitchen. With things like cattails, chives, wild berries, and greens, what we find might just be in tonight’s dinner menu. For the foodies, we also recommend a tasting at Mount Julian and one of our other activities like Pickling or Bread Making Class.

Cannonball into Stoney Lake

There’s nothing like a classic Canadian summer of enjoying life on the lake. While you can kick back and relax by the pool (no judgement here), we’ve included this on our bucket list because taking a big leap off the water trampoline and cannon-balling into the lake is too much fun.

Family friendly resort; Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas; Viamede Resort

Go Cycling

If you’ve brought your own wheels or want to borrow one of ours, there are some neat places to check out by bicycle! You can stick to the back roads and explore along Stoney Lake (Eels Creek, about a 9 km ride, has a great hiking trail). Head back up to Highway 28 (which has paved shoulders), and pedal to Burleigh Falls for a picnic by the lock.

Try Something New

Whether you’ve never fished, played disc golf, gone stand-up paddleboarding, or been tubing, we’ll help you say you did something totally new this summer.

 


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.


A Weekend Fit For A Queen

I’m sitting here, on the tail end of the first real weekend of summer. Slightly exhausted, generally soaked, and really, really happy.

There are countless stories among guests, staff, and even the poor poor sunfish that decided to be near our shore, but we’ll have to keep it to the highlights for now.

Culinary:

This weekend, Mount Julian really came out in its full splendour for the summer. Chef Alexander and I spent the week foraging, and we found countless edibles – wild leeks have been out a few weeks, but the spruce tips only opened on Thursday. Clover, dandelion (leaves for salad, flowers for cookies), garlic mustard (an invasive plant we love to eat), wild chives, mint, trout lillies, and even wild purple violets. I don’t think Chef was happy when I described his lovingly crafted salad as “lawn trimmings,” but, well, I thought it was apt (and delicious).

 

Finding Friends:

One of our new initiatives is the “Find A Friend” board  – after years of recreation programming, we have realized that guests make the best memories on their own. We still offer a recreation program, but also have a board for guests who share interests to meet.

This weekend, a family of 8 decided to organize a scavenger hunt, of sorts, based on the letters of VIAMEDE – draw an Ant. Eat an ice cube. There was a great turn out, and the kids all came away with new friends.

 

Guests:

Our guests were, unsurprisingly, awesome. The rain on Saturday brought people together in the dining room. The sun on Sunday created a rush for our boats. Our pool decks had more water on them than the pools had in them, thanks to splashing kids. BBQs at cottages and our new BBQ patio, The Porch, got heavy use.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention fishing. This time of year, for someone like me, fishing can be a bit boring – pickerel aren’t all that fun to catch, and not much else is in season. But for kids, this is the best time of year. My fly rod’s been working for a few weeks, but the hot sun finally got the sunfish, crappy, and perch biting. On Friday, some guests had rods from their friends with some very strange lures until I got them some simple jigs, and worms the next day. The rest of the weekend, rain notwithstanding, kids were passing around half a dozen fishing rods, catching hundreds of fish in total. It was great to watch!

 

The Farm:

After a late start, our piglets are off to the races. They’re still too small for the big pen (they’d easily escape the fence holes), so for now, they’re in the turkey pen. Our Easter chicks are doing well. This week, we should be getting turkeys, ducks, and quail. Bob, our gardener, has the veggies off to a strong start, and we should get more than we’ve ever gotten from our gardens.

So, life is good. Summer is here!

 

Cheers,

Ben