The girls and I just got back from a week at the cottage — Blake was there for the first few days but he had to come back for work mid-week. We stayed a full week and had a great time.
We stayed on the same beach as last year, but in a different cottage; this one was further up the beach on a rockier bit, which meant we had to trek down the road a ways to get to the sandy swimming beach. The beach we were on, though — the backyard of the cottage— had a sandy part for sitting and reading or digging in, and also lots of rocks for climbing and collecting and sliding on, so it was by no means a disaster.
The cottage had two bedrooms on the main floor and another double bed and single bed up in the loft, a little room amateurishly cobbled together in the rafters, accessible by a ladder-like staircase. Blake and I and Delphine slept there for the first weekend; after Morgan and Erik and Blake left the girls and I moved into one of the main floor bedrooms and I got to experience the quiet but deep satisfaction of falling asleep to the sound of my children's breath.
The place was pretty cottagy; I don't understand this love of wood panelling. Nostalgia, I suppose. Zaida went to scope out a different cottage for next year. It had been freshly gutted and decorated with, you guessed it, wood panelling. Nice, new wood panelling. I would slap gallons of white paint around if I had one of these places. This cottage did have some of the midcentury furnishings I favour; two beautiful pairs of wood armchairs in a fine, elegant Danish style. I couldn't get Blake to see past the orange vinyl on one pair and green tweed on the other to appreciate their airiness and elegantly tapered legs, though.
We spent a lot of time on the beach. I stupidly got sunburned twice but the girls weren't at all; they are just a little tan. Delphine was a superstar in the water; by the end of the week she was getting bowled over by waves and just picking herself up and facing the next one. Perhaps this is more interesting if you know what a fraidy cat she normally is! It's satisfying to see her face her fears and enjoy herself.
Cordelia wasn't so hot on the water; I think she doesn't like to be cold. I have lots of pictures of her looking variously forlorn, miserable, cranky and disgruntled on the beach. (I will post pictures soon.) Cordelia did have some fun playing with Zaida in the waves, but Zaida is extremely good at finding the fun for little people.
We ate well; barbecued ribs, burgers, chicken, and hot dogs; freshly picked corn on the cob, watermelon, ice cream, new potatoes, field tomatoes. Beer. Every day we tried to eat up the leftovers and every night the fridge was fuller than ever.
Baba and Zaida had some friends over on the last night we were there, two couples. Delphine was very apprehensive about meeting them, but when I exhorted her to be brave she pulled herself together and both girls were very nicely behaved and charming. Another fear conquered! Delphine took it upon herself to take care of Cordelia; when Cordelia said she was done eating Delphine wiped her up with a napkin, very officiously. Delphine was also very happy to show the guests down to the lake. As a special bonus I got to talk to adults about brainy things like computers and books. Hooray! I need to make some new friends, or perhaps just reaquaint myself with the friends I already have.
So another successful trip to the cottage, and Zaida already has next year's cottage picked out. We refine our requirements every year; by 2015 we will have identified the perfect cottage.