Cottage Christmas

This past weekend we had the pleasure of heading up to our family cottage in the French River to spend some Holiday time with my family. I love a cottage Christmas!

Winter on the French River.

Winter on the French River.

We drove the four hours North, and through the beautiful Canadian Shield to reach the family cottage on the French River. It is a beautiful backdrop, but it was not without its challenges. We winterized the cottage in the fall, so we needed to get all the utilities up and running to make it a comfortable stay. Once we arrived, the electricity was easily turned on, then the furnace and fireplace got fired up. That left us with the hard task; getting the water running.

A roaring fire is mandatory!

A roaring fire is mandatory!

It was not a small feat. A hole was cut in the ice, water line inserted, buckets of water pulled up from the river and ran up the hill to fill the water line and prime the pump. We eventually got everything up and running, and the heated water line turned on. It was all great until the temperature dipped overnight and the heated water line failed. Womp Womp.

Chassis the Cane Corso keeping a watch as the pump and lines get set up for secondary water.

Chassis the Cane Corso keeping a watch as the pump and lines get set up for secondary water.

The next morning saw us set up a backup pump and hoses, and pump water from the river up to buckets. This meant we could use the water to flush the utilities, and bottled water for cooking. Not ideal, but without any water we wouldn’t be able to do much. Luckily however a few hours later the heated line started working again and thawed our water line back out. Yay! Running water! Quick! Shower! Do dishes! Flush the loo!

The view of the frozen river.

The view of the frozen river.

With water back up and running, it was time to get the party started. We piled into the truck, and headed out to the bush to find a tree. The trees on our property are not the purpose planted bushy Christmas trees, but instead Northern pine and spruce. The trees are tall, thin, and sparse, but absolutely beautiful. We stumbled upon a beautiful 20 foot tree, cut it down, and dragged it into the back of the truck. It stuck off about 10′ off the back of the truck. In order to stop the tree from falling off the truck, I hopped in the back and held onto the tree.

Me in the truck, holding onto the tree!

Me in the truck, holding onto the tree!

Back at the cottage with the tree in tow (yay! I didn’t fall out the back of the truck!) We set it up in the only spot it would fit; direct center in the great room with the vaulted ceilings. Even with the high peak of the roof, we only had inches to spare!

The tree!

The tree!

I do not have a ton of photos after the tree went up. Because; wine. Decorations, amazing food, more wine, and gifts ensued, and we were all fast asleep on the sofas by 11pm. We know how to party in the North. Must be all the fresh air.

Christmas Decor: Danish Nisse. Nisse are little elves who keep an eye on your to make sure you're behaving, but they also get up to some mischielf on their own. These paper Nisse have been decorating my family home at Christmas for as long as I can remember.

Christmas Decor: Danish Nisse. Nisse are little elves who keep an eye on your to make sure you’re behaving, but they also get up to some mischielf on their own. These paper Nisse have been decorating my family home at Christmas for as long as I can remember.

The next morning after a wonderful brunch, we all packed up and headed back to the city. My parents are staying the cottage for the next week. Lucky them!

Hopefully we will be able to get back up there this winter, and enjoy some snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and a few more nights warming up by the fire.

A view of the property and the side of the main cottage. The cottage is built into the rock facing the river.

A view of the property and the side of the main cottage. The cottage is built into the rock facing the river.

Next up, we get to celebrate with El Grantos family.

What are your plans for the holidays? Headed North?

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