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A Day in the Land O’ Lakes

While I was on vacation a couple of weeks ago, an e-vite into my BlackBerry titled “Girls and Kids Day at the Beach.” Without reading the details, I just replied that I would be happy to partake.

And that day was yesterday. All up, there were six girlfriends and seven children invited up to a friend’s cottage for the day. Located in an area referred to as the Land O’ Lakes, the cottage was an easy drive from Ottawa. Just over an hour. Lucky for me, one of my girlfriends offered to drive me and my two munchkins up with hers in her minivan. So, without even having to drive, the schedule for the day was relax, relax, repeat!

We all arrived in the morning and brought a pot-luck lunch that was nibbled on for most of the day. I was so happy to see all the healthy foods because I am really trying to get myself back on track again after the moving-visitors-holidays-extravaganza of stress = poor eating and no exercise (yes, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!). For my part, I made a huge salad with crisp snap peas, sweet red peppers, avocado and chucks of brie tossed in for extra good measure (normally I also include cashews in this salad, but two of the kids have nut allergies).

The schedule for the day was …. no schedule. We simply hung out by the beach area, which was super shallow so the kids could splash about. My daughter Stella is a fan of catching minnows and frogs, while some of the younger children were happy to play sand-castles.

And although Stella is a one-stop-shop of non-stop energy, even she couldn’t resist taking a few moments to simply enjoy the peace and beauty of the lake.

We also took the boat out into the middle of the bay so we could do some deep water swimming. Here we are, three heads a bobbing, having a refreshing swim.

Now, to be real for a moment, we girls didn’t actually get to sit down much since we were running after the toddlers (one of which is mine and is in the middle of toilet-training) in our group. But I knew that from the outset and set my expectations accordingly. And I think you can tell by looking at my face that the day exceeded my expectations:

So, here’s to girlfriends! And long live days at the lake! Jennifer, Jennifer, Julie, Jacqueline, April — Thanks.

Want to plan your own getaway in Land O’ Lakes? Easy! You can rent a cottage (Sharbot Lake and Bob’s Lake are particularly popular spots), set-up camp, or even book into a lodge. Best to bring up your own groceries since prices in the small villages can be high.

Go Girlfriend! This is a fun website that shares travel tips for Girlfriend trips, Adventure outings, and Spas in Canada, the Caribbean, and the United States. I’m submitting this post into their contest called #GGBliss, where the winner receives a ticket to the blogging conference called Blissdom Canada, taking place in October right around the time of my 40th Birthday.


  1. Sounds like a wonderful day!

  2. Great story, Julie! Thanks so much for entering the GoGirlfriend #GGBliss contest. We’re updating our site today and will have your entry listed there soon! Good luck!

  3. Lara Wellman says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun! Shallow beaches with young kids are the best! I’m an all summer at the lake kind of girl so this is just my style :)

  4. Jacqueline says:

    I love days like this – even though they aren’t relaxing :).  I especially love days like this when they are spent with the closest of friends…friends I have had for over 20 years and consider to me more like sisters.  Glad to raise our children together, spend lazy summer days at a beautiful cottage and watch our children experience new things together.

    There is truly nothing like a summer day at the lake with friends.  Thanks for getting the memory in writing Julie – we need more great days like this.

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