One of the perks of retirement is being able to pick up and go for a day or a weekend. Sometimes our weekends are in the middle of the week and isn’t that just the greatest feeling? It makes us happy. This past weekend the hubby and I were invited to join some friends at their cottage. Situated on Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe in Ontario, Canada, Orillia is the perfect location for a weekend getaway.
As we drive toward our destination, we really enjoy the countryside views. Everything is finally green. It’s been a long, cold, snowy winter and even the first couple of weeks of May have been too chilly to enjoy being outdoors. But the farmers are out plowing and planting, the cows are even running and we spotted many, many lambs cavorting with their buddies. We are hearty Canadians and embrace all the seasons but spring is hands down the winner in my book.
There is a sweet village we pass through on the way called Brechin. The residents are proud of their small village and spend time making the street pretty. During the spring, summer and into fall, you’ll spot old bicycles along the way, painted in a variety of colours and later on some will even have potted flowers on the handlebars or where the seats used to be.
Our friends have a lovely bungalow right on Lake Couchiching and we love to visit. At this time of year, it’s still pretty quiet there, not too many ‘summer’ people have arrived yet. At the height of the season it’s safe to say the town’s population doubles on the weekends, but right now folks are preparing for the fun to come.
Art and culture are obviously important to Orillia residents. It is the home of Stephen Foster, author of “Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town” a story about some of the families living there in the 1800’s. They host the Mariposa Folk Festival, a music extravaganza, every June. The main downtown street is quaint and pretty and invites visual artists to contribute themed displays every year. One year there were giant painted chairs in front of downtown businesses, anther year it was oversized, painted guitars and this year will feature decorated doors.
If you want concerts, Casino Rama offers numerous stars in concert throughout the year.
Orillia offers much to the tourist wanting a weekend getaway. All the seasons are celebrated there, even the cold, snowy winter but I do prefer the warmth of spring.