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Posted in Stories Around the Fire

It’s Fall Already? Damn!

This has been our best summer yet!

What a season. It’s hard to believe that we didn’t open up just last week instead of 3 months ago. It’s incredible that the long days of sunshine, cool evenings filled with stars and nights of campfires are over for another year.

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What most of our guests don’t realize is that our year doesn’t end once the last guest leaves. That is when the off time hard work starts. The upgrades. The repairs. The new ideas. The painting. The blog posts πŸ˜‰

We are constantly looking for ways to make our resort the best it can possibly be and it’s thanks to our amazing guests and their feedback that we know we’re doing the right things. Did you have an experience this year or a great idea that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you! It’s not like John’s Honey-Do list couldn’t use another item or two πŸ™‚

We’re thrilled to share that we’ve already got guests booking for next season. That’s so rewarding for us. That’s what gives us warm fuzzies all winter when we trek up to check the property and shovel the poop-tons of snow off the roofs. Yep – you keep us toasty happy even during the deep freeze!

We’d love to see your photos and read your stories so please visit our FacebookΒ page and share! We can talk all we like about how amazingly peaceful and relaxing it is off the beaten path, but hey, we’re a bit biased.

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We’ll be sharing more photos soon but until then,

Yours at the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

 

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Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Why It’s Time for You to Travel Off the Beaten Path

It’s a great question, so I asked.

Who better to ask than Paula Boyd? She’s the sunshiny face that greets you once you turn off East Bear Lake Road and the whirling dirvish you see atop the mower.

Take a moment to listen to our chat. You’ll hear the waves lapping on the beach which is where we sat down to discover more about the Lighthouse and why Paula and John picked their location. You’ll learn some of the history behind the place, what you can expect once you arrive and more. I hope you’ll understand why so many people travel off the beaten path to lay their weary heads at the Lighthouse, why family’s are building traditions there and why I can’t wait to go back!

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Far Enough Off the Beaten Path

Full disclosure: I’m the “voice” behind the Lighthouse blog. My name is Elizabeth and I started working with John and Paula last year to help them get the website redesigned, start a blog and share stories on Facebook. I hadn’t had a chance to visit the Lighthouse until this August and so I’ve had to imagine what the experience would be like or borrow from Paula’s inexhaustible passion for describing the beauty surrounding the Lighthouse. I don’t have to imagine or borrow any more.

I’d like to share our family’s experience last week up at the Lighthouse.

To start with, the drive up can go quickly from the typical hell of the 401 (where exactly do all these cars come from anyway?) to oohing and ahhing quite quickly once you hit the 400 and start noticing the beauty of the Canadian Shield. I could feel such a change as we left the city behind and I had no idea how much better it was going to get.

The directions to reach the Lighthouse are ridiculously easy.

  1. 401 to 400. Drive a loooong way. Turn right onto the 518 and right on to East Bear Lake Road.
  2. 401 to 400. Drive a longish way. Take the 11. Left on to the 518 and left on to East Bear Lake Road.

That’s it. It’s that simple. No convoluted back roads. No planes, trains and boat rides. Just a few turns and you’re as close to northern paradise as you could hope to get. On the way to Paradise? Trees. Lakes. Happiness. Is there a better way to start a vacation?

As soon as you arrive, you’re met by Paula (who, after 30 years of friendship still gives the best squodgy hugs ever) who will direct you to your cottage and give you a rundown of where everything is. The homey atmosphere starts right away and you can feel even more stress slipping away.

I don’t care who you are: you dip your toes in to the warm water of Bear Lake and you know you don’t ever want to leave. Ever. You are surrounded by beautiful trees, the soft lapping of the waves and warm sand. One notable noise usually associated with cottages is missing: the incessant whine of motor boats. Yep. No hotdogging on this lake. The odd seadoo or small aluminum fishing boat is the loudest you’ll hear and that’s just enough to remind you that you’ve got more than one option to get on to the water with. Sigh. I miss it already.

If you need to explore the local area, there’s lots to see that is close by. We took 1/2 day trips in the morning to Sprucedale, Burks Falls and Orrville with a slightly longer foray in to Parry Sound. It was so nice to check out the scenery and then come back to the cottage to chill out and wait for the campfire to kick up.

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We’ll be putting together a “where to go” page on the website shortly and after tasting all the yummy bumptiousness of the Orrville Bakery you can bet you don’t want to miss that recommendation!

On a more personal note, I couldn’t help but get tears in my eyes from the pride I felt when I finally got to see what Paula and John have been pouring heart and soul in to for the past 2 years. I am unbelievably touched by the close knit community they are creating within the Lighthouse property and how they support local businesses across the 518 stretch. From the young couple they know by name (Who she mentioned but I forget. The amount of detail in Paula’s head would astound you) in Parry Sound who do embroidery to Kirk who owns the gas station in Sprucedale to the businesses they rely on for septic clean up and wood delivery. She knows every one of them by name and probably all their family members as well.

That’s what sets the Lighthouse apart from other cottage and camping resorts. You will never remain just a name with Paula and John. You will be welcomed with open arms to become a part of the heartbeat that makes it so special. You will feel valued. You can know that for years to come Paula will remember the smallest details about your cottage needs and will have it ready for the next time you book. And trust me: you will book again. And again. We’ve got another story coming up that was 30 years in the making that bears out my claim.

If you’re seeking peace. If you’re needing to reconnect to nature. If you want to step off the grid (though cell reception is crazy good). If you want to look your family in the eye instead of at the top of their head as they text and post and tweet. Then you need to come here. Pack your marshmallow sticks, comfy camp chairs and a spare pair of underwear and just head north on the 400 and right on 518 or left off 11. East Bear Lake Road is waiting for you to turn off the beaten path to the Lighthouse and Paula is waiting to give you the hug that will make the trip worthwhile.

I’m so proud of you Paula and John. You’ve built the place I didn’t know I needed but am so happy to have found πŸ™‚

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Little Puddin’ Came a Visitin’

Well we just wouldn’t be card carrying, baby worshiping grandparents if we didn’t share that Greyson came for a visit last week! We were, of course, very excited to see Mariah and Max but our little puddin’, well, he just melts us every time πŸ˜‰

 

 

We now have 4 generations up at the Lighthouse!

How amazing is that!

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s All About Community

When you live and work up north for 4 months of the year you see a different side of what a community could be. Coming back to living in an suburban area the rest of the year really drives that point home we’ve learned. Community in a small town means people know who you are. They see what you’re trying to build if you’re a business owner. They get to know your kids. You look each other in the eye and have an actual conversation with no phones getting in the way. Sigh …

Community is one of the many things we love about living and working in the Sprucedale area. The opportunity to get back to a slower time where people worked hard, helped each other out and where neighbors quickly turn in to friends. Where you know people have got your back in times of trouble and are there to lift a glass to toast your success. Does that happen back in the big city of Burlington? Sure! But not quite as much.

What we also love is the community we’re building at the Lighthouse. Where all ages, cultures and personalities come together to crack a cold one, go out on a paddle boat or grill up a hot dog. Where people drift in to the gazebo and then drift in to a conversation with someone who could be from an hour away or a country away. Where stories are shared, new friends are made and lifelong memories happen. That just fills our hearts in a way we never could have anticipated but unknowingly hoped for.

As we head in to another busy weekend, we know we’ll see our Lighthouse community growing. New people. New ideas. New sounds of laughter drifting across the property. It all comes together under the trees, in the water and around the camp fire every day. It’s hard to believe we’ve only got 3 weeks left with our Lighthouse community but just know that you come to mind every time the lights Burlington come in to view. And then we sigh and remember it’s only 8 short months until we’ll see you again πŸ™‚

Yours at the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

See the Lighthouse From Water and Sky

 

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When you come to the Lighthouse you might wonder what there is to do. Well you might not really wonder but we’d like to share with you anyway. ‘Cause we’re kind of proud and happy there is SOOO much to do! Everywhere you look there are kids playing, guests relaxing, trees providing shade, smoke snaking out of a BBQ, Paula running like a crazy person to help someone … Hopefully she’s remembered to put on pants along with the 60 million other things she has to do that day πŸ˜‰

To start off with though we need to give a HUGE shout out to one of our trailer community folks Bill Robinson. Bill’s helped us out a few times now with sourcing great finds. The latest? 3 new boats for our dock so that guests can toodle, fish and go visiting across Bear Lake. It’s hugely important to us that our guests can access great, safe, fun equipment so many thanks to Bill for helping make this happen!

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One thing having all these great boats allows is for guests and visitors to see the Lighthouse from the water. While looking out from the dock or gazebo or beach shows one perspective, a whole new view opens up off the water. Got great pics to share? Let us know!

This past weekend we had some new guests arrive and they brought …. a drone. Not a droid (we have lots of stars but no wars ;0 Unless it’s over the last hot dog. And then a light saber would be handy). Mike and Nicola joined us and Mike launched his new toy for some great aerial shots of the Lighthouse. They enjoyed their time here SOOOO much that they’re coming back in August and we’ll get to see the Lighthouse from the air! How high do you think he’ll get????

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Regardless of how you get to see the Lighthouse, the view always provides the same thing: Calm. Peace. Relaxation. As you look across the lake, you take your first of many deep breaths of the fresh air. You watch as the sun dances across the water and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the lake. Looking around your cottage, you listen as laughter drifts through the window from the beach or a family cooking outside their cottage. And you know that you’ll never forget the first time you set eyes on the Lighthouse and felt the stress melt away. We can’t wait to show you everything πŸ™‚

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

Who’s Got Beema’s Back?

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Have you met the true Queen of the Lighthouse yet? You might be thinking it’s Paula. And you’re mostly right. But there is the Queen Mother who we all know is the true power behind the throne. At the Lighthouse, that’s Beema πŸ™‚

Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother, Beema is the rock that the Lighthouse is built upon. Do you think Paula was born with all her awesomeness? Well, a lot of it but she’ll give credit where it’s due and the lovely Beema gets most of it.

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I guess what has happened we all knew would happen eventually. Our guests are lovin’ up on the Beema as well. So much so that recently we received messages from Tanya, one of our guests with details about an affordable golf cart that could become the Beema’s chariot! And when we have a group of young men staying with us? Of course they show Beema the love πŸ™‚

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This post isn’t only about giving a shout out to Beema. It’s about our heartfelt thanks at how our Lighthouse community has embraced Beema as part of the Lighthouse experience. How they reach out to see how they can help keep Beema coming back up to the Lighthouse. Β And how they make her smile almost as much as Mariah, Logan and now Greyson do.

Families aren’t always born and related. Sometimes they’re made. While we’re lucky to have Beema as part of our family, we thank you for making her part of yours as well!

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

We Opened Up with a Bang!

More like a rain soaked woohoo but it was great!

What an opening weekend! We spend months getting ready to make sure our guests have the best time possible. Months I tell ya πŸ˜‰ And part of that getting ready is crossing our fingers that the weather will include blue skies, sunny days and warm campfire filled nights. Well, mother nature obviously wasn’t in on the planning this year but did that stop us from having fun? Heck no!

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Despite the dodgy skies and numerous rain showers, we were so happy to see our guests getting out and enjoying themselves! Fishing, sea doo rides, playing at the beach, grabbing some time on the dock and sitting up in to the wee hours having chats around the BBQ. Did I say BBQ? Well were a bit worried that campfire’s wouldn’t be possible but, surprise!

 

 

We were able to cook up some campfire fun after all πŸ™‚ Nothing says summer fun up north more than the smoky aroma of a crackling fire, some marshmallows stuck on sticks toasting away and a full belly of hot dogs or packet meals cooked in the coals. Yummy πŸ™‚

The best part of the weekend for us was how our guests just loved being out of the city, out in nature and out of touch from their busy lives. They were able to relax, spend time as a family and enjoy time moving as slowly as it does up here at the Lighthouse. Not slow because you’re bored but slow because there is no rush. No appointments. No schedules. You want to eat? Spark up the BBQ or start a campfire (who says you can’t cook lunch over the coals?). You want to relax? Mosey down to the beach, set up a chair and watch the light dance on the water. You want to nap? Grab a blanket, pick a tree and get some zzzz’s while the shade keeps you cool.

 

We’re already looking forward to our next set of guests arriving this weekend and have heard that we’ll see some of this weekend’s guests again in September. How cool is that? More awesome people coming in to the Lighthouse family πŸ™‚

If you’ve joined us and have pictures to share, please tag us on your FB page or send them to: infolighthousecottages@gmail.com so we share your memories all over again!

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

A New Little Camper Has Arrived!

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We are very excited to announce that we are grandparents!

Our daughter Mariah and her partner Max welcomed our grandson Greyson Wenceslas Edgar on June 23, 2017.Β 

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Greyson arrived at Oakville General Hospital at 1:14pm and clocked in at 7lbs. 12ozs. Mariah was incredible in her strength and desire to meet her son and we are very proud of the great job she did. We were able to be by her side through the whole miracle. In the true Lighthouse fashion of getting things done, Paula was on the road to Sprucedale after covering Greyson in enough kisses to last him until she gets to see him again. Well maybe enough for him, but never enough for her!

We look forward to welcoming little Greyson up to the Lighthouse this summer. If you are looking for Paula while he is here, you can be sure to find Grandma wherever he is πŸ˜‰ Great Grandma Beama is sure to be right there as well. Uncle Logan will be sure to teach Greyson the ins and outs of managing Timothy the Mascot Chipmunk. Grandpa John will be watching over his family with a grin and a beer thinking of just how lucky he is!

Life is full of surprises and we are so grateful that our little grandson is here. I’m sure all grandparents say this but he is the cutest baby boy ever (next to Logan of course) and we love him to bits already!

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family

Posted in Stories Around the Fire

It’s Sparkling at the Lighthouse!

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July 1st is almost here! Are you ready to celebrate?

What’s better than opening weekend at the Lighthouse Cottages and Camping with an Ontario wide celebration of how fantastic Canada is? This year we’re bringing some sparkle to the celebration by bringing in the red and white, having sparklers for the kids and connecting with our Lighthouse community again. Yes!! Oh wait – that’s important news too. We’re open and so excited to see you all this year πŸ™‚

Our amazing trailer folks are already in and gearing up for what we’re hoping will be a season of campfires and laughs. With all this rain, at least we know we won’t have a fire alert any time soon πŸ˜‰ We just hope our firewood will dry out in time! We practice fire safety just like we do safety every where else at the Lighthouse but nothing says camping like a roaring fire and marshmallows toasting away. Forks crossed we can make some new memories this year across the firelight.

If you haven’t made plans to join us for the July 1st weekend, we’re happy to offer Cottages 1 and 2 as well as our large campsite. The cottages can each sleep 4 (or 6 in a pinch) so you can bring the family and cottage in comfort. If it rains, there’s always our amazing gazebo that’s stocked with games, cards and magazines to while away the rainy day. If you’ve got a huge group of friends and want to join us, our large campsite can fit up to 7 tents or 2 trailers. How many people you fit in the tent depends if you plan to sleep well that weekend πŸ˜‰

If we’ve given you the best idea ever for how to celebrate Canada turning 150, we’d love you to get in touch and join us. Interested in learning more about the history of camping and cottaging in Canada? We’ve got some info on that too. Check out our Pinterest page for ideas on what to bring for the kids, recipes that will tempt any gourmand (or are easy enough for the husband to whip up ;0 ) and some bear talk.

We hope to see you soon so we can share your smiling face on our guest pages and some happy memories on our blog. Have you got a story you’d like to share? Contact us at: infolighthousecottages@gmail.com and we’ll share your happy times at the Lighthouse!

Yours from the Lighthouse,

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The Boyd Family