Lake was a bit chilly, but only for a few seconds.

For more than a decade now – since before Junkii and I even started dating – my summer has involved an annual trip to the same cottage in Muskoka. The cottage belongs to the parents of our friend S, and he probably didn’t know what he was in for when he issued that first invitation to his gang of gay friends, but he initiated what turned out to be one of the most anticipated annual events of the summer (yeah, we skipped the odd year here and there, but who can really remember).

S & W with Junkii aboard the S.S. Paddlington – On a mission to rescue one of W’s toys. Mission:successful.

Some years it was a big group that came carrying air mattresses. Some years it was more intimate. Over the years, friends gradually fell by the wayside – moving to other cities, entering into long-term relationships. S got married to K and the invitations continued. Some friends got tired of spending a summer weekend floating in a lake (as if anyone could!) or lost interest in making the 5-hour drive from Ottawa. But every year, S&K still graciously offered the space. And every year, we took them up on it (Junkii started attending in the second year, I think). We were, in the end, the last ones standing. The ones who wouldn’t let go of a good thing. We even went in the winter one year!

K & W, about to hop in! “Nooooo,” says W. Jumping in is crazy talk!

Then S&K had a baby – and they got understandably busy. The invitations fell by the wayside for a couple of years. And we had resigned ourselves to the fact that maybe the cottage was destined to be a cherished memory.

So when we got the invitation to return this year, we were ecstatic. Not only was it an opportunity to reconnect with our beloved friends, but this year’s relaxing cottage time would also give us a chance to get to know their two-year-old, W. We arranged a four-day weekend over Canada Day, and spent our time lounging about and catching up at a place that, quite frankly, feels almost more like home than our own house!

Thanks S, K, and W for a lovely weekend. Here are some photos. You can check out more at our SmugMug page.

One of the toys that needed rescuing with the S.S. Paddlington.

Noodle rafts are excellent for summer-day floating.

“I’ll drive the boat, Daddy.”

Twilight view. Can’t ask for much better!

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