Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Our Christmas Letter for all our Friends

Merry Christmas, to all our Friends.... December, 2013

Another busy year seems to have flown by. We welcomed the year in with long time guests the Surry/Caveney/Rosati clan who take over the resort every other Christmas for their bi-annual reunion. Like so many of our long time guests, they are now firmly part of our Bondi Family and it is always a joy to host them.

Weather is always a Canadian topic – January seemed to stutter with several inconvenient thaws short of duration but messy of snow. Still, guests enjoyed plenty of time on our trails and when the conditions were less than ideal, they got creative with snow forts and inventive play. There is always good news – if it’s too icy on the trails, the rinks are in great shape! Arrowhead Park has a skating trail that is unique in the Province, letting you wind through woods on your blades. Brian’s ski grooming equipment helps us provide amazing experiences to our guests.

 Our big news – well, really, the ONLY news this year that is news is that David became engaged to Megan MacDonald in February. They will be married in September 2014 – we’re not sure that gives us enough time to be ready!
Since the new couple will need a place to live, David has designed and is building a house on property next to the resort. It’s Nancy’s lot, right on the water, but it is entirely David’s design and build. That project has kept David, Brian and Mike busy for much of the year since the shovels went into the ground in the spring. What an amazing experience that has been for the guys! They have had help from professionals for parts of the build, and of course Brian is on hand to offer expertise, but there is no substitute for hands-on! It looks wonderful, and is now weathertight – so we know where they’ll be for the winter: inside, working on the details!

Other news of note involved our long-time friend and head housekeeper Sue Baker, who welcomed her first grand-daughter, Willow, on Dec. 2
nd! Sue has been an important part of our Bondi Family for many years, and we are delighted to share this occasion with her.

Marsh's Falls in Full Flood!
Spring was moving along nicely, until on April 19 we got over 50 mm of rain all at once, falling into snow pack and ice filled lakes. The fast melt that ensued produced a Century Flood that made news across the country. You could stand back and watch the water rise in the lake – and this is a BIG lake. In just over two days, the lake had come up almost a metre, flooding over the docks. We had ours anchored down with barrels filled with water – but the issue wasn’t the water but rather the ice. When that started to move, there was millions of dollars of damage done around the lake to boat houses and docks. We were fortunate indeed that the water stopped just short of flooding Anchor’s boathouse, and all our docks survived with some engineered assistance from the Bondi Maintenance Dept. April 27
th saw the ice gone from the lake, and the water receding, but clean up continued well into the summer.

Carol’s grand-daughter Sarah spent much of the summer with us. She took Engagement Photos (including this one!) for the young couple, and will be back with us next summer helping with the wedding details. She’s very excited to be in the wedding party!

Nancy met Justin Trudeau in February– and he graciously autographed an old coffee mug she has that shows Pierre, rose in his teeth, proclaiming Fuddle Duddle. In March, gray horse Bailey featured in a photo shoot involving wedding dresses and lots of snow... and lots of work to make him sparkling white himself!

Napster, lost an eye to glaucoma last year just about Christmas time, but is doing well. Has now sold around the globe, most recently to Oman, and one of his prints was presented by M.P. Hon. Tony Clement to Mrs. Laureen Harper on board the
S.S.Segwun. Napster was not invited on the cruise... just sayin’...

Summer was busy, as always, but slow getting started – we had vacancies this year scattered where we’d least expect them, so if you are thinking of a Bondi getaway, be sure to call. In the tourism industry, those wonderful days when we’d be booked fully by the end of March are now just a happy memory and people seem to be far more ‘last minute’ in their planning. All the same, we welcome a
new cycle beginning at Bondi, as we welcomed home several families whose children grew up vacationing here, and are now coming back after a break bringing families of their own. It is magical to see the grandchildren here and watch the generations share the best of memories! In this strange new electronic world, it is more important than ever to spend time outdoors, letting kids just be kids. There is no better place for families to be families and for children to grow up than here.

Sadly, in early July, Achmed our beloved cat vanished out his cat flap one night and simply did not return. He is missed. Also missed this summer were Monarch butterflies. We are told that the population suffered an enormous setback last year – only a handful made it this far north to grace our milkweed flowers. We hope this incredible species is able to recover from climate change and habitat loss. Don’t pull milkweed from your gardens, please! Losing this species makes the world that much poorer.

Nancy’s Heritage committee produced an
Historic Walking Tour of Dwight, to go with the one already done on Dorset. Township matters keep her busy. This is an election year, so she’ll have to decide if she’s up for one more cycle! Taffy is her ‘shadow’ – anyone finding Taffy has found Nancy! She continues busy with horses, judging and coaching.

David and Mike took gun and hunting courses last year. This year ventured out into the woods. They learned a lot, enjoyed the time in the woods, and did fill the freezer with venison – although the wild turkey continues to elude them. We can report that they know how to cook venison as well, and do a splendid job of putting a meal on the table. Mike Bechtel is staying with us this winter, while studying at Georgian College in Bracebridge. He’s building a fish hut that we will be offering to our guests this winter (it’s a breeze after the lessons learned house building!) Having him here is a boon and a blessing.

Carol grows something new and unusual every year in her gardens – this year, it was molly berries, also known as ground cherries. Our climate is markedly different from the Toronto area – while they endured a very wet spring, Carol was pouring water to our gardens. There are less deer around, which is good news for the forest. We still enjoy seeing them on our lawns every day, but the enormous flocks seem to have dissipated, no doubt aided by the activities of the local wolf pack who sang for our guests every week this summer. That is one of the benefits (and for gardeners, downsides!) of living here – the closeness of the wildlife!

Brian’s health check-ups continue to be positive, although he must make regular trips to the hospital for monitoring. He continues to fly his Piper PA-11, and continues to lament that he doesn’t get enough time to do that. In early December, Brian, Carol, David and Megan enjoyed a two week cruise from Los Angeles through the Panama Canal to Miami. A highlight, if we judge from the mouse-ear hats brought home, was a side-trip to Disneyland! It is quite the engineering accomplishment and a sight to behold. Nancy would have tagged along, but couldn’t find anyone willing to house-sit the horses, cat and dog!

With the changes coming to Canada Post, this may well be the last year we send our Christmas letter other than by electronic means. We’d invite you to please send us your email addresses, and to
follow Bondi – on our Blog, on our Facebook page, because we do want to stay in touch with you. If you prefer to hear from us by Mail, please do let us know. We want to stay in touch with our extended Bondi Family – you are all precious to us. Wishing all of you the best this Blessed Season has to bring, we are again reminded that it is not about what is under the tree, but who is around the table with you.

"Lead us to the light, let us hear the voice of reason singing in the night, let us run from anger, and catch us when we fall, teach us in our dreams, and please, yes, please, bless us one and all. Bless us all with playful years, with noisy games, with joyful tears. We reach for You, and we stand tall, and in our prayers and dreams, we ask You Bless Us All."

1 comment:

  1. The flood this spring still astounds me....

    A Merry Christmas to you and yours!