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.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Market Scenes

Jim Allen entertains. And he is AWESOME!
 I had the chance to drop in to the Dwight Farmers' Market today. It is held every Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., on the grounds of Gouldie Park, right beside the Post Office.

Here are some shots of this growing and interesting market venue, well worth the visit.
Fabulous wood carving, garden accessories, this gets two thumbs up from us!

meet not only the beekeeper, but the bees themselves. Sample the honey. Take some home.

Taste test the different grades of syrup, to find out which you like best. Did you know there are four different grades?  Now you do...

Aches and pains melt away with buckwheat heat. She'll be happy to explain how and why.

Who isn't a sucker for sparkly things?

It's called Thinstone, and there is a new store opening soon in Dwight that will be dealing with it. Meanwhile, you can find it here. Interesting, and lovely, and ideal for the cottage or patio.

How Kind! Rowanwood Farm even brought a water bucket for thirsty poodles...  Taffy says 'Thanks"

Rowanwood also brought veggies, and an awesome crop of fresh garlic...

There were plenty of other vendors, making it a really interesting place to spend some time (and money)
We recommend you add it to your List of Things to Do in Dwight!

Early Morning Grandpas

 Bob says he's retired now. So his wife Cathy has Twice the Husband, and Half the Income...

Bob and Cathy stayed with us for years while their kids were growing up, but then, as often happens, when the family are all off at University and starting careers, the Family Vacations sort of go into hibernation.

But now, as often happens, they are back -- along with the Grandchildren, to start the cycle over. We're thrilled to see them, and to meet Katy's husband Boru, and their charming son Charlie.

We're also pretty chuffed to find Bob out there, early in the day, on Grandpa Duty.

John never shirks when it comes to vying for the Grand-dad of the Year award either.  We caught this shot of him coming home to dock early in the day with Marcus and grandson Tim.  A little engine trouble meant Tim had to get to work with the paddles, but it was all easily solved.  And even with a 'Spot of Bother' in the mechanical department, there is NOTHING to beat an early morning adventure on the Lake of Bays with Grand-pa!

A Reason To Celebrate: Family Ties

 While ALL our guests are special to us, we've had some very special guests with us these past weeks, with Bondi Anniversaries to celebrate.

Anne and Fred Kallin started coming to Bondi when Megan was 11 months old. That was 25 years ago.  Meg and Rob still ensure that they get time off their jobs to spend a week at the cottage (or as much of a week as their boss will allow!) with their parents.  We treasure that, as much as Anne and Fred do. 

Arlene Groh has been coming to Bondi with her family for 40 years.  Not just in the summer, but for a Winter Get-Together weekend as well.  John can be found every morning, kayaking beside Arlene while she swims to the Point and back.  Greg, Laura and grand-daughter Elisa came in from Vancouver this summer for the week.  Lisa, Marcus and the three boys, Tim, Nate and Marty, have never missed a summer with us.  We hope they never do.  During their two weeks here, other family members come to stay, and the cottage rocks to the beat of their extraordinary cuisine, hammocks by the lake, kayaks and rockin' Water Canons...

 Ann Biggar (ne Kerfoot) started coming to Bondi with her parents when she was just 5 years old.  She has been a "summer fixture" every year since, except for a brief hiatus when the kids were all at University. As soon as possible, Ann and Mike came back, and this marks their 50th summer with us.  Their four children -- John, Graeme, Jeff and Laura -- now all grown into fabulous young adults still are as keen as ever to come with Mom and Dad.  They need a second cottage now, as the family expands!  John, the eldest son, is marrying Jennifer in September. Laura, the youngest,  just received her MA in Screenplay Writing from the University of London, England. We are beyond delighted that they still want to find the time in their busy lives to gather with us as Family.

Because, after 25, 40 or 50 years... these guests truly are part of our Family. 

To honour the occasion, we gave them this photograph, which Brian took from his plane earlier this year, and which we hope will hang in their homes and bring them a little bit of Bondi Magic all year long.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bondi Beach is Best

 What a day it was along our 1200' of sandy beachfront!   There were people just chillin' - like Bindu with Anjali, Ashok and Ronan.

Sand sculptures being carved, water being played with.  Kids were just having a wonderful time in shallow water.

Others were lounging on the Muskoka chairs, soaking up the sun.  Or actually swimming -- distances even, not just out to the water toys like the trampoline, iceberg or water slide.

 Carol and Brian spent almost the whole day in the water, or on it.  They weren't just relaxing, however. They were involved in the very important job of teaching our Bondi Kids how to waterski.

With Carol in the water beside the skier for support and advice, every one of them was up, up and away in just a few attempts.  We are really keen on kids learning this sport. It gives them so much more of a sense of accomplishment than just hanging onto a tube -- although that too is great fun.  The expressions on their faces, though, when they actually master the art of getting up on skiis -- that is priceless! 

Lauren was up on her first try -- although not for long.  By her third attempt, she was off around the bay and had mastered a new skill for life.

Taffy found some mermaids on the dock. She spent some quality snuggle time with Rebecca, who was watching her daughter's friend learn to ski.

 Anne and Megan were on a distance swim 'mission', but they paused at the dock to chat up Taffy as well.


 Melanie was up on her first ever try skiing, and looked like a pro. While the 'usual' trip is Twice Around the Bay for our beginners (and one of our guests, Rob Horne, wrote a memoir of his summers at Bondi titled just that "Twice Around the Bay") Mel just kept sailing on for double that distance.

you can check Mel out in this video clip!  What great style for a first-attempt!!

 Over at the water slide, there were water-canons, and sliding kids, and kayaks. All action, as Arlene's grandchildren took to the beach.  Tim, Nate and Mardy never slow down, and now that Elisa is a year older, she's a true water baby as well.  Arlene swims to the Point and Back every day that she is here. It looks like the water gene has definitely run in her family!
 Over at the iceberg, there was some serious climbing and jumping taking place.  Graeme, Gavin, Ethan, Lauren and Lindsey were all successful in conquering the iceberg. And in departing from it.

 While the trampoline was busy most of the day, there were some quiet moments, when Bindu and Anjali could enjoy some sun-time just hanging out.

As the day wound down towards suppertime, Brian and Carol took the opportunity to swim to the Point.  Nancy hopped in a kayak to be their boat support -- it is 500 metres each way, in deep water, so it's good to have a boat along for safety.  Taffy, who fell out of the kayak twice on her first attempt to master the craft, pretty much had it down to a science this time round.

She is, of course, wearing a PFD. A Poodle Flotation Device.  If you have ever had to pull a wet dog back into a boat, you will appreciate the convenient handle on the back that is custom made for just such an occurence. 

Good Morning, Moon

 Cool nights make for wonderful sleeps.

They also make for misty mornings. After all, the lake is over 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so when the cool night air touches it, mist rises. 

That makes for beautiful morning scenes as Taffy and I patrol the property.

 We aren't the only ones out enjoying the morning.  Mr. Raccoon had been all along the beach.  Look at the lovely colours in teh sand -- there is iron in the beach sand that gives it a reddish hue.  The wave action provides the layered effect.

The moon is slowly waning just now, and is still hanging about in the sky well into the beginning of the day. Good morning, Moon!

Those lovely cooler evenings also give us a good chance of seeing some Northern Lights among the brilliant summer stars.   And they give the deck chairs, kayaks and water slides a chance to rest up for the busy day ahead as well. It's all good.

What a "FunGi"

 What a "Fun Guy" is our Fred. He and Anne went for a hike this week, and came home with a colourful bowl of fungi fit for the table of royalty.

Along with the golden chanterelles they had scored big on russulas, both the common red capped type and some with a blue-green tinge.  it is important that you know your 'shrooms (as Fred does) since russulas as a species includes several varieties you don't want to be eating.   You also need to be very sure you are not dealing with amanitas, which can be similar, but are really bad culinary news.  The good news with mushrooms is that the stems and gills are very tell-tale when it comes to identifying species.

There was also a large bolete mushroom in the collection. These are notable because of the spongy texture of the gills, very different from those of the russulas or chanterelles.

The chanterelles are pretty easy to recognize, with their golden hues, and their wavy gills.

Fred and Anne know their mushrooms. They enjoy getting out in the woods and hunting for these delicious additions to their meals at the cottage. 

You have to Know Your Mushrooms, however, before you set out on your own.  We don't recommend you indiscriminately start hauling in mushrooms from the wild, without being very careful to identify them first!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Bookending the Day

 Mornings at Bondi always start with a swim for Arlene. This morning, John was on point in the kayak, and Ralph was the pace swimmer to keep her company.

Tuesdays wrap up on the beach again, but this time for the cookout.  Tonight we had a large crowd enjoying the breeze off the lake and the bbq.

Hunter Gatherers

 If you know where to look, and take your time to look there, you can find extraordinary things.

Fred and Anne and Megan set out in the canoe today, and came home with quite a haul of chanterelle mushrooms. Megan told me it was her job, in the bow, to jump out and wade ashore upon direction from her father.  She did a good job, because they found a LOT of 'shrooms.

These are beautiful mushrooms, with a delicate flavour that is enhanced by sauteeing in butter. But then, what is enhanced by sauteeing in butter?

It is Fred's job to clean them. You don't actually wash a chanterelle, you rather pick it apart carefully to remove any dirt.  But if they are carefully harvested, there is very little to remove.

 If your timing is good, you will arrive at their cottage just as they are serving... and you will be treated to a lovely cold glass of white wine and absolutely delicious chanterelles and onions served on thin slices of toast. Heavenly.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oh, Man! Napster sells art to OMAN!

 Such excitement!  Sherry was with us for the last two weeks, for the annual Family Reunion that has been going on every summer for the past 52 years  and as the kids grow up, and the grandkids start their own families, the Reunion just keeps getting bigger and better.

Sherry and Rob have been posted to Masqat,  Oman for the next few years. Sherry joined the Omani Womens' Guild, and is working with a group of young entrepreneurs.  Recently she was selected as a coach for the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards and will be working with a young woman from Libya - exciting stuff!

She scooped up three of Napster's masterpieces to take back to Oman.

Running Wolf

Dolphins Chase the Moon

and Commedia del'Arte

They work beautifully together as a triptych, and Napster is thrilled to add Oman to his list of collector countries.

He posed with Sherry this morning, proudly wearing his "Purrrr-ka"...