Easter 2015 Near Algonquin Park

The girls had plans this weekend, S was heading to London, Ontario to visit in-laws and her father, C who lives in Calgary was off to Kelowna to visit an old friend from high school.  Spring this year isn’t starting in a hurry and try as I might I couldn’t find anywhere within driving distance where the temperatures were acceptable (at least 10 c).  There is a fairly pricey Couples Resort on the edge of Algonquin Park and I was on the verge of pressing reserve for a nice big suite with king bed, fireplace, hot tub on balcony overlooking the river when I read a bit further and discovered they have dress code for dinner.  Johnny and I are SO not the type of people who enjoy dressing up and especially in a northern rustic setting.  So….I changed my mind.  I had posted a status on FB saying exactly what I said above and my cousin in Kingston sent me a message a while later saying, did you see the other place near Couples Resort that isn’t as fancy.  I hadn’t seen it, and after looking at the website decided Adventure Lodge in Whitney, Ontario on the edge of Algonquin Park was the perfect place to spend two nights over the long weekend. Around $600 for two nights, breakfast & dinner included in a stand alone rustic cabin with King bed, wood burning fireplace and a double Jacuzzi tub.  Perfect!

Check in isn’t until 4 pm, so we headed off around 1 in the afternoon.  The weather Good Friday was gorgeous (a shame it was spent driving).  The temps soared to 16 c, it was sunny, a perfect spring day!   Whitney is on Hwy 60 which runs more or less east/west from Hwy 17 Renfrew all the way to Huntsville on Hwy 11.  Whitney is about the half-way point.  Johnny and I have driven this road many a time on the way to my ‘home town’ in the Near North of Ontario.  Along the way, we have a traditional stop at the road side picnic area in the little village of Deacon.  We stretch our legs, and gaze out upon Golden Lake.  Of course, in April the picnic area is closed and the roadway was a bit ice-covered, we still stopped stretched our legs, peered out over the lake which was white and not golden.  The snow had melted enough that you could still see the sandy beach.  In fact, this was our first edge of winter trip through the area so the trip had an entirely different perspective.

Our next traditional stop is Barry`s Bay where there is a little store (Grumblin’ Granny’s) that sells everything from home decor (of a unique nature) to jewellery and clothing.  I often buy a pair of earrings, although I didn`t see anything this day that appealed.  Once done we hopped back in the car and headed off to our final destination of Adventure Lodge!  Arriving, exactly at 4 pm the check-in process was simple and we selected our dinner which would consist of salad, either fish, pasta or chicken, & a dessert.  I chose the fish, Johnny the chicken.  We got into our 400 ish sq ft cabin called Dominican.  We lit a roaring fire and opened a bottle of Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc ( a lovely wine from the Marlborough region of New Zealand).  Getting away is a wonderful time to chat, away from the distractions we have at home, the fire and the wine making it ever so much better!  We had scheduled our dinner for 7 pm (they stagger the dinner times, as there are only two staff to service the occupants of the 9 cabins.

There is no TV or radio in the cabin, but there is a flat screen TV with blue ray player.  We have a stash of old videos borrowed from my friend Christine and when we go away to places like this we just grab a random bunch of movies without looking at the titles and watch away.  Strangely, most of the movies are not movies we would normally select, however we always have fun watching them for the element of surprise!  After dinner, our movie surprise was Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz & Cameron Diaz.  We knew absolutely nothing about the movie and were quite ja[[u with the twist at the end!

The King bed was very comfortable and we sleep well.  I woke up at 6 am feeling a bit chilly though as we hadn`t turned on the heater and the temps had plunged to below zero.  I got up and started a fire and turned on the heater and in no time we were toasty warm again!  Imagine my surprise when I opened the curtains to discover that a few cm of snow had fallen *sigh*….winter had reared it`s ugly head once more (on April 4th).  We headed off to breakfast around 9 ish and there was definitely a windchill, not my idea of a good time for the perfect hiking in the park day (which is what we had planned to do).  So…winter whiner woosie me decided maybe we should just go for a drive after breakfast instead!  We headed through the park, testing out our go pro style Contour cam in the car, marveling at how different the park was a this time of year.  With the leaves off you can see beyond into the valleys and hills, it was really quite beautiful with a thin layer of fresh snow and the sun shining brightly.  There were a lot of cars in the parking lots of the trails, as most people aren`t as jaded by a wintry blast as I am!  At some point, we decided that Huntsville was our destination for lunch.  We did the obligatory drive up and down Huntsville main street and decided upon a Thai restaurant near the bridge called Bo`s.  It was OK, but definitely a Huntsville style restaurant.  We are accustomed to some very niece Thai food in Ottawa (we live walking distance to Nokhum Thai on Richmond Road).  Lunch done, we took a walk up main street, then picked up a few items and headed back through the park once again recording on our Contour cam.  Unfortunately, we forgot to bring the stand to affix it to the car so poor Johnny had to hold it.  As I`m the narrator it was a bit too far away for the audio to be loud enough.  We will try again on the way home!  N.B. We tried again on the way home and we’re still not happy with the results…more testing required.

Once home, we built a fire, pulled out movie surprise #2 which was Gladiator with Russell Crowe.  I found i surprisingly good, but we had to pause it for dinner!  I forgot to mention that dinner on Friday was excellent, I had the Bass and it was so tasty and well prepared.  It was accompanied by rice and asparagus cooked to perfection.  Saturday night I chose the steak and Johnny the salmon accompanied by Caesar salad and followed by a scrumptious cheese cake!  There is no liquor license at Adventure Lodge but you can bring your own wine – no corkage fee.  After dinner, we watched the rest of Gladiator and then movie surprise 3 was Notting Hill (which we only got about halfway through before nodding off)!

I woke up at 6 a.m. this morning again, built a fire, grabbed a blankie and have been curled up writing this tale!  Need to get up and turn the fire now!

After a wonderful breakfast of Eggs Benedict for me and Ham & Eggs for Johnny, we went for a walk along the trail/old road beside the lodge.  Some of the gallery photos were taken there.  We then went back to the cabin stoked the fire and watched the rest of Notting Hill!  When that was done we packed up, checked out and headed on a circuitous route back to Ottawa!

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