Around here, when it's summer and you ask someone what they're doing for the weekend, it's pretty common to hear that they're going to the cottage.
Growing up I spent time every summer in "cottage country." My family didn't own a place, but we went to the same (self-catering) resort every year so it felt like ours. Unfortunately it sold when I was a teenager, so Jen and I don't have the option of taking our kids there.
I love going to the cottage. I love the quiet, and the fresh air, and the cold lakes, and the trees everywhere. So, a part of me was really excited when The Bean's daycare provider invited us to their cottage for the weekend. Another part of me was really anxious.
I didn't know what to expect. Some people have cottages that are like second homes, other people's cottages are quite... rustic. I wasn't sure what our sleeping accommodations would be like. I didn't know who else would be coming. I didn't know how warm it would be or what clothing to pack.
Still, I didn't want to miss out on the opportunity.
Late last week I was pretty stressed, but when we got there and saw the place I felt a little better. This was more of a second-home cottage. I was still anxious about all four of us sleeping (or rather not sleeping) in the same room and how that would impact everyone else there.
Fortunately it all worked out okay. The weather was gorgeous and everyone slept reasonably well.
The beach was wide and the lake was very shallow for quite a ways out, which meant the water was warm(ish). The Bean happily ran in and out of the lake, collecting buckets full of water to dump into holes he had dug along the beach.
Sprout is a real beach baby and when she wasn't eating sand, she was happily kicking and splashing in the water.
I think The Bean was in heaven being with his family and his daycare provider at the same time. He ran around among all of us chit chatting away. The only thing that could have made it better for him would have been if Grandma and Grandpa had been able to join us.