When someone says the word paradise to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Tropical islands and sandy beaches. Or are you a winter person with visions of untouched powder lying in wait for a pair of skis? Most people automatically think about far-off places, destinations that take us away from our daily lives. Chalk it up to good marketing or subtle brainwashing. But who says we can’t find paradise in our own area, maybe even our own back yards. All we have to do is open our eyes and our minds.
I’ve lived in numerous places in Canada and in each location I have found a little slip of utopia. Sitting under a cherry tree in the Okanagan sunshine, branches laden with masses of fruit so red they’re almost black. Lying on the roof of a dilapidated cabin located near the top of a mountain in the Kootenays during a meteor shower one August night. Or hiking the pink granite shoreline of Georgian Bay at Killarney Provincial Park. In each of these instances, and more, I was mesmerized at the exquisite beauty of my surroundings and did a mental picture – a perfect moment in paradise.
During the past few years I have found another blissful escape. It isn’t a five-star sleek hotel along an endless strip of white sandy beach, or a tent nestled amongst the pines in a forest. Actually, it’s a bit in between and I have dubbed it my ‘Zen’ place.
Bruce Bay Cottages and Lighthouse has been my new-found home away from home for one week going on five years now. Situated on the shores of Lake Huron, these eight rustic cabins plus a still operating lighthouse, provide travelers a chance to escape from life’s demands but with all the necessities. Each of the accommodations is fully stocked with what you require to unwind. Everything is provided, from linens to cutlery. All you need to bring is food, beverages and your camera, of course.
What it doesn’t have is television, radios, phones (except at front office) or internet (Wi-Fi at front office). These lack of ‘modern amenities’ that some people think they MUST have gives Bruce Bay Cottages its charm. They unshackle us from society so that we can experience the truest form of paradise – nature. Whether watching river otters scampering along the rocks, hearing sea gulls call out or witnessing a family of egrets teaching their young to dive and feed along the shallow shores, this little gem in the wilderness is a fourteen carat diamond. And the thing that makes this place sparkle – the hosts, Larry and Pat Peterson. From offering friendly knowledgeable service to going that extra mile and help make lunches for a gathering at the Lighthouse lounge (thank you) Larry and Pat give one hundred percent in making their guests feel welcome. To the point where I have already booked my next year’s holiday.
You don’t necessarily have to travel far to find Eden. And it doesn’t have to have eight restaurants, four casinos and three bars. Whatever place you find that brings into perspective what is important in life and brings you contentment is what matters. Because, according to Wikipedia, that’s the definition of paradise.
Video link: Paradise is Here – Tina Turner