The cusp of Summer and Fall always feels bittersweet to me. It’s the turning point between my two favourite seasons, so I always feel a bit wistful when one has ended, yet excited for the other to follow. Freckled shoulders and tan lines showing signs of a summer well spent, start to fade just as the leaves begin to turn amber and the air gets a little crisper.
With a new seasonal chapter beginning, I reflect on the summer that just resumed. Last year, the entirety of my summer was spent on working towards a career change where I wasn’t in the right mindset to really “enjoy” the summer as its meant to be enjoyed, since my time was mainly spent on job hunting and maybe a little bit of soul-searching (all good things to go through, mind you).
Now that all is good on the job front, my ultimate goal for this summer was to really relax, take it day-by-day, and enjoy what the city has to offer during the summer months. Whether it be chasing sunsets by the lake, exploring historical gems, relaxing by the pool, indulging at food festivals, singing and dancing to rock classics, galavanting in lavender fields, or enjoying carnival eats at our annual national exhibition, I’m happy to say that I’ve satisfyingly checked off a lot of my “Summer Must-Do’s” this year.
Although we’ve managed to partake in a lot of urbanite leisure, the main event that we were looking forward to the most actually involved us leaving the city, at the end of the summer. Heading out camping (or cottaging) in early September has been our iconic way of soaking up the last bit of sunshine weather just after the long weekend crowds have vacated. We feel like we get treated to an extended summer while most return to their regular September schedules.
Trading our air conditioned condo for a cozy tent in the woods, our Netflix marathons for campfires and starlit skies, and our Uber Eats deliveries to fire roasted meals, camping in September is my ideal way to simultaneously choose two directions at a crossroad.
The campground we go to has an active marina and beautiful beach to spend the day. In previous years, my boyfriend would bring up his family boat and we’d cruise along the scenic lake, but this year we opted to laze around beach instead.
On the days we felt like stretching our legs and breaking a sweat, we traded blue waters for green trails. We’ve been to this campground numerous times but never actually hiked there (since we’d normally hang out on the boat). This year we decided to venture off and explore the serene sights of the diverse flora of the region. The moss-filled wetland was my favourite because it felt like we were walking into a magical woodland governed by forest fairies. Okay, maybe only I felt that way.
It goes without saying that any camping experience can’t be complete without enjoying some comforting meals cooked over a smoky fire or vintage Coleman grill. Prepping food in the outdoors has brought me so much gleeful peace. Our picnic table was luckily facing the morning sun, so whipping up pancake batter or chopping up omelette ingredients in the sunshine amongst birdsong coming from tree branches above our heads was a tiny piece of heaven for me.
Channeling our inner Almazan Kitchen (if you like the outdoors and delicious food, you need to follow this channel), these are the meals we enjoyed over a fire, under the stars, amongst towering trees and curious chipmunks.
Homemade Chilli and Corn Tostitos
Campfire Roasted Sausage and Homemade Slaw
Egg, Pork and Smoked Gouda Breakfast Wraps
Lean Burgers with Flatbread and Smoked Gouda
Avocado Toast and Eggs
Oatmeal Pancakes and Leftover Sausages
Wine & Cheese Picnic by the lake
As we watched another early September day come to an end, we knew it would only be a matter of time before that sun starts to set sooner, that warm air turns crisper, and we’d sleep just a little bit closer to each other under the cooler stars, whether indoors, or out.