Too. Much. Noise. City life is great, but the urge to rejuvenate in nature was overwhelming when I decided to book a week in the vallée-de-la-Gatineau at a cabin. If you could escape for a week to a cottage, would you? Seems a little excessive to some (but-you-just-went-on-vacation) but all I can say is save yo judgement. I won’t have it. Life’s too short for that business. Anyways, this is the type of balance that works for me. Working remotely, enjoying home brewed coffee as the sun rises over the lake. Quiet. Productive. Peaceful.
So after another long commute home through traffic, a cottage in the Quebec countryside was booked and I told my mother to pack her bags and a few books. #familyiseverything The week turned out better than I could have hoped, well, except for my phone deciding to take a swim in the lake…
Chalet Rose et Lis
The Chalet Rose et Lis is modern, comfortable, and well equipped. To be honest, it instantly feel like home. It’s 1.5 hrs from Ottawa, located near Bouchette in the vallée-de-la-Gatineau. It’s easy drive that full of winding country roads. The cottage is up from the later giving you a spectacular view of the lake (best at sunset!). It was easy to book online and their instructions are complete (and an extra instruction booklet in the cottage that I referred to more than once). There’s literally nothing that you have to worry about while here.
Sitting at the kitchen table every morning, it was hard not to think, ouff, I could really get used to this type of living. Like, I wonder if the owners are cool that I’m never leaving?!?! Cause this is definitely my speed. I think it’s most peoples ideal really. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by nature yet have all the modern comforts?!
My favourite parts were the sunsets, modern kitchen, wifi so that I could work and write, and jumping off the dock into the lake. Who needs a trendy metal tub and bags of ice for hydrotherapy when you have a fresh lake during the fall to dip into?! #colourmecrazy
There are some pretty incredible sunset views from Chalet Rose et Lis over Lac Roddick. One evening there was a good hour spent out there watching the sun set brightly on my left and a dark and looming storm roll through on the right. It was magic. Perfect safe right there in the middle, it felt like an analogy for life.
White-Tail Deer Interpretation Centre
The ‘Centre d’interprétation du cerf de Virginie’ is considered a ‘must see’ in the vallée-de-la-Gatineau and the municipality was right – it is. Feeding the fawns gave me all-the-joy. The centre is a large log structure with interactive and interpretive information displays inside.
They help raise orphaned fawn then release them into the wild when they are ready. The added bonus is that they have them on site in the back and the fawns are ridiculously adorable. They had no issues coming over and saying hello, of course feeding them some wildflowers helped encourage the hellos.
The best part of leaving Ottawa and venturing into the Quebec countryside is all those rolling hills and lakes that make for an incredible landscape. Lucky for the vallée-de-la-Gatineau, that Pero Outaouais maintains the hiking trails (and. does an excellent job of it). The trails are well marked and have consistent signage design. Their website gives you all the information needed to go check them out along with trail maps. I’ve also written up full hiking guides for Pont-de-pierre, Mont Morissette, Chutes Rouge, and Chutes-de-denholm trails. These trails are among my favourites to enjoy the fall colours and well worth the drive from Ottawa.
Along the route, there is a fresh spring water source in Wakefield that you can fill up at. Clear, fresh, perfectly drinkable spring water – straight from the source. There are more than a few people that’ll drive up from Ottawa to refill here and in my opinion, it’s worth it. Especially if you’re in the area hiking anyways. 😉
What’s one of the best parts about a fall cottage escape? Getting cozy with a good book, or two in this case. Managed to finish reading both The Blue Zones of Happiness by National Geographic Explorer Dan Buettner and The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma.
I’ve been working on a healthier morning routine for a few months now, trying to reestablish habits that will support the day instead of walking up with a heart attack to a buzzing alarm and rushing into work. Instead of being the typical ‘how to’ self help book, The 5am Club is told through four characters going to a journey of self development. It’s a bit much at times, but the foundation is there. Establish healthy morning routines and you’ll set yourself up for a healthier and more enjoyable life.
As for The Blue Zones of Happiness, well, I’m over the moon intrigued with this one. Having read, and loved, the original The Blue Zones book which focuses on lessons from the worlds blue zones (areas with the highest number of centenarians). The Blue Zones of Happiness was a no-brainer purchase and it did not disappoint. It is everything that is health, community, and science all rolled into one. It speaks about community initiatives, the workplace, and your personal space. The Blue Zones Project is actually transforming communities. How. Impactful. Is. That. And how do I sign up?!
Who knew that the Vallée-de-la-Gatineau had so much to offer? They did. You might have. And it’s about time we all did. The area is a gorgeous wonderful of the outdoors with tons to offer.