When you just want to get away from it all

For the past seven years we have gone camping during summer vacation, but I was itching to experience something different.

I longed to spend our holiday, secluded(ish), with just Jason and the girls, away from the hustle and bustle of suburban living.

Give me a star-soaked sky, clear blue water and a cozy campfire, but also a comfortable bed to sleep in, coffee maker, bathroom and a grocery store or ice cream shop close by — just not too close.

Now that I’m back at work, we have a bit of wiggle room with our budget. So, this time around we decided to give cottaging a go on the Sunshine Coast. A quick Google search connected us to a privately owned cottage, which is located at the mouth of Pender Harbour, British Columbia in the historic community of Irvines Landing.

Crosstree Cottage

Currently, I’m sitting on the deck of this charming two-bedroom summer rental (hello brown shutters with white hearts) in Pender Harbour with a cup of coffee in hand, while watching the sun rise above the Malsapina Strait. There’s a gentle breeze now, but it’s expected to get up to 30 degrees later this afternoon.

If you want to visit a true water-centric community that isn’t packed with tourists, Pender Harbour is a must.

We have spent the last six days lounging at the nearby lake in our fleet of plastic, colourful floaties, jumping off the dock and chatting with local families, many of whom live on the mainland, but holiday on the coast.

When it gets too hot, we hide away in the cottage to watch a movie or play a game. Zoe and Molly have become experts at Crazy 8’s.

Once it starts to cool down, usually around sunset, we head down to our own private beach. Each day, the tide has brought in all kinds of treasures, which Molly and Zoe love to find.

We’ve spotted all kinds of beautiful sea glass, fat purple star fish by the dozen, jelly fish — even a coconut!

Pender Harbour

Pender Harbour

The beach can keep my girls busy for hours.

And there’s no better way to tire them out at the end of the day then a soak in the hot tub, which overlooks endless ocean.

Pender Harbour

Whether you’re a textbook introvert like myself or just crave a little R&R and want to connect with nature and your family, I definitely recommend this little slice of West Coast paradise. It took us around three hours to get here from the Fraser Valley (ferry ride included) and cost around the same as one ticket to an all-inclusive resort. For a family of four, this option was definitely more feasible.

This week has gone by so fast. Tomorrow, we head for home and say goodbye to this beautiful adventure. If you enjoyed checking out our pics, make sure to follow our Instastories and posts on Instagram. 


What about you? Where are you vacationing this summer? I’d love to hear all about it in the comment section below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.


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