A kind and generous act in the name of friendship transforms into a few days of blissful, laid-back cottage living at a cozy little place on the shores of Red Bay. With four bedrooms to choose from, there's really nothing cozy about the "red cottage". It's best described as a spacious expanse of beautiful beach-front sunset views.
The drive up Hwy 10 was very familiar. Around Shelburne we switch the radio from the choice of Toronto stations to one that broadcasts out of somewhere in Grey-Bruce. I can't remember the station ID, but I know I'll find it pre-programmed into the car stereo on #6. It never fails. It's almost like listening to my own music collection - an eclectic mix of musical reminiscence.
A long string of favourite music ends with "Enter Sandman", to which Erik remarks about the wide range of great music on this station, impressed to hear a song from...
What exactly happened at this moment is unknown, but the syllables in "Metallica" bunched up in a verbal traffic jam and came out...
"What the ...?!? Metty Kaal!??!?" says Erik, "could it be some French death metal band?"
And the trip continued with our banter of Enter Sandman-esque serenades belted out in our raunchiest death metal vocals in what we thought could be possibly, under extreme and unlikely circumstances, mistaken for French.
Metty Kaal...sponsored by the Dairy Farmers of Ontario. It's hard to read a map while under the delirious effects of uncontrollable giggling.
After a brief stop in Wiarton where we picked up a few groceries and I got acquainted with the local bee population, we arrived in Red Bay at our little red cottage. Four beautiful bedrooms just steps from the beach. There would be no enjoying the beach today, however. Intermittent, torrential downpours would allow only but for the briefest of outdoor activities. Even BBQ-ing, by Erik's standards, was challenging. Fortunately, the rain subsided in the early evening, making a preview of Sauble Beach possible, where the kids made themselves right at home with a sand castle.
The beach at Red Bay proved to be more kid-friendly. International border markers were visible from shore on the horizon. The water was so shallow, we joked that before it was over our heads, we would be asked to produce a passport. The kids acquired a boat from Nana and Erik and I took turns wading out past moored sailboats on our way to Michigan. Ty was quite happy to stay in the boat, while Erin was eager to walk in the shallow water, cold as it was. When asked, both of them insisted, despite their shivering and blue extremities, that they were up for more.
Sight seeing brought us to Oxenden, home of the Bruce Caves (as they are presented to the unsuspecting public), but the truth is...there's just the one cave. The scenic 1km trail to The Cave is a dream come true for the curious climber.
Wiarton provided some interesting signs and sights as well, including the International Airport and some interesting architecture.
It was finally time to say good-bye to the red cottage, despite many protests from the kids that they would prefer to stay. It was difficult to argue with them, but our stay had come to an end. We were able to bribe them away with promises of a day at a park on an island. While curiosity had their attention, we packed up the car and headed for home.