Crashing Mira’s Family Vacation in Sauble Beach

Crashing Mira’s Family Vacation in Sauble Beach

Also known as Tofa and Natalie’s Hallock family initiation.

After roughing it for three days in the wilderness, as was documented in our Glamping in a Poor Man’s Muskoka article, we made it our summer goal to have at least one positive experience associated with the outdoors. So, when Mira’s father said he was organizing a family trip to Sauble Beach, Natalie knew she had to get it on it. Inviting Nat and another friend, Tofa, to come along on this bonding experience, Mira surprised her family with, essentially, two complete strangers.

The already extensive group comprised of Mira’s two aunts, grandma, uncle, step-mother, father, step-brother, step-brother’s girlfriend, step-mother’s cousin, and step-brother’s uncle, welcomed the two outcasts with open arms. However, what was supposed to be a heartfelt farewell between Mira and her family turned into the ultimate girls trip, filled with lots of beach time, cooking, and sad attempts at various water sports.

Hitting the road on Saturday at 9AM, we made a quick detour to pick up Tofa, and were able to start our journey up north. In convincing Tofa to come on this trip, we embellished a few of its key details, including its location. However, Tofa was left with no choice but to come as she had already gotten in the car. Another secret that was kept from Tofa was that Mira had a three-hour hair appointment booked in the middle of our road trip, which was an hour detour off of the path.

So, the first few hours of Tofa and Natalie’s trip were spent watching a Toronto bank getting robbed while sitting in an un-airconditioned Nissan Rogue while Mira got pampered.

Four hours later, arriving at the cottage incredibly tired and a little on edge, Mira and Tofa’s spirits were lifted when they realized that Natalie was wearing the exact same hat as both Mira’s father and step-mother, pictured below.

After a few hours of socializing with them, the real bonding began with a game of Barbie-themed Uno that we played against Mira’s step-brother and his girlfriend, whom we shared a cottage with– yet another surprise for Tofa. After a few rounds and some really awkward small talk, we decided to go to bed and prepare for the next day.

Sunday being Mira’s grandmother’s birthday, we knew we had to do something special to help her ring in eighty-four years on earth. Deciding to prepare a Mexican feast for fifteen people, a Nigerian, a Sri Lankan, and an Italian set out to the grocery store to attempt to make the most authentic Mexican food that we were capable of making. This obviously included frozen margaritas. These were honestly life-changing, and you definitely need to try making them at home:

For every single can of Minute Maid Limeaid, blend:

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 2 shots (plus a little or a lot extra) of tequila

Slaving away all day preparing the food, it really came together at the end and we were actually super proud of our final product– with chicken tacos, sweet potato and black bean tacos, Spanish rice, and guacamole. After dinner, we took the time to relax, watching TikToks until it was time to go to bed.

Our whole summer led up to this next day.

Waking up on Monday at 7 AM, (surprisingly) we drove to the Blue Heron dock and boarded a ferry to Flowerpot Island. Tofa being the water-safe queen that she is, decided to be the only passenger to bring their own life jacket and wear it the entire ferry-ride there. To be fair, she can’t swim.

However, we knew that we had arrived in paradise when Natalie couldn’t think of some sort of complaint about the island. It was stunning, and this moment was truly the climax of our summer.

Spending our entire time there in the water, Tofa got too caught up in the euphoria of the beautiful scenery that she forgot that she is unable to swim– oftentimes floating a little too far out with her lifejacket. Thankfully, we never had to reel her back into shore.

Devastated to be leaving Flowerpot Island, we knew we still wanted to spend our day on the water, so we used Mira’s stepmother’s kayaks and rowboat to putter around on the lake. Our skills even inspired Mira’s aunt to ask Natalie, the retired coxswain, to take her out on the rowboat. While on the water, the joy of being able to row prompted Mira’s aunt to utter “Thank you Jesus” to the sky several times.

Coming back to shore, we ate dinner and prepared our dessert–s’mores and watermelon. With Natalie roasting the marshmallows to perfection, Mira and Tofa prepared the graham crackers and chocolate on a tray, which Tofa dropped several times.

Mira’s step-mother not knowing which dessert to choose ended up “double-fisting,” as she put it, both a slice of watermelon and a s’more. We couldn’t recommend this more.

On Tuesday, we decided to spend our final day at Lion’s Head beach which gave us the same vibes as Flowerpot Island, but with shorter travel time. The water was the best we had been in the entire summer and we were sad to leave.

However, we had to prepare a charcuterie board so that we could have a little beach aperitif while watching the sunset, which we previously wrote about.

Our final noteworthy event was discovering an old karaoke machine in our cottage. Singing forgotten hits like “Timber,” “Wrecking Ball,” and “Say Something,” we were entertained for hours and finally ended the debate on whether it was Mira or Tofa who took the spot as the second-best singer in the group. We’ll let you figure that one out for yourself.

Driving back to Niagara early the next morning certainly felt a lot shorter, however, this could be due to the fact that Mira surprisingly didn’t have a three-hour-long commitment in the middle of our road trip.

This was the most perfect way to spend our last weekend together before we all head off to school. While we’ll all be apart for a few months, keep an eye out for when we’re back together for our Christmas content. We promise it’ll be worth it.

How to Create Your Own Boujee Beach Picnic

How to Create Your Own Boujee Beach Picnic

Because there has literally been nothing else to do this summer other than eat and sit outside.

We’re not quite sure how it happened, but it seems that the summer of 2020 has turned into the summer of charcuterie boards. We cannot even begin to count how many people we’ve seen post about their take on this board- eating them in every location possible, from the trunk of their car to the beach. So we decided that we wanted to make our own charcuterie board and attempt to live our most boujee beach lives these last few weeks that we have here in Ontario.

Since this is titled a “boujee” beach picnic, we knew that our local Superstore or Walmart wouldn’t cut it. So we embarked on a journey to the most boujee and lavish grocery store there is in Ontario- Whole Foods, also known as Nat’s personal heaven.

There’s something about even the air of Whole Foods that just hits different. With a variety of options, they seriously have everything for every dietary restriction on the planet. Walking around the store, we were able to find all the items we needed and even a couple of surprise items that we weren’t planning on getting.

So without further ado, let’s break this board down.

The first thing you’ll need is some sort of cracker or bread. Browsing the pristine aisles of Whole Foods, we decided upon three different kinds- classic pita chips, cranberry pumpkin seed crackers, and a fruit and nut sourdough bread that Natalie made beforehand. We’d definitely recommend getting a variety of plain and more flavoured crackers!

The next thing that you’ll need is to find some good meats and cheeses. Mira decided on a combination of brie cheese, kasseri cheese, and prosciutto. Since Natalie is essentially vegan, she purchased a vegan cheddar cheese, which was surprisingly great and proves that you can actually make a delicious vegan charcuterie board.

The third thing you’ll need is some kind of sweet element for your board. While this is not essential, if you have a sweet tooth like Nat, then having only cheese and crackers might not sound too exciting. She’d much rather prefer a board filled entirely with Dunkaroos and Fuzzy Peaches. Therefore, we decided to purchase both fruit and dried fruit to diversify the flavour palate of our board. For dried fruit, we chose figs and mangoes, however, there are so many other great dried fruits out there- like persimmons, apples, and peaches that would work as well. For real fruit, we decided to get some grapes. To be honest, Natalie has PTSD from one of her third grade classmates peeling their grapes and throwing the peels all over the floor leaving a sticky residue, but decided to suck it up because any other type of fresh fruit on the board would’ve looked aesthetically displeasing.

Nat also saw some vegan caramel dark chocolate balls and knew immediately that she had to purchase them. So, those kind of became a part of the sweet section of our board whether Mira liked it or not.

Finally, the last thing you’ll need is some sort of dip. For this, we’d highly recommend hummus. Instead of buying hummus from Whole Foods though, we brought an edamame garlic hummus we made at home that is seriously delicious.

We also decided to throw in some spicy corn nuts for fun because they looked cool and we thought we needed to add a little bit of spice to our board.

Once you’ve purchased all of your items, you can then move on to the most exciting part- arranging your items on a cutting board! This is where you can let your creativity take the reins, and lay out the delicious snacks you bought in any way that you want.

Check out the full visual of our board below:

PRO TIP: In order to ensure safe transportation of your board, we’d suggest using clear bowls for items that seem like they wouldn’t stick well to a cutting board. Also, for softer cheeses like brie, we’d recommend bringing a cheese knife and possibly other utensils, like a spoon, for dips and any other elements that would be hard to access otherwise.

If you’re interested in making your own sourdough and edamame garlic hummus like we did, check out the following recipes:

Other random essentials that you will want to bring include a blanket or mats, champagne (a MUST), and a speaker. These will definitely enhance your charcuterie experience.

If you’re looking for a great way to end your summer, pull up to your local Whole Foods, grab a bottle of Champagne, and go crazy. Much like bucket hats and silly bands, we have a feeling that this charcuterie trend might go out of style soon, so jump on it while it’s still hot!