One bathing suit, a couple of t-shirts, and a pair of sweatpants. This is all one needs for a weekend getaway to a cottage. Don’t worry, there will be spare sweatshirts from trips of yore to throw on when it inevitably gets cold at night. Whether you choose to stock up on beer and groceries before or after arriving at your final destination is up to you.
What you call a cottage – a cabin, summer home, beach house, etc. – doesn’t really concern me, either. In Michigan, we call heading to a cottage simply “going up north.” Maybe you go down south. Perhaps you travel east to Nantucket or The Hamptons. If you’re in the southwest, I believe you head to something called a “ranch.”
At the end of the day, that’s all merely semantics. What does matter, and what is undeniable, is that cottage life (or whatever your version of a cottage is) is the best life. It does not get any better than hopping in a car after taking a half day on Friday and traveling to a secluded home near a body of water and surrounded by a thick forest.
Worries about work and one’s personal life simply seem to fall by the wayside as soon as we arrive at our little cabin in the woods. Surrounded by close friends and/or family, the only thing we need to fret about is whether the cooler on the back porch has enough ice in it. Did someone remember to bring eggs for tomorrow morning? Worry about it when you wake up. There’s a mom-and-pop grocery store you can hit up if need be.
Do I have a meeting or deadline to meet next week? Who gives a fuck? There are more important things to think about like whether we should bring one case of beer or two onto the boat for the afternoon.
Cottage life is about water sports like wakeboarding, tubing, and sitting idly on a pontoon while the sun beats down on you. It’s about fireside chats that go until the wee hours of Saturday morning and shotgunning Michelob Ultras by the pale moonlight. It’s about playing Bob Seger and Kid Rock for the entirety of the trip and singing along even if you don’t know the lyrics.
If you’re lucky, you’ll talk your most conservative friend or relative into taking one too many shots and watching as they reluctantly take a drag from that spliff you rolled.
We’re different human beings once the Jeep is loaded up and traveling on back roads to the cottage. Somewhere between leaving your office for the weekend and the spot on the side of the driveway where you park your car upon arrival, you lose the ability to give a fuck.
Calories don’t count at the cottage. All of those filters we feel we need to have on at work or around our friends get taken off, and you’re left with the most stripped down version of yourself. There’s something about wearing a bathing suit for the duration of the weekend and maybe a t-shirt when the temp drops at night that is really liberating. Provided you are not a character in A Thud And A Splash, the vibe, for lack of a better term, is simply magical.
There’s hopefully no wi-fi at the place you’re staying at which renders your phone useless. Television? Forget about it. Bring a book if you don’t feel like talking to people for a few hours. Put the iPhone on airplane mode for the weekend and leave it in your suitcase upstairs. Better yet, turn the fucking thing off.
There’s no Instagram, no Snapchats of your trashy ex, or e-mails from work. There’s a townie bar down the street that you might terrorize on Friday night for a bit, but other than that there isn’t much of a reason to leave the cottage.
If you have the means I highly recommend getting to a cottage. It’ll be a highlight of your summer and something you’ll remember for a long time. .
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