This year I turned 50 in a Gypsy Caravan.
Written By: Lois Morgan
The Caravan is perched on top of a mountain, roughly 2.5 hours from Montreal. The pictures on the website are stunning, and my birthday weekend was the only one available on the site calendar. It was synchronicity.
We left very early to make the 9 hour drive to the Caravan. We took with us food, towels and of course, wine. Once across the Saint Lawrence River, the vistas changed as we drove South-East. The last leg of our journey had us winding in and out of valleys, into and around quaint towns and beautiful farmland.
After leaving the main road, we went up a long driveway and turned onto a hilly trail through deep forest. Steep grades made us gasp, but finally we reached a clearing and then the Caravan came into sight. Just as beautiful as the photos, it shone brightly against the backdrop of thick forest in one direction and blue sky across the valley. We were alone on a mountain-top.
The caravan was immaculate. It was like the best hotel you have ever been to, without the stark neutral décor. There was no neutral. The duvet was purple velvet, the sheets blue, the coverlet a Quebec weave, the bed curtains sheer mix of blues, purples, reds and rust. All the light fixtures were pretty, with glass dangles and jewel coloured shades.
The bathroom was small but equipped with regular sized fixtures and a gorgeous multi-coloured porcelain sink. Walls were a deep periwinkle blue, with the cabinet painted red.
There was nothing cluttering the surface areas. All the kitchen equipment had a place, and the cupboards were full of whatever it was you could possibly need for two people. Toaster, pots, frying pans, kettles were in one. White dishes, wine glasses, mugs and glasses in another. There was plenty of space for us to store our supplies as well, to tuck them away. The cooktop was a two burner ceramic surface, and the sink was round and deep. There was a flat-screened television mounted to the wall, for viewing DVDs, and a small radio and toaster oven.
I am a sucker for kitchen utensils and the ones supplied did not disappoint. There is nothing worse than using an unfamiliar paring knife that is dull, but the knives were all good quality and sharp, I loved the nesting ceramic mixing bowls and the enamel strainers.
Everything in the Caravan was chosen with loving intent. This was a fantasy of a Gypsy Caravan, and it worked. The beautiful light fixtures, the fancy hooks on the wall, the jewel-toned colours, they all melded together to meet that ideal.
Outside the caravan was the Pavilion. The Pavilion was on the edge of a slope and had a cast iron fireplace, two wicker chairs, a bistro table and chairs, and a counter with another small fridge, small Weber barbecue and microwave tucked inside the cabinet. The pavilion acted as the living space for the Caravan, which had no sofa or easy chairs.
It was open to the view on 3 sides, with the fireplace on one end of the solid back wall and the counter on the other. There was not a bug, leaf, spider web or speck of dirt inside it. Even the woodpile was tidy. We spent a lot of time out in the Pavilion as the weather turned chilly and we took advantage of fires and cosy chairs.
In front of the Pavilion, down a small slope was the look-out deck. Very high up, when standing on the edge you are at eye level with the trees.
I realize that you can live well in a small space, if you keep your belongings minimal and set aside everything that has no function. The shelf above the bed held books; the shelf above the coat hooks had the binoculars and a lantern. Everything else had a place, away.
There was certainly room for personal items, but after my husband emptied his pockets onto the table and I saw the pile of change, wallet, keys, cell-phone, I knew that unless I found somewhere to put all that stuff, that it would drive me crazy. It all went into a bowl, and up on the shelf.
As an artist, it would be challenging for me to fit into a small place. I would have to adapt my craft to work, but I’m sure it could be done. I don’t see us moving to a tiny house any time soon, but could see us downsizing into an urban apartment with land and my own Gypsy Caravan waiting magically for us in the woods somewhere.
It would be my own piece of jewelled heaven on wheels.
If this holiday interests you, this is where it was booked http://www.cottagesquebec.com/FicheChalet.aspx?IdChalet=7768