As part of Karina Alibhai’s university application, she was asked this question….
Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?
And here is her reply…
As you drive down the winding road, the bright colored dots gradually grow into small cottages and the sun creates a golden glow behind the mountains as it reflects off the shimmering lake. As you continue down the lane, you see families sitting in their verandas chatting over a meal, kids playing a game of tag on the grassy field, boys racing their bikes across the road and grandparents watching their grandchildren play in the water from their beach chairs in the shade. Everything here is perfect, from the 1950s-themed cottages to the sunset over the lake. But what makes this place so special is the sense of community, the unique lifestyle and the family memories.
Karina Alibhai & her brothers at Veranda Beach – Easter 2014
Every family has a tradition. Our family tradition is driving five hours to Lake Osoyoos. And while a five hour drive may seem long or boring to some, it is one of the highlights of the trip. Being together in one car and having conversations, playing car games and telling jokes is the best start to our vacation. The journey is perhaps as memorable as the destination – Veranda Beach.
When a family comes to Veranda Beach, they don’t just come to a beach resort. They go back in time to when life was simple and they become part of a magical community. Whether families have been coming here for years or this is their first visit, the lifestyle at Veranda Beach is unique. People stop and say hello to one another on the beach, bikers have the right of way on the roads, the cottages remain unlocked at all times and most of all, there is a feeling of happiness and contentment which is contagious at Veranda Beach.
I have noticed that regardless of how busy my family is or how stressed my parents are, when we come to Veranda it is like everything is lifted off our shoulders. There is a sense of peace and we are all relaxed. While there are still the occasional arguments and pranks, everything has a loving touch to it.
The weeks go by so fast, and by the end of the summer my brothers and I are almost in tears because we don’t want to leave the place we call our second home. Coming to Veranda Beach is not a typical vacation. Our days consist of working out, playing games, having long, intellectual conversations over meals, reading books, playing sports, completing homework, watching movies and bonding with one another. The life here provides us with something we lack in the real world – balance.
My favorite part about Veranda Beach, however, is being with my family. While we do have the occasional fight, I love my brothers and my parents; they have always been my number one fans. As we sit around the table talking about current events, cuddling around the small fire not saying a word, or laughing at one another for being silly, the love that we have for each other becomes crystal clear.
I am the happiest at Veranda Beach because my family is the happiest when we are there. Hearing the laughs, seeing the smiles and simply being together are the highlights of my summer. Veranda Beach brings out the best moments and creates our best memories. It is where I feel most content.