akesideretreatLakesideLretreatBy KATHY WEISSPhotos by REGGIE MORROW roomJUNE 2012 11
12 roomJUNE 2012 sSixteen minutes to paradise.So close and convenient, yet a world away from the hubbub of city life. Just over a quarter of an hour is all it takes when Andy Hartwig leaves his east side Iowa City home to reach his destination on Lake Macbride.He and his wife, Celine, and children Drew and Emma are the lucky owners of a lake house on Cottage Reserve near Solon, a spectacular, modern three-level getaway designed and built by the husband-wife team of Kimberlee and Kevin Rocca."Every single time I walk in, I'm blown away by the beauty - seeing the lake and the trees. It's unbelievable," Andy said on a recent Thursday morning as he drove out to spend a day at the lake. "I feel like I'm the luckiest guy on the planet."It's where the oral surgeon escapes to whenever he has a day off. "I come out there just to relax and read. I do my cooking there and then take dinner back home to my family," he said. "The kitchen is incredible. It's fun to be there."His wife concurs. "It's just really made our lives complete. It's so much fun for the kids to come out and kayak or canoe and roast marshmallows by the water. We spend more time together as a family now in one of the most beautiful places you can imagine," she said.Celine happily recounts how they came to be owners of a lake house on Cottage Reserve about five years ago."We had been on a pontoon ride and we saw these houses along the shore. I called Jill Armstrong (a local Realtor) and said, 'If something ever comes up for sale here, let us know.' Three weeks later, she called and told us that there was a home about to go on the market. It was a disaster."The home was shrouded by overgrown vegetation and quite rundown. "We bought the house and we were sick about it. I had to call 1-800-JUNK and they worked all day carrying garbage out from it," Celine said. ?The Hartwig family replaced a shabby old cottage with a stylish, modern lake house that has awesome views from every room.