Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A few sunny days in Winnipeg......

This week has been spent mostly planning for my get away starting next Tuesday evening. I now have most things in place – a few train trips, a couple of flights, lots of travel in Greyhound and various accommodations, ranging from big hostel dorms to cheap hotels. It’s going to be a busy 5 weeks or so till I get back to Winnipeg on 21 June, but I am looking forward to hitting the road again.

At the end of this week I went to a concert for Prairie Voices – the choir that Buffy sings in. It was being held about 7 miles away at the top of Winnipeg, but it was a nice afternoon , I had done most of my planning and I had time to spare, so put on my shoes and had a lovely walk for about 2 hours in the afternoon sunshine. I arrived at the venue – a Mennonite church and hall, to see Buffy’s dad , outside, so had a chat with him before going in and Joining Buffy’s mum, aunt, uncle and brothers for the concert. It had a bit of everything from Mika to Queen, although in my humble opinion there was a little too much of The Beatles (scouse) and not enough of Oasis (Manc) or any other Manchester bands. The last song was brilliant though – a version of Viva la Vida, by Coldplay.  

Prairie Voices singing....

Saturday was a lovely sunny day and was supposed to be ‘Free day’, when everyone puts out stuff they don’t want onto the kerb for other scroungers to take away. We did go out to have a look around but could find nothing useful anywhere, so we headed down to The Forks, in town, where after a look around the market and finding a weather forecasting stone, we sat and had a spot of lunch in the sunshine. We decided on hot dogs at a place that specialises on weird and wonderful versions of an ordinary dog. I had a Chicago – not that unusual with tomato, peppers and onions, but Buffy’s was a P and J. Also known as Peanut Butter, Jelly and Captain Crunch cereal, with strawberry’s to top it off – all with a normal hotdog underneath. Not really my thing but fun anyway. 

After lunch we continued to enjoy the lovely weather with a walk along the Red River, before heading into town and ending up at a pub called ‘Tavern United’ – a nice bar with a rooftop patio, where we sat drinking coke in the sunshine. I have moaned about the price of things over here enough and especially when the tax is added on top of the displayed prices – so today I will not moan at all but give praise where it is due.... If you want a soft drink, like a coke, then you get free refills – so we sat for nearly 2 hours, enjoying the afternoon sun, drinking ice cold cola and all we paid was $7 – less than £5, for 5 massive glasses. It’s not all bad you know!

The weather forecasting stone....

Weird as fuck hot dog

Not quite as weird

Sunday was another lovely sunny day and we spent the afternoon in a local park, just sitting around, reading, chatting and watching the families playing games and enjoying their barbecues. Just like everyone should do on a nice sunny afternoon. Obviously it also took my mind off the football from that morning, when I was up early and watching the Man United and Man City games, when City got two last minute goals to sew up the premier league title. Good luck to them and I’m already looking forward to next season.


...by the...


An upside down photo from the bar....
Monday and Tuesday were quiet days. I spent most of the time printing out the details and tickets for my trip away and waiting for the postman to come. I was hoping he would be bringing my new ‘replacement’, shoes before I left on Tuesday evening, but unfortunately he didn’t and I had to make a decision...Should I go away with just a pair of trainers and going out boots, or should I take a hit, buy myself a decent pair of walking/hiking shoes and then just sell the new replacement ones on eBay when they arrive. I decided on plan B and so after waiting in till 3.30pm on Tuesday just in case, I took a quick trip out to Polo Park shopping centre where I bought a pair of Merrell shoes, just like my last pair that I threw away in San Francisco. Luckily, there was a bit of a sale on and so I got them for about £20 less than they would cost at home in the UK. Cool. 

My home made cake and home made treacle......


A photo from the bar, not upside down!

So that’s Winnipeg for now. I get the train in about 6 hours to Toronto. I haven’t been sitting around doing nothing all the time though. A few years ago there was a Charity event in Winnipeg called ‘Bears on Broadway’, where Polar bear statues were sponsored and painted by companies and placed along Broadway in town all to make money for cancer charities.

Over the last few years these bears have been moved around town and now sit outside shops and offices all around the place.

I discovered that there was a map online showing the locations of all these bears and so to keep myself from going absolutely mental, I have been getting out and about to see these bears and take a photo of them. Here are a few of the photos I have so far....

Hockey commentator or lumberjack bear?

Tiny bear with a standard size paintbrush bear?

We dont like looking at each other bears

Forest camoflage bear

YMCA bear?

Spoilt teenager bear?

Sunburnt bear?

Bear who plays 'strange' football?

Who the fuck are you looking at bear?

Please help me, im a real bear not a statue of a bear bear?

So I am now all packed and ready to get away again. I am learning from previous experiences and have packed about half what I took with me to Calgary and Banff. I know I will end up wearing most things at least 3 times before washing them and so don’t need 10 t-shirts or 2 pairs of jeans. Let’s hope I haven’t made a mistake in doing so!!

I will be posting again soon – probably at the weekend, depending on what I see and do between now and then.......  

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