Monday, July 25, 2005
I went to Winnipeg Saturday morning with Emma and three friends from SIL--all four of them only here for the summer. With the exception of me and Emma, the others had never been to Canada. Since most days I prefer that country to my own, I get a little excited to show off my favorite haunts in that lovely prairie city. Of course we only had two days and limited time, money and room in our tummys (it's all about the food really!).
If I had to choose, my favorite parts of Winnipeg are as follows:
Baked Expectations a bistro on Osborne which serves the best desserts on the planet.
The Forks downtown riverfront development which will be really happening when Folklorama kicks off beginning July 31st.
Nerman's Books and Collectibles is a bookstore like no other in the volume of rare children's collectible books. I can actually find Judy Bolton books there.
Value Village This thrift store has a healthy amount of vintage clothing and is fun for sampling wacky looks or even purchasing a new funky wardrobe --other dedicated vintage stores are located in the Exchange District as I discovered this weekend.
Guest House International This is where we stayed. It's reasonably priced close to everything, and comes with the opportunity to meet other travelers.
Fort Garry Hotel is a pricier option but the Sunday brunch is to die for. I've only stayed there once but I suspect it's the first of many times.
Corydon Ave ("Little Italy") is home to yummy restaurants and a favorite gift shop called Cherry Tree Lane.
Chapters Bookstore is much like the Barnes and Noble we have in our town but I like the music section quite a bit and there area number of Canadian and British authors you can't find as easily in the States.
And last but not least, the Bridge Drive-In.... also known as the BDI. This ice cream place serves the creamiest ice cream ever... flavor-burst soft serve. I highly recommend the "blue goo" with sprinkles. The wait can be long as it is usually quite busy but it's worth it.
On this trip we only took in a few of the highlights I mentioned above but we did experience the horse races at Assinioboi Downs. I also got to try a new restaurant, Saffron's, to add to my current favorites for dining in Winnipeg... Pasta La Vista and Stella's Cafe and Bakery (one more thing to cross off my list of 101 things to do). This summer the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation is displaying Bears on Broadway and so we spent Sunday morning walking the half mile between The Forks and the Legislative Building looking at the variety of bears. Here are two of my favorites.
Then later in the day Amber and I took in a few events at Fringefest. I only discovered this festival was happening in Winnipeg a couple days before our trip and I wasn't sure any of the others would be interested. The 21 venues which hosted the various events for the festival were concentrated in the Exchange District and since that was all new territory for me I was excited to experience it. We attended only two events on Sunday... a comic show called Gags for the Masses performed by Benjamin Crellin of New Zealand and a play called The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds. I'm sad I only got to experience a taste of this festival but now that I know it exists I can watch for it and plan better next year.