Welcome to friends of wine women and philosophy (wwp)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 22 and 23: Winnipeg

On Shirley's advice, we went straight to The Forks upon our return to Winnipeg. This is a fantastic riverside space in the city. Combining old historic landmarks with interesting modern architecture, this amalgam of open parkland, bustling market place, well-thought-out educational attractions, sensuous landscaping and excellent children's play ground makes for a compelling "people space."

We went for a ride in a water taxi, traveling out past the polar bears at the legislature building and on to 'Little Italy' and edgy Osborne village. And we ate excellent Island rotis from Bindy's, followed by a terrific espresso. We took in the new Human Rights museum that is nearing completion: such an inspiring looking building shadowing an equally inspiring skateboard park. And we miraculously found our way back to
Shirley and Todd's at the end of it all, motivated largely by the knowledge that Shirley was busy in her kitchen making perogis.

Now, Shirley might have the best advice in the world, but her grand-dog Rufus, who she was dog-sitting, is definitely not the best behaved dog in the world...Let's just say that 'Rufy' is high on energy and low on party tricks. Then again, Abby and Cinder are a hard act to follow...And to be fair, once Rufus got over his excitement at having NEW PEOPLE!!! in the house, he was pretty endearing.

But those perogis, wow! Shirley isn't known as the queen of perogis for nothing. Add to them smokeys and a BBQ loin of pork and sautéed potatoes and dill pickles and salad and, well, all was well with the world in heat wave Winnipeg. We played (fiercely competitive) canasta after supper, and then camped out in S and T's expansive basement - Rona demonstrating her prowess on the snooker table before we finally turned in for the night.

Next morning found us back in this fine city, exploring now the trendy Exchange and Theatre districts...Enjoying as we did the way that Winnipeg has managed to bring the old and the new together in such a visually stimulating way. We were excited to see the site of the old Walker theatre where Nellie McClung had staged her famous 'mock parliament' in 1914 (we had explored this spectacle in our Spring 'rebel with a cause' series with the philosophy club, which made it particularly timely). And we had a fine lunch at the Plugged-In contemporary art gallery, where a good part of the actual exhibition space was being used by visiting artists during the summer months...great for them, not so great for visiting art spectators!

Dripping from the heat (hard to imagine that this city is nicknamed "winterpeg" for it's brutally cold winters) we returned to Shirley and Todd's for yet another fabulous dinner followed by yet another fun evening of canasta. Shirley is probably the only person in the peg who was baking a super-sized rhubarb pie on this steamy July day, but it went down a treat...as did the garlic shrimps, grilled chicken, corn on the cob, coleslaw, fried potatoes...

Understandably, we were starving when we got up the next morning, ready to move on with the roadshow...So Shirley made sure we had homemade muffins for breakfast, as well as a "packed lunch" that would see us through the next three days. For his part, Todd repaired the vibrating water pump in our trailer...And you wonder why we so often wax lyrical about our fantastic friends!

A heartfelt thank you to Shirley and Todd for playing host, and wonderful hosts at that, to us and our current multi-vehicled lifestyle...Not to mention for the wealth of tips about said lifestyle. Did we forget to tell you that Shirley and Todd are veteran RVers? During our few days with them we loved hearing their stories about their RV adventures, just as we loved hearing about their childhoods in
Neepawa and Big Valley...Where, as it happens, we were headed next.