On a previous Sunday, Ryan and I decided to go to the Farmer’s Market out in St. Norbert. We were so excited—it’s been forever since we’ve been. The last time would have been when we lived on Pembina near the perimeter, so only a short drive or really long walk that we never took.

As we drove there after scouring the house for loose change, our reusable bags in hand, the excitement continued to mount. What kinds of foods would we get to sample? I was hoping for brownies (there’s a vendor that makes hot pepper brownies, and usually makes a regular batch for the kids and us picky eaters.

Ryan was looking forward to some bison or other meat samples. Even the fun-flavoured perogies that are the signature of another vendor crossed my mind.

Our taste buds were ready, my stomach was practically growling. Of course, when we arrived it looked like a ghost town. I swear I saw tumbleweed roll by.

Our plans for the day were shot. Here I was, wearing a lovely strapless sundress in the hopes of evening out some of my tan lines.

I suggested the zoo. (I still wanted some sun.)

Didn’t seem like it was going to happen.

But we kept driving.

Headed down McGillivray, Ryan suggested a cheap movie. I love going to the movies. It has nothing to do with the movie at all, it’s totally about getting movie theatre popcorn. But that’s not the point. We were nearing the theatre and normally I would be all for it, but I couldn’t justify spending a beautiful sunny day inside a cold, dark theatre.


We’re already on McGillivray, why not FortWhyte?

So we did.

Using a lot of our change, we paid for the two of us, me getting my student discount because my student card is technically valid until August, or so I keep telling myself.

It was fantastic. We walked the paths, we crossed the boardwalks. We even found a trail that was slightly flooded. Do you think that stopped us? Of course not! Mind you, when we got to the other side of the trail, we had to crawl over a big horse with a sign that read, “Trail Closed Due To Flooding.” Oops.

The mosquitoes were a nightmare. We did eventually find some spray and kind of went nuts with it. Oh well.

After, we headed to the bison lookout. On the way was the pioneer mud house. There was a chalkboard outside reading, “The Pioneer is IN,” whatever that meant. I figured there would be someone around the house doing pioneer-y things. There wasn’t. What a disappointment.

As I neared the house, however, I thought I heard something inside. Maybe it was my imagination. But now I was curious—what was inside the house? Could we go in? I wanted to, but what if we walked in on someone doing, well, anything really.

I reached my hand to the handle, prepared to push it open. My knuckles grazed the door, barely making an audible sound.

Then footsteps.

Large, creaky footsteps.

The door opened wide to a smiling British man dressed as a pioneer who invited us in and showed us around his home. It was a pleasant place. He had some of his long underwear hanging out to dry after doing the washing (obviously a permanent fixture). If you looked close enough, you would immediately see the human hand sticking out of one of the arm holes. A leftover remnant of Halloweens past that had slowly made its way as part of the exhibit. (As it turns out, the Pioneer is IN every Sunday.)

After our visit, we headed out to the Bison Viewing Mound. We passed some teepees, stopped inside for a few secret kisses and continued on our trek. It was a short walk, just over a km, but when you’re wearing flip-flops, that’s one long walk. We also climbed the Saturn Family Treehouse where Ryan somehow didn’t see the sign that read, “Watch your head” and managed to bang his head on the low ceiling.

We managed to spend several hours just enjoying the natural wildlife reserve right inside our own city. Oddly enough, Ryan has never been there! I don’t know how, but I guess it’s like the number of people who live in Winnipeg who have never been to The Forks.

While walking, I came to the conclusion that I was going to ensure I was not one of those people. I decided I would explore Manitoba on a limited budget doing mostly day trips. So that’s what the purpose of my “Around Manitoba” blogs will be: detailing the fun adventures of affordable places in Manitoba that are big tourist attractions, or at least could be.

7/26/2010 03:38:49 am

I remember hearing about this when you guys came swimming. We so gotta do that again soon!


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