Tag Archives: Winnipeg

10 Things About Winnipeg

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10 Things About Winnipeg

The other day one of my friends challenged me to write a blog post about 10 things I miss about my hometown. So here goes.

Number 1 is definitely my son Kyle. It’s been over a decade since we’ve even lived in the same country, never mind the same city.

Number 2 is my friends. One of my friends dates all the way back to middle school and the others are friends for twenty years plus.

Number 3 is the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery. I like to go there in person rather than virtually.

Number 4 is West Portage Y. Lots of good times with friends in aquafit classes.

Number 5 is The English Garden at Assiniboine Park.

Number 6 is food. Moussaka at Niko’s, Sorrento’s Salad and burgers at V J’s.

Number 7 is going to fall suppers in the rural areas.

Number 8 is the Mennonite thrift stores, auctions and flea markets I used to frequent when I had my EBay business.

Number 9 is The Winnipeg Fringe Festival.

I really tried to think of one more but honestly couldn’t. There are other restaurants and parks but I really wouldn’t put them in my top ten. I was especially disappointed at how The Forks has deteriorated and has become such a dangerous place. I prefer to do my shopping in the USA and have no favorite places to shop left in Winnipeg. I guess I’ve been traveling too much and have been to so many new and exciting places.

So there you have it——nine things but not quite ten.

Buzz Words

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Buzz Words

The buzz words for this decade are “stay safe.” The ones I heard all the time in the last decade were “be aware.”

In Mexico I live alone, I take long walks alone and I often travel alone, very different from my life back in Washington. But in both places the above buzz words are always on my mind.

After having limited mobility prior to two knee replacement surgeries, I am extremely grateful to be able to take long walks every day. And I am very aware of my surroundings regardless of where I am. And I notice very different things.

Here in Aguascalientes, despite the fact that I live in a lower income neighborhood close to Centro (downtown), I am very comfortable walking the streets day and night. There are always people out walking. I’ve even grown accustomed to seeing young children out at night alone. Some of the shops have crazy hours too. There’s a dentist on my corner who is often there at ten at night. A hairdresser a block away is often cutting hair at midnight. Taco stands are open until the wee hours. And I think nothing of going out to the corner tienda at midnight if I crave a pinguino.

This past summer when I was in Winnipeg I stayed with a friend who lived downtown. Winnipeg can best be described as an urban reserve and is not a city I’d want to raise my kids in today. The downtown area is disgusting and filled with vacant office buildings. There is not a department store or a grocery store in sight. But the panhandlers are definitely out there in abundance. The streets are deserted at night except for the aboriginals who can be seen defecating or urinating on the sidewalks just as they do in the daytime.

When I walk in East Wenatchee I always see people out with their dogs. As I walk by the middle school I see kids out on the track. Further along by the high school I see the football team at practice. And of course there are always lovely gardens and trees as I stroll past the houses as I walk up and down the hills.

However in the blink of an eye things can change. I’ve had “interesting ” experiences in all three countries that I do not intend to ever write about. After all, we are never in control of everything.

Stay safe and be aware, wherever you are.

Changes

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Changes

Did you set your clock back last night? Here in Mexico we did it last week. It was bad enough losing two hours when I got here, but now for one week I had to remember who was one hour back or one hour ahead instead of the usual two when I phoned friends up north. Glad that’s over with.

Dia de las muertos has come and gone for another year. The Catrinas have been tucked away and the vendors are nowhere in sight. Some of the bakeries still have pan de los muertos but that’s about it. The parade on Wednesday officially ended the celebrations.

I met friends for a drink last night on Carranzas. That street is always busy. There are lots of bars, coffee shops and restaurants as well as a variety of other shops. It’s a great place for people-watching and practicing my Spanish as I meander in and out of the shops.

I’m now watching Lifetime movies again in an effort to improve my Spanish. The odd one I’ve seen in English before but most are new so it’s a challenge. Some of them are pretty bizarre. I watched one the other night that was about murdering cheerleaders, most conducive to nightmares if there were any teens out there watching.

Apparently I’m not the only one doing any traveling. My driver’s license has been on the move since September when it was sent to me from Winnipeg. It never did arrive in East Wenatchee and has surfaced once again in Winnipeg this week. I’ve told my son to keep it there as sending it here to Mexico is an exercise in futility. I mean, it couldn’t even make it to East Wenatchee so I don’t expect that it would ever find its way to Aguascalientes. Besides, I’m enjoying using my Mexican Costco card as photo ID.

My friends back home tell me the smoke has cleared and the temperatures have cooled. They’ve even had some snow. It’s still in the 80s here and I’m looking forward to it cooling off a little. Of course, they can keep that white stuff up north. I know some of my Mexican friends are excited about snow but I keep telling them I’d rather watch it on the videos my friends put on Facebook than to actually be there and have to contend with it. That one winter in Washington during Covid was more than enough for me.

Speaking of Covid, there aren’t nearly as many masks on the streets here now as there were when I first arrived a month ago. And the shops that had signs up requiring masks are now letting people in without masks although some still have signs up. Yours truly was a bit of a rebel and totally disregarded the signs anyways.

Alexa’s joke today. A grasshopper hops into a bar. The bartender says, “I’m going to serve you a drink named after you.” The grasshopper responds,” You have a drink named ‘Steve’?”

Happy Sunday!

Maybe Morbid

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Maybe Morbid

If thinking about death or dying makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read this post. Read an older post and wait for the next one. Or read someone else’s blog post. Just don’t read this one.

The other night I had a really strange dream. I dreamt how I was going to die. Isn’t that weird? Not exactly the dream you want to have or even remember. But I woke up the next morning and all the details were still there. The people who were with me. The place where I was. And how I was about to die. I’ll spare you the gist of it but it was a rather violent death. Although the time of death was rather vague.

Normally I try not to think about death or dying. But as I get older, I seem to be surrounded by it more. And especially when Covid hit, and I lost a few people I knew to that ugly virus. Each year I return to Washington state from Mexico and find out that friends have passed away. I also read the Winnipeg Free Press on Saturdays and recognize names in the obituaries as well.

I was talking to a friend the other day whose stepmother is dying. I found out that a former bridge partner passed away. And I’m sure there are more than a handful I don’t even know about. Just last weekend at the 9/11 service in Cashmere, I was reminded of all the people who died because of terrorism.

When I was in Winnipeg over the summer, I went to the cemetery to visit the graves of my parents as well as other family members. I can’t get over how that cemetery has expanded since I was last there five years ago.

However there’s also a positive side to dying. Surprised? I’m referring to how summer is ending and flowers are dying. I view it as fall is approaching which means that those gorgeous, colorful leaves will soon be here. Fall is my favorite time of year, especially here in Washington. My tree in Cashmere is already beginning to change color and I can’t wait to see those spectacular red leaves again. Last year I was already back in Mexico when that happened.

My final comment on death. There was no cliffhanger on this topic when Virgin River ended this season. Actually, after the multitude of cliffhangers last season, there wasn’t much at all this season. We were even told that Charmaine’s twins aren’t Jack’s. A little on the disappointing side.

That’s it for death and dying. On to living now.

Have a great week everyone!

Hey It’s Good To Be Back Home Again

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Thank you Air Canada for getting myself and my bag from Winnipeg to Seattle via Vancouver. You pretty much ran on time but checking in at the airport was less than enjoyable. You wouldn’t recognize my vaccination info on line. I also didn’t appreciate the compulsory masks and the annoying announcements in French. Your beverage service options of water, apple juice or orange juice at 6 a.m. were a nice touch. But have you ever heard of Coffee? Coke? Caffeine?

I love you SeaTac! I ripped off the mask and I finally had a much needed coffee at Starbucks. I sat outside waiting for the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle while savoring my coffee, basking in the sunshine.

As the mountains came into view, I couldn’t stop smiling. How I missed them! Manitoba is so incredibly…..FLAT!!!!

Six weeks in Winnipeg was too long. While it was nice to spend time with my son and see my friends, I was homesick for Washington. Winnipeg is not the city I remember and is definitely not the city where I would ever want to live again.

Hey it’s great to be back home again!

Last Post From The Peg

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Last Post From The Peg

The last few days before I leave are always hectic. It’s always hard to say goodbye to my son and my friends. I never know when I’ll be back here next.

Sheila and I went out for one last coffee together. So long Tim Hortons until next time.

Monday afternoon Audrey moved me from St. Vital to Westwood. On the way we stopped for pizza at Santa Lucia.

Monday night was a Goldeyes game. The weather was perfect and the Goldeyes won. It was a beautiful evening with my son and friends.

Yesterday Donna and I went to Assiniboine Park. No visit to Winnipeg is complete without a visit to The English Garden and The Leo Mol Sculpture Garden.

The plan for today is the photo for my driver’s license. Then we’re off to have lunch and to check out Kildonan Park. I’ll have to find some time to pack as I have an early flight tomorrow.

Adios Winnipeg!

Nomad On The Move Soon

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Nomad On The Move Soon

Yes my flights are finally booked. Hopefully next Sunday my post will be coming from East Wenatchee. This is my last Sunday post from Winnipeg.

I had a nice relaxing time out at the lake. And I have been busy since I got back into the city. I have been sorting through hundreds of photos that were backed up on my Seagate and trying to remember where and when they were taken. My old laptop had died and finally gone to hell at some point during the early days of Covid. Gone to hell…………I hated that ASUS!!!!!

I finally booked my flights. I am taking my chances with a Canadian airline. Please keep me in your prayers that Air Canada actually has a crew to get me to SeaTac via Vancouver on Thursday. I still have to book the Wenatchee Valley Shuttle and buy my travel health insurance, but I know that is minor in comparison. I also know that Christina and Danny will be waiting with bells on for me to get back home.

Of course it is now crunch time and that means saying goodbye to my friends here. I hope they understand when I say I have no plans to come back here anytime soon. Six weeks was way too long for a visit this summer when I had planned on being here only three.

I have been texting Annie back in East Wenatchee. I have new classes to teach at Bonaventure the week of the 15th. And of course I will be back in Leavenworth teaching that week as well. I am looking forward to getting back to those fitness classes.

I also have tickets for Leavenworth Summer Theater productions of The Music Man and The Sound of Music. Performances always include an outstanding cast and the Amphitheatre up in the mountains is the perfect venue.

Almost time for internet church from Sage Hills in Wenatchee. Next Sunday I hope to be there in person.

Have a great Sunday!

What Plan Are We On Now?

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What Plan Are We On Now?

Change. Change. Change. Adapt. Adapt. Adapt. When you go from Plan A to Z and need another…..then just keep on going.

I left downtown on Thursday and am now out in the burbs in St. Vital with my friend Rita. Until Tuesday Iwhen we head out to the lake again. Another new plan.

I’m determined to tough it out here in the Peg until I can get that photo taken for my driver’s license. In all likelihood I will hightail it back to Washington and I won’t get out west to Calgary or Kelowna. I’m homesick! I don’t care if it’s 111 degrees and threat of wildfires. I want to go home.

Of course there’s lots here to do to stay amused. Rita has had some shopping to do and it’s been fun checking out Jysk and Giant Tiger as well as Canadian grocery stores and Walmart. But I’ll save my shopping for when I’m back in the USA.

I finally got to VJ’s for a gut bomb the other day. This stand is home to the best chili burgers and fries in the province. And they actually have plastic tablecloths on the picnic tables, a slight change that’s easy to deal with.

A friend from Regina called me yesterday. We met at the YMCA about fifteen years ago in water aerobics classes. She moved away from Winnipeg around the same time I did. Kim is hoping to come to Mexico this winter and we are hoping to get together for the first time in way too many years. Another new plan.

And yet another plan. I need to get back to my son’s to deal with one more bin full of slides. My dad took slides, not photos. And I am gladly passing them on to my brother. Hopefully he will do something with them. They’ve been stagnating way too long in a Rubbermaid bin.

I won’t be posting again until next Sunday. I’m not sure if I’ll have Wi-Fi out at the lake.

By next weekend I’ll have another plan. Stay tuned.

Quarries and Salad

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Quarries and Salad

I’m really excited about my new laptop. After sending an album to the cloud rather than creating a folder, I’m finally getting a hang of this. Of course I have over 3000 photos on my Seagate that now have to be organized into folders. But I think I need to stay home to do that.

I’ve been staying out in Westwood this week. Donna’s husband Loris has been pampering me with gourmet meals and homemade wine from grapes, not a kit.

On Monday Donna and I went out to her cousin’s place in Stony Mountain. We spent a relaxing afternoon in their pool. Then it was off to go and explore the quarries.

Yesterday we had a delightful lunch at Sorrentos. Whenever I come back to Winnipeg, a Sorrentos Salad is a must. And it’s still located in the same strip mall in Charleswood as it was back in the seventies.

But a downer was that I’m feeling like I’m being held hostage by MPIC. I need to renew my driver’s license and it’s time for a new photo. But it has to be done within 45 days from expiration, and I don’t want to stay here another two weeks. However I found a great agent who will go to bat for me if I can hang in there for at least another week. So I may get to travel out west in Canada yet.

Moving day tomorrow so today I need to pack. I’m actually looking forward to getting out of the downtown area. I can’t believe how run down and full of panhandlers it’s become.

Oh oh! More rain in the forecast. We had an amazingly loud thunder boomer Monday night with lots of rain. We need to send some of it to California where they’re battling wildfires.

Happy Humpday!

Amigos in Winnipeg

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Amigos in Winnipeg

I’ve been away from Winnipeg for years and this city sure has changed. What has not changed is my close friends whom I’ve kept in touch with over the years. Yes, our lives and circumstances have changed. But our friendship remains strong.

In my last post I told you all about my friend Lise. Today I’m going to tell you about some of my other friends.

Sheila and I met back in middle school. We took very different paths in life. Back in our teens we hung out a lot together. Although we found ourselves in different high schools, we often went bar hopping on weekends. Of course back then there was no computer chip photo ID. Life was so simple. I moved away twelve years ago and we’ve kept in touch. I came back to Winnipeg for two knee surgeries and Sheila patiently transported me around juggling my walker and my cane. We went out for coffee the other day and it’s like we’d never been apart. We updated each other on our kids and grandkids. Sheila is lucky. Her kids all live in Winnipeg, most within a one mile radius, whereas I don’t even live in the same country as my kids.

I met Audrey when Kimmy was in sixth grade. Kimmy and her son Billy were best friends. At the time Audrey was going through a divorce and my mother was dying in the hospital. So we used to trade off kids to help each other out. Our kids grew up and their friendship waned. But Audrey and I have remained close over the years. When I come back to visit, one of our traditions is to go to Nikos, one of my favorite Greek restaurants. And we did that yesterday. Then we went for gelato further down on Corydon.

David and I first met in Edmonton at YBC Nationals. He was coaching a team from Village Inn and Kimmy was bowling on a team from Academy. When we got back to Winnipeg Kimmy started going to David’s clinics. Then Kyle did as well. My kids were both bowling out of Windsor at that point, but then switched over to Village Inn. David is the closest thing to an uncle my kids have ever known. He even came to Kimmy’s wedding in Punta Cana a few years ago. David was one of my rocks when I was going through my divorce. We’ve gone to flea markets and auctions together, made wine, I’ve helped him in his garden and we even bowled on the same team once. But I’m convinced he wanted me for the handicap as my average was more than 150 pins below his. We went out for brunch last weekend and spent the day together catching up.

Rita and I met at auctions years ago. We’re both divorced now but our friendship has remained strong. When I come back to visit I always enjoy spending time out at her cabin at Lester Beach. I remember hobbling around out there after my knee surgeries and am thankful that I’m a lot more mobile now. I spent a relaxing few days out there earlier this month. And I’m hoping to do it again before I head back to Washington.

Natasha is another one of my auction friends. We went out for lunch to Saffron’s last week and reminisced. Back then there was a group of us who socialized regularly as well as went out for drinks or coffee after the auctions. Natasha lives out in Rosenort and we once had a party out there where we shot off a whole bunch of fireworks. Lots of great memories.

Now I don’t just eat my way through Winnipeg restaurants as it might appear. I do other things too.

Donna and I met when I taught water aerobics at the YMCA. One summer the Y closed down for repairs and I taught classes in the pool in Donna’s backyard. When I was living in Mazatlan, Donna and her husband were on a cruise and their shipped docked for the day and we had lunch together. The other day we went for a drive through Assiniboine Park. And on Friday night we went to a fabulous concert featuring a young and extremely talented pianist.

Laura is my computer guru. We met at University of Manitoba when we were getting our certifications in teaching ESL. Laura knows anything and everything about computers which is greatly appreciated by yours truly who is technologically challenged. Perhaps impaired is a better word. So Laura and I got together last week and next week we’re going computer shopping. Yes, I’m finally replacing my laptop that died sometime during Covid. I love my tablet, but writing will sure be easier with a laptop again.

I still have a few friends I haven’t seen yet. But I plan on being in Canada for at least another couple of weeks.