Explore Your Own Backyard, Local, Travel

10 Essential Winnipeg Experiences

Can you spot the deer family?

Hello friends! I recently contributed to an article written by my friend Alicia at Prairie Style File, about the wonderful things that you can do/find while here in Winnipeg, featured on her blog and Room 5 by trivago. My contribution is a little hidden gem – Assiniboine Forest, located across from Assiniboine Park Zoo.

Click on the link and it will take you to the write up on her blog. If you’ll find yourself in Winnipeg, please take some time to walk the trails at this lovely natural urban forest. You’ll find different lengths of walking trails, a marsh that is home to many creatures, and you’ll even come across deer that will stop to say hello.

Explore Your Own Backyard, Local, Travel

A New Vision

Hello friends! Now that my university journey has ended, I want to focus more on this little blog o’mine. I am hoping that I can spend more time writing about things to do locally, traveling, and food. Sure, there are thousands of blogs out there that already have that content, but why not add my own personal twist to it?

You may noticed that this blog has a lot less content than before. That is because I’ve gone ahead and deleted old content, so I can focus on the new. I had a lovely coffee break with Alicia from Prairie Style File yesterday, and listening to her adventures as a travel writer has really inspired me to get back into it. I’m hoping that I can bring you some new content and feature different things while sticking to travel, food, and local jaunts.

If you’re a visitors centre and would like to collaborate with me to feature your lovely city/town, please feel free to contact me through the “Let’s Collaborate” link above. Let’s get talking!

Explore Your Own Backyard

See It All: Folklorama Week 2

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Before week two started, Mom and I decided that we would visit the Italian pavilion at the Caboto Centre on Wilkes. Okay, so we were going for the food; however, I heard that the performances were spectacular. We arrived at the pavilion early but as our part of the line arrived at the front doors… it was announced that the show was sold out. Bummer. Nonetheless we decided on another pavilion – Pavilion of Scotland. Mom really wanted to check this one out as our ancestors hail from this country. Plus, I really wanted to try haggis.

We arrived at the pavilion just as the show started, grabbed our meal (I had Scotch Pie, mashed potatoes, and trifle for dessert), and enjoyed the performances. Afterward we checked out the items available for purchase and the cultural displays.

This was the only pavilion we attended during the second week (it was a crazy week for us). Next year we plan on purchasing the larger book of tickets to attend more shows. If you’re in Winnipeg visiting or if you live here, Folklorama is something that you must see in your lifetime.

Folklorama 2016 will take place July 31 – August 14.

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Explore Your Own Backyard

See It All: Folklorama 2015 Week 1

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Pearl of the Orient pavilion, Week 1. 2015

Folklorama is a two week event here in Winnipeg where we get together to celebrate the various cultures that can be found in Manitoba. It’s a celebration of cultures, food and dancing. It is a lot of fun and I highly suggest that if you find yourself in Winnipeg during Folklorama, you go. Admission is $6 per person (kids under 12 are free); food and drink is separate. How affordable is that? For $6 you get to learn about a culture and watch some great entertainment. Plus, if you wish, you can sample the food that is available.

I have been to Folklorama almost every year since I was a wee one. Over the past few years my regular haunt was because I like to pig out on the food – the Ukraine-Kyiv pavilion is my absolute favourite. Dancing, pirogi and cabbage rolls… I mean, hello! Ukrainian food is just so awesome (plus with a Polish grandfather, I grew up on it). This year I decided it was time to go to different pavilions. Armed with a $25 pass (6 tickets), Mom and I visited a few.

Week 1:

UK Pavilion – 1770 King Edward Street

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Pip Pip Cheerio! Off to the motherland we go! Consisting of four countries within the UK (Scotland, Northern Ireland, England and Wales), the UK Pavilion brought the Isles to Winnipeg. My ancestors are from all four countries that were featured and it was nice to watch the entertainment that they may have participated in back on the island. Our favourite section of the pavilion was the “Tea Room” featuring authentic tea from the region and typical tea time dainties provided by Stella’s Bakery. I cannot pass up sweets. The tea and sweets were severed in/on authentic fine china. It was nice to have a proper tea time at 7pm! If the rain would have held off, I could have participated in sheep herding and archery out back.

Pearl of the Orient – 364 Dufferin Avenue

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Mabuhay! I decided to go solo for one pavilion and I attended Pearl of the Orient in support of my friend who is one of the adult ambassadors. Also, I love the Filipino culture… the dancing, the food, and the close-knit feeling of family. This pavilion is a definite on your Folklorama list. The entertainment is interactive and they get the audience to participate. The dancing features different regions of the island and it helped paint a picture of daily life. The cutest part of the evening was the dancing by the children… equal parts talent and adorableness!

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Explore Your Own Backyard

Explore Your Own Backyard: The Forks Market (Winnipeg, MB)

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There’s something about the river that calls me home. It’s serene, it’s calm and it is where I go to unwind and collect my thoughts. On a warm summer day, cool fall night or even a chilly winter day you can find me here – The Forks Market, and yes, I’ll be down by the river.

25 years ago The Forks Marketplace was established to bring the city together where you can shop, dine and hang out. The location of The Forks is rich in history – just a stones throw from historical Upper Fort Garry, fur traders and Aboriginals would meet on the banks and sell goods, and trade furs . My great (times 4) grandfather (who worked for The Hudson’s Bay Company as a clerk then a chief officer) walked the banks a very long time ago and I have always felt a deep connection with this very spot. Fast forward a few centuries and you would find my father as a child running around the train yard that was once housed here and it was just a block from his house and his father’s coal company (now occupied by The Goldeye’s Baseball Park).

Comprised of several popular spots that include The Johnston Terminal, The Children’s Museum, Inn at the Forks, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, The Plaza at the Forks, and the soon to be Canadian Museum for Human Rights, The Forks is one heck of a popular hang out and it is always busy. Recently the good people at The Forks added a Farmers Market situated in the parking lot every Sunday, May until October (11am-4pm) – filled with great produce, jams, baked goods, crafts and so much more.

The Almond Tree

Inside you’ll find great little shops, stores and restaurants where you will always find something to purchase and eat. You must stop by Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company for THE BEST cinnamon buns and a cup of coffee. You won’t be disappointed. When you enter you are inundated with the most amazing smells that your nose and brain can be assaulted by. There are a lot of restaurants and each one is of a different culture – Ukrainian, Caribbean, Chilean, Chinese, East Indian; not forgetting the Mini Donuts, Frozen Yogurt, Skinners, Fish and Chips or even crepes. Bring a loaded wallet and an empty stomach because you will want to try everything! If you’re looking for breakfast there’s The Pancake Factory or Danny’s All Day Breakfast to satisfy your needs.

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If food isn’t your game and shopping is what tickles your fancy then there’s plenty for you to find. From kitschy to clothing, memorabilia to Green & Organic, The Forks has what you are looking for. Mostly located on the second floor there are over a dozen shops for you to explore and browse, there truly is something for everyone.

Head on over to The Johnston Terminal for even more shops, a cafe and if you like pasta, dine at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Both buildings are filled with local businesses and artisans with great products for sale. My favorite – Hartmont Candle Company – where their products are all homemade with unique scents. Seriously go for the soy melts… Rootbeer, Dr. Pepper and Cherry Cola are my favourite!

If you want to take in the views, head up to the third floor of the Market and take the elevator straight up to the observation deck – that is, if you’re not afraid of heights. Stunning 360 views of the city, and the best part, a bird’s eye view of the two rivers that meet.

So if you’re looking for a place to relax down by the river, window shop or support local businesses then The Forks is the place for you. A popular place for residents and visitors to take in, The Forks does not disappoint. And please, don’t forget a bag of Mini Donuts.

The Forks is open 7 days a week, with exception to certain holidays. Visit the website (linked above) for hours of operation, directions and business directories.