Sometimes its just never enough time… You feel like your week is just getting started somewhere and before you know it, you’re packing your bags and waving your goodbyes. That’s how this past week was for Amy and I in Winnipeg, Manitoba – or should I say Winterpeg, Manisnowba.
We have officially started our three week vacation just over a week ago, starting in Ottawa, Ontario by visiting my parents and seeing a close friend to sailing through Canadian airspace over to Winnipeg to visit my much-missed and well-loved Grandparents, Uncles, Aunts and Cousins.
Just before I jump into my Winnipeg adventure, I need to share some exciting recommendations and places to see (that only locals know about), if you happen to be in the Ottawa region, that is.
First off, if you’re coming to Ottawa, don’t be scared to venture off across the Champlain Bridge and over into the unknown land of Quebec. Specifically, you’d be spending your time visiting my hometown: Aylmer, Quebec. It’s no more than a 10 minute drive over the Champlain Bridge and you don’t have to worry about being French language-equipped, most businesses are bilingual and will serve you in English without issues. If you’re into cute, cozy and relaxing cafés that aren’t run and managed by major franchises, then you must visit the “British Café”! This newly renovated cafe is armed with high quality coffee, freshly baked pastries, a loungy environment and well managed staff. If you’re into the bar scene, but enjoy tasting new beers from all over the world, then look no further than my favourite bar in Aylmer: ” L’autre Oeuil”, which translates to “The Other Eye” in English. This bar is incorporated into a historic but well-kept house but a modern and dimly-lit interior. The reason why people like this joint so much is because it offers roughly 300+ beers from around the world, both fresh on the tap and bottled and they are continuously adding in new selections to their menu, leaving you opportunities for new palatable experiences on every visit. Thirdly, for food, you must try “L’aubergiste”. This joint is run and owned by two professional chefs who create a new and fresh menu almost everyday to keep things interesting. When I visited last week, I indulged in one of the best poutines that I’ve ever had in my life; duck confit, local cheese curds and freshly sliced fries smothered in a homemade gravy recipe. If the province of Quebec could be transmuted into a fine dish, then this definitely was it!
My grandparents were adamant on showing us their favorite, local food joints within their home region just outside of Winnipeg, so that’s exactly what they did! Joey’s, Ricki’s, Roxie’s, Vickie’s, Half-Moon… You’d think I was reciting off a set of Santa’s new line of reindeer if you didn’t know any better! Out of all those joints, I’d have to highly recommend Roxie’s in Selkirk, Manitoba. We showed up on rib night (Saturday); I’m not usually a rib guy, but I decided to take a chance and see what this popular dish was all about. Well holy-rib o’mighty! Lemme tell you, I was in rib heaven! The meat was melting right off the bones and the apple-chipotle sauce was to die for! To kill time and have some fun in Manitoba, we LOVE to visit a popular casino & resort just North of Beausejour, Manitoba. We have fun gambling away at the newly installed slots and games, which do have pretty positive payouts when comparing to the Regent casino in Winnipeg (from our experience). Because this casino is a little farther from the city of Winnipeg, there is usually better parking and more breathing room in the casino. You shouldn’t have any problems finding a seat at your favourite gambling game.
Aside from fine dining and fun gambling, I had the pleasure to visit with some well-missed family. I’m very proud to see that my cousins are healthy, happy and successful; I look forward to seeing where their future brings them! I also consider myself very lucky to descend from such a healthy, smart and strong family.
At the end of the day, this isn’t a goodbye, but just a “see you soon”!
At this point in time, I am about to land in Calgary, Alberta for a transfer over to Abbotsford, British Columbia, where we will spend a week and a half visiting my family-in-law and my Brother who is currently stationed in Victoria, BC. I am very excited to see everyone and also, to practice my Spanish that I have been learning from scratch as of a few months ago.
Stay tuned for more photos, videos, travel tips, reviews, advice and adventures in British Columbia and beyond!
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