2012 reminiscing: trip home to Winnipeg

And so begins the purge of my folder of draft posts waiting to be finished and published. The next week or so will see what may seem like random posts, but these are all the posts I’ve started but never finished, and still want to share with you even though time has passed. They will be known as Purge Posts. We’ll start with my trip home to Winnipeg in October. Yes, October.
In Scotland, schools break for two weeks in October. These two weeks off were traditionally meant for students in rural areas to help their parents with the potato harvest, and are affectionately known as the ‘Tattie Holidays.’ All of us teachers very much look forward to these two weeks off, and for me, it gives me a chance to do some travelling at lower, off-peak prices. 
I flew to my home town (actually city) of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada for ten days of visiting with family, catching up with friends and eating as much good Winnipeg restaurant food as possible. Although I’ve travelled to many places all over the world and enjoyed many great restaurants, I find Winnipeg has such an incredible mix of ethnic and independently owned eateries that seem to really thrive in the city. Many of my friends who are also former Winnipeggers would agree.
It had been two years since I was last in Winnipeg, and being back was quite the surreal feeling. Before moving to Scotland, I lived in Edmonton, further west, so I was used to being away from home and visiting every six months. This trip home kind of felt like that, but add another 12 hours, one large long-haul flight plane, and jet lag to that. Below are photos of my first few days.
I flew with Air France through Paris, and purchased some very fancy Fauchon Paris macaroons from the amazing duty-free shop in Paris Charles de Gaulle airport.
My sister said the pistachio one in green was the best she thing she’s ever tasted. And she’s a foodie too.
It has been a very long time since I’ve flown a non-discount, non-charter airline for a long haul flight, but this time, flying home cost just as much the discounted, chartered, bad service, small baggage allowance way as it did with the regular, nicer airlines. So I opted to fly with Air France instead, and felt like I was spoiled! Here’s a photo of my meal, I was astounded at how much we got! Two ciabatta rolls with butter, rosemary breadsticks, a slice of Camembert cheese, potato salad with smoked salmon, and curried chicken with couscous, served with a complimentary bottle of red wine AND port! And I ate it all because it was good.

Once I arrived to 29’C temperatures in Winnipeg; can I just say that I packed all fall/autumn clothes and only one short-sleeved tshirt for this trip???? Time for a bit of shopping! We went straight to my mom’s, where I was greeted by this little girl who used to be mine, all of ten years ago

The next day, my dad and I went for a run in the sweltering heat (to me, wearing long tights). I used to hate running when I was younger, and my dad used to force me to run for cross-training for softball. He would plow ahead and I would drag on, complain and possibly (pathetically) whine. This run, however, I wanted to plow on but kept at my dad’s comfortable pace instead.

Father-daughter run

We then went for lunch to Elements the Restaurant, which is in one of the new University of Winnipeg buildings, and offers a mix of Asian, Mexican and diner inspired meals. I wish this place was around when I went to the U of W! Our meal was fantastic! I enjoyed a kind of Mexican Eggs Benedict (I can’t remember the name of the dish!):

My dad had a burger with Elements’ homemade turkey-wild rice soup, which is to die for!

The service was also excellent, it seemed our server was very passionate about food and the food made at Elements. Really great to see.

After lunch, we hit up Running Room on Grant so I could get compression socks, NOT for running though, but rather to reduce the swelling caused from long-haul flights and limited mobility. This flight over, as well as my trip to Toronto in August, resulted in me having very swollen feet and heavy legs the days after my flight. Compression socks worn, and tights if you like, help reduce the swelling caused by blood pooling in your legs from sitting for so long. I also bought some warmer weather clothes to get me through the hot temperatures.

We had an early Thanksgiving meal that night, with my Grandma and Grandpa, my mom, my sister, the two students boarding with my mom and our neighbour. My Grandma and Grandpa brought over shrimp from Mexico, brought back from their annual trip to Puerto Vallarta. I LOVE these!


My first Monday, I went to one of my favourite lunch places in town, Phuong Nam Restaurant, for my favourite Vietnamese food. When I lived in Winnipeg, I would often get #54 for takeout: chargrilled pork, spring rolls, and chopped up lettuce/cucumber/carrots on a bed of rice vermicelli, garnished with crushed peanuts. Top it with a dressing  of fish sauce among other things, and you have a very filling, delicious and healthy (minus the deep-fried spring rolls) lunch. You can’t get this in Scotland! I’ve missed this meal so much, and actually crave it. Finally, delicious relief!

Next up: Continuation of the Winnipeg trip, and some major gluttony.

Just a note: Have you noticed a new icon on my sidebar? I’m a Great Blogger from Expat Arrivals, with the help of Shantalie. Click on the link to find out more about being a Canadian expat in Scotland, from my perspective.


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