Tag Archives: family

Picnic in Glenboro, Manitoba?

Looking for a day trip from Winnipeg, or perhaps an afternoon out of Brandon?

If you venture down Highway 2, at this time of year, you will marvel at the lush greens of the crops in the rolling hills and valleys. It’s gorgeous! Just 60 kilometres from Brandon, or approximately 160 kilometres from the province’s capital (Winnipeg) and you’ll come across the town of Glenboro.

If you’re looking to stop with your packed lunch, there is a picnic site at Glenboro and right alongside the highway. Can’t miss it! It’s in the shade of their giant statue of a camel, Sara. Be sure to pose for a Sara-selfie! If you didn’t pack a lunch, that’s no worries, there’a  Drive-In serving burgers and shakes a mere half block away.

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This stretch of highway 2 also has designated picnic sites, and highway diners along the way. You may want to stop at Treherne or St. Claude to the east. Just keep your eyes peeled for signs.

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Early June you’ll see thousands of pink wild roses growing along the highway ditches. Late June and early July, you can stop at a Strawberry Farm and pick a pail of the season’s best.  There’s one in Glenboro called Good Earth Gardens & Berries.

Looking for a lake side retreat? You won’t want to miss Pelican Lake in the Pleasant Valley area. Great golfing, sailing and you can even park your RV and stay a few nights. See Pelicanshores.ca for current rates and availability.

Visit Tourism Westman for more area information and to start planning your road trip adventure.

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Area map. Highway 2, is parallel to the Trans-Canada, and is the slightly slower and much more scenic area. Passes through Glenboro

Holy Florida Find!

To quote the Ikea commercial…. “Start the car!!! Start the car!!!” As in, grab this deal and GO!!

Take the 2 kids, for 5 nights in Disney and stay onsite for $500 Canadian per person. (Tickets extra, but you can get those through Air  Miles)

The math behind the deal is the flight price war between Delta and United. With round trip flights from Winnipeg at $330 Canadian (ohhhhh yes!) then paired through Expedia.ca to further discount the hotel, you have a winning combination.

When hunting this bargain, watch your flight times. You don’t want to make the mistake of a 5:15 am return flight or something with a midnight arrival. BUT, if you can grab the Delta flights as shown below, it will be smooth and less stressful flights with the kiddies.

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This return flight will enable you to have a leisurely morning and enjoy a few hours of Florida sunshine before heading to the airport. I would much rather have this flight than a 5am flight where you don’t sleep and just stress the night before.

I have stayed at the Hyatt Grand Cypress, and in fact, it has so much to do, you may never need to venture off the property. Mini golf, tandem bikes, a waterpark and hammocks make it a family resort that I can very highly recommend.

If you want to stay on site at Disney, I’ve stayed at both Port Orleans properties and have enjoyed them thoroughly. But even the budget hotels will have your kids singing and dancing to their favourite Disney tunes.

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Sample here May 8th (Mother’s Day) to May 13th. Glorious flight times with Delta
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5 nights with air at well rated hotels. Under $500pp (canadian) Whoooo (Search May 8-13th)
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Can you imagine staying at Animal Kingdom this cheap? The catch on this deal was lousy flight times & just 3 nights. But still…. Animal Kingdom!

People over places

I work pretty ridiculous hours 9 months a year, and then I have some free time for 3 months. My first assignment each time I get to my break is to re-connect with my youngest child.

We have made a habit of taking off together, just the two of us, for a “him-cation.” It’s all about him. He can choose the destination (within reason), choose the activities and even choose where we eat. He says “please” and I say, “yes sir!”IMG_0637

When he was little, he chose a Disney cruise. That was great fun! Though the ship had dozens of activities and excursions, all he really wanted to do was play soccer on the upper deck. If I wasn’t out there playing with him, I was sitting on a lounge chair watching, and reading a book.

As I became a fixture on the deck, watching my son, Cast Members generously brought me new books. Even other passengers offered magazines. It was sweet. Everyone aboard was very thoughtful. I enjoyed their enquiries and visits.

In the evenings we’d sit on the pool deck and watch the movies and eat pizza. Every night he went to bed happy and feeling loved. While we didn’t maximize our Disney activities, we sure had fun. Neither of us will ever forget it.

Fast forward to this year’s “him-cation” and he chose Carli. What’s Carli? Actually, it’s a who. She, is a fabulous person that I used to work with and son remembers oh so fondly from his childhood.

Carli moved halfway across the county to attend university. He missed seeing her around town. We all did. So when he asked if this year’s trip could be to see Carli, I gave her a call and then bought the plane tickets.

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Exploring the shores and looking for wildlife

She showed us the university, where she worked, and where she liked to hike. We had a blast! She remembered him as a little boy and catered to little boy things… like finding blue crabs to “race” on the beach, logs to walk on and waterfalls to admire.

My take away message here is that it’s not always about the destination, it’s about the people you share your time with and the memories you make. The best vacation ever… can happen absolutely anywhere.

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Choose your own path to adventure! It’s YOUR vacation.

 

 

 

 

Travel Tip: Border Run

Are you feeling the pinch of our weak Canadian dollar?  You’re not alone. Thousands of Canadian snowbirds are cutting their trips short, or staying home. With an exchange rate near $1.45 per $1 US it has made travel to the United States far less attractive or affordable.

Don’t despair, you may still be able to afford a border run for your Cherry Coke and your Powerball ticket. The key is to do your homework. With a drop in Canadian tourists, many of our neighbouring American cities, like Grand Forks and Minot are sweetening the deals. When was the last time you were offered a room at a brand new hotel for $70?

The key is to do your homework and think frugally.

  1. Research before you go. Don’t assume you will find deals when you get there. Go to sites like EzMarketing.ca and print your hotel coupons first.
  2. Call and deal locally. The 1-800 numbers for booking hotels are not routinely updated with the local specials. Look for the franchise Facebook pages and check there for current deals.
  3. Look for hotels with added value, like free breakfast, manager’s reception or in-room kitchenettes. Many hotels will also offer area coupons (for restaurants and shopping) at their front desk.
  4. Time to order pizza. Grab a large pizza to share, rather than going out for a sit down meal for 4.
  5. Speak up. Ask for Canadian specials by e-mailing the tourism sites and getting on their mailing list.

www.visitgrandforks.com

https://www.facebook.com/visitgrandforks/

www.visitminot.org

In this situation, it is to your benefit to think and act locally. Southern states, like Texas and California are less likely to offer Canadian deals. However, if you have your heart set on a sunshine trip, the same tips will apply. Research and get connected to find the deals that fit your budget.

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That time on a paddleboard.

There was only really one thing that I wanted to do in Hawaii that trip, learn to paddleboard. And by learn, I mean do it successfully enough to get a good picture.  Isn’t that what it’s all about nowadays anyway, just getting that next great Instagram photo?

At my age, I should get a ribbon just for participating!  Isn’t that the thing though? You just want to be able to show your kids that you’ve still got it. Be one of the cool moms, one of the moms that gets the likes on Instagram, not the laughs on YouTube. One of the moms that doesn’t fall flat on her face and go stomping off the beach cursing.

There’s a lot of pressure on vacation. Pressure to enjoy yourself, get along with your family, source picture worthy food, get good value for what you’ve already spent and learn everything from the region’s history to the state flower so you can share it on your blog. (Haha. I never learn about the state flower. There’s wikipedia for that!)

Good thing I’m a rockstar under pressure. (As the mom to a hockey goaltender, it’s in my DNA.) I’m pretty sure that’s why the kids always volunteer me to go first, I’m good under pressure.  First to catch the wave during surf lessons, first to try that new sushi place, first to open the hotel closet door. Yeah, you could say I’m their leader (read… family guinea pig).

So when I rented the paddleboard that day, I signed the waiver form and listed my “next of kin” as the hotel bartender, not the kids waving and pointing my way. But it’s all good. Grab that camera, mom’s got this!

 

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