Ultimate budget bargain

You know that feeling when you’re desperate to leave the cold weather behind, but your budget screams Raman noodles? But you STILL want to go, so groceries be damned.

Can you compromise a bit?  5 night vacation instead of 7?  Can you book and go at the last minute? Eat granola bars, and buy your own bottle of rum, but still live on the beach? Then, tropical vacation might just be do-able after all. Check this one out. It leaves Winnipeg on Saturday. (Yes, this Saturday).  How’s $555 tax & flight included?

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From selloffvacaktions.com

Everyone’s version of “worth it, is different.”  I think there’s a vacation for everyone and everyone’s budget. But it’s about compromise. Of course, we all want luxury 5 star vacations for $500 but that isn’t reality.  Value is probably the best word for me to describe what I find a worthwhile vacation. I like to feel like I’m “getting what I pay for” and maximizing my dollar. You know, 5 star vacation, at 3 star price. And it’s very possible, simply by compromising on the dates. Go when others are not. Don’t go at Christmas, but instead go two weeks before.

As always, check the recent TripAdvisor reviews for honest, current, relevant feedback. And only YOU can determine what is good value for your hard earned money.

Current Trip Advisor reviews for the Melia hotel as shown above.

Add insurance, whether on your credit card or not. A bargain can turn into a financial disaster when you go without a safety net. And less stress. Manitoba winters can throw a wrench in things. So can a flu or sudden illness.

Favourite photos of 2016

This photo represents a beautiful afternoon in Italy. It was very emotional and will be one of those moments I never forget.
Using my Canon long zoom camera, I managed to capture the soft eye and sweetness of this seal pup. It was a photo I took in San Diego, California. One of my all-time favourite photos.
I love this photo because it represents a mother-son trip to watch baseball. We went to Arizona and saw the Diamondbacks play both the Giants and the Yankees in a weekend. My son caught a ball, also had it autographed and ran the bases post-game. Such a good time!
A bridge in Revelstoke, BC from August 2016. I simply love the symmetry, and the moody colours. I’d frame this one and put it on my wall, I love it that much.
The blue waters of the Turks and Caicos will forever hold a special place in my heart. I feel so centred there. One of the happiest places on earth, to me.
I love this photo because it represents the surprisingly great time we had in Cleveland. My younger son took the photo on a Monday morning in September.

5 Star Mazatlan $675 plus tax

Hey Winnipeggers, here’s a bargain you can share with your friends. I know you like a deal!

Here’s a Black Friday deal from SellOffVacations.com. You leave Friday December 16th, and return on the 23rd, in plenty of time to hang the stockings for Santa.

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Nov 21st, screenshot
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A 5 star vacation, for a family of four, under $1000 per person.

Stay tuned all week, for more Black Friday travel deals.  If you like the deals, please share them with friends.

Give me a minute

I hate the idea of blazing from one gas station to the next, leap frogging traffic as you go. However, if a road trip in inevitable, I’m going to stop, explore and wander a bit. This makes it much more enjoyable for me. One such example was this detour off the Trans-Canada Highway in Saskatchewan, to stop and explore Wolseley.

The sign ON the Trans-Canada said “swinging bridge.” I thought that sounded like fun and slowed the truck down to make the turn.

“Mom! Where are we going?” Riley asked.

“Just give me a minute”, I replied. “We’re going to stop and see if we can find this swinging bridge.”

We turned onto the eastern access road, and literally 2o seconds later was the town sign. And at the 45 second mark, a golf course on the left, and a snazzy looking quilt shop sign on the right. So I pulled into the parking lot.

“Mom! Where are you going?” Riley asked.

“Just give me a minute” I replied. “I’m going to check out this quilt shop.”

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Tiger Lily Quilt shop, less than 1 minute north from the Trans Canada Highway in Saskatchewan

Tiger Lily Quilt Shop was just a cute as their sign. Inspiring designs on the walls, shelves and shelves of fabric, and yarn too. And a warm, friendly clerk at the desk. She told me that they’d moved from a location “downtown” to this one, just this year. I asked her where the bridge is, and she replied, “just over the tracks turn left. Then, at the three way stop sign go right. It’s at the end of that road.”

Sure enough, we were at the swinging bridge after a mere minute further of driving. What a beautiful location over the river!

My teen leapt from the car. This obviously looked like fun.

We stolled across the bridge and back, snapped a few photos and looked at the bridge. We paused then to read the plaques. And before you know it we were back headed towards the highway again.

All together it was about a 12 minute pause on our journey, but definitely a highlight. I highly recommend it. Take the detour, stretch your legs and see what a cute town Wolseley Saskatchewan is!

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Dedication, at the foot of the bridge
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Steadying myself as my teen son bounces on the bridge and takes my photo
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Heritage building on the far side of the bridge

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More heritage buildings still in use, down on Front Street

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