- Of course the main reason we were going was to see Tannis's family, and see them we did. We hung out with Chad and Crystal's crew a few times and I only wrecked two of their basement's ceiling tiles when I got over-excited with the wii controller. The girls were in their glory playing with their beloved cousins, and Ezra was mostly a good sport considering his miserable cold. Larry and Pearl were ever the gracious hosts, putting up with our total chaos.
- The first morning we were there, we went over to my grandparents' place for a nice mellow visit. Grandma got to snuggle Ezra and Grandpa taught him how to play the harp. It was great to see them before the kids were all coughing full-time, and I was sorry to not be able to connect with them and the rest of the Stoesz crew later in the week.
- Not every extended family would benefit from hosting their Christmas gathering at at a hockey rink, but the Friesens pulled it off with style. You don't expect to get a fast, rousing game of five-on-five before the big feast, but it was a highlight seeing the grandpas and the ladies and the middle-agers and the grandkids flying around on the ice and laughing their heads off.
- On the 27th, we booked into the Fort Garry Hotel for some fun. Larry and Pearl came over and watched the kids (THANK YOU) while Tannis and I went out to the King's Head for a reunion of sorts, hooking up with Angelo and Esther, Chris Eidse, and Trev, along with his hard-partying partner Candy and her dad. Great place, great vibe, great beer, great fun...great people. The Fort Garry was excellent (what a breakfast!), but sadly, our sleep with coughing kids was wretched -- we pronounced it one of the worst ever.
- We made it to the Forks a couple of times; even got to skate on the nifty ice-trails there, ate a couple of meals, and visited the children's museum with the girls. Pretty impressive scene there overall, and obviously very popular.
- Greg, Sophie, and Ethan met us for breakfast at the classic Pancake House -- Ezra was a total pain, so we were glad they joined us back at Larry and Pearl's later for some better hanging out. Greg and I hit Charlie O's for a couple of Fort Garry Darks later on that night -- such a gift to be able to catch up with old friends from the other side of the country.
- One morning I took Ivy and Ella out to the Manitoba Museum and planetarium. The Nonsuch was a highlight, and we spent a few happy hours wandering there. The planetarium was just ok...seems pretty old-school these days.
- Milt and Carla took us out to Earl's -- an exceptionally good time with old friends for some laughs, great conversation and yummy food. What a treat!
- I got out skating on a couple of Winnipeg's 67 (!!) outdoor rinks, including a fantastic lung-burning session with Myron and a couple of his friends one afternoon -- so fun.
- Didn't get to see Jer Plett, who was off to somewhere warm the day after I called him. We messed up the plan to see the Action-Packed Pletts, who are now expecting Kid2 (congrats), and unfortunately didn't connect with the Hiebert clan this time. With so many beloved folks out there and so little time, it was hard not to over-schedule and still be missing people -- sorry to those of you we didn't connect with.
- Very challenging flights with Ezra, who basically refused to eat or sleep in the plane -- in sharp contrast, the girls happily watched cartoons nearly the entire time we were airborne. My mom and dad delivered our vehicle (which they had freshly washed outside and in) to the airport when we landed, with a pot of soup and bread in the back for our return home -- yes, we're that lucky.
- Videos of some of these things added below...
Friday, January 04, 2008
Christmas in Winnipeg
Honestly, most people here look at us sympathetically when we tell them we were in Manitoba for the holidays. But I usually try to make the case for the place, coming up with the list of goodness we experienced there, and point out that the weather was mild the entire time. Anyway, enough summary, here's some of that list: