Tuesday, July 13, 2010

YandA in Manitoba July 2010

No getting up at 2am, no taxis ordered at midnight for unearthly hours and getting to the front of the house (where cases need to be schlepped down steps) instead of the back because the dispatchers changed shifts and didn't pass on the instructions... and orderly packing up over three (!) days brought us to the beautiful operatic-symphonic performance of Trovatore the night before, everything almost ready, a relaxed breakfast and as a result a last minute rush to hang the sheets and towels (so as not to have a washing-machine full when I come back _ and almost! forgot my toiletries bag at the last minute!

The airport was so relaxed that after we had had the routine questions asked and told to wait in line for X-raying of our big bags , we were identified as being harmless and shifted painlessly straight to the desk with no morre preliminaries. Little do they know what subversions lie behind our grandparently exteriors! To prove our innocence of any maleficent intentions, we bought some controlled substances - but left them safely under lock and key at the duty free shop and disdained all other blandishments offered in favor of a cappucino before the flight.

A: We did buy some Israeli goodies to take to the Mighty Hoults. I think the airport is so quiet and relaxed because everyone is staying home to watch the Mondial final.

We hope it is shown on the plane, but I would not care to bet on it ( later they promised to update us over the PA but could not show us the game as they did not have a satellite connection set up).

Y. I am flying over the North Atlantic, not thinking at all about football, just getting rid of the last bad news from this morning's haaretz - and deciding to see if the entertainment on the plane has anything to offer. and lo and behold -they offer us Invictus - a film about Nelson Mandela and how he inspired South African's rugby team to win the World Rugby Cup in 1995 with the whole country behind them when before that only the whites had supported it and the blacks had always supported their opponents! Of course I wanted to see it, however bad the sound track . What a feel-good film, what a wonderful message, and wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a Mandela? I was smiling all through it and watched the (fictional) rugby with every bit as much enthusiasm as if I had been watching the finals of the Mondial...

We staggered off the plane at Toronto, having napped here and there (leg-room has improved) and were told that the expected stormy weather had cleared. However, it was still leaving its effects on flights and our connection to Winnipeg, already late in the evening, was to be delayed by another hour and a half, so we sat down for supper and are now being treated to WiFi and a total replay of the (result known ) final of the Mondial thanks to Pearson airport.

A. Winnipeg 1:30am Sheraton hotel Final delay was three hours due to a huge thunderstorm which heavily disrupted all flights but at last here we are and will soon be a somnolent YandA

Monday 12.7

We awoke to a new day, got started, picked up the rental car and headed for Riding Mountain National Park. The countryside is flat as flat, roads are straight as straight, but the day was fine and we had had a modicum of sleep. Actually down the road there was one small town with a hill in it glorified by a street named Mountain View - then it was back to the never-ending prairie. When Y had had enough driving we stopped for lunch in a town called Gladstone that boasts a namesake "Happy Rock" all painted up in a park at the entrance to town. The late Mr. Gladstone might have appreciated it.

We arrived finally at the park in mid afternoon and were warmly greeted. Here there are some real hills and even forests, witness the bear-proof trash-bins everywhere.

A nice walk down to the lake and dinner at a place called the Wigwam were followed by ice cream. Then the kids went to the pool and we relaxed. It is delightful to be with Hadass, David and the kids.

OK, now to read Kaniuk and sleep off some more jet lag.

Y.The holiday venue is a huge nature park with recreation areas reserved for intruders, i.e. us.

The accommodation for tourists is in small houses of different styles and attributions, called chalets, lodges, cottages, whatever, also some motels all crowded together in a small area and scattered among the trees above the lakeside. Each group of lodgings has its own pseudo-countrified name and pseudo-rustic style, and does its best to differentiate itself from the others and to avoid any stamp of urbanism by having only rustic paths and few designated parking lots. Our Thunderbird lodges are painted white and have balconies with grills for picnics. Next door's New Chalets are pink and have smaller balconies.. There is a small commercial centre and of course restaurants.

Right now there is a large gathering of guests of all sizes and shapes and modes of dress, all of us prey to - the mosquitoes. These attacked us as soon as we arrived and opened the car door. Luckily I had brought last trip's bottle of spray with me in order not to have to look for a shop immediately on arrival. Luckily I had put it handy this morning as we left the hotel. We sprayed ourselves and the lodge-chalet-cottage as we opened the door, to good effect. This has become such a habit in Canada that the fact has turned into a verb - we DEET ourselves religiously every afternoon and evening!
Defense is also by scratching:

And when I am around Arkee I am mostly protected anyway as he gets preferentially bitten, he must be sweeter than I!.

Jet-lag caught up with us late this afternoon, but we held out with the help of the family. After supper we went to this ice-cream place where every scoop is a monster and were unforgivably tempted into two scoops each. I don't think we will do that again, the quantities are really exaggerated, but the stuff was really good. Then we went to get an internet code from the office (free, but effective only in the area close to the pool and office, so to check and send mail we have to out of the lodge, otherwise work offline as I am doing now. Aren't we spoiled!

Good night for now


1 comment:

  1. at least it is cool in your part of the globe. Here we are in Berlin having to turn on a ventilator!