Thursday morning I made pancakes, we showered in the very nice facilities provided by the provincial park. In that same building is a small convenience store also run by the park staff.
As we were leaving, Rocky chuckled, saying “The mosquitoes made headlines”.
“Really?” I asked…not all that surprised as I was completely covered in bites.
“Yeah. It said something like ‘Mosquitoes worst since 1994’”.
Huh. That’s good, because I had been re-thinking the whole “flee to Canada when the country slides irrevocably into fascism” scenario. I mean, fascists are bad, and I don’t mind learning French…but the whole mosquito thing was a new twist that I had to work through.
We had steaks, potato salad, pea salad, and calico beans for lunch, and then hopped into the truck to drive into Winnipeg.
We saw the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature…which was an excellent museum, and we really wished that we could have spent more time there. They had natural history galleries, a science gallery, and a planetarium. It is a testament to what you can do when you decide to spend your money on public education and culture rather than smart bombs.
By far the smashiest of the many smash hits there was the “HMS Nonesuch”, which was a square-rigged ketch originally owned and operated by the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company (licensed by Charles II) for transporting trade goods. Perfectly restored, and available to be boarded and toured…complete with tour guide. There was also a computerized video tour, that caught Adventure Boy’s attention, and held it for quite some time.
Long before Rocky and I were ready to leave, but long after the boys had succumbed to “museum brain”, we left to take Rocky to his speaking engagement at a user group. Turns out the event was like, three blocks away.
We dropped Rocky there, and on the advice of the group’s sponsor, walked about six blocks to a nearby movie theater…which didn’t open for about 45 minutes. So we decided to get dinner, as we were all hungry. I spied a coffee shop across the street that had a hemp leaf over its door. Its legend declared it to be “The Hemp Café.” There was a group of people standing out front, taking deep drags on hand-rolled cigarettes. At the risk of sounding like I’m stereotyping, I assumed that they would know the closest place to get a dinner.
They did indeed, directing us to three possible places, one of which was out of business, one of which was closed for the day, and the final one being a Subway shop. By this time, we’d walked about ten blocks, and were very hungry.
On our walk back, we were shouted at (in a good natured way) by a French-speaking drunk, who lost his balance, and fell over. Repeated attempts to get up failed, and Adventure Boy was inclined to go over and help him up. I discouraged this, as it seemed to me that his failure to stand up seemed a little contrived. He did eventually get up and wander down the street.
Now, Rocky had given me all of our remaining Canadian money, totaling something slightly north of $30, Canadian. I spent just under $20 on dinner. I told the boys that it was likely that we would not be able to see a movie unless they took credit cards.
Turns out, they did not take credit cards….but they were a second run theater. So I got us all in, and bought us a bottle of water to share, and still had seventeen cents left over.
We watched Batman Begins. It was the second time for Adventure Boy and I…and I was struck on second viewing, by just how much of the plot is so obviously contrived to provide “action scenes” that really don’t fit the story without some real contortions. But I still liked the movie.
Bunny Boy was in transports of ecstasy over it, so it was a lovely time. We walked back to meet Rocky, who was just getting back from having a drink with the user group guys…perfect timing.
Rocky had really enjoyed the user group meeting. User Groups are one of his favorite things. If he could make money doing them, I think that might be all he would do. As it is, he does it for the fun. This group was no exception and I would describe his mood all the way home as energized and ebullient.
We got in the truck and drove back to Grand Beach. We were barely able to wake the boys to get them into the camper.