Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm So Behind/ABC's

I swear I have more adventures coming! My problem is I'm really bad at remembering to take pictures and I don't want to just steal some pictures off Google to make my posts more interesting. So get ready for an incoming of posts in the coming weeks because I've been running around like a chicken with its head cut off to snap some photos! 

In the meantime, I wanted to share with you my ABC's of Winnipeg. What is that you ask? Well take a looky down below! I've laid out my favorite places/things/people in Winnipeg for each letter of the alphabet. 

A - Assiniboine Park. There's so much you can do! The Zoo, the Duck Pond, the Lyric Theatre, Leo Mol Sculpture Garden or play some cricket, soccer or ultimate Frisbee. The park is absolutely breathtaking. 

B - Blue Bombers. They may suck the big one this year but I have faith they'll make a comeback next year... okay maybe two years from now...?

C - Corydon Avenue. One word, GELATI. 

E - Exchange District. Oh the history

F - The Forks. It is a beautiful spot for spending a day outdoors!

G - Goldeyes.

H - Haunted Winnipeg. Haven't actually been on a tour, but will be going and I mean who doesn't love ghosts?

I - India Palace. The yummiest Indian food ever and Saroj and Nagpal are the nicest people out there. 

J - Go JETS Go! 

K - Kildonan Park

L - Library! I love our libraries. I love books so I'm always checking out huge quantities at a time and we have a pretty great selection. The best part is they will transfer books from one library to another so you never have to drive out of your way. 

M - Manitoba Museum

N - Nightlife. We have a pretty good selection from Whiskey Dix, Liv, Karma, Shark Club, Boa, Fame, Opera and any Canad Inns bar, there is always somewhere to go on a weekend. 

O - Osborne Village

P - Pantages. I've seen so many amazing shows here and at the Concert Hall across the street. 

Q - Qualico Family Centre in Assiniboine Park. It's a cute little spot for a reception!

R - Royal Winnipeg Ballet

S - Stella`s Cafe & Bakery

T - Transcona. My hood. I will argue to the end of the earth and back how great it is. 

U - University of Winnipeg. I spent the best 5 years of my life there. 

V - VIP Theatre. It's a little expensive but definitely worth it. Dinner & a Movie without having to move!

W - West End Dumplings. By far one of the best blogs this city has to offer. 

X - Red River eXhibition park. Okay so maybe I'm stretching a little for this one but whatever. Going to the Ex is a Winnipeg tradition and you can't tell me you've never driven through the Winter Wonderland at Christmas. 

Y - Yoga in the Park.

Z - Zoohky! If you don't know who that is I wrote about his mural here.

What would your Winnipeg alphabet look like? I'd love to hear them!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Number 4: Go To A Concert At The MTS Centre

Does this make me a professional photographer?

I go to a lot of concerts. I'm that person that drives to Minneapolis and back within 24 hours just to see my favorite band if they don't stop in Winnipeg. So it's safe to say that when there are concerts in Winnipeg, I'm generally first in line to go. 

Since I love live music so much, I'm typically one to favor smaller venues such as The Garrick, The West End Cultural Centre or The Park Theatre. I love being close to the music. But ever since the MTS Centre opened, I jump at the chance to take in a concert there. There's just something about a full house of screaming fans that puts you in a mood like no other. 

I've seen my fair share of superstars here in Winnipeg since the arena opened: the Backstreet Boys, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, Brooks & Dunn, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill, Justin Timberlake, and the list goes on. One of the best investments the city has ever made was building that downtown arena (but that's just my opinion). Aside from the fact that it now houses the Jets (whoop), it has enabled the city to witness a slough of superstars, the likes of which we might never had had the opportunity to host. 

My view from the back of the floor

So this past Monday, I was witness to one of these superstars. The great Selena Gomez! (Don't judge, I love teen pop). Okay so she may not quite be a superstar yet but judging by her intensely loud, screaming, super young fans, she will be one day.  

I was definitely the oldest person there who had not brought a child, but that didn't stop me from fully enjoying myself. The crowd was amazing and at one point I thought the whole room was going to explode from the noise. I admit, I knew almost every word to every song and I'm not even a little bit embarrassed by that. 

The opening band was adorable (oops, showing my age again)

Aside from her relationship with Justin Bieber, I think she is a fantastic role model for girls. She proved it once again when she spoke to the crowd about having been bullied and to remember that You. Are. Beautiful. Her speech elicited an emotional and (again) loud response from the 10-16 year old girls in the arena and then she dove right in to her "let the haters hate" song Who Says. 

Girl can work a stage

I think she did a wonderful job for her first real tour and I only expect bigger and better things from her in the future. 

My dates for the evening!

On to the next concert!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Number 16: See a Musical at Rainbow Stage

Step in time to the music of Mary Poppins! The beloved Disney classic was one of two shows at Rainbow Stage this summer and I had the good fortune to attend. As a Winnipegger, I'm slightly embarrassed to admit what I'm about to say next, but I had never been to Rainbow Stage. I know, I know... go ahead and throw stones. How is it possible in my 23 years that I've never once been to that beautiful amphitheater in the park!? 

I've been to countless shows at Pantages, MTC (Manitoba Theatre Centre) and the Concert Hall but this was my first time taking it all in outdoors. I loved every minute of it. It probably helped that the show itself was phenomenal. Kudos to the entire cast and crew for putting on such an amazing production. I found myself singing along (more than I should) and was impressed by the stage illusions. None other than Winnipeg's own Dean Gunnarson was listed as resident magician, so from the get-go I knew I was in for a treat. 

Every time I hear "Let's Go Fly a Kite" I'm instantly transported back to my childhood so I had the bar set pretty high for this musical. Mary Poppins truly outdid all my expectations and I will definitely be returning to Rainbow Stage next summer!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Number 1: Folklorama

WARNING: This post contains beer...

Folklorama is possibly one of the best parts of summer in Winnipeg. Every year I try and hit as many pavilions as possible, with one of those always being the German pavilion. My friends have a long standing tradition of going to the late night party at the German Pavilion on the Saturday of whichever week it is running. For the last two consecutive years I have been lucky enough to join them! It always starts with a pre-game where we put on Beerfest and gear up for a long night of food, dancing, and of course, German Beer! We're also that really cool group who takes a limo so that all 20+ of us can fit in one vehicle and not worry about being DD. (So yeah, you could say we're pretty special).

This year was possibly better than the last because I remembered to bring enough money to buy Schnitzel. Oh. My. God. Schnitzel. It may have been the best thing I've ever eaten. I also indulged in a bratwurst because "When In Rome Germany"... The show was just as entertaining as it is every year and hats off to the dancers because that is some real talent.

After dinner and the show we were ready to hit the dance floor in full force. I'm kind of a polka master so I definitely showed my skills off a little bit. The music was a great mix between current hits and polka favorites. But of course nothing got the crowd going more than the Chicken Dance! It doesn't matter how old I am, the Chicken Dance will always bring me back to a sweaty middle school gym. 

I also have a friend who wears Lederhosen every year and pulls it off better than any other 27 year old I know. 

I chalk up a good night to how dirty my feet got from being a dancing machine. I would say this means a pretty big success...
I have gross feet, sorry!

While I only had time to hit up the German Pavilion this year, I have been to many, many others in the past. Some of my favorites of years past have been: Scottish Pavilion, Brazil, Chile, and Cuba Va!

If you didn't have the opportunity to hit up a pavilion this year I strongly recommend making time for it next year. It's one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get a taste of the world. So much culture and food!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Number 24, 36, 39 and 50: The Forks

JACKPOT. I hit 4 items on the list all at once, because they all took place at the beautiful and historic Forks. I was having a really lazy weekend when my friend Anna convinced me we should head down to The Forks on Saturday afternoon. I'm beyond glad she did. For those who don't know, The Forks is where the Red River and the Assiniboine River meet and is central to Winnipeg and its history. If you want to learn more you can visit their website by clicking here. Another Winnipeg blogger might also have some interesting reads about the Forks and surrounding areas on his blog West End Dumplings. 

As for my experience this weekend, it was perfect. It wasn't too hot so walking around was comfortable and breezy. I could walk beside the river for days. It's beautiful, and all floods aside, I think we're pretty lucky to have two substantial rivers flowing through our city. It really breaks up the concrete jungle. 

Now we didn't have kids with us so it would have been weird if we'd spent any prolonged period of time at the new kids play area, but all I have to say is I wish something like that existed at The Forks when I was a child. If it wasn't creepy I probably would have gone and played in it but that's just weird. I need to find some friends' kids who'd be willing to come with me!

We made a customary stop at the Oodena Celebration Circle and I snapped a couple bad pictures. I really need to work on my photography skills! So because of that I only have this picture.

After that we made our way back into the main area near The Forks Market and there just so happened to be a cute little dog show happening. We sat and watched for awhile before heading inside and checking out the shops and the buskers. 

Of course we went into every shop and touched everything. All the handmade goods just blow my mind. it's crazy how well crafted they are. My personal favorite is the glass shop but I'm always afraid to stay in there for long periods of time because I'm clumsy and I will might break something. 

And what is a trip to The Forks without some frozen yogurt? It was pretty much a perfect Saturday afternoon day date with my best friend!

If you haven't been to The Forks yet this summer (or ever) then I strongly encourage you to check it out ASAP!

On a side note, whether you're a local or a tourist, there are so many awesome Winnipeg souvenirs. I always leave with something, even if it's just a postcard. What can I say, I love my city!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Number 19 & 57: Fringe Festival and Fox & Fiddle

I'm getting really good at multitasking. As in I managed to squeeze both activities into the same Saturday night.

First off, I have to admit that I sort of cheated with Fringe Fest. I didn't get around to actually going to a show because last week was so hectic! BUT, I did make it out to the last night. We walked around, hit up the beer tent, and listened to some live music. It was an absolute blast. The atmosphere was super chill but also super fun. Everyone was just enjoying life and dancing in the open air; it was a great feeling. Anna and Andrea were on a mission to find an ATM because we needed money to partake in the activities. I'm sure they still enjoyed the sights.

This is them dance-walking to the beer gardens

Welcome to a good time

After we perused the festival for a bit we decided to head over to Fox & Fiddle for a few drinks since none of us had tried it.  The pub is located in an old bank building as well and it's gorgeous inside. The atmosphere was chill and upbeat and there were TVs everywhere you turned broadcasting whatever sports were on at that moment. The best part was their drink special. Sangria's!

White wine sangria; best I've had!

On a side note, before we hit up these two venues, we were at Whiskey Dix. I remember it being a lot more fun to go clubbing when I was younger. The good old days. Here is the mandatory horse picture that any Winnipegger needs to have if they want to be considered cool. 

It's not on the list but I recommend checking out Downtown Winnipeg's club scene if that is something you're into. I love them because the majority are in some historical buildings and the architecture is breathtaking. I especially love Opera which is in an old bank building; the washrooms are in an old bank vault. Très cool.