A Weekend in Winnipeg

I drove to Winnipeg from where I live, it took about 5 hours. The highway was flooded over then, so I took the detour and ended up on this dirt road. It was actually alright, and I would much rather avoid flooding out my engine and take a few minutes longer to get there. And it was kind of an adventure.

I stayed at the Fort Garry Hotel, it was stunning, my room was honestly just normal, but the hotel’s location and common areas were superb. I would stay there again, I think it would be lovely to stay there for more of a vacation, you could go to the spa, the museum down the road, and walks in the park super easily from there and the restaurant is wonderful. The mattress was super comfortable, but the bathroom was small and didn’t have any counter space to set your products out on.

This was the view of my room, I love a skyline.

On Saturday morning I went for a spin class at WPG Cycle, and it was honestly a religious experience. I cried, like ugly cried, sobbed, for about 45 minutes of the hour class, while cycling. I only stopped crying when it was too hard to cry, breath, and cycle at the same time. It was my first spin class in well over a year, if not before the pandemic and I wasn’t expecting to feel so much.

After the spin class I came back to the hotel, got ready, and had breakfast in the hotel restaurant, in The Oval Room Brasserie, it was excellent. The coffee in particular was super impressive, you get a whole pot for $5 and whatever you don’t finish they give you a to-go cup for. Coffee is truly the way to my heart. I got the French toast and it was some of the best French toast I have ever had. The hotel still has room service suspended as a COVID measure, but other than that it was the best.

This is the Oval Room, it’s stunning. It felt very luxurious.

I spent most of Saturday doing some errands, I went to the mall (I was on a mission for white pants, and was disappointed, still am, I can’t find any I like anywhere), the bookstore, a needlepoint store (Lizzy B’s, it was wonderful), and Ikea. If I was going to Winnipeg and didn’t need to do some shopping I would hit up the Canadian Human Rights Museum and walked around Polo Park, I think it would have been more fun than the mall, which was just frustrating (although better than I expected).

The hotel is right up the street from the train station, so if you ever happen to be training across Canada, it would be very easy to stay there. Fun note: it is also called Union Station, making that at least two Union Stations in Canada, interesting.

The outside of the hotel, I loved how historic it all was. Even though that was why the bathroom was so small.

This mural was about the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 where 35 000 workers walked off the job at the same time. That’s a lot of people striking at once.

This was the one restaurant in Winnipeg I had on my list, La Roca, it was decent. I would say that La Reina in Guelph is better. The sides were better than the tacos, the elote was really good, and the coconut margarita was delicious. It definitely seems like a party place, I sat at the bar, it was fun.

The glow on the walk back was gorgeous.

The next day I slept in and ate breakfast again in the hotel. It was packed on a Sunday morning on Mother’s Day weekend. I ate at the bar again, this omelet was so good, so simple. I think I would like to recreate it.

I took my leftover coffee to go and went for a walk (good thing to, the Starbucks, and a lot of other things in the area were closed). I passed a donut shop that had a line down the block, Oh, Doughnuts, I was super full so I didn’t stop, but I made a note for next time. I walked down from the hotel to the legislative buildings, and they are gorgeous.

I didn’t spend much time on Sunday actually in Winnipeg, because I had a side mission in mind. When my parents first came to Canada they bought a farm in Steinbach, Manitoba. This farm in Steinbach, Manitoba, we moved when I was two, so I can’t remember any of it, but I always wondered what it was like. It is so close to town. We probably could have walked, it’s insane to me, we never even lived within delivery range of a town when I was a kid, it was always at least a half hour drive, and here this was 5 minutes from a Starbucks and a grocery store. It was a trip. Also the Real Canadian Superstore has one of the best Joe Fresh sections I’ve ever seen.

I would like to go back to Winnipeg and be a bit more touristy, hit up the museums, go to the spa. But I was really impressed with Winnipeg. It was a much better city than I expected. It was cool, and you can tell that it has a lot of things. It is also one of those cities that can’t hide the “seedy underbelly”, in the way that some cities can, but I kind of love that in a city, it’s not that there is less class division but you can’t hide away from it. I love that.

It was a great weekend, it was definitely part of what I’ve been calling in my head “Laura’s Pandemic Recovery”. I did spend too much money, but not in a way that I am concerned about, it was great for my brain and my heart, and I still showed a decent amount of restraint (there were several things in Anthropologie that I could have bought and didn’t).


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