We were two chicks, free as can be, travelling with the wind, and not a care in the world. Well okay, you know me, I have a lot of cares. So we were two chicks, middle-aged, on the road and wild as can be. Okay, well, two women on the road, worrying about gas, the price of gas, where to get gas and do we have enough gas? Isn’t this great!
We are so cool, just go with the flow man. We don’t need to book a room ahead, we can just sleep in the car if we have to. (We forgot to pack the tent). Let’s just see where life takes us on this highway of whatever.
So we spent a few days with Andy at the North American Indigenous Games in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. We yelled and cheered for his Team Ontario basketball team. It definitely was one of the highlights of my life, watching my son walk onto the field for the opening ceremony with 500 other Team Ontario athletes and 5000 other North American athletes from Florida to the Yukon and from BC to Nova Scotia. Anyway, Susie and I spent over an hour looking for our car on the first day. Always remember where you park your car and which door you enter the building. But we were smarter on the second day and by the fourth day, we had it made. We found our car easily.
So after an emotional few four days watching Team Ontario win and lose and arguing with the Coach when he didn’t put Andy on the court, my friend Susie and I headed off to our vacation at the spa. Yes, we deserve this. We have worked hard, and I mean hard, for the past few months and we need a frigging vacation. Andy didn’t want to come with us for some reason. He preferred to stay in Regina with his buddies on the team. Whatever, Susie and I jumped in the car, and headed out of the city for Lake Manitou, Saskatchewan.
After driving for a while, we stopped at the gas station and asked directions. Things weren’t adding up just quite right. The attendant had never heard of Lake Manitou so we bought a map and opened it up and looked at it. Another customer at the garage said, “Yeah, it’s by Watrous and you need to turn around and go back a few miles and then turn left.” Alright, we’re on our way. And it’s not called Lake Manitou, it’s Manitou Beach!
This is the place where the lake is salt water and there is a spa there with the same stuff in the water. It will heal you and make you ten years younger. Cool. Eventually, we reached Manitou Beach. Awesome and beautiful. We could hear the sweet sounds of drunk people outside the bar right on main street. We pulled up to the resort and went in to ask for a room. “Sorry, we’re all full until Sunday!” Shit. After checking out the motels we could see, as it was getting dark, we headed to the B&B at the top of a long hill. Where the heck is the driveway? Is this it? We hear laughter over here and there is people. No this is a private home. But the drunk people there were nice enough to help us to find a hotel in a nearby town called Lanigan. Off we went down the prairie roads, trying not to get hit by trains at the train crossings in the dark and past the Pot Ash mine and then finally we were at the Snow White Inn in . A bed never felt so good. Neither did a glass of wine.
The next morning we headed back to Manitou Beach. It was totally worth it. Antiques stores, food, the beach and the salty spa were amazing. We spent about an hour swimming in the pool where you can’t sink. Actually your feet want to float up behind you and tip you over. So much fun. Then we had ice cream and sun tanned on the deck. Okay I did fall asleep for a short while, it was so relaxing. Time to go. We have to get somewhere before dark to spend the night because we have to pick up Andy at the Airport in Winnipeg on Friday afternoon.
Even though Andy did not want to leave Regina because he was having so much fun, he decided he would catch the plane and meet us in the Peg. Susie and I left Manitou Beach around 4 p.m. and headed East, hoping to get to Neepawa by nightfall where we would spend the night and then drive to Winnipeg in the morning and meet Andy at the airport. We drove and drove and drove. Hmmm, we should have filled up with gas at the last town. We only have half a tank, let’s pull over and set the GPS. Where is the closest town that has a hotel or gas? So we drove on. It got dark. The rain started and the lightning flashed across the sky. Have you ever seen lightning on the prairies? It’s not like it is here in the north. It lasts a longggg time and the thunder is LOUD. We crossed our fingers and our eyes and drove on, changing our course to Virden Manitoba which was closer than Neepawa.
There’s no room at the Inn Mary and Joseph, we were told at the first hotel and then the second. But we were lucky at the third. Well, I think we were lucky. We got a room at the Virden Motel. It seemed fine, until the morning when we could see all the cobwebs. Anyway, to make a long story short, we made it to the Winnipeg airport to pick up Andy and then seven hours later, we were back home in Red Lake.