This morning is the first time that I have been completely alone in a free-standing building or shelter in over two weeks . I like being alone. I like being around people too, but I really need my time to be alone.
I have a lot of organizing, cleaning up, grocery shopping and un-packing to do today. But because it's my first time being alone in two weeks, I'll probably wander around the house a lot, read some, sneak in a nap and then pick up the girls from school. I'm that productive.
You know how you always hear it said about Manitoba, "but it's a DRY cold"? Well, it is. Considering the fact that it wasn't even cold while we were back, the dryness factor hit me hard. The inside of my nose is sore, my skin is flaky and itchy, and my lips are cracked. It's been misty and rainy here since we got back and when I go outside I breath in the moist warm air as deeply as I can.
I couldn't believe how warm the weather was the whole time we were in Manitoba. That, coupled with seeing almost no snow made it a little surreal. On our last day we got a good hit of cold, gusty arctic air as we made our way to the airport. It had to happen. It was the kind of cold that takes the wind out of you. One gust like that and I really felt like I was home.
Our girls are amazingly resilient. Our schedule was jam-packed every single day we were gone. Sometimes we'd have three different places to be on a given day. That combined with sleeping in different beds and going to sleep way too late every night did not take them down or out. They just rolled with it, and I was very grateful.
I like my own bed best.
The stars aligned and we were able to house-sit for friends of ours for all of the time we were in Winnipeg. You don't know how valuable that was to my state of mind.
Best Christmas Gift.... you know the old "mixed tape" you received or made for your significant other back in the day? Well, our neighbor and pal Adrian Wortley lovingly and thoughtfully made me and Mike his own version of the mixed tape full of interesting and talented Canadian Indie music. Best song featured by a long shot is the Kathleen Edwards tune "Scared at Night". Chill-inducing. You know someone must really think you're OK if they make you a mixed tape.
It was the Christmas of bacon. I don't know how or why it happened, but we ate more bacon during the two weeks in Manitoba than we've eaten in the last 10 years. It was good, but it was a lot of bacon.
Speaking of bacon, I had some pretty tasty salty and greasy slices of it one morning at the old Sal's on Pembina. There's nothing like a Sal's breakfast....
.....well, almost nothing like it. I think I may have found the new object of my food lusting. The Mexican Breakfast at Stella's should be illegal - it's that good. Why had I never tried it before? I fell in love with it for the first time at the new Stella's at Portage and Memorial in the Plugged In Gallery on Christmas Eve.
The new terminal at the James Richardson International Airport in the 'Peg is pretty sweet.
Winkler (the home of my youth) has become a cosmopolitan city overnight with the addition of the very urban vibe found at "Jonny's Java" on Main Street. You've come a long way, baby.
I got to squeeze some squishy 3 month old baby cheeks and stroke some of the softest skin under the chins of my favorite one year old girls. (Did that sentence just make me sound creepy?) Those were some of the best moments.
We played a lot of the Blitz.
And I liked it.
It was good for the soul to hear Mike play his violin with Terry doing his thing on guitar and Caleb joining in on percussion. Sweet music.
My kids are tall. That was by far the resounding refrain we heard everywhere we went.
It does the heart good to see Winnipeg basking in the glory of the having the Jets back. The number of people wearing Jets gear around town was astounding. It's brought the city together in a way nothing else could have done. There are no fans like Winnipeg hockey fans. What a perfect Cinderella Story.
We have really good friends. Friends that we were able to spend time with, and those who love us even when we couldn't find the time to squeeze them in.
I love tradition.
I love that our New Year's Eve night was filled with it.
I love the people we spent it with.
Plus - the Jets won and the ribs were amazing.
Time goes by really fast. Pause button? I'm still looking for you.
I love Winnipeg, but I love the West Coast too.