Friday, August 18, 2017

Staycations by @elle_rush

I've been talking about Romancing the Capital for months. Then, the day before I was supposed to leave for Ottawa, a family medical emergency meant I spent that day in the hospital.

Life happens. Often with bad timing.

Fortunately, everything turned out well, and everybody is happily recovering, but my vacation plans were detonated in an unrecoverable way.

(Happy note - I have been invited back for Romancing the Capital 2018 and there are a few tickets left if you want to come, but most sold out quickly)

I had two options: say forget it and go back to work like I hadn't planned anything at all, or roll with it and turn my time-off into a stay-cation and explore my city.

So I explored.

This charming fellow interrupted my picnic at Assiniboine Park. We went for a stroll through the English Gardens there and took a bunch of photos. I went to the Picasso exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (hurray for free passes). We went to a wedding in Kenora, driving three hours through the gorgeous Whitehall Provincial Park and Canadian Shield.

Let's be honest - staycations are not as exciting as vacations, where you get to explore new places and see things you'll never see at home. But a lot of us never bother to see the things you can see at home anyway. I didn't get to the Manitoba Museum until earlier this year - and I've lived in Winnipeg for 25 years! If you're lucky, you hit the highlights when family comes to town, but that's it.

I'm quite proud to say I've hit most of Winnipeg's tourist traps. I've done the Forks. I've been to a Jets game, and countless Goldeyes baseball games. I've walked around the Exchange District, gone to Assiniboina Downs, visited the Assiniboine Zoo, attended a musical at the outdoor Rainbow Stage, and toured several pavilions for Folklorama.

There are things till on my to-do list: visit Lower Fort Garry, go to a Blue Bombers game someday, just to say I've done it (but I am not a football fan), and skate on the Red River during Festival du Voyageur. But I've done okay. I know a lot of people don't have vacation days to take, and don't have money for out-of-town vacations, but there are always things to do close to home.

You have a couple weeks before the kids head back to school. Have you done anything around your hometowns?

Since I've been talking up Winnipeg, I should mention its serial killers. The Calendar Killer has been active for five months, and his next victim could turn up at any time. Check out these intrepid men and women working to catch him. You can start with book 1 -

A year ago, Sergeant Eric Parker gave up his fiancĂ©e because of his job as a homicide detective, and he’s regretted it ever since. When an old case throws them back together, he’ll use every trick short of handcuffing her to his bed to win her back.

Bree Collingswood has moved on. Her career is on the upswing, and she’s over the unexpected implosion of her engagement. She insists Eric isn’t on her hot-guy radar any more, even if nobody else believes they are over for good.

When a string of murders in Winnipeg is linked to a single killer, tensions in the city sky-rocket. And when Bree catches the Calendar Killer’s attention, Eric knows the best way to keep her safe is not to send her away again, but keep her closer than ever.

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