Winnipeg was cold. The Holiday Inn where we stayed was having a hill-billy family special which attracted the range of the spectrum for the working class version of a weekend getaway – renting a poolside suite for an overnight. Children frolicked under the benignly neglectful eyes of parents draped across Kmart special deck furniture seemingly unaware that should their child begin to exhibit signs of being water-logged, their lack of swim attire wouldn’t necessarily spur one of the few properly attired parents in the pool to step in for them.
Rob certainly wasn’t going to step up. In fact, between cold hard stares that made the teacher in me kelly green and the clipped warnings to two not so little girls about watching their surroundings, he was ready to help a few of the offspring of the wet but still basically unwashed to Davy Jones’ locker.
“Next time,” I said, “we’ll have to remember to ask for a room on a floor above the pool.”
“We won’t be coming to Winnipeg again,” he replied.
It wasn’t as bad as Battleford. We stayed at the Super 8 because the only other hotel is owned by the casino. We stayed there the time before and listened to a herd of teenagers thundering overhead …. all … night … long.
The Super 8’s clientele is made up of the men who are working in the area on the various temporary projects. At breakfast on Friday morning, they watched us with bemused looks as though vaguely recalling wives and children of their own.
Hotels in Canada are a hit and miss affair. Canadians accept truly awful accommodations as the price of admission, but the former full-time American in me has to sigh heavily.
It took an hour to cross the border. The line stretched on forever but as far as I could tell, no one was being anally probed, flogged or water-boarded, so I have no idea what the hold up was.
North Dakota was water-logged. At one point before Grand Forks, the water was up on the road and it lapped the edges for a good while between the border, on and off, until after Fargo.
In Minneapolis – we shopped. I totally went ugly American and bought an awesome sticky, thick yoga mat that I have coveted ever since I spied another woman in my training using the brand. We outfitted Dee for soccer at Dick’s (yeah, that’s what it’s called) and got her one of those Razor scooters.
And we ate at Panera Bread. We have no Panera Bread. I don’t know why. Just like we have no Target. Another unsolved mystery that begs for resolution. The only way Minneapolis could have been more awesome would have been a trip to Target. I think it’s Target’s Mecca of origin after all.
We swam again. The hotel was not full, so we had the pool mostly to ourselves but for a young couple and their two quite wee children and the young wife’s sister.
Rob was looking forward to a soak in the hot tub after a long day’s drive, but the sight of two swim-diapered young-uns in the bubbling water changed his mind. Mine too. What are people thinking when they put incontinent children into hot tubs?
The husband was a redneck. No, he really was. Cowboy hat, boots and button-down long sleeve striped shirt. Very Kenny Chesney except for the beer gut and the fact that he looked a little drunk which contrasted with the Coke can he was sipping on like a baby on the teat.
The two sisters were enjoying the children and trying to chat. He was suggesting that it was time to go back to their room about every ten minutes but the two year old boy kept objecting.
“Wouldn’t ya rather watch tv?” Cowboy Daddy said. “We have a tv back in the room.”
Sad? Scary? Clearly not a future that bodes well.
After they left, we had the place to ourselves until the teens, hot tubbing middle agers and grandmas began to pour in. Clearly, the mall was now closed.