Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Eight

You-Know-Whats-Great-About-Winter-600x584 (1).pngI looked out the window this morning and thought “Yes!!! It’s not raining! I can walk!”
So I went outside in my “Aussie” winter gear, not realising that the sun does not always mean warmth here in Canada. Especially true when there’s a fierce wind blowing.

As I stepped out I immediately thought “This is a mistake” but I obstinately continued.

Five minutes later I broke into a jog to try to warm up and wondered at what temperature frost bite was an issue. If I had worn gloves, it would have been a whole lot better but I’m not sure I even own a pair of gloves!

When I finally got back hubby said he was about to get in the car and come look for me. I admitted that I almost called him from the local supermarket. They have wifi there and I’m travelling without international roaming so I’m not always contactable.

In any case, it all worked out and I warmed up with a couple of coffees as soon as I got back to the house.

We decided to drive out to Lockport today. I’ve been told a bit about Lockport and the Skinners that is located there and apparently a Winnipeg tradition.


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I didn’t realise that Lockport was only a small location.

I was expecting a holiday type destination.
A place to take the family when you have a day off.

Still, I saw the Skinners there and after hubby described it as a Winnipeg tradition I thought I have to try that! There’s actually two down there. One on the highway and another  on the water (the original)

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It looked so cute inside too!! And the lady who served us was just so nice.

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We asked her recommendation for what to eat and she said they were known for their hotdogs so we got that. She asked if we wanted them with the works and we said yes! of course!

Turns out “the works” means with mustard, relish and 3 slivers of chopped onion.


They tasted not bad but I don’t know if they were worth the trip. And look at that Diet Dr Pepper with the exact amount of 591 ml in there. That was pretty funny.

We did have a look at their arcade room which seemed like a cool idea.

I probably would have had a better time if I’d actually put some quarters in there.

We had family coming by the house this afternoon so we stopped in at Tim Hortons to pick up some sweets. We didn’t know that there was already going to be a dozen Tim Horton donuts when we got back home so with our 50 Tim Bits, there was quite a selection of sweets!

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And to top off our junk food day, we stopped in at A&W for dinner. We’d seen them advertising a Bison Burger for a limited time and just wanted to try it.

The burgers tasted fine. No different to any other meat burger I thought, but a lot heavier mustard taste than I’m used to.


Lastly, I’m happy to say, with one more day to go, I’ve found there is a working treadmill in the basement so I won’t have to battle the cold AND/OR potentially aggressive geese in the morning when I want to walk! Better late than never

So for now, beware of Canadian Geese and Goodnight and Bonne Nuit!

Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Seven

This morning I took advantage of the nice weather (it’s supposed to rain later today) and went for a brisk early morning walk. I wasn’t far from home when I saw a whole heap of geese. Now anyone who knows me knows I don’t like birds in general, and some of them I’m actually fearful of (Those damn magpies!)

And I’ve mentioned previously, that I’ve heard about Canadian Geese aggression. While I was on my walk  this morning I saw a whole heap of these Geese together and honestly had to think twice about whether I wanted to continue on my walk. Especially as I saw a couple with two little baby geese crossing the road.

Take a look at this clip I found on You Tube if you want to see how they can act!

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So I did end up making it to the supermarket without being attacked, and found this little beauty.

Baileys Coffee Creamer!!
Can’t wait to have my next coffee.

I should explain to my friends in Australia, they have creamer here that they put in coffee. It’s not as thick as our cream back home, but it’s creamier than our whole milk. It tastes delicious! I wish we had an equivalent in Australia.
It normally comes in a carton that looks like a regular milk carton.

I was also looking for certain biscuits and was walking up and down the aisle looking for where they had their biscuit section until I remembered that the word I should be looking for was “cookies”
And look, they had Tim Tam’s too!! I think they’re a touch expensive here though.

 

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We went to Polo Park shopping centre after lunch and I felt like I would in any shopping centre back home.

I’ve been here so many times over the years I’m completely familiar with it and knew where all the stores where.

We drove around some then stopped in for a coffee break at, where else but Tim Hortons.


I went to the counter and asked for a couple of white coffees. The person looked at me blankly. “Two white coffees” I repeated. He said “What kind of coffee do you want?”
And the reason he was confused is that they don’t say that here. You order coffee and it’s expected to be black unless you ask for milk/creamer. So I ordered two black coffees with two “creamers”. It was delicious!

We also got some Tim Bits and a chocolate crunch cookie to tide us over until our family dinner.

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Another thing I’m having to get used to is the automatic flushing toilets.

Although we do have some of those in Australia, they have many more here and sometimes it just catches me off guard!!

And sometimes it won’t flush and I’m looking at what the heck I’m supposed to push, pull or wave my hand over to get the thing to flush.

We went to Paradise Restaurant for dinner.  When we walked in, there was a beautiful Italian cooking smell that took me right back to the seventies.
Actually it was comforting, and I really love Italian food so I was looking forward to dinner.

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This picture was of the unoccupied section. There really were people in there I promise. I loved the pictures of different parts of Italy on the walls.

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Our server brought out some bread sticks to start. They were made from pizza dough.

When I put mine on my plate my mind went somewhere it probably shouldn’t. Come on, I’m not the only one who sees it am I?????

And this was the rest of our food. We really didn’t have any complaints other than we thought the serves were a bit small. I know my fettuccine was really tasty and I loved the sauce too. I like it simple.


Sadly another day has come to an end.

Good night, bonne nuit and don’t dream of bread sticks.

 

Oot and Aboot in Canada Eh! – Day Six

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Hubby decided to join me for a walk this morning and although it was only 8-9 degrees celsius, the sun was out so he decided a short sleeved t-shirt would be good enough.
I was happy to be walking but I forgot hubby likes to make stops along the way so as soon as he saw those golden arches, we stopped.

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We came across a “stobie” pole on steriods. Actually, there were quite a few of these.

They’re called hydro poles here.

I got hubby to stand at the base so you can get an idea of how gigantic it is.

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Today we had to do a bit of personal business/banking so we went downtown.

Hubby has been loving driving this Cadillac. It does seem like we’re driving around in luxury!

Passed some Cannabis store signs along the way. Took a few pics of the downtown area which looked quite nice.

It’s funny for me to see signs in two languages wherever we go.


This pic upper right was a very funny situation. Hubby had to get a copy of his birth certificate so we went to Vital Statistics and had to get a number and wait to be called. Hubby went to get a number and violently pulled the number tab. All of a sudden, the entire roll came undone without any tabs separating. It rolled across the floor and hubby, full of embarrassment, started rolling it back up as quick as he could.
IMG_0278What made it even more funny was that there was a customer immediately to his right who saw it and started laughing uncontrollably. It was such a funny giggle because he was trying to stifle it but just couldn’t.

We walked around Portage Place looking for some other department. Lot of interesting things and people around there.

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We drove out to the country again late afternoon and stopped in at Tim Horton’s on the way and this time, we got some sweets as well!! We got a Maple Pecan Danish and a Cinnamon Scroll.

I love how here, and in the U.S too, they offer you coffee with milk or cream. I could get used to the lovely taste of cream in my coffee!!

Still not used to the fact that they display prices before the tax is applied.  You never really know how much you will be charged. The first few times I couldn’t work out why I had paid more than the ticketed price and then I was told.  Why don’t you people rebel!! This is a horrible system! The ticket price should include everything you need to pay. Price and tax! None of this add on at the end. And if you’re having a meal, you have to add on tip after that as well so you may think something is fairly cheap until all the extras are added on to it.

I had doggy cuddles this afternoon again. I could have sat here all afternoon with that little cutie.

We went with family to Portage la Prairie. It seemed like a nice place but it was so close we moved from the park to the indoor recreation centre.


Because it was easy, we went to Boston Pizza for dinner again tonight.

We started off sharing a big plate of nachos. These were great.
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In our party of five, four of us had the New York Steak Sandwich. It was so delicious!

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And we also ordered a plate of chicken tacos.

We said the first lot of goodbyes to family tonight and that’s the worst part. Always wonderful to see family and it’s never easy to say goodbye.

For now, goodnight and bonne nuit.

Stuck in the Middle – Day Two

I was still very apprehensive as I woke up this morning. Hubby still wasn’t feeling that well. I was ravenously hungry but didn’t want to go out on my own.

After a little while hubby had a shower and felt well enough to explore the hotel with me, to see if there was somewhere we could get breakfast.

We ended up at the hotel restaurant where they were serving a buffet breakfast for 49 Qatari Riyal which is about $18.34 AUD.
We hadn’t eaten since about late morning the day before so we were very hungry!

They had such a great selection of food! I don’t know why but I felt uncomfortable taking photos in there so I didn’t. Everyone there was so helpful. They just couldn’t do enough for us, asking us if we wanted coffees and bringing it to us even though we were in a buffet restaurant.


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After breakfast we went to the top floor to check out the pool and the views.

Pretty nice views!
We were told there was an indoor pool here but there are no walls around/no roof above the pool and I’m pretty sure that’s what indoor means.

This is the sign outside the spa room. Separate times for men and women! Although, outside of those times, both men and women can be in there together.

Hubby and I walked outside despite the fact that it was almost 40 degrees Celsius at 9am. We went down to the water and snapped some pictures. NOBODY else was about. They’re smart here these people.


We started walking in the direction of the Souq Waqif markets when a cab driver stopped and asked if we wanted a driver. We said no. He then said the markets were closed and not due to open again until 4pm, and he offered to drive us around. He was very very persistent and it was HOT, so when he said “just hop in the cab and I’ll show you where I can take you and for what price”.
So we went in and he convinced us to be our driver for the next three hours. He already had a “tour” planned so off we went.
He wanted 350 Riyal for his time. We talked him down to 280 but I still think that was too much. In any case we were in and he seemed like a really nice guy.

I took a couple of pics as we drove.

That’s his cab there bottom right. It was comfortable.
He stopped here and there for me to take some pictures. He was very informative about DoHa but most of the information he said I haven’t retained.


This is a VERY impressive place!! Very new. Everything is new and more and more is being built.  You can see that there is no one around. It’s just too hot.

I thought it was funny how he and hubby both talked with their hands. I was sitting at the back and watched as they mirrored each other.


At one place there was a board up with references to the signs of the zodiac. I was surprised to see that in such a religious place.

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There is a lot of references to Italy here and I also noticed a lot of programs on tv in Italian. The driver said there is a “little Venice” section of DoHa and it is so pretty!! So colourful and has little canals through it.
Not a soul to be seen on the streets though!

I can’t remember the name of this next place that the taxi driver took us too. Honestly, he had told us about a mall – Villaggio Mall – that I really wanted to go to. I could have easily missed this next stop and had him take us to the mall but I think he really didn’t want to go there. If you hover over “Villaggio Mall” it will take you to the website and you can see the cool pictures of it.

In any case he didn’t take us there, he took us to some cultural place. I think that’s what he said. I honestly can’t remember. There’s a mosque there which is quite distinctive and I took a picture of the front of it. There’s also a pretty cool looking auditorium. Everything looks like it’s come out of The Flintstones.


IMG_7675We were supposed to meet the driver back in 30 minutes but we kind of lost our way.

There were golf carts that were driving people around and the driver said these were free so we approached one and I showed him a picture of the mosque and said
“Can you take us back there?”

Thank you Mr Nice Man.

Next stop was a famous mosque. Our driver wanted us to go and take pictures inside. He said I needed to go around the back to the women’s entrance and I would have to change my clothes into what they wear (forgot the name sorry) but then it would be ok to go in and take pictures.

It was really too hot to think about getting changed into anything and I don’t know how I feel about the whole male/female thing so we just went up and took some pictures of the mosque and the city from the mosque, then came down again.


IMG_7677If you can see it, that last picture is the one showing the way to the women’s entrance.

Oh look (pic right), these signs are all over the place showing you where it’s safer to cross the road.

After all this, our driver said for another 70 Riyal, he would take us to the Villagio Mall and leave us there. We’d have to make our own way back and a taxi back from there he estimated would be about 40 Riyal.  So he wanted about $26 AUD on top of the $105 AUD we’ve already given him, to be left at a mall far from our place.

We decided then we’d get him to take us to City Centre Mall which is closer to where we’re staying. He kept telling us it wasn’t worth going there but that’s where we insisted we wanted to be left so we went. He dropped us there, took our money, and went.

Later on, when we got a taxi back from there to our place, the driver said that most drivers can be hired for about 65 Riyal an hour. That’s about $25 AUD an hour. We had our guy for 2 1/2 hours at $110AUD. We got ripped! Ah well..

And turns out City Centre Mall was quite ok! With an ice skating rink in it too.


They even had a Tim Hortons there.
We cooled off, had something to eat, and had a look around.

Once we were back in the room, we decided to use the pool facilities. YES both of us went in the pool!! Because we left our phones behind there is no photographic evidence.

We were hoping it had cooled down a bit (insert laughter here) and walked down to the Souq Waqif markets at about 7pm. It was still stifling hot. Even though it was “only” 32 degrees, it was really humid. The air was thick and heavy and there was a strong smell of spice in the air.

The stuff there was so interesting! But the second you look at something, the owner of the stall comes out super excited that he’s going to make a sale. And sometimes you just want to look! And they just seem so desperate to want to make a sale. I feel bad! I can’t buy from every one so I bought from none.

I loved those dresses in the bottom pic!!
Some of these style dresses were expensive but others were really cheap. I was tempted to buy one but where would I wear it?

Hubby and I had some food at a local place – that is – a place full of locals. The food was so cheap we were worried there was something wrong with it but it was so tasty!! And as always, I ordered better than hubby!! Look how big my noodle plate is compared to his little kebab wrap thingie.

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It was just so tasty!

I’m glad we spent today here in Doha. We’ve seen a lot of new things and seen an incredibly different culture.

Tonight will be our last night in a strange bed. I’m looking forward to being home.
Love seeing new things but there’s no place like home.