Friday, March 19, 2010

Oh, Canada

Well I took my first trip to Canada this week. For those of you who know me really well you know that I truly like the Canadian National Anthem…probably a sick obsession from attending the National High School Rodeo Finals and having the catchy tune stuck in my head, it doesn’t help that my mom and Christy will sing it too… anyway of all my travels, this is my first trip to Canada and have had quite the experience. We flew into Regina, Saskatchewan which might be one of the smallest airports I have ever flown in and out of with maybe Sun Valley, ID being the smallest. Needless to say, the customs line wasn’t an issue. Our first editor meeting took us to Lumsden, Saskatchewan to The Brickhouse Bistro. Lumsden is a very, very quaint town…especially since our company’s President and CEO couldn’t get a town car to take them from Regina to Lumsden so they had to rent a stretch limo…needless to say the locals were very intrigued who was in the Brickhouse especially since their driver was in a full tuxedo. We grabbed a quick lunch and a piece of the local favorite Saskatoon Berry Pie. It was good, but it wasn’t anything like my mom’s wild raspberry pie so I think I’ll stick to that from now on (plus getting Saskatoon Berries in KC might be difficult). Saskatchewan has a great agricultural history, on the prairie they have a climate that varies from top to bottom and east to west allowing them to produce many types of crops many of them being cereal and pulse crops. We then drove to Saskatoon. I’m sure that in the summer the drive is wonderful but driving 110 in 5 degree temperatures just isn’t that much fun…ok so it is 110 kilometers/hour and 5 degrees Celsius so it wasn’t that bad…it was very interesting to see how the prairie terrain changes and the farmsteads across the countryside.
In Saskatoon, we are staying at a lovely hotel which is referred to as ‘The Castle on the River’ (The Delta Bessborough Hotel, est 1931 - and it looks very castle like so much so that I honestly had a haunted feeling last night after dinner walking to my room, but luckily was tired enough to fall asleep quickly before I had too much time to think about what was lurking in the walls. The beds are very comfortable and the ghosts, if there were very nice to me.
For dinner our first night in Canada we headed to Earls ( Earls is a brewery and a fine dining restaurant which had great atmosphere and excellent food. I had a pint of their Ginger Beer which was very refreshing. The food in Saskatoon has a big Greek influence and that was evident in the meal we had at Earls. We started the meal with Baby Calamari and the Feta Spinach Artichoke dip, both were awesome. The calamari was served with a Greek yogurt dip with cucumber and onion which was an interesting combination. I had a wonderful Prawn and Scallop Linguini with pine nuts, basil, tomatoes and a lemon herb sauce. The cool thing about Earls is there are locations in both the US and Canada so check out the website and there might be a location near you or where you are traveling. For lunch on St. Paddy’s day we were suggest to try The Ivy ( ), not quite like what I imagine The Ivy in Hollywood is like, but this place was much more of my style. It was a very eclectic place with a unique blend of decorations and food items, but it being St. Paddy’s day I settled for the Ruben which was good. I would suggest it for the evening, they had a great bar area with an indoor fire pit that I am sure is wonderful in the middle of winter. The people in Canada have been completely lovely and so very polite and very much remind me of my Canadian friends, even though I realize you all are from Alberta. Much like the US agriculture is very, very prominent in Canada and many people we met out and about were one or two generations from the farm which was neat to talk about with them. If you are ever driving from Regina to Saskatoon, stop in Lumsden, you will be happy you did. Check out Earls for dinner and The Ivy for post or pre-dinner drinks.

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