Saturday, December 31, 2005

christmas magic

The first 22 hours of our Christmas vacation were truly magical. Its probably been about a year since Brian and I actually spent a whole day of uninterrupted time together, and we were both in the right frame of mind for it. We were like a couple of giddy schoolgirls opening the door to our grand hotel room: diving into the down-swathed bed, admiring the generous baseboard, real wooden doors (solid, impressive), a bad tv (thank God, they've got their priorities straight!), the old carpets, .... but the real plum pudding was the little courtesy note on our desk reading: "complimentary coffee anytime, just phone room service" or something to that tune. Such a little thing, but we were over the moon. ("Can you imagine living like this- coffee will magically appear, by our bidding?!)

Well, the world was our oyster. Winnipeg was indulging in unusually balmy weather for December. We headed off on foot, hand in hand, the Forks our destination. We browsed through the various vendors, taking in the smells of food and drink, smiling at the diversity of humanity, even bought a hand smocked little girls dress from a sincere looking Asian man even though the girls have long outgrown the dress stage of their lives... It seemed like a genuine way to give at Christmas, to share the expansive love that was warming us both.

We had dinner in a restaurant we'd not been to before, wanting to take advantage of our uncomplicated 22 hours.(It will likely be another year before we get away again, dear). We strolled back to our hide away, choosing the riverwalk this time, giggling under the railway overpass, through the snow and lighted trees in the park, back to the Fort Garry for dessert in the intrically painted tea room in the lobbey. Even the waiter seemed well aged.

The following morning, after enjoying the coffee which had magically appeared, we set off on foot once more. We wandered down to Portage Place where I used to work in a little salad cafe back in my university days. We noted all changes that had occurred since our last visit, (has it been 10 years already?), enjoyed the diversity of people that stumbled or shopped through this downtown attempt at urban renewal. I found a skirt that had a vintage quality to it, reminded me of one I'd seen at the Forks the night before. That one was $299.00, this one $29.00. I was so thrilled, I wore the outfit right out of the store, (yes I paid, silly). Brian was equally pleased, having found the tekky gear for outdoor running at the MEC store.

We were starting to miss the kids, and wanted to share this with them. Time to head back , dress for the ballet, be a family again. But thats another story.


Christy said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog...looking forward to reading more of the adventure. Brian alluded to it on his blog and I'm strangely relieved to hear that my children are not the only ones unfit for public. ;)

I also replied to your awesome deep thought on my blog:

Happy New Year!

andrea said...

You've painted a lovely picture here. Your description reminds me of the Harrison Hotel at Harrison Hot Springs where we go for every fifth wedding anniversary. Would love to try this hotel, though, as I've never been to Winnipeg but always wanted to, especially to see some of the buildings my great-grandfather designed (like the Electric Chambers -- or whatever it's called now). One day...