21 September 2008

Greetings from the “Stoon”

It’s 7:30 PM Saskatoon time and yet I can still feel my body operating on Ottawa time. I still haven’t had my supper, I am replete with wine and I’m eyeing my hotel bed with desire.

So far I have enjoyed my business trip…mainly because the actual conference starts tomorrow morning. My flight got in shortly after 11:00 AM here is Saskatoon and I can honestly say that the bulk of my day has been spent loafing around and exploring the city. Saskatoon is certainly a smallish town but it’s beautiful. My hotel is directly across from the South Saskatchewan River and a beautiful walking path that follows the water. I walked for a good 40 minutes and magically somehow found myself headed in direction of the local shopping district…weird eh?

This evening I attended conference registration a networking/mixer. Thankfully I was able to meet a few new folks and did not spend my time cowering in a corner. Oddly enough, the first person I met today (my seatmate on the plane) is traveling from one of our institutes in Moncton New Brunswick – turns out he lives one block away from my Grammy’s old home. We had a nice time discussing the Maritimes and sharing some laughs…small world! No matter where I travel, I always manage to gravitate towards the Maritimes. While I may not have been born in N.B., I still consider it a second home and seem to have some strange kinship with other folks from the area.

Speaking of nice people, so far everyone I have encountered in the prairies has been very friendly. People seem genuinely interested in you here and extremely polite. I’ve never really considered Ottawa residents to be impolite, but being here makes me realize how reserved and self important we sometimes are. So thankfully, Saskatoon gets the big thumbs up from me so far.

I hope to sneak out and get some more exploration time later this week. I brought my camera and have been trying to snap pictures of my mother’s old haunts. This was the one of the first places she ever formally worked as a young nurse. I took a picture of the bandstand across the road today; I thought she would get a kick out of this because Pierre Trudeau apparently kissed her many years ago when he was visiting Saskatoon.

Not much else to report now. I’m still bummed to be away from hubby, especially on our wedding anniversary this coming Tuesday. At any rate, I am going to try and make the most of my time here and see as much as my busy schedule will permit. I am hoping to buy tickets to a Samuel Becket play that is opening at the local theatre on Wednesday night. I’ve never attended a play alone before, but theatre is one of those things that I think I could happily do solo because I can immerse myself in the story. Apparently the local theater troop is pretty good, so it seems like the perfect opportunity that I should be here on an opening night when they only put on a few plays within the year.

Must run now. Room Service is knocking and I am ravenous. More prairie adventures to come tomorrow. I am happy to report that I have managed to sneak some Saskatoon berries into my diet already. I have to stock up and get my fill while I can. I'm also going to see if I can find a shop so that I can buy some preserves.

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