I’ll be honest, when thinking of city break destinations from Calgary, Saskatchewan doesn’t usually come to mind. But there’s much more to the land of living skies than prairies, pierogies, and obligatory relative visits. A recent romp in Saskatoon revealed the city is uncrowded, inexpensive, and the biggest shocker of all? It’s truly interesting! Here are a few recommendations for making the most of your time there.
Get a feel for the city by journeying down its main artery, the mighty South Saskatchewan River. Step on board the Prairie Lily for a 90 minute river boat tour where you’ll cruise under four of Saskatoon’s eight bridges, past Cosmopolitan Park, the downtown core and some of the city’s ritziest residences. On the tour you’ll learn interesting tidbits about the city and the Saskatchewan river system, the second largest in North America.
A dose of culture can be found at the Mendel Art Gallery, brimming with ever changing exhibits of historic and contemporary art. If you’re a fan of colour as much as I am, you’ll want to take in The Optimism of Colour, a retrospective by famed Canadian abstract painter William Perehudoff.
From both the Prairie Lily and the gallery, it’s a spectacular scenic stroll along the river to the Delta Bessborough. The building’s neo-classical style makes it one of the most iconic Delta hotels in Canada. Filled with historic charm, a stay here puts you in close proximity to all the attractions.
If you’re visiting over a weekend, you should definitely trot over to the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market, for fresh produce, homemade pies and to check out the adorable Oat Boys and their wholesome goodies.
Have you ever been to Saskatoon? What are your favourite things to do there?
It’s funny how inspiration can strike when you least expect it. Here are a few images that caught my eye while riding my bike around the neighbourhood this week.
Angel wings at my spin studio, One Cycle.
Love these retro dresses.
A vision board in the window of Frilly Lilly on 4th Street.
Kitschy patio decor.
Yea! A happy hour close to home.
Who wants to drink Responsibly? (Not me.)
I’m off to Saskatoon this weekend! I’ve never been. Have you? If you have, could you give me some tips on where to eat and (of course) shop…
It’s not often I ask my husband if our hotel room is bigger than our condo, but at Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani, it’s a fair question. He pointed out that our suite at this family resort didn’t have an attached garage, but who needs one when you have valet parking?
The only all-suite hotel on the southwest side of Maui, it’s situated on 22 acres of tropical terrain in the ritzy Wailea area. Here, you can spot whales breaching from your hotel room, or get close and personal with these giants while paddle boarding or learning traditional canoeing, one of the authentic Hawaiian cultural experiences offered by the resort.
While I took in an early morning canoe lesson and managed to run along the Wailea Walkway each morning, my brood was content to spend their days boogie boarding and body surfing in the waves at Polo Beach. Beaching, bathing, bellying up to the pool bar, it all works up an appetite.
Fortunately the hotel has a robust buffet brimming with all sorts of delicacies. I was thrilled to find umeboshi (pickledJapanese plums) and dim sum, while Eve brunched on waffles, bacon, white rice and nori (seaweed strips). “You know it’s a good buffet when they have a waffle bar,” Eve insists I add.
For a posh nosh, the hotel’s award-winning, signature restaurant, Ko, serves up plantation-inspired cuisine. Meaning: lots of sugarcane, macadamia nut coatings and mashed taro (attractive in appearance, disappointing in taste). What’s most striking about this restaurant is the background music. When you realize you’re listening to a cover of Stairway to Heaven, and you actually don’t mind, it’s pretty good. When you then notice the music is live, it’s even better.
Naturally our precocious child ordered lamb chops. Distracted Jody thought it was the lamb pops from the appetizer menu, but no, it was a $48 rack of lamb entree. And yes, she polished off the entire thing (minus the taro).
It’s hard to find a bad room at this all-suite hotel when each is a minimum of 860 sq ft. All rooms come with a pull-out couch, mini fridge and massive balconies, accessible from both the living room and separate bedroom, that makes escaping from the ankle biters easy and enjoyable.
It’s this separation between child and state that makes Kea Lani so rad. A tricked out kid’s club attracts kids five to 13 years, and a sleek, adults only pool ensures couples a tranquil dip. Two family pools are connected by a water slide and the upper pool has a bar, but you don’t want to get too carried away.
“Just for perspective, your cocktail at the pool bar cost more than my case of beer,” warned Dan the killjoy.
Thoughtful touches pervade the property, such as poolside jugs of water, sunscreen and aloe vera gel for immediate relief.
This resort hit all the right buttons: warm tropical breezes, tiki torches lighting the pathways, and cheery children’s activities that emitted the essence of aloha, or at least everything I imagined a tropical paradise to be.
Images courtesy of Fairmont Kea Lani, who hosted my stay. As always, my opinions are my own.
Have you ever been to Maui? Where do you stay?
What to Get, What to Avoid
I’ve got quite a few teacher friends, so I’ve been read the riot act on getting an appropriate end of the year gift for that lot, more than once. It’s awesome at Christmas when some mom takes one for the team and organizes a class gift, but by June we’re usually left to our own devices (and there’s no way I’m coordinating that goat rodeo).
No matter what we give, I do feel inferior when I see kids toting in Holts and Williams-Sonoma bags into school on the last day. I’m a tightwad, but I do want to show my appreciation, so I asked my teacher friends what does and doesn’t constitute a good thank you gift. Here’s what they had to say:
- Quality chocolates, like Bernard Callebaut. “You can keep your Pot of ‘effing Gold,” says one beloved smart-ass teacher (who is not employed at my child’s school, I hasten to add).
- Gift cards for coffee and book stores, or ones that cover several restaurants, so they can take their family out.
- A nice bottle of wine, not something cheap or mass produced i.e., no Australian Shiraz unless they are first year teachers, and thus, still enjoying Banrock Station and going nowhere relationships. No offence intended, we’ve all been there.
- Gift certificates for spas or places you know they frequent
- Anything homemade or personalized by the child, so as long as it’s something that can be used in everyday life like magnets or book bags. (Admittedly, this one surprised me, but it came from a real teacher, so why not get rid of some
junktreasures, and kill two birds with one stone?)
- Gift cards for a shopping mall – this way they can get exactly what they want
- “I love it when students give heartfelt gifts like artwork they’ve made.”
- Group gifts that are personal to something the class knows about the teacher, like ski passes or something for an upcoming trip. “That sort of thing is personal, thoughtful and useful.”
Under No Circumstances
- Anything personalized that’s dependent on taste, like jewelry, clothing and home decor
- Pencils, pens, notepaper. Guess what? They’ve got a line on that in the supply room.
- Used items
- Lingerie or sexy sleepwear (for real!)
- Trinkets or other useless crap. As one teacher delicately put it: If you wouldn’t know where to put it in your house, please don’t buy it for us.
- Picture frame with photo of your child in it
- Homemade shit. “Thanks, but I can buy my own scarves,” says the Pot of Gold hater.
Do you usually buy your teacher an end of the year gift? What do you pick up?
Happy Friday, everyone! I have to admit I’m feeling a bit spent this week. I’m really looking forward to taking a break from work, and chilling with the family. On deck for the weekend is a tennis lesson, spot of gardening and making a mean minestrone. (OK, maybe a few episodes of The Real Housewives of NYC will also feature prominently.) Here are some links I hope you’ll enjoy.
Help get this food truck for kids into production.
This Birthdayoncé is awesome! A must watch!
Cool apps that make meal planning with the kids less of a chore.
Your books can float off your desk with this cool bookshelf.
Check out these homes built around trees.
The most incredible treehouse ever.
Mix up your summer menu and try this rhubarb barbecue sauce.
Banish those sprays! Learn the new rules for sunscreen.
Ever have one of those days when you can’t muster up any energy? What to do when you’re getting nothing done.
Take the quiz to find out which RHONY are you. C’mon, you know you want to. Surprisingly, I’m not Ramona.
I’d love to hear from you. Please let me know your plans for the weekend or tell me which housewife you think I am.