On Friday June 1, I went to Saskatchewan for the third time in my life. Why I went is sort of a long story. The short version of that story is that I was supposed to be in Europe for most of May but had to cancel my trip. Saskatchewan became the alternative because my in-laws live there and because we were going to go in August anyway. So, here goes: my super exciting vacation to Saskatchewan.
We got up at 5AM and took a limo to the airport because even with the new train to the airport, the TTC didn’t start early enough for us to travel to the airport safely. It was good we took a cab, because there were lots of people in line dropping off luggage.
Despite flying against the jet stream, we had a really quick flight – a fast boarding (using this new “zone” thing) and a flight that showed up a few minutes early in Saskatoon. The Saskatoon airport is pretty nice. It feels new, so I don’t know whether or not they’ve done renovations recently.
We got to Saskatoon so early in fact that we didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We went to our hotel but they weren’t ready for us so we dropped off our luggage and went for a walk. Because of the GF’s airmiles, we were able to stay at the fanciest hotel in town:
I have staid in the odd fancy hotel in my life but not one that looked like this on the outside.
After that we went to a place called Honey Buns where we had some of the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever had, and where we got introduced to the local racism, in this case via the “people need to speak English because it’s the easiest and clearest language to use” lie that English-speakers tell themselves when they want to be racist assholes but don’t want to admit they’re racist. (To be clear: the issue I have with this idea is not that people should speak English to function in Canada, as they should and they need to. And Canada actually has requirements for English skills when it comes to immigration. What I object to is the idea that English is the best language because you were born speaking English. It’s not the best language, it’s the language that many people were born with as their first language and many other people were not. That’s all. The prevalence of English in the world is due primarily to the scope of the British empire at its zenith and not because English is the best language for communication.)
Then, we walked to the University of Saskatchewan and looked around for a while. For a prairie campus, it’s quite scenic.Then we walked down a rich street, whose Toronto equivalent is probably Kingsway. Lots of interesting, quirky and large houses.
After that we had lunch at a pub called the Yard and Flagon which had surprisingly good food – better than average pub food and portion sizes like we don’t get in Toronto pubs any more.
It was really, really hot so we headed back to the hotel to check in properly and go for a swim. The pool was too shallow to dive into and we couldn’t get the steam room and sauna to work, but the hot tub was nice. The hotel has a nice back deck that overlooks the river, and we could see it from the pool (we never actually got out there).
Because we had been up at 3AM Saskatchewan time and because it was so hot, we spent the rest of the afternoon in the hotel watching the Food Network.
In the evening we went to Ayden, a restaurant from one of the Top Chef winners. The food was nice but we witnessed a staff blow up which is a reminder that you shouldn’t have open kitchens.
After that, we went to Winston’s, Saskatoon’s main beer bar. They did flights so I tried a bunch of Saskatchewan craft beers.
We went to bed relatively early for having gone to a bar.