Portage La Prairie, Manitoba to Kenora, Ontario August 8, 2014

I think this is one of those places they mean when people say " You can watch your dog run away...for days!

I think this is one of those places they mean when people say ” You can watch your dog run away…for days!

Today we had arranged to visit friends in Winnipeg and as we did not want to land on their doorstep too early, we had a bit of a lie in then a leisurely breakfast. As it was we still arrived an hour ahead of schedule but our friends were warm and welcoming and didn’t seem to mind the time. 

Don (left) and Brian (right)  "Buddies"

Don (left) and Brian (right) “Buddies”

Don Jones and Brian met while they were working for Ganong Bros chocolate and were part of the sales team. Ganong got rid of their sale force in the 90s but Brian and Don kept in touch and both ended up as independent businessmen selling the same type of goods. If Brian is talking on the phone for more than 15 minutes….I know he is talking to “Jonesie”.  Lynn ( Don’s wife) and I had never met but by the time we left, if it was I had known her forever. 
Lynn & Don Jones

Lynn & Don Jones

I sure wish they lived closer as we had a grand visit and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Five hours went by in what seemed like a heartbeat.

The drive from Portage to Winnipeg is a short one but gave us one last look at the prairies, of course intermingled with more and more trees. The farm land is this area is excellent and I think they could grow anything here with there beautiful dark soil. Once leaving Winnipeg it was obvious we were leaving the prairies behind us and the patch of trees became forests and the fields became lakes and granite.

Assinboine River - still running high

Assinboine River – still running high

We left Winnipeg about 330 pm just as half of Winnipeg headed to “lake country” for this beautiful summer weekend.  Combined with heavy traffic, occasion heavy downpours and road construction it was a slow but scenic drive.

I was looking forward to staying in our “upscale” booking at the Best Western Lakeside Inn and Conference Center in Kenora.  I had checked other hotels when booking a month ago and found most places were completely booked.  They have a rowing competition here this weekend plus another event, so the city is busy. Sorry to say our upscale booking is sadly lacking and very over priced…now I know why they still had rooms when no one else did! We opted for dinner on the 9th floor on this round structure.  The dining room has a killer views and I wanted to take some photos but the windows need cleaning.

taken from the restaurant overlooking the lake

taken from the restaurant overlooking the lake

The service and food were both found lacking and I think we will pass up our 25% off breakfast and find a diner further down the road in the morning. I was also put off by having them put $330 on my credit card to cover the room costs($160 + taxes) and “incidentals.” $170 for “incidentals”…you have got to be kidding!  I was told they would refund the balance in the morning. Best Western always sends out an email survey when guests leave….pretty sure they won’t like mine! Tomorrow – Terrace Bay Ontario – pretty much in the middle of no where.

The Grumpy Grandpas

The Grumpy Grandpas