A few weeks ago, in the middle of August our little family of three set out for first BIG trip. We headed out on our annual vacation to the Canadian prairies to visit my family and to introduce them to our newest addition. Last year, my husband and I traveled to Manitoba to announce our pregnancy in person, this year were were bringing baby with us! It was our first flight with him, I was nervous but he was an excellent little travel companion. My sister, who is a flight attendant briefed us on the do’s and don’t of traveling with baby before hand which was helpful. One big tip that I would recommend to parents traveling with little ones, is to nurse at take off and landing. It helps to relieve the cabin pressure on baby’s ear. I did this for each flight and we didn’t have any issues or crying at all. He enjoyed looking out the window and had a cute surprised reaction when we took off and starting soaring into the clouds.
Once in Manitoba, my Grandparents were absolutely smitten with Bennett the moment we arrived. My Grandfather was already on the front steps waiting to greet us and meet him the second we pulled in to the driveway. These two blue eyed guys were fast friends!
We ventured out to Steep Rock Beach on Lake Manitoba for a day trip. In all my years of living and going to Manitoba I had never been there, so I was excited to create new memories with my family. We had a lot of fun splashing around in the warm water with our water baby. We had burgers at the little lakefront cabana, hung out in the hammocks and there wasn’t a mosquito in sight! Who would have thought this tropical view is on the prairies?!
On another one of our day trip adventures we traveled to another place that I hadn’t been before, Hecla Island Provincial Park. It’s a charming Icelandic Heritage fishing village that has been well preserved. We went on a walking tour and had lunch at the nearby golfing resort. Driving into the island there is water on either side and pelicans swooping down into the water, it feels like you’re in the Florida Keys.
One of my most treasured memories and sweetest moment of our trip was when Bennett sat in his Great Grandfather’s barber chair. My Grandpa is almost 90 years old and still has a very busy barber shop in his small hometown of Fisher Branch. This chair is such a beautiful piece of history, I think of it as a family heirloom as so many of us have sat in it over the years for hair cuts. It was so much fun watching these two goof around the barber shop.
We had a wonderful time visiting my Grandparents in their hometown. I mean truly wonderful in every sense of the word. I always feel so connected to my roots when I’m there and love sharing that with my husband and now Bennett too. It’s an amazing feeling to go to a place that you’re family first landed in when they came to Canada. It’s incredible and inspiring to see the old homesteads still standing, that they built by hand. On last years trip I brought my husband to the homestead, pictures of that are on last years post if you’re interested in seeing them, HERE.
After our stay in Fisher Branch we headed to the capital city of Manitoba, Winnipeg. We spent the day exploring the city and ended up at The Forks market to cap off the day. I always enjoy walking around The Forks, along the river front, checking out the vendors, listening to live music and of course trying all the food. There was an especially sweet moment when I stopped the stroller to listen to a busker who was playing the fiddle. Bennett really enjoyed watching the fiddler who played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – just for him! It was so sweet and I’ll never forget that moment. I had to stop to take a photo of Daddy and baby in front of this cool hand painted sign at The Forks Market. It says, ‘Everything Old and Everything New’ which I think is the perfect quote for our Manitoba trip.
For our stay in Winnipeg I booked a Airbnb at a colourful, historic and regal home in a historic area of the city. If you ever stay in Winnipeg I definitely recommend staying there! Our hosts Erin and Gareth were lovely, I had met her years ago at the vintage shoppe she used to own in Winnipeg. I will let the pictures speak for themselves. Her decor style is a combination of retro, Scandinavian and vintage and it all melds together seamlessly.
We rented the entire top floor of the house which was really nice to have so much space. Traveling with a baby there is a lot of stuff so to be able to spread out while traveling with everything in tow was nice. Side note, I am on the hunt for a Monstera plant after seeing them displayed all over our Airbnb. Loved the jungalow vibes!
We have a water loving baby! Splashing around in the colourful claw foot tub was a nice way to wind down the night and end our trip before heading home to BC.
See you next year Manitoba!