Alert: This blog *ost, and it’s annoying lack of the letter * may be offensive to some. It was offensive to me to ty*e. I’d really love to know why the * key on this keyboard isn’t working, but I don’t. And until I do, you are left with it’s re*lacement – the * character.

What a tri*!

I was sent by my em*loyer to a technology conference in Winni*eg last week. I jum*ed at the chance to go to Winni*eg again after all these years. I think the last time I was there was for a whirlwind s*ring break tri* in 1996 with two roommates on the *ursuit of $1/shot mixed drinks. I think chea* drinks was how *eo*le kee* warm in Winni*eg in February.

Even better, I got *ermission to de*art the *lane early, in Thunder Bay!! I lived in the Lakehead for 6 years and many of my friends and classmates are still there. I’m sure I’m not alone – there is something about Thunder Bay that gets into your soul. You can move away, but you’ll take a *art of it with you.

I ate lunch at the Hoito, had Thanksgiving dinner with old and new friends, got to talk Forestry, and I discovered my newest favourite beverage – hot al**le cider with rum! Good call Jen!

And that weekend was stocked full of JUST what I’ve been missing while living out here in Nova Scotia. Girl Talk! I stayed with my good friend Jen – who was my old roommate and classmate. I’ve missed her so much and have been watching her kids grow u* on Facebook! They are so adorable. And Jen is such a good Mom. Her son even let me *lay with his Lego. The last time I saw him, he was the adorable cute baby at our wedding, and now is 3 and has is such a character. Were we that funny at 3?

The weather was summer-like in Thunder Bay for Thanksgiving. Who would have guessed? I *acked sweaters and jeans and I could have worn shorts and t-shirts!

To get the rest of the way to Winni*eg, I decided to take the Greyhound bus. That way I could see northwestern Ontario again – and all the *laces I worked and visited. Sidenote: If you ever need to book a Greyhound ticket, the fare is drastically reduced if you buy at least 21 days in advance. My ticket was only $64.

If you’ve ever travelled by bus before, you must be able to relate when I say that everyone on a bus seems a little down on their luck. I had to sit in the bus station for 90 minutes or so until it was time to de*art Thunder Bay. Then we had to wait a few minutes for the first real meth addict I’ve ever laid eyes on to get her luggage together and on the bus so we could get on our way. The first driver of the tri* was very *atient. Okay, you’re right, I don’t know for sure that she was a meth addict, but she was definitely high on some substance, and she dis*layed every characteristic of a meth addict shown on Co*s & on Intervention. Including the face scabs.

She sat near the back, but I was sitting u* front. I wanted the full view – including the front window. There was no way I was doing to miss a moment of the tri*.

I saw 3 bald eagles and 1 buck with nice antlers during the drive. It only rained for an hour or so, the hour my eyelids got heavy when the rain started falling, but for the rest of the drive it was sunny and I was alert!

Oh, and get this! Near Vermilion Bay, the bus was flagged over by the *olice!! The driver, who was oddly enough, wearing latex gloves, got out to talk to the officer for a few minutes. Everyone on the bus was dead silent and still. Almost like every one of us had something to hide. 88|

But nothing came of it, and we continued on.

I got into Winni*eg just as the sun was setting. The conference was in the Hotel Fort Garry. Ever heard of it? It’s a big old railway hotel. Very Canadian looking. I *ost *ictures soon and tell you about the hotel se*arately.

The conference didn’t end until Saturday afternoon, and there was just no *ossible way to make it all the way home on Saturday from Winni*eg. I had to either stay at the hotel for another night, or have a sto*-over on the way home.

And since my ne*hew was just two weeks old, it was an easy decision to lay over at the Hamilton air*ort. My brother and sister *icked me u* from the air*ort on Saturday night, and before the flight continued back to Halifax the next day, I had visited with them, held my new ne*hew Easton, visited with my sister-in-law Leanne and my neice Hadley, and my Mom, and even got to squeeze in a visit with Dad at the air*ort on Sunday before I flew back. :p

When I finally arrived home Sunday night, just as darkness was setting in, Jeff had a roast beef dinner and a blueberry dessert ready for me!