This is part 4 of a series on our vacation to Canada and Minnesota in 2002, before I had a blog. Eventually, we see polar bears. Honest.
November 6-7, 2002
After our brief stop at the Mint, we drove into Winnipeg to find the posh Fairmont Hotel. On the outside, it was a tall, gray, nondescript building, but the inside was nicely furnished and the staff was helpful and friendly. They were not ready for us when we arrived, so we drove to the Forks Shopping Mall, not far from the Hotel, right across from the train station.
I bought a big red fleece jacket that said “CANADA” across the chest, like the wildly popular ones the Canadians wore in the 2002 Winter Olympics. I'm pretty sure now that actual Canadians didn't wear these jackets, but I felt a sort of solidarity with them. Plus, red is my color, so it was as much a fashion statement as political a political one.
There was a small Manitoba Museum outside the mall, so we checked that out as well. It had a stuffed polar bear, a buffalo, and some exhibits on Manitoba agriculture. This was our first polar bear sighting on the trip, albeit a stuffed on.
When we got back to the hotel, they were ready for us, so we checked into our room on the 19th Floor. We were on a Gold Level floor that had a special lounge for tea and evening drinks, along with coffee and pastries in the morning. The floor also had its own concierge desk. The people who worked at the desk took a shine to Alexander immediately and lavished him with attention.