After boarding the Megabus at 2 a.m. I left the Harrisburg mall headed for the border. Uncomfortably seated in the back row between a mom and her two children, I watched the sunrise as we approached customs. The bus arrived in Toronto at the last minute, and I rushed off to hail a cab. In one of the most exhilarating moments of my life I yelled to the cabbie, “Get me to the airport as fast as you can!”
[**Travel tip: the cheapest way for me to get from Harrisburg, PA to Saskatoon ended up being a bus from Harrisburg to Toronto, then a flight from Toronto to Saskatoon.**]
Mid afternoon, I landed in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the land of the living skies. I was immediately greeted by my closest friend, Hayley, who had graciously invited me to stay for the week. Together we adventured in the Canadian college town (inhabited by the students of the University of Saskatchewan) which was surprisingly busy. Separated by the large river, on the east is college town, on the west is the business side.
First stop was the Western Development Museum, a fun and interactive way to learn more about the area. The people are incredibly friendly and welcoming. They are happy to answer questions and make the historical exhibits more interesting.
During the day, we toured the Saskatoon Zoo. The outdoor facility was beautiful and a great way to enjoy the weather. If you’re looking for night life, two-step on over to the Long Branch for a fun country western atmosphere with a packed dance floor! Located behind the Ramada Inn.
Right downtown, you’ll find Hudson’s. A great place to try my first taste of poutine (poo-teen). Poutine: a well loved Canadian dish of gravy and french fries. Delicious! The campfire poutine especially was very yummy.
Over the weekend we drove an hour and a half north to the beautiful town of North Battleford for some incredible views. Fields of canola create gorgeous bursts of yellow under the endless blue skies. Cows (and buffalo) roam the farm lands, porcupines casually stroll across the roads. I was graciously welcomed into a Canadian home. We spent our time jet-skiing, kayaking, and boating.
We also climbed the Cochin lighthouse (153 steps!), then enjoyed the beach at Battlefords Provincial Park, great for sunbathing and frisbee throwing. On our way home through Cochin, we stopped for an ice cream cone. If you are lucky enough to be there for Canada day (July 1), you can watch fireworks over the lake. Ask nicely and maybe you will treated to an authentic rendition of their national anthem, Oh Canada!
Warning: the mosquitoes will eat you alive. Apply lots of bug spray before leaving the house!
As my week long adventure concluded, I left Canada sunburnt and happy. My visit would not have been the same without the wonderful people. Special thanks to Hayley and her family, who welcomed me into their homes! I look forward to many more visits in the future.