Hey, lots of you know that I am involved with a music society based in Saskatoon. We are very cool. You can find out more about us here. Consequently, we've met a lot of fascinating musicians, who I like to call friends and we like to keep in touch via Facebook. Several of our friends live in the musical mecca of Asheville. That's right, I said Asheville, not Nashville. It's in North Carolina, do yourself a favour and check it out. If you haven't heard the likes of Dehlia Low and Town Mountain, leave your rock and do so immediately.
I need to take this opportunity to tease because according to Facebook, Ashevillians are not receiving the sort of winter they would like. Unseasonable warm temperatures have caused some of them to gripe about the spring-like conditions they are experiencing in January. "This weather is disturbing." "I miss winter!" "I agree! I want snow, not spring", they chorused.
I replied that I had a fair amount of snow I was willing to part with, and we could decide on a price later. This got me thinking that maybe I was missing out on a golden business opportunity. What if we ran all-inclusive winter vacations to Saskatchewan? Betcha we could haul in quite a few unsuspecting southerners who are looking for that authentic winter experience.
It would all begin at the airport where guests will be greeted enthusiastically and issued their winter gear; a snow suit (something old school that zips from the bottom of one pant leg all the way to the throat), a Co-op Feeds toque, and a pair of Kamiks two sizes too big, in order to accommodate at least two pair of wool socks. We’ll hand them a double-double and the keys to their rental pickup so they can experience the joy of winter driving…in Saskatoon. Guests can choose from any of the following amazing packages:
The ‘It’s Snow Wonder’ Package
You’ll experience Saskatchewan winter just like a local, as you become the Snow Angel for a whole city block. Grab a shovel and start clearing! Unfortunately, there won’t be time to check into your hotel first, the City is watching! Won’t this be fun? Too bad you didn’t upgrade to the Snow Blower package!
The Ski-doo Rally Package
We’ll make the trek to Anywhere, SK for their annual community snowmobile rally. Guests will be placed on the back of various snowmobiles, given their own flask of Cherry Whiskey and taught to hang on for dear life. They will end the night with a complimentary bowl of chili and a bottle of Pil at the community hall. Purchasing an arm’s length of 50/50 tickets is not mandatory, but it is encouraged. We don’t want to be seen as cheap visitors, now do we?
The Minor Hockey Game Package
We’ll spend the night in Anywhere at one of the well-appointed small town hotels available to us. We’ll attend a Minor Hockey League tournament. Guests will receive a complimentary rink burger and will be encouraged to try and eat it with their mitts on. Witness a real ‘Hockey Mom’ in action as she berates the ref and her husband starts a fist fight in the stands. Guests will be given a pair of skates and be asked to scrape the ice at intermission.
The Culinary Package
We'll spend time in a real Saskatchewan kitchen and use all the seasonal ingredients available to us…potatoes, canola oil and the last jar of beet pickles. Oh yeah, and some lentils. Maybe you know what to do with them, because we don’t.
The Curling Package
Guests will be introduced to the fast-paced world of curling. They will be given 4 rye & cokes, a broom and a pair of shoes with a piece of Crazy Carpet attached to the bottom of one sole. They must sign a waiver preventing them from asking too many questions.
If this interests any of you folks south of the border, now is a good time to come. With the windchill factored in, the last two days have been close to -40 degrees Celsius. Lucky for you, that's easy to understand, as it's equivalent to -40 Farenheit and yes, you read that right.