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A warm welcome to Winnipeg
For weeks we planned to show someone the sights and sounds of Winnipeg. We worked with local companies and even the mayor's office to make the visit a special time for our lucky contest winner. If the winner was from Canada we were taping the show during Victoria Day long weekend. If we had an American winner we were taping over Memorial Day. Unfortunately for Darcy, our Canadian contest winner, he was flown to Winnipeg during the crummiest weekend ever -- weather wise, anyway.

As Darcy's arrival day drew near I cringed at the weather forecast that continued to get worse and worse. Wind warnings, frost warning, ice pellets and rain. I was actually embarrassed for the city since we had a bunch of outdoor activities planned and this wasn't going to showcase Winnipeg very well. Nevertheless, we carried on with most of the itinerary and had some laughs along the way.
When Darcy checked into his room at the fabulous Fairmont hotel in downtown Winnipeg he was greeted with a prize pack from our friends at Tourism Winnipeg and even a letter from Mayor Brian Bowman. Yup, I know people.
Accommodations provided by
Top of The Charts & The Open Road Live from Winnipeg brought to you by SpeakFree Media and
In addition to a good Jeanne's cake, Winnipeggers appreciate some poutine. Darcy got the full foody experience with some local snacks and a tasty dinner at Hy's Steakhouse. We'll get to that in just a minute. But also in Darcy's room was some artwork from my dogs. Ernie and Basil worked very hard painting some pictures that they presented (and slobbered on) during the Winnipeg visit.

The photo opp at Portage and Main -- one of North America's windiest intersections -- was pretty deadly the night we ventured out there. We were met with crazy winds and, at times, ice pellets.

Of course the day Darcy left he was able to pick up a copy of the Winnipeg Free Press and check out my Winnipeg Cheapskate feature that encourages people to spend but also save creatively. (A spin-off from my bestseller The Official Guide to Being a Winnipeg Cheapskate.)