Hometown? Not exactly. As an army brat, I don’t have a hometown. But Souris, Manitoba is where my father lives. Not exactly the tourist destination one thinks of for summer vacation when you live in Aylmer, Quebec. But when relatives live across the country, (and we military families do get sprinkled across the country), you vacation where you must.
Frankly, Souris (not pronounced like the true French, sooREE, but the bastardized English way of SOORis), is a delightful town, full of tourist attractions, like the famous swinging bridge (longest swinging footbridge in Canada!), and also many unexpected sights, especially in the summer. (After all, who visits their father or anyone in Manitoba in any other season!) Take the peacocks. They own the town, and this time of year, the peahens peck around with their new babies. Look closer at the photo – there’s a couple of chicks. There’s a little museum, a wonderful waterpark-style outdoor swimming pool at the campground by the meandering little river, with drop-in aquasize classes. There’s a deli that makes the best homemade soups, sandwiches, and wood-fired pizzas, served with small-town friendliness and prices. The golf course is surprisingly lush-green and hilly and treed.
One other unexpected bonus in Souris for me this year – there’s a lovely store that consigns original work from local artists – “Lagasse’s Studio of Fine Art”. As an author, and local to nowhere, I never considered myself an “artist” to be displayed in such a refined shop. But Kathleen the owner enthusiastically accepted some of my Camp Follower books (you know, the ones you always haul around in your trunk wherever, even on vacation 😉
Thanks, Kathleen, and Souris, and Dad – see you all next year! And for those of you looking for an unusual tourist spot to visit, consider this little prairie town. I’d recommend the summer, though 😉