Two days ago I returned from a four-day vacation to Manitoba, in and around Winnipeg. When I told people I was going there, most reactions were along the lines of “Good God, WHY?!” As I lined up to board my return flight to Toronto, the flight attendant overheard me gushing about how much “I really LIKE Manitoba!” and beamed, “REALLY? Thank you! That’s so nice to hear!” It seems that, on both sides, people are surprised to hear that one might actually enjoy the place.

I can tell you assuredly, I know cool when I see it and Manitoba is it.

In four days, I did a great many things. Among them:

I shopped at a Mennonite thrift store

…visited rebel gravesites

…enjoyed city architecture

…and snapped sorbet sunsets.

I saw other things too, snapshots of the grit that keeps people talking. And the province’s newish slogan is possibly a step beyond dumb. But you know what? I still think Manitoba’s pretty alright. A destination, even. A place that deserves some appreciation.

I promise.