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Tuesday
Aug052014

solid as a rock

I love attending concerts and festivals. Particularly ones involving rock music. Manitoba is home to some great music festivals, and one that piqued my interest over the seven years I have been in Manitoba is Rockin’ The Fields of Minnedosa. This festival is organized and run completely by volunteers and takes place every August long weekend in the lovely community of Minnedosa, which is known as Manitoba’s valley paradise.

When Travel Manitoba invited me to be part of their #ExploreMB Like A Local campaign and asked if I would like to visit Minnedosa and attend Rockin’ The Fields it was a no-brainer. Of course I wanted to attend, in fact I was ecstatic and absolutely thrilled! When the August long weekend rolled around one of my best friends and I road tripped to Minnedosa. We spent the day exploring local attractions (see my recent blog post for some great Minnedosa getaway ideas), and that evening we headed out to the Minnedosa Rodeo (lots of fun!) and then on to the Rockin' The Fields of Minnedosa festival.

What an awesome set up for a festival! First off, you are surrounded by rolling hills and stunning views, which makes it such a beautiful creative space for musicians and concert attendees. Add to that easy access to Minnedosa Beach and a variety of amenities and attractions in the Town of Minnedosa and you've got the perfect spot for the August long weekend.

Rockin' The Fields combines rock music with camping, with many attendees choosing to camp adjacent to the stage grounds, but the Town of Minnedosa also boasts some hotels and B&Bs if camping is not your thing. There are two stages for music - the main stage and the second stage - and each stage hosts a variety of rock bands on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons there is also a jam under the big tent. Overall the weekend boasts around 20 different bands, and this year the headliners were The Sheepdogs, Honeymoon Suite, Bret Michaels from Poison, and Three Days Grace. Perfect for people who love to rock and roll.

There are also a variety of other options if you don't want to spend the entire weekend listening to music. This year Rockin' The Fields also hosted a car show, volleyball tournament, poker tournament, scavenger hunt, and you can also visit Minnedosa Beach, walking trails, golf course, and local businesses. The Minnedosa Rodeo is held the same August long weekend as Rockin' The Fields so you can spend the day at the rodeo and then rock out at night. There are food and merchandise vendors onsite at Rockin’ The Fields too, making everything within easy access. Lots of options to keep busy and to make your August long weekend one to remember in the Town of Minnedosa.

What can I say about the music? To sum it up with one simple word, awesome! There is lots of room to spread out and seating is available on the hill if that is your preference to view the bands, but many choose to sit in the grass picnic style or rock out next to the stage. We managed to catch Honeymoon Suite who totally killed it, showing they still definitely know how to rock. Up next was Bret Michaels from the band Poison. He was the highlight of the evening belting out his big hits such as Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Something To Believe In, Unskinny Bop, and Talk Dirty To Me. The crowds were pumped, the music was rockin', and I had a fantastic time. Thank you the Town of Minnedosa, Rockin' The Fields volunteers, and all others who made my first ever Rockin' The Fields of Minnedosa experience memorable.

For more information on Rockin' The Fields of Minnedosa please visit http://www.rockinthefields.ca/.

For more information on the Town of Minnedosa please visit http://www.discoverminnedosa.com/.

For more ideas on a Minnedosa getaway please see my recent blog post highlighting a variety of Minnedosa activities and events by clicking here.

Thank you to Travel Manitoba and the Town of Minnedosa for inviting me to discover Manitoba’s valley paradise and for sponsoring this blog post. The opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday
Aug052014

easy like sunday morning

Tucked away on a dead end street in the wonderful community of Minnedosa, Manitoba sits a newly opened bed and breakfast with an interesting local history. Recently I had the pleasure of being one of the very first guests at Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast. I was in Minnedosa for the August long weekend and was being hosted by the Town of Minnedosa as part of the Travel Manitoba #ExploreMB Like A Local Campaign. As I was attending Rockin’ The Fields of Minnedosa late into the evening, plans were made to stay in town overnight. I had no idea I would be treated to such a beautiful and luxurious bed and breakfast with a strong connection to local Minnedosa history.

Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast is part of the Stones of Memory self-guided tour of Minnedosa’s historic stone buildings. Scattered throughout Minnedosa are ten stone homes all constructed of granite field stones and built by local stone masons in the late 1800s. They are easy to spot as you drive around the town as their beautiful stones immediately catch your eye and pique curiosity. Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast was originally the personal project of Thomas Taylor, a popular stone mason in Minnedosa in the late 1800s who built the home for his family, and later he served as Mayor of Minnedosa in 1909. The home has undergone many changes over the years but still maintains lots of original charm. When Wendy and Kevin Wheelans purchased the home they decided to pursue the dream of owning their own bed and breakfast and Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast officially opened its doors to guests.

I am relatively new to B&Bs, but in my experience this one is a great choice! It seems as though no details have gone unnoticed. From plush bathrobes, Yves Rocher bath products, rain shower head, Egyptian sheets, pillow top mattress, lavish duvets, and fresh flowers in every room, Stone View Bed and Breakfast offers luxury and tranquility at a very affordable price. The decor is crisp, clean, and classic elegance which creates a very restful environment. Window views offer horses in pastures, the Minnedosa Golf Course, and cute gardens with its own swing perfect for a lazy morning.

Breakfast is served in an inviting and delightful dining room with hints of antique decor resting gracefully on the deep window sills. With beautiful blue china and silver tea set I felt very posh and spoiled. Wendy is a fantastic chef and our Sunday morning breakfast showcased her talents perfectly. Fresh fruit, homemade granola, cinnamon roll cakes, steaming hot coffee and a choice of a healthy smoothie, chocolate pancakes or a breakfast bacon and egg sandwich on homemade bread meant we certainly did not leave hungry.

After a great night's sleep and a delicious breakfast, our Sunday morning felt pretty darn perfect thanks to Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast. I have no doubt that this B&B will have many successful years and offer a wonderful experience for future guests.

For more information on the Stones of Memory Historic Stone Buildings Tour in Minnedosa please click here.

For more information on Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast located in Minnedosa, Manitoba please click here.

For more information on the Town of Minnedosa please click here.

For ideas on a Minnedosa getaway please see my recent blog post highlighting a variety of Minnedosa activities and events by clicking here.

Thank you to Travel Manitoba and the Town of Minnedosa for inviting me to discover Manitoba's valley paradise and for sponsoring this blog post. The opinions expressed are my own.

Monday
Aug042014

manitoba's valley paradise

Deep down I have always been and always will be a valley girl. I grew up in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia with fantastic rolling hills and views. There is something special about valleys and communities that are tucked in amongst them. I find comfort in the soft shapes and patterns of the landscape, and warmth in the gentle breezes as they roll over the hills. It was this strong valley girl feeling that made me instinctively know that Minnedosa, Manitoba’s valley paradise, would be a community I would enjoy and want to visit time and time again.


I have lived in Manitoba for over seven years and have driven past the Town of Minnedosa many times, yet never managed to find the time to explore it. When Travel Manitoba invited me to be part of their #ExploreMB Like A Local Campaign and asked if I was interested in discovering the Town of Minnedosa I knew it was the perfect fit for me. So with my best friend in tow, we road tripped to Minnedosa to explore its many attractions. What we discovered was more than just attractions. We met caring and dedicated volunteers pouring countless hours into their community, enthusiastic business owners, and lovely Minnedosa residents all wanting to discuss and share their love for their beautiful community, history, and home.

The general plan was to spend the day touring around the community and visiting local Minnedosa attractions. That evening we would attend two popular events held in Minnedosa every August long weekend - the Minnedosa Rodeo and Rockin' The Fields. After a night out on the town we would settle in at Stone View Natural Bed and Breakfast, a newly opened B&B located in the heart of the community. For two best friends who love to explore and meet new people this was the perfect plan, add to that absolutely perfect weather and we knew it was going to be a memorable August long weekend.

As we wandered around soaking up the sun and community vibes before we began our official tour we couldn't help but notice an array of flags along a beautiful walking path. "Oh those flags represent all the people that have moved to Minnedosa and made our community their home", gushes a Heritage Village volunteer dressed in authentic period costume. Imagine that! A community so welcoming to new residents that they will fly a flag in honour of their heritage proudly amongst the town's most prized community attractions. I knew immediately that Minnedosa was my kind of valley town, and I couldn't help but feel a bit choked up to see the Nova Scotia flag gently swaying in the summer breeze. Our day of discovering Minnedosa was off to a glorious start.


As we toured the community it became apparent that Minnedosa has something for everyone. For history buffs there is the historic Minnedosa Museum & Heritage Village with a vast array of local antiques and memorabilia. For nature lovers there are well maintained walking trails surrounded by bison, a charming river and dam, and sweeping views of Minnedosa Lake. For garden lovers there is an authentic Japanese Garden perfectly placed next to the town library offering a serene place to reflect and read. For sports fans there is a picturesque golf course with manicured greens dotting the gentle sloping peaks and valleys. For beach lovers you don't have to go far for a soft sandy beach, a gem of an attraction right in town, perfect for lazy days lakeside. For camping enthusiasts there is Minnedosa Campground, ideally located for families wanting a great weekend getaway. For coffee lovers they can head to Chipperfield Coffee Company where lattes and cappuccinos are made inside a beautiful old building complete with tin ceiling and a working jukebox. For cowboys and cowgirls the award winning Minnedosa Rodeo will be sure to hit the spot, and is filled with many exhibitions and events. For those who like to rock, there is no better festival than Rockin' The Fields Of Minnedosa, which brings a variety of musicians to town to rock out all August long weekend. Perhaps a romantic stay is more your thing, in that case a visit to Stone View Natural Bed & Breakfast with luxury amenities and delicious homemade breakfasts in a heritage stone home is the perfect choice. Overall, every single attraction in Minnedosa was enjoyable and fun and I highly recommend this community for a lovely Manitoba adventure. My bestie and I loved getting to know the community by day, and experiencing two fantastic Manitoba events in the evening - the award winning Minnedosa Rodeo and the solid rock festival Rockin' The Fields of Minnedosa.

As our evening drew to a close, I climbed into bed and began to reflect on my Minnedosa experiences. My heart was happy and my soul was satisfied. From dedicated volunteers at the Heritage Village giving detailed tours, to beautiful views from the lookout tower and walking trails, to chatting with locals in a charming coffee shop, to tranquil moments in an authentic Japanese Garden, to attending a fabulous outdoor music festival, I was happy I took the time to finally discover Manitoba's valley paradise. Thank you to all who made my Minnedosa adventure special. Please continue to be proud of your community, your attractions, your special events, and your spirit, because Minnedosa is truly fabulous. I will see you again soon, your valley town now has a piece of my valley girl heart.
 
Little Gray Bird's Guide To Discovering Minnedosa

Minnedosa Museum & Heritage Village

Step back in time and visit a very well thought out historic village showcasing many local artifacts in restored buildings such as a home, blacksmith shop, and school. The star attraction is the two storey octagon display building, one of only three such buildings in Manitoba, and the only one featuring an original upper cupola. For more information on the Minnedosa Museum & Heritage Village please click here.


Oxbow Nature Trail, Heritage Walking Trail & Flag Walk

Stroll through the heart of the Minnedosa community on one of these fine trails. With views of bison, the Little Saskatchewan River, Minnedosa Lake, Minnedosa Beach, fish ladder and dam, and flags from around the world, this is the perfect spot to enjoy nature and admire the community. For more information please click here.

Ishii Japanese Gardens

Discover a garden oasis in the middle of town by visiting the Japanese Garden which is an outdoor extension of the Minnedosa Library. This garden was created as part of a sister-city partnership between Minnedosa and Ishii, Japan and boasts such beautiful items such as a Chozubacki, a Shishi Odoshi, Zen Garden and a variety of plants all symbolizing love and appreciation for a proud partnership and history with Ishii, Japan. The library has been designed in such a way that the gardens can be viewed perfectly by a reading nook inside the library, or you can stroll amongst the garden by entering through a beautiful gate on the outside of the property. For more information on Minnedosa’s Japanese Garden please click here.


Minnedosa Golf & Country Club

Minnedosa's golf course offers well maintained greens with stunning valley views that are sure to please any golfer. With a pro shop, restaurant, and private lessons available this is an enjoyable 18-hole course and the perfect way to spend a relaxing day in Minnedosa. For more information on Minnedosa Golf & Country Club please click here.


Lions Lookout Tower

To experience a bird’s eye view of Minnedosa, a visit to the Lions Lookout Tower on the eastern edge of town is a must. The short climb to the top of the tower gives you a fantastic overview of the local beauty, landscape, and community. The Lions Lookout Tower is located near the Minnedosa Cemetery.


Minnedosa Beach and Campground

One of Minnedosa's finest attractions, Minnedosa Lake, is home to a soft sandy beach and 150 site campground. This is the perfect place to spend a lazy day with family having a picnic. For more information on Minnedosa Lake and Beach please click here. For more information on Minnedosa Campground please click here.


Chipperfield Coffee Company

This coffee shop offers a nice mix of antique and heritage with an urban coffee house feel. Sip on your latte, or enjoy a delicious slice of carrot cake while you listen to your favorite musical oldies on the working jukebox. Chipperfield Coffee Company is conveniently located in heart of the Minnedosa business district at 50 Main Street North.


Minnedosa Rodeo

Named rodeo of the year by the Heartland Rodeo Association in 2009 and 2012, the Minnedosa Rodeo is a cowboy or cowgirl's dream. With events such as barrel racing and muttin' bustin', a petting farm, an evening social and vendors including a mouth-watering ribfest this is one of Minnedosa’s most popular events. For more information on the Minnedosa Rodeo please click here.


Rockin' The Fields Of Minnedosa

Are you ready to rock?!?! Then you will want to hit up the popular Manitoba rock festival Rockin’ The Fields of Minnedosa. This event showcases many rock bands and also offers onsite camping, and a variety of entertainment including a car show, scavenger hunt, and poker tournament. Rockin’ The Fields of Minnedosa was voted the #1 festival in Manitoba in 2012. Run completely by volunteers, this is a premiere Minnedosa experience for any music lover. For more information on Rockin' The Fields of Minnedosa please click here.


Stone View Natural Bed & Breakfast

A newly opened B&B offering the perfect mix of old stone home heritage charm paired with crisp clean luxury. From extravagant bathroom products to high quality Egyptian cotton sheets, you will feel like a king or queen. Delicious home made breakfast is served in a beautifully restored dining room with high quality silverware and china. For more information on Stone View Natural Bed & Breakfast please click here.


For more information on Minnedosa and to plan your own adventure to discover Manitoba’s valley paradise please visit http://www.discoverminnedosa.com/.

Thank you to Travel Manitoba and the Town of Minnedosa for inviting me to discover Manitoba’s valley paradise and for sponsoring this blog post. The opinions expressed are my own.