Summer in Saskatchewan – Regina Government House
The next Summer in Saskatchewan adventure for the Liske family went a little differently than planned. We had hoped to head to Watrous and Manitou Beach for the day, but the forecast wasn’t looking very cooperative. Our oldest son was gone to camp for the week, so we decided to reschedule. Instead, we made the decision to play tourist in our own city, and show our kids more of Regina. First stop, Government House.
Our morning was spent at Government House, taking a tour of the residence and grounds. I have been many times, from school tours to now, but I love going every time! The older I get, the more I enjoy listening to the history of it all. While sitting in the beautiful Sylvia Fedoruk Conservatory, I began flipping through the daily logs from 1905. I came across the page where it recorded Saskatchewan had become an official province. Very cool to see written in the lieutenant governor’s own handwriting. We learned all about the family of the first lieutenant governor of Saskatchewan, Honourable Amédée Forget.
Our youngest two kids were along for the journey, and they spent the majority of our time searching for Jocko. Jocko was the Forget family’s mischievous pet capuchin monkey. The staff at Government House hide a stuffed monkey, whom they also call Jocko, in a different place every month. You may even get a little prize if you spot him! After they found Jocko, and claimed their prizes, we went downstairs to their Once Upon A Time room. There we found books to read, activities to do, toys, dress-up clothes- needless to say, it took some convincing to get the kids to agree to leave!
On the way out, we stopped in an exhibit sharing stories of people who immigrated to Canada. We read some funny first memories, others very somber. I couldn’t help but feel humbled to be Canadian. I did nothing to deserve being born here. A country that so many sacrifice much to come to. Some come after being plucked from what they know, and arriving in a strange, freezing cold place. Not speaking the language, understanding social interactions, knowing how to keep warm in the extreme cold- how hard would that be? This is happening today friends. Maybe they aren’t currently freezing, but our neighbours are coming to Canada from all over the world. Perhaps we could use our blessing as being Canadian born to be an encouragement and help their experiences in Canada to be positive ones. I strongly believe that love speaks louder than words, and across language barriers!
In case you didn’t know- as I also did not- Government House has quite a few gardens spread over their grounds. The front desk has a map of all the gardens, and we took our time wandering through, reading about each. We saw their fruit and vegetable garden, abundant in rhubarb, herbs, strawberries, and a monstrous pumpkin plant, to name a few. They have a beautiful lily and rose garden, with so many variations of these beautiful flowers. We accidentally found grapes as well, as we paused to take pictures and found some hanging overhead. There was so much to explore in Government House and on the grounds- we were there for nearly 3 hours!
After all that walking, we promised the kids some food. We’ve been trying to help them understand what “supporting local” means, they’re starting to understand. In continuing that effort, we went to La Cucaracha Cocina Mexicana on 13th Avenue. It is a small walk up stand, with an outdoor eating area. In the summer, I don’t think much is better than sitting in the shade, enjoying a taco and a cold drink with the people you love. Especially when there are hammocks to lay in while you wait- best ever. Cam had a rajas de Chile poblano quesadilla, as he loves spicier things. Me- not so much… I had the carne asada street tacos, which were superb! Top that off with a glass bottle of Coke, ahhhh…
Dessert on 13th Avenue, on a hot day- hmmm, where would we go? Dessart Sweets Ice Cream & Candy Store treats of course! Seriously, the phrase “like a kid in a candy store” is hands down, the best descriptor of excitement. Chubby little hands in every glass jar as they yell, “Look at this mom!”, to just as quickly dart to something else across the store. Ice cream, vintage candy, Pez dispensers of every variety- as far as the eye can see, I can understand the excitement! We were thankful for their patio, complete with tables and chairs, where we could sit to enjoy our summer treats!
Good food. Learning. Excellent company. Beautiful weather. That is what summer in Saskatchewan looks like to me!