If you thought our posts about Joylab and having my husband join us on vacation virtually were fun, answer me this…what is the strangest city tour you’ve ever been on? Mine was certainly our summer trip home to Regina, Canada…thanks to Z99 Regina and their advertisers!
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As you know, children often learn all the words to advertisements so quickly and those advertisements can stick with you as you grow. This is what let has led to our unique tour of my hometown.
I may not have lived in Canada for 18 years, but I still like to keep my hand on the pulse and my ear to the ground when it comes to life back home. I’ve even been accused of knowing what’s going on there before friends and family living there do! Other than reading the local newspaper online, I also listen to Z99 Regina most days of the week through their app on my TrevoloS speaker.
I want my children to be familiar with Canadian accents, not just the many local Northern Ireland and British accents they hear on TV and in person. And I like to hear the local Regina accent and feel closer to home, even when I’m over 6,000 km away.
CC and Lori were on Z99 when I was in high school and university, and it was usually the preferred station in businesses back then as well, so it was a bit like the fabric of the city. I will admit that when Ash is live, it confuses my brain to tune into Regina radio and hear a British accent!
As commercial radio stations tend to do, there is advertising for local businesses and products on Z99. Some of the slogans have been going for decades, while others are new.
One advertisement was for Booster Juice. When we had an 8-hour lay-over in Toronto we took the train into the city for a little look around. When under Union Station, the children pointed out, quite excitedly, that there was a Booster Juice! “That’s on Z99!” they exclaimed.
When we landed in Regina and then started walking around the city to see the sights, Tristan and Kallista would point out all of the places that they’d heard about on Z99 but hadn’t seen in person before. I think it helped them recognise this place that they’d been hearing about their whole lives, but couldn’t see in their minds’ eye.
Hot Spots For Kids in Regina
What did they see? Their photos are full of landmarks. Unfortunately, my laptop died within 24 hours of my back up drive and I lost most of Tristan’s photos, as well as many of my own files in that disaster…I’ll be trying to clean up that digital mess for a long time to come. But we have been able to recover some photos of his, as well as scour through Kallista’s photos and mine….
Regina Autobody with their famous car through the wall is always fun for kids to see. I remember passing by when I was a kid – although it was a different car back then.
Hillburg and Burk were in the Cornwall Centre, Sask Milk was right next to Minhous Distillery, which has some very uniquely flavoured spirits and beer. The children have often heard the ads for Luther College and we saw it from behind Government House, as well as from the front on our way to the RCMP Heritage Centre.
We visited the Saskatchewan Science Centre and JoyLab, where the children had an absolute blast!
We watched flag football at Mosaic Stadium while also watching the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Toronto Raptors on the MaxTron screen – the largest screen in Canada, and bigger than the basketball court the Raptors were playing on.
Of course, we had to stop by to see the ‘Big Hole‘ at Capital Pointe just before preparations began to fill it in after several years of being an open eyesore and the developers disappearing. Who would have thought a big hole in the ground would become a tourist attraction?
We were in town for Mosaic, a multicultural festival, and with their new child-friendly pricing structure, I was so happy to be able to take the children to see the pavilions on the Regina Exhibition grounds. They saw the Ukrainian, Cree, Greek, Philippine, African, and Scottish pavilions to learn about the different cultures and watch some dancing.
More culture wash soaked up at the McKenzie Art Gallery (and the children had fun watching the gophers while we had a picnic outside) as well as an additional 3 galleries.
No visit to Regina is complete without stopping by the University of Regina a few times! I spent a decade there as both a student and employee and find it interesting to see how it’s changed as well as to soak up the academic vibes and stop in here and there to catch up with friends and acquaintances.
My children are all about the food, so we swung by the Farmers’ Market for some dill pickle goat jerky – more than once!
We walked from the Saskatchewan Legislative Building (we also had a tour during our visit) to the Ukrainian Co-op to buy some garlic sausage and the children were able to look inside their two smokers.
And of course, their eyes bulged when Leasa treated us to Houston Pizza! It’s nothing like the pizzas over here in Northern Ireland…I remember when Phil first saw it 11 years ago! Tristan and Kallista couldn’t get enough of the stringy cheese; Leasa was laughing at them, as was I.
For The Future
Of course, we couldn’t get everywhere in one visit, so next time we’ll have to check out Temple Gardens, Cow Town (Tristan giggles over their adverts), Nikky’s Cafe, and any additional places they advertise in the meantime!
For a little fun, I even took the children past the Z99 offices on Saskatchewan Drive a couple of times, too – so if anyone saw a crazy lady with two excited children looking up and waving and taking photos of the building and the branded cars….that would have been us!
The next time you’re going on vacation, and you want to make it a fun and uniquely memorable trip for the kids – listen to the local radio station for a while before visiting and then see how many places they can find from hearing about them on the radio…it’s bizarre, but a great deal of fun!