We were up at 3:30 a.m. I’m used to going to bed at that time, not waking up to it, but it was well worth it. Everything was beyond perfect. The weather was gorgeous. The cabby was incredibly friendly and on time. The airline overlooked the fact that Natasha’s bag with the set pieces was “overweight”. Since the flight was somewhat empty and we were flying with Air Canada staff, we got upgraded to business class! I’ve never flown business class before. I’m not sure why you’d pay that much extra for a cup holder (which ok, the cup holder made me incredibly giddy) and some free food, but I’ll definitely take it if it’s free.
Our billet was kind enough to come pick us up at the airport (now 8 a.m. Manitoba time) and this is where everything just kept getting better and better. He gave us a quick drive-by tour of downtown Winnipeg and we got a quick peek at our future venue (among others). Then he showed us around his neighbourhood, offering us bicycles and even the use of his second vehicle if we needed to get around. We arrived at his beautiful home and were directed to the newly renovated basement where we would be staying. It’s huge and includes a private bathroom, laundry facilities, television, mini-fridge and a bar… Seriously? After hearing many a horror story about billets from some other Fringe veterans, I just couldn’t believe our luck.
We spent the rest of the day getting groceries, napping and enjoying the sun. Everyone smiled at us and would say hello wherever we went. We started joking that it must be some kind of law to be kind to strangers… then we noticed the license plates. Yesterday was incredibly relaxing and I knew we needed it before the festival kicked it into high gear. Things in Winnipeg are definitely looking good.