Month: August 2019

Rockin’ in Panama

Nothing had prepared us for the intense heat. However basking in the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel overlooking Panama City makes it almost bearable. Behind us, comfortable cabanas provide shady respite from the unrelenting sun. Young servers flit among guests with orders from the Float Bar and cafe. Meanwhile, music blares from morning into the night. No one seems to mind. After all, it’s this party atmosphere that brought them here to the Hard …

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Delightful Berea, Kentucky

Often road trips are the best way to get from A to B, especially if they involve an overnight stay or two along the way. There’s no guessing what gems you’ll discover. Such was the case when my husband and I undertook a trip from southern Ontario to Florida to conduct research for the annual Travel Guide to Florida. I had allowed for an overnight stay at the halfway point of our trip. I knew …

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Racing to the DAYTONA 500

The excitement is palpable. Racing fans of all ages, sporting their favourite driver’s colours, line up outside the gate. And it’s only 6:50 a.m.! There’s no other sport quite like NASCAR and the DAYTONA 500 is the grandaddy of them all. Every February, the scene repeats itself at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach and organizers always promise this hive of relentless movement and energy will be a great experience. Within sight and easy …

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Live it up in Grand Style

Think of Mont-Tremblant, Québec, and snow and ski slopes immediately come to mind. However this destination offers a variety of enjoyable activities and events year-round. As bed-and-breakfast owners in Niagara-on-the-Lake, it was a rare treat to realize to have four free days to ourselves during our summer peak season. Eager to spend time with family members from Montréal, we couldn’t resist an escape to Mont-Tremblant—the perfect place for our family gathering. The challenge: find comfortable …

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Wild and Quirky Festivals

Festivals appear to be in our very nature. Regardless of where we live, humans seems to have an affinity to celebrate everything from normal everyday occurrences to the ridiculous. In fact, if you want to understand a country’s culture better, try attending one of its festivals. Music, art, food and wine harvests are commonly the focus for many mundane festivities; however, some challenge the height of absurdity, making them all the more appealing and utterly …

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Florida Vibes

Like many Canadians, I had visited different areas of Florida over the years. However I never truly appreciated its diversity until my husband and I embarked on a 35-day road trip through the Sunshine State. We started in Monticello and Tallahassee, the state capital, then headed west over to Pensacola on the Gulf coast and drove south all the way to Key West along the west coast, then north again up the Atlantic Coast to …

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Road Trippin’ Kiwi Style

MY HUSBAND FREQUENTLY TOYS WITH THE IDEA OF DRIVING A RECREATIONAL VEHICLE (RV) ACROSS CANADA, THE USA AND PERHAPS EVEN DOWN TO THE SOUTHERN TIP OF SOUTH AMERICA. Now, I do realize some North American models are huge and equipped with every modern appliance and convenience one could ever imagine needing on the road, giving a whole new meaning to the term “road warrior.” Yet, I cannot fathom life trapped in a metal container on …

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Hawaiian Passages—Far From the Ordinary

WHERE THE HUMPBACKS WINTER, THAT’S WHERE YOU’LL FIND THE SAFARI EXPLORER, A SMALL PASSENGER CRUISE SHIP OWNED BY AMERICAN SAFARI CRUISES. The idea of pursuing adventure in casual elegance on board a 36-guest luxury yacht was most appealing. Our voyage would take us to Lanai, Molokai, West Maui and the Big Island of Hawaii to mingle with locals and experience Hawaiian traditions and culture. A CLASS ACT A ferry transported us from the port of …

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Medical Travel Insurance. Never leave home without it!

I cannot say this often enough! Medical travel insurance is not an option—it’s a necessity, especially today. And I don’t care what age you are. Equally vital is making sure everyone involved is well informed on the reporting procedures. My husband travelled on his own to Portugal to visit family. Normally, I would have accompanied him, however, due to tight editorial deadlines on the magazine I edit, I could not. It was a freak accident. …

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Spas are Pure Bliss—and More

I absolutely love spas and everything about them—the tranquility, the scents, the ambiance, the sounds, the colours, the soft-spoken therapists, the treatments, the lounges, the bathrobes and slippers, the refreshments… All appears to be so perfectly orchestrated and I completely surrender to the experience the moment I walk in. I am rarely disappointed. I also enjoy a good story and often spa treatments are based on a country’s culture, which usually includes beliefs, legends and …

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