Category Archives: Travel

Austria: My homeland away from home

IMGP9897One of the greatest joys of traveling is discovering new places, especially those in the “old country.”

When it comes to my father’s homeland, I know he was born in a small village near Vienna in Austria – or the Austro-Hungarian Empire, as it was called in 1907.

His father was from Germany; his mother from Poland. They left Europe when my father was an infant, travelled by ship across the Atlantic, and eventually found their way to Manitoba’s Interlake region… Read entire story.  

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Viking River Cruises: Traveling the world the Viking way

IMGP9948Viking Cruises is an international company that operates the world’s largest fleet of river cruise vessels in Europe, Russia, China, Southeast Asia, and Egypt. Combining the ancient Viking tradition of exploring great waterways, with the most elegant comforts and luxuries, results in a sophisticated journey that’s second to none.

Viking’s state-of-the-art river boats are called ‘longships’ – and long they are. They’re also flat and streamlined to effectively traverse narrow locks and low-lying bridges. Compared to gigantic ocean liners, they’re considered small, with only three inside decks. On top is the very popular sundeck, where you can stretch out on loungers for 360-degree views of the ever-changing and charming European countryside. Read entire story.

Cape Cod: Timeless beauty, historical pride, patriotism lend nostalgic allure

The east coast has always held an alluringly nostalgic attraction. It’s where early European settlers received first impressions of the mysterious New World after leaving their lives behind to journey far across the ocean.

As a newcomer to Cape Cod, my first impression of this timelessly romantic landscape was that it’s nothing short of impressive.

Just 120 kilometers from Boston, Massachusetts, the Cape is an arm-shaped peninsula and island region, and world-class summer resort area stretching along 900 kilometers of unspoiled coastline… Read entire story.

Sonoma Valley: Seeing the forest through the trees

IMGP6465Cruising through the rolling Sonoma Valley, we see winding asphalt stretched out before us, and rows upon rows of grapevines lining the idyllic countryside.

Every crest in the road offers a new view of something old – weathered barn, quaint windmill, cozy farmhouse – steeped in striking contrast to vivid fall colours.

Every downhill dip brings exhilarating speed and momentary relief to our hard-working legs. Every corner turned brings promise of the next vineyard, just around the bend… Read entire story.

New York: These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you…

P1020707Being a fan of Seinfeld and Sex And The City, I’ve wondered what it would be like to be in New York, walking around those famous streets. In fact, I’ve long romanticized the notion.

The Big Apple made an impression on me the moment I stepped off the plane into LaGuardia Airport. There was a bustle in the air, and different kind of energy. All around I could hear notable New York accents as people engaged in conversations. Toto, we’re not in Canada anymore. Eh??

Aboard the shuttle, the driver took off like a bat out of hell, weaving and honking fearlessly in-and-out of rush-hour traffic. The couple beside me struck up a hilarious argument with him about how many stops he had to make, how long it would take them to get home, and could he change his route. It went on for nearly the entire ride. I chuckled silently to myself, highly enjoying the accent-to-accent verbal sparring. It could have been a scene right out of a movie… Read entire story.

Mont Tremblant: Slopes, sleds, spas, and more to explore…

IMGP7477You know you’re someplace special the moment you step off the plane at Mont Tremblant International Airport. With forest view in every direction, smell of wood smoke in the air, and a cozy log cabin terminal with couches and fireplace, you might think you’re at a lodge instead of arriving at Quebec’s third international airport.

The 35 kilometer drive north takes you through a picturesque countryside with winding roads and quaint country homes, before the landscape opens to reveal the Mont Tremblant resort village nestled in the Laurentian Mountains. The scene is breathtaking, and with beckoning downhill runs looming as a backdrop, you’ll either feel keen anticipation, or rising anxiety. I mostly felt the latter… Read entire story.

The Bahamas: Outdoor adventure, indoor luxury at Atlantis

IMGP6788I’ve been fortunate to visit a few resorts in my traveling life, but never have I stayed at one like Atlantis, Paradise Island. With loads of outdoor adventure, decadent indoor luxury, and full schedule of daily activities, you get the best of all worlds here.

Atlantis, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2014, is a sprawling property on one of the best beaches in The Bahamas. It’s situated on a peninsula, allowing for breathtaking views of turquoise waters and whites sands. It’s an ideal destination for group travel, because there really is something for everyone, and every budget… Read entire story.

Living the Las Vegas life

IMGP3220In 1829, a traveling party in the Mojave Desert noticed green areas fed by artesian wells. They decided it would be a good resupply point, and named the place ‘the meadows’ in Spanish.

In May 1905, Las Vegas was officially founded as a city, and when Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, Vegas began its rise as the gaming capital of the world… Read entire story.

Arizona: Desert delight

IMGP6089Arizona has always held an allure for me. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Wile E. Coyote chase The Road Runner across the desert. Or perhaps the old television westerns that depicted the landscape made it seem so exotic and exciting. Whatever the reason, I was happy to finally visit Arizona and soak up its charms – and sunshine.

Phoenix is the capital city, nicknamed the Valley of the Sun. A sprawling metropolis surrounded by mountains, Phoenix is situated in the Sonoran Desert and enjoys more than 300 sunny days annually.

Contrary to what some might think, this desert is not barren. It is teeming with animals like coyotes, bobcats, and rabbits. It has lizards, snakes, scorpions, and other creepy crawlies. The plant life is diverse, with flowers, shrubs, trees, and the coolest thing for a northerner to see – cacti!

I saw my very first cactus less than one minute after leaving the airport, and had my face pressed up against the car-window glass from then on. They are bizarrely beautiful. Some are small and round, while others are tall and thin. My favourites were the ones with ‘arms’ that looked like they were reaching out, waiting for an embrace. So I hugged a few of them. Carefully. Read entire story.

Cancun: Tropical paradise for couples

P1010629Tucked away in the middle of Cancun’s increasingly popular hotel zone, Golden Parnassus may seem small by sprawling-resort standards. While it can’t compete in size and swank to its neighbours, there’s one thing it does better than most other resorts on the strip – cater to an adults-only market.

Whether you live childfree by choice, or simply choosing to take a holiday without your children, Golden Parnassus is the perfect place for a relaxing vacation sans kids. It’s billed as being ‘exclusively for couples’ and delivers on that promise. You won’t find anyone here under the age of 18.

There are many advantages to visiting an adults-only resort. The first and most obvious is the fact there are no children around – not in the hallways, not in the pool, not on the beach, not in the restaurants. This allows for more peace and quiet since the sound of children is noticeably wonderfully absent. Plus, you won’t have to worry about accidentally saying something inappropriate for small ears. And what about waiting in lines behind hordes of restless families?

Never. Read entire story.

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