WINDSOR – I was following my Google maps and heading into central Windsor to meet a fellow for a bike tour that would take us to a couple craft breweries and one of Canada’s best burger places. I wasn’t paying much attention to the surroundings, but was instead concentrating on making the turns that my iPhone kept reminding me to take. When I finally stopped the car and really looked around I was in a gorgeous neighborhood surrounded by deep red, brick homes with lush, vibrant gardens. The pale green and white hostas seemed to glimmer that extra bit and ... continue reading →

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TORONTO – Sumptuous rooms with wonderful views. One of the city’s best patios. And one seriously sensational restaurant. I had a night recently at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto, where I hadn’t stayed in years. And I’m happy to report it exceeded expectations on all fronts. I don’t recall the old room style so much, but I loved the feel of the one we had. A lot of modern hotel rooms these days are cold and impersonal, but the one my wife and I shared was warm and inviting, yet quite luxurious. The room had deep, dark wood that was ... continue reading →

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ON THE ROAD AGAIN – I’m rattling down the Garden State Parkway out of busy Newark Airport for a trip to New Jersey and New York City. It’s a confusing roadway with tolls and overlapping lanes and changes in direction, so I open the Google Maps app on my iPhone and head on down the road, feeling a bit of Bruce Springsteen in me. A couple days later I need to find the address for the Circle Line boat tour group that takes you out on the Hudson and East Rivers for great views of New York City. No problem. ... continue reading →

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TORONTO – I walk up a flight of stairs and emerge into a wonderland. Swirling, intricately carved arches of brilliant white stone dance around my head. Soft blue lighting infuses the room with a deep glow, then turns green and yellow and soft orange. The light seeps around corners and plays onto brilliant white pillars that rise towards a series of equally stunning ceiling panels. I’m not a religious person, but the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is what I imagine the halls of heaven must look like; with so much purity and soft yet brilliant light that bathes the body ... continue reading →

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WINDSOR, ONTARIO – Fabio Muscedere is pouring samples of his family’s wine for me to try at their tasting room south of Windsor. His sister, Melissa, who’s the wine business expert and runs day-to-day operations, is bustling about and greeting others who’ve wandered into the tasting room. Outside, Fabio’s mother, Pat, is busy sliding trays of fresh-made dough into the outdoor pizza oven on their shady patio. Their Dad, Mario, is bouncing along in his tractor in the vineyards, clearing weeds and keeping an eye on the grapes that are ripening in this hot Ontario summer. The son of Fabio’s ... continue reading →

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Canadians have been known to complain about their travel rewards’ programs from time to time. Aeroplan, the rewards program that provides points for folks who fly with Air Canada and other airlines, and who buy products at Esso stations or shop at other Aeroplan partners, is no exception. As a travel writer, I occasionally hear someone grumble about Aeroplan. As a traveller myself, I use Aeroplan a lot, so I understand. I’ve been an Aeroplan member for 30-something years, give or take, and it’s not perfect. I can’t always find the flight I want for the number of points I’d ... continue reading →

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That perfect castle on a cool hilltop in Europe. That amazing overwater bungalow you saw in Tahiti on TV. Or perhaps the latest boutique spot for hipsters in Hollywood or Vancouver. We all could use a break. And now the folks at Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of where to stay, is giving Canadians a chance at just that. Booking.com is marking the addition of their one millionth property with an “epic competition” that will give some lucky Canadian a week in the one-in-a-million property of their choice. Their new contest is open to ... continue reading →

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