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October 2013

MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA – I’ve got a good round of golf going but I’ve left myself short on my approach shot. I line up my putt for a 20-footer that I need to make to save par. I really need to concentrate, but the loudspeaker is pounding out Jimmy Buffett’s “Boat Drinks” and the Hawaiian waterfall is rumbling and my pale blue golf ball is stuck up against a fake rock. Earlier in the day I had teed it up at Tidewater Golf Club in North Myrtle Beach, a tremendous layout with undulating greens that resemble the figure of ... continue reading →

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MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA – Kitschy but tons of fun. Last time I was here I didn’t have time for the massive SkyWheel that dominates the landscape near the boardwalk here. This time, I made sure to check it out. I’m not one for heights but it was quite enjoyable and about $13 for 10 minutes. The lights were quite spectacular around the downtown/Peaches Corner area, where there are lots of arcades and beach stores and t-shirt shops and a Jimmy Buffett restaurant. I had a great meal down in Murrells Inlet, about 20 minutes south of downtown, earlier in ... continue reading →

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ON BOARD CATHAY PACIFIC – I slept like a rock on a flat bed. I had outstanding service. And I stuffed myself silly. I had the chance to fly business class on Cathay Pacific on my recent flight home from Hong Kong to Toronto, for which I was hugely thankful. It’s not something I get to do all the time. For the most part, I’m in coach or economy like everyone else. But the upgrades occur occasionally, which is a huge perk of this job. There were the usual hot towels when we got on board, and I think they ... continue reading →

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KOH SAMUI, THAILAND – What a great day. My first full day on this lovely island was actually spent almost entirely elsewhere; snorkelling up near Koh Phangan. We got hooked up with a tour that took us on a day-long excursion with really friendly and helpful guides and plenty of pop and water on board. It was about an hour to reach the snorkelling spot, a quiet kind of bay between two rocky islets off the coast of Koh Phangan, which is just north of Koh Samui and where they have those wild “Full Moon” parties each month. It wasn’t ... continue reading →

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AT THE FOUR SEASONS TENTED CAMP GOLDEN TRIANGLE, THAILAND – The service was exquisite. My tent was awesome. The trip to the Mekong River was fascinating. The water buffalo placenta at the nearby market was memorable. And the spa and the food and the setting were spectacular. But I’d be lying if I said the highlight of my one and-a-half day stay here wasn’t riding an elephant. As part of the experience, guests at the Four Seasons (voted best hotel in Asia recently by Conde Nast readers) are invited to try a two-hour mahout training exercise; learning a few basic ... continue reading →

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