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February 2015

I get asked a lot about what destinations to visit. It’s a fun question to answer. I don’t, however, always know the best TIME to book a trip. I know that hotels in New York City and Toronto and other business centres are often cheaper on weekends than during the week when biz folks travel the most. And I’ve always been told it’s best to book tickets for North America travel about four to six weeks ahead, the reasoning being that airlines know if we book a year in advance it’s probably a wedding or something important and that if ... continue reading →

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LAS VEGAS – The busiest intersection in this city, Las Vegas Blvd. and E. Flamingo Rd., was marked not long ago by the parking garage at an old-school casino named Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon. Today you’ll find one of The Strip’s sleekest celebrity restaurants, Giada, with giant windows looking out on the passing parade. Not only that, the restaurant is inside the sleek, new Cromwell Hotel, refashioned from the bones of Bills into a posh, boutique property. If there’s a symbol for how Vegas has changed, Giada and the Cromwell might be it. You’ll still find those maddening escalators ... continue reading →

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LAS VEGAS – My trip to Vegas in January was my third in the last four years or so. Yet I had a huge whack of new experiences, which tells you a lot about the choices in this town. We flew in on Air Canada rouge, which was just fine, and we had hotels and meals taken care of by Expedia.ca. I had my first trip to the Neon Museum, just north of downtown, where you’ll find a vast collection of old neon signs from places like the old Stardust and Binion’s Horseshoe and other casinos. I went during the ... continue reading →

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In case you hadn’t noticed, the red and white Christmas cards at Shoppers Drug Mart have been replaced with red and white Valentine’s Day cards. V.D. rolls around again on Feb. 14 this year, as it is wont to do. Hotels consistently try to cash in on husbands and wives looking for a quick getaway, or just a quickie, with package deals for breakfast in bed or flickering candles or chocolates and champagne. This year, they’ve been a sexy gift with the release of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, based of course on the scandalous books of the same ... continue reading →

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LAS VEGAS – I used to think I wasn’t a Vegas guy. That seems to be changing. The scale of the city, with its towering hotels and spraying fountains and oceans of pulsing lights, can be overwhelming at first. But the more I get to know it the more I find it to be a truly remarkable place. People came here years and years ago when there was little but rocks and dry desert scrub, and they’ve turned it one of the tourist meccas of the world. And also the most popular U.S. destination for Canadians. All of this is ... continue reading →

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