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January 2017

FORT LAUDERDALE – I wasn’t sure about this. I generally trust tourism board folks when they suggest things for me to do in their area. After all, they’re the experts. Still, as a long-time lover of Hawai’i and Polynesian culture, I was a bit skeptical when the folks at Fort Lauderdale’s tourism office hooked me up with dinner, drinks and a show at a place called Mai-Kai Restaurant, a short drive from the city’s famous beaches. Having seen some pretty lame Hawaiian dancing in various parts of the world and having sampled a few too many too-sweet Mai Tai’s that ... continue reading →

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THIS STORY ORIGINALLY APPEARED JAN. 18 ON POSTMEDIA AND SUN MEDIA WEBSITES ACROSS CANADA LOS ANGELES – I’ve been given a tough assignment by the tourism folks in Los Angeles; tour the city and eat at places that even A-list celebs have trouble getting into. Sip a glass of wine or two with your meal. Stay at a couple of glam hotels. Tour the Grammy Museum in advance of next month’s Grammy Music Awards and the Academy Awards. Take the Warner Bros. Studio VIP Tour. Eat and drink some more. I can drink from $200 bottles of wine and nibble ... continue reading →

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The world and I are one. A recent Expedia poll of travellers finds that two of my biggest pet peeves about travelling are exactly the same things that bother most of you, namely seat kickers and seat reclining slammers. Sixty four per cent of respondents said rear-seat kicking is their biggest pet peeve. Next on the annoy-o-meter was the seat slammer, mentioned by 59 % of those surveyed. Other big no-no’s on the list were “aromatic” passengers; those with too much cologne or not enough time in the shower, as well as excessive booze hounds and folks who think we ... continue reading →

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THIS ITEM ORIGINALLY APPEARED JAN. 11 on POSTMEDIA AND SUN MEDIA SITES IN CANADA. The loonie remains in the doldrums. But winter’s getting you down and you’re dying to hit your favourite U.S. getaway spot. Lucky for us, there are still some great American destinations that aren’t too expensive. There also are ways to save on visits to cities and places you might think of as outside your budget. Here are some suggestions. ST. PETERSBURG/CLEARWATER This is a favourite area for Blue Jays fans, as the Jays play their spring training games in nearby Dunedin. Dunedin is a great spot ... continue reading →

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The city of Okotoks, Alberta was ridiculed couple years ago when one section of a page of their campaign read “There are a number of things to do in Okotoks.” Yeah, that’s probably not going to win any major advertising awards. Back in the 1990s or so, the city of Barrie, Ontario had a sign when you came into town saying, “Beautiful Barrie, Ontario’s Most Progressive City.” I was never able to prove that, but last I checked there weren’t any homeless people, all the elderly were well looked after and the only crimes were small children shoplifting tiny bits ... continue reading →

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