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California

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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KEY WEST – The Florida Keys have always been a favourite for me. I’ve always driven down from Miami in the past and enjoyed watching the colour of the water change and checking out the odd tiki bar along the way for a beer and a blackened fish sandwich. Usually I drive, but this time I flew in with some other Canadian travel writers, landing on the short runway at the airport in Key West. Someone on our very short bus ride into town was telling me they find it hard to describe the feeling of coming from a cold ... continue reading →

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What a great study. I mentioned on Twitter the other day how I found a study that compared the cost of club sandwiches and a mini-bottle of vodka at various hotels around the world. That was fun. But now comes a far more exhaustive study that looks around the world at everything from the cost of a Big Mac to the price of a man’s haircut, a standard beer, a cheap date and the cost of a five-star hotel room. It’s useful information if you can believe all of it. But I’ll get to that in a minute. In the ... continue reading →

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It’s Jimmy time. Yes, while many of you are gearing up for the deep freeze at the Winter Classic with the Maple Leafs or Red Wings or toasting the new year at a posh hotel in New York or Jamaica, I’m home in Toronto counting my blessings and staying close to my overtaxed radiators so I can stay warm while I type up my list of Jimmy Award winners for the year that’s about to come to a close. I was immensely lucky in this past year and was able to visit some astonishing places and do some amazing things. ... continue reading →

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SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA – Beautiful views. Fabulous food. Colourful culture. And a great, chic hotel. This has always been one of my favourite towns, with truly iconic sights and just about anything you could ask for in a vacation spot. We started our weekend with a visit to the unbelievable farmers market on Arizona Ave. There were organic vegetable of just about type and size; leeks and limes, Japanese turnips, ripe orange persimmons, giant bush-sized bunches of romaine lettuce, crisp apples and strawberries as red as a shiny fire truck. They put a lot of pride on organic products in ... continue reading →

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