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ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN – Fine, flavoured rum. Sweet-smelling local soaps. And a dreamy beach resort with one of the best massages I’ve ever had. I had the good luck to spend roughly 24 hours in St. Maarten (and an hour or so on the French side, St. Martin) following my Caribbean cruise with Sea Dream Yacht Club. And found a lot to like. We started our day (my wife was with me, which is always great) in Marigot on the French side, where we strolled through the waterfront markets and bought some trinkets to take . home. It feels a ... continue reading →

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Christmas lights that would make the Griswold family green with envy. Hot chocolate and mulled wine on a snowy winter’s night. There are plenty of traditional Christmas activities taking place over the holidays across Canada this year. But you’ll also find some oddball bits that bely our boring reputation; murder mysteries in Calgary, ugly sweater cruises in Toronto’s harbour and a festival in Newfoundland where folks are encourage to don an over-sized bra. Here’s a look at some great places and ways to celebrate the holiday season. ALBERTA The best place for winter in Canada (in my estimation) has a ... continue reading →

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ROTTERDAM – I have to give the people of this city credit. After World War II, after they sifted through the ruins of a city mercilessly bombed by the Nazis, they made a bold decision. Rather than try to make everything the way it was, they opted instead to take their clean slate and rebuild a modern city. The decision has had mixed reviews, but there’s no doubt Rotterdam today stands out with a very different style than Amsterdam. If you ask tour guide and local artist Willem Besselink, that’s a good thing. “Before the war, the city looked much ... continue reading →

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SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA – This drop-dead-gorgeous city in southern California already has endless beaches, bountiful sunshine, urban wineries selling delicious local wines and killer restaurants featuring a huge array of local cuisine. Now they’re working on a permanent, new market complex that should open next year, one that could rival Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market or the wild and wonderful Pike’s Place in Seattle. It’s just not fair that an area that already has such natural beauty and can probably make almost everything except maple syrup is kicking it up a notch like that, but nobody ever said tourism was fair. ... continue reading →

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