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Woe is the Canadian dollar, eh? Hovering below the 70 cent line, and causing many of us who like to vacation in the U.S. no end of worry.The price of oil is seemingly to blame, what with barrels going for an unheard of $30 or so these days. As oil prices have cratered, so has the loonie, sparking all sorts of business headlines about what the government should do. At the risk of repeating an age old mantra of mine, I’m disturbed by the lack of talk about tourism. Oh, sure, there’s the odd story about how our dollar is ... continue reading →

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Quite the week here in Toronto for tourism/travel types. And I haven’t even attended a Christmas party yet! Things kicked off nicely – very nicely – on Thursday when the folks at California Tourism put on a ridiculously tasty lunch at a cooking showcase spot downtown. Southern California chef Suzanne Goin, who owns four restaurants and also has a chef husband who runs a few of his own, made some of the tastiest treats I’ve tried anywhere. Just amazing. Mind you, California has incredible, year-round produce to work with. And Goin used it; luscious red grapes she pounded with a ... continue reading →

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CAPE BRETON, NOVA SCOTIA – I pulled into the Nova Scotia tourism centre on the tip of this island and got to chatting with a woman about my two-day visit. We talked about where I was going and what I was writing and where I should stop. And then she paused for a minute. “Have fun,” she said. “Do us proud.” No problem on that front, my dear. Short of landing in a hurricane, I can’t imagine anyone not having nice things to say about this slice of Canadian paradise. Over the course of a little more than 48 hours, ... continue reading →

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ST. JOHN’S – A visitor last here five years ago or so is struck by how much this city has changed. There were signs of good times on Water St. and Duckworth on my last visit. But things have taken a major turn. There are (gasp) condos going up down near the Battery and in other parts of downtown. They’re not large, but still… There also are new, fun shops and restaurants; Basho, a Japanese fusion spot on Duckworth is one, although I didn’t get a chance to try. There’s also Chinched on Queen St., which offers traditional seafood and ... continue reading →

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This is a compendium (maybe even a gathering) of blog items from a trip I took to Slovenia in the spring of 2009. Four years later it remains one of my favourite trips ever and it’s a country I would LOVE to go back to. Highly recommended with all the thumbs up I can muster. LAKE BLED, SLOVENIA – Arrived after a stunning flight from Zurich that took us directly over Mt. Triglav in Slovenia and the Julian Alps and came into cute, little Ljubljana airport. Nice folks. The woman at the rental desk was great. When I told her it had ... continue reading →

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