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wine

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – I get to travel to some pretty amazing places in the world, and I check out a lot of great hotels. But I try not to research things too much for fear of raising my expectations and spoiling a nice surprise. That was definitely the case for my brief stay at the Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort in beautiful Scottsdale, Arizona. I was in town for a travel writers’ conference and didn’t arrive until late in the day. But I was immediately taken with the wonderful lobby entrance and the look and feel of the place, which ... continue reading →

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Jim Byers photo Pull up a Muskoka chair at the Killarney Mountain Lodge and watch the boats go by in the channel. KILLARNEY, ONTARIO – Low-key, country charm and a dash of city glam. Folks heading to fabulous Killarney, Ontario are lucky to have several places to stay. I tested out two outstanding – and very different – properties during my visit. Killarney Mountain Lodge is a low-rise, old-fashioned kind of country spot with a big, screened-in porch, a central unit with several rooms and a series of small, wooden cottages spread over acres of grass and lovingly tended, colourful ... continue reading →

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WANDERING THE NAPA VALLEY IN CALIFORNIA – I often tell folks in Canada that I vastly prefer Sonoma Valley to Napa Valley when it comes to wine tasting and generally tooling around. But I think I have to them back on pretty even ground. I spent a lovely day in Sonoma a week or so ago. We then drove over to Napa for a night at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, which doesn’t look like a chain hotel. There are lovely flowers and a really nice-looking, free-form pool in a courtyard surrounded by large trees. They had an ... continue reading →

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SONOMA, CALIFORNIA – It started out weak, but ended strong. I was in Sonoma County, California the other day for a far-too-brief visit to the town of Sonoma and then to check out a couple wineries. After a short stop for lunch at a bakery/sandwich place in the pretty town of Sonoma, with its old-time square and sturdy City Hall, we headed up the road to check out the Eric Ross Winery. Of course, I was driving my Dad’s new Hyundai and the GPS took us on the most circuitous route imaginable; up and over steep hills and through canyons ... continue reading →

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Golf. Beautiful deserts. Spas. Cactus. Pretty good Mexican food. Those are some of the standard cliches you hear about Arizona. And with good reason. The golf is excellent, the desert landscape haunting and lovely, the spas to-notch, the cactus ever-present and the Mexican food to die for. 53_Vineyard-Wine_Photo Credit AOT But there’s so much more to the Grand Canyon State than that. Such as olive oils. Fresh citrus and tons of other produce, including organic honey. Great shopping in cities such as Scottsdale. And very good wine. We here in Canada may think of low-lying cities like Phoenix and wonder ... continue reading →

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