Sunday, February 24, 2008

Canadians in Norway


I was hoping to run into a few Canadians while on my ten-day Norwegian odyssey.

Well, I did meet two other travel journalists, one from Calgary and the other Toronto.

But that doesn't count.

I mean real Canadians living in this country.

Thanks to Google, I stumbled upon a blog titled
A Canadian in Norway.

It's not the real deal, but as close as I could get to a Canadian living in Scandinavia.

Today I'm off on a six-day
Hurtigruten-Northern Lights Cruise between Kirkenes and Bergen.

I'll keep looking for Canucks.

Kirkenes, Norway is located 400 km north of the Arctic Circle. It's in northeastern Norway, near the Russian-Norwegian border.
Photo by Sue Frause.

To read more about my Norwegian adventure, go to my travel blog, Sue's Road Notes.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Top 10 Unique Getaways : Alberta has one

Tipi Tatonka, Alberta

Here are HomeAway.com's Top 10 Unique Getaways.

Many of them take alternative accommodations way outside the box, while the more traditional vacation rentals provide a unique travel experience not found in hotels.

1. Shell House, Isla Mujeres, Mexico

2. Tipi Tatonka, Alberta, Canada

3. Yurt, Santa Barbara, California

4. White Elephant Floating Inn, Boston, Massachusetts

5. Sand Castle, Ixtapa, Mexico

6. Eclectic Igloo, Litchfield, Connecticut

7. Redwood Tree House, Healdsburg, California

8. Railroad Car, Livingston, Montana

9. Onion House, Kailua Kona, Hawaii

10. Playa Selva Tree House, Mal Pais, Costa Rica

For details on each property, go to HomeAway.com.

Photo: Tipi Tatonka in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Thursday, February 21, 2008

GOLDENRUSH : Kicking Horse Mountain Resort


GOLDENRUSH, Peter Chrzanowski's documentary film spanning a three year time period in Golden, BC, airs nationally on CLT (Canadian Learning Television) this week.

It's the controversial story of Golden's Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, which went through a difficult transition from a resource based economy (logging/mill town) to becoming a full destination mountain and ski resort.

As Peter says, "Enjoy the politics, as well as spectacular powder and extreme skiing footage."

It airs on Saturday, February 23 at 11 PM ET, repeating at 2 AM ET.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Breathe easy at this Vancouver spa

Breathe Spa, Vancouver
I occasionally watch the daytime lifestyle show Living Vancouver on CBC, but didn't catch the piece about one of my favorite Vancouver spas.

Breathe Spa's owner Victoria Carr is shown on the segment giving a facial.

It's not the same as having one, but I felt refreshed after watching it!

You can view it by clicking here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Laurentians : Winter Getaway

Manoir Saint-Sauveur, Quebec

I love the Laurentians.

Located north of Montreal, I spent several days in the Laurentians a couple of winters ago.

Manoir Saint-Saveur was my home base for the cold weather getaway. With lovely rooms and an on-site spa, the inn has added 26 suites in a pavilion called
Avoriaz.

Each suite has a 32'' plasma screen, wet bar, espresso machine, bathroom with heated floor, separate glass shower and double spa bath. Other comforts include a king-sized bed and duvet, double sofa bed, balcony, wooden floor and stone fireplace.

It's a cozy mountain getaway with urban comforts.

Downhill skiing is nearby at Mont Saint-Sauveur, Mont Avila, Ski Morin Height, Mont Olympia, Ski Mont Gabriel and Mont Habitant.

There is cross-country skiing at Parc linéaire Le P’tit Train du Nord and Réseau de Morin Heights et Corridor Aérobiqu.

I'm a spa girl, and there are destination and day spas, Nordic spas and inn spas. For a complete list, go here.

And of course there's Tremblant, the #1 ski resort in Eastern North America (according to the readers of Ski Magazine).

It's owned by Intrawest, who also own Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia.

My room at Quebec's Manoir Saint-Sauveur
Photo by Sue Frause

Sunday, February 17, 2008

British Columbia turns 150

Victoria, British Columbia

British Columbia celebrates 150 years in 2008, and they're having a year-long party.

The Royal BC Museum in Victoria is opening a new exhibition next month. Free Spirit : Stories of You, Me and BC opens March 13, 2008 and runs through January 11, 2009.

The Canadian Pacific
BC Spirit of 150 Rail Tour begins June 1, 2008 and will travel throughout the province, stopping at many B.C. communities during its month-long tour.

Canadian Pacific’s rolling ambassador, the vintage CP 2816 Empress Steam Locomotive, will lead the rail tour across CP’s rail network.

The tour will featured vintage passenger, business and stage cars. A 1958 Ex Union Pacific baggage car will become a rolling museum and a traveling version of the Royal BC Museum’s exhibition.

The train stops will also feature music, kids’ activities and performances by actors portraying some of BC's most prominent historical figures.

British Columbia's Parlilament Buildings (left) are a prominent fixture on the Victoria skyline
Photo by Sue Frause

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Treasures of the Tsimshian in Vancouver



The University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology opened a new exhibition this month.

Treasures of the Tsimshian from the Dundas Collection is a major traveling exhibition of 48 artifacts collected by the Rev. Robert J. Dundas at Metlakatla, BC in 1863.

MOA is the last stop on the exhibition’s cross-country tour, which began in April 2006 in Tsimshian territory. That's where these important cultural pieces originated and also where they had not been seen for more than a century.

The exhibition at UBC includes ten Northwest Coast horn spoons and one bent-corner bowl recently acquired by Westerkirk Works of Art Inc. They were not shown at any of the other Canadian venues

Following their display through June 7, 2008 at MOA, the objects will be returned to their present owners, who purchased them at auction in October 2006.

UBC's Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver
Photo by Sue Frause

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Canada : Best destination for 2008

Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, Quebec

The Specialty Travel Agents Association (STAA) has issued its list of best destinations to visit in 2008.

No surprise that Canada is in the mix.

1. Alaska – Alaska is among the top cruise destinations for 2008, due to its natural beauty and wildlife.

2. Argentina – Offers the most for your dollar this year. Buenos Aires has boutique hotels, great shopping, lovely architecture and fine cuisine.

3. Australia – The latest travel trend shows more mature travelers opting for longer stays in more exotic and faraway locations.

4. CanadaQuébec City celebrates its 400th anniversary on July 3. The city is known for its festivals, outdoor activities, history and culture. A touch of France in North America.

5. China - Hosting the Beijing Summer Olympics Games, August 8 – 24.

6. France – 2008 marks the 150th anniversary of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the French peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, at Lourdes.

7. Hawaii – A top honeymoon destination due to its miles of sandy beaches, romantic sunsets, sland weather, outdoor activities and beautiful scenery.

8. India – With the declining population of Bengal tigers, now is the time to see them. The Taj Mahal is one of the greatest wonders of our world.

9. U.S. Virgin Islands – St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are family vacation destinations featuring water sports, white sand beaches and adventure activities.

10. Vietnam – An affordable premier golf destination with a tropical climate.

Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City
Photo by Sue Frause

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

PEI singer performs on Caribbean cruise

Edie Carey & Rose Cousins, Cayamo Cruise
It was the last night of the Cayamo : A Journey Through Song cruise.

For six days we had listened to such big names as Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt and Shawn Colvin.

But also on board were lesser known singers. One of the best of the bunch is Canadian
Rose Cousins.

The PEI native, who now calls Halifax home, was accompanied by
Edie Carey of Boston. In fact, the two are best friends, and were vacationing with the rest of us and soaking up the sounds.

But they brought their guitars along, and Edie won the Open Mic Night the second night, while Rose picked up the honor on the third night.

Saturday, the two performed in the main lobby bar, and their voices soared.

Lucky for me, they'll be performing in Seattle on April 8 at the Jewel Box Theater.

I'm so there.

Singer-songwriters Edie Carey and Rose Cousins
Photo by Sue Frause

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Queen off BC Ferries & JFK's love child

The Queen

The decision was made five years ago, but it's just starting to make waves today.

According to an article in
Victoria's Times-Colonist, when the B.C. Ferries became an independent company and no longer a Crown corporation, the Queen of England's photo has slowly been removed from the boats in the ferry fleet.

The
Monarchist League of Canada is not happy with the decision.

And in what seemed to be a very tabloidish headline yesterday, The Globe and Mail reported in yesterday's paper:

I am JFK's love child, B.C. man says

The Province followed up today with this story:

Self-styled JFK love child has a name

Sounds like another movie to me.

The poster from The Queen, starring Helen Mirren

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sometimes Canadians get no respect, eh?


I read an article titled Stick Man (The N.H.L.'s most hated player is having fun) in the February issue of Vanity Fair.

It's a one-page biopic about hockey hunk Sean Avery, who plays for the New York Rangers.

But nowhere in the Jonathan Kelly penned article does it mention that Sean Avery is a Canadian -- born on April 10, 1980 in Pickering, Ontario.

Canadians know.


Saturday, February 09, 2008

Canadians spotted in Caribbean



Two Canadians were among this group 'tubing down the White River outside of Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

They're from Winnipeg.

They're the ones with the biggest smiles.

Winter sports has a whole other meaning down here. 

Floating down the White River on a Friday morning
Photo by Sue Frause

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Never heard of The Duhks? Listen up!



I'm a long way from Canada, but of course there are Canadian connections.

While on an Art Deco walking tour of Florida's Miami Beach, I met a couple who had escaped the cold and snow of Toronto.

They were very happy in the 80 degree Fahrenheit weather.

Yesterday my husband and I, along with four friends, set sail on a Caribbean cruise.

Cayamo : Journey Through Song is just that. All about music.

The headliners who are on board all week include Lyle Lovett, EmmyLou Harris, John Hiatt, Shawn Colvin, Brandi Carlisle and Patty Griffin.

And last night we were treated to the wonderful sound of
The Duhks. The award-winning band from Winnipeg, Manitoba wrangled in a lot of new fans, including me.

In December 2007, they were awarded a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Album-Contemporary.

I'm definitely adding them to my CD collection and plan to hear more of them in the coming week.

On to Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica!

The Duhks perform on the Cayamo cruise
Sue Frause photo

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Quebec's Sugar Shacks make for a sweet spot to stop in the winter

Chemin du Roy, Quebec Sugar Shack
Taffy making at le Chemin du Roy in Quebec
Photo by Sue Frause

I'd never heard of a Sugar Shack until I went to the Quebec Winter Carnival several years ago. After a day of reveling in the snow, we drove 15 minutes outside of Quebec City to le Chemin du Roy.

The main sugarhouse or sugar shack at le Chemin du Roy was built in 1925. It's located in a maple grove originally owned by hockey legend
Guy LafleurToday, owner Real Boissoneault runs it as a tourist destination, and it's a fun spot to visit. Especially in winter.

We had tickets for the Maple Sugar Shack Package (around $20). Chemin du Roy's spacious shack can hold up to 200 people, and we shared a large table with visitors from Mexico, China and the US.

The evening includes traditional music (yes, you can dance!) and a Quebecois meal of French Canadian pea soup, maple smoked ham, meatballs, meat pie, baked beans, homemade pickles, coleslaw and pancakes with maple syrup. 
My favorite part was making maple taffy on snow -- and eating it of course!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Prince Edward Island prepares to celebrate centennial of Anne of Green Gables

Photo courtesty of Tourism Prince Edward Island.

Poor Prince Edward Island. Like many of Canada's eastern provinces, they are shivering more than their timbers right now. And with seven weeks of winter still on the calendar, spring and summer seem like a distant dream.

But 2008 marks the centennial of one of its most famous residents,
Anne of Green Gables. Lucy Maud Montgomery's red-haired orphan has charmed millions of readers all over the world.

PEI is hosting a series of ceilidhs and kitchen parties, country fairs, concerts, picnics, barn dances and firelight story-telling sessions throughout the year. 
In June, this pastoral island in the Canadian Maritimes will begin its non-stop open-air summer festival.

Nearly 1.37 million people visited PEI in 2007 to see the sights made famous by the beloved novel. The book was an immediate best seller in 1908, telling the story of a precocious orphan girl who is adopted by PEI farmers. 
The novel has been translated into 36 languages with more than 50 million copies sold worldwide.

To celebrate the anniversary, G.P. Putnam's Sons is publishing the only officially authorized prequel, Before Green Gables, written by Maritime author Budget Wilson. There will also be a special anniversary edition of Anne of Green Gables released.
Bookstores will host a series of events to promote the books beginning this month. For more information, visit the official Anne of Green Gables website.