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Travel

Hot Shopping: Editors Pick – Top 5 Gourmand Go-To’s

Korean-BBQTravelling foodsters know that the way into the heart of a city is through its stomach. And while eating on vacation can be memorable, gourmet items you can take home help recreate those experiences.

If you’ve tried one of the hottest dining trends, Korean BBQ, head to Bosch Kitchen Appliance Centre to pick up a plug-in electric Korean BBQ of your own (pictured). Set the bar with an interactive dinner party your guests won’t forget! 105-2800 Pembina Hwy, 204-275-2617

Sticking to a regime while on the road is tough, which makes the availability of everyday organic at specialty spot Organza a blessing. Stock up on local products such as Whiteshell Dairy cheese, or start the day right at its in-house juice bar. 230 Osborne St #2A 204-453-6266

Cooking at home may not yield Top Chef results, if the kitchen is full of clutter! For Space Sake carries a wide variety of kitchen organizers that are functional and eye catching. 1824 Grant Ave,
204-488-2633

Local Meats and Frozen Treats is passionate about gourmet gleans. It stocks everything from local sausages to flavoured creamed honey. Manitoba’s best products line the shelves and freezer walls. 1604 St Mary’s Rd, 204-255-2172

Before catching a flight or hitting the road, stop by Humboldt’s Legacy to pick up some last minute travel snacks. Locally made Gorp Energy Bars taste great and pack a nutritional punch. 887 Westminster Ave, (204) 772-140

Hot Shopping: The Perfect Outfit for Travelling from Green Tree Eco Fashion

Soft, cozy, and easy to layer: ideal duds for the frequent flyer

Travelling has never looked so good, or felt so comfy! If you’re often on the road for business or pleasure, it can be challenging to find the right outfit. Green Tree Eco Fashion tackles this problem with a classic look that features three of their most popular and versatile basics: skinny “Yoga Jeans” by Montreal’s Second Denim Company ($114.99), a long black cami from Part Two ($24.99), and a reversible bamboo wrap (seen here in both short and long styles) by Ecoskin ($179.99). Top with a statement necklace and oversized tote to complete the look. With eco clothing for both men and women, you can feel good about purchases from this boutique, and never have to sacrifice style. 358 Richmond Rd., 613-695-8733.

 

Hot Art: Painting in the Face of Pain

"Recession" by Charlene Walker, on view at Centrepointe Theatre Gallery.

Take a trip around the world at Centrepointe Theatre Gallery. Charlene Walker’s exhibit of acrylic paintings, entitled “Vicarious Travels,” will take you on a voyage around the globe and into your imagination. Walker, once an avid traveller, now has to stay closer to home due to a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, which causes fatigue and chronic pain. But by painting interpretations of her friend’s travel photos, she’s been able to continue wandering the world — and hopes to give other people the same sense through her images. On view until March 21.

8 Ways to Stay Fit While Travelling

Ottawa is great for joggers, offering many scenic pathways.

Travel can easily sideline your exercise routine, but physical activity is a great way to relieve stress and adjust to a new time zone. Founder of Best Body Bootcamp (and Ottawa boy) Roger Nahas shares his tips for staying on track while on the road. As told to Misa Kobayashi.

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Weekend Roundup: Best Bets for March 9 to 11

Rococode from Vancouver is just one of the bands playing at Mavericks this weekend. Photo credit: Robyn Jamieson.

Friday, March 9
Start your weekend off right by partying it up with some fun indie bands at Mavericks. This is the LP release show for Anchors, the newest album from Ottawa indie rock band and show headliner Kalle Mattson. Also on the bill: Rococode, a three-boy and one-girl band from Vancouver that strives to make exciting and meaningful pop music; The Richardson Band, an Ottawa indie/folk band that just recorded its first EP; and the Ashleys, another Ottawa indie/rock band.

Get lucky at the first late night performance of Third Time Lucky, performed by Toronto-based comic storyteller Paul Hutcheson at The Gladstone. Pornography, an allergic reaction to shellfish, and orgies are just some of the topics Hutcheson covers in this solo show. Hutcheson has performed in more than 25 fringe festivals, winning awards in New York, San Francisco, Montreal, and Ottawa.  This play is part of the Black Box Set Theatre Festival, which runs until March 17.

Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day a few days early with Ottawa Irish Week. The week-long festival and longstanding Ottawa tradition invites you to celebrate Ireland through music, poetry, history, dance, theatre, and sport. This Friday, get entertained and eat Irish fare at The Erin Luncheon at St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa. Various events run from March 8 to 17.

Saturday, March 10
Laugh, cry, and support a good cause at The Vagina Monologues this Saturday. Carleton University’s own Vaginas Against Violence are once again putting on a fantastic show, which is run and performed by Carleton students. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards  the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and the international V-Day campaign, which supports victims of sexual violence in Haiti in an effort to end gender-based violence locally and globally. If you’ve never seen this show that serves up story after story to honour the female anatomy, you’re missing out. (more…)

Q&A with The Good Lovelies on their Christmas Tour

Get your fill of holiday music with The Good Lovelies.

This Canadian folk group takes the stage at Shenkman Arts Centre on Dec. 13 as part of their special Christmas tour. Where Ottawa editor Misa Kobayashi caught up with The Good Lovelies in advance of their local show to find out about their travel essentials, where they love to eat when they’re in Ottawa, and more.

What’s your favourite activity to do on the road?
Well, we bought some skipping ropes about a year ago. When we get restless, we get out of the car and jump rope for a few minutes. Invariably, we make friends with any young girls that happen to be around. They join in without asking. It’s a way more fun version of the elementary school playground! And we love eating in new places, checking out the local cuisine. Recently we had some incredible Indian food in Northern Ontario in Bruce Mines. Go figure! (more…)

Getting Better Sleep on the Road

Packing your own alarm clock is one of AOL Travel's tips for getting some shut-eye. Photo by Jess J

By Carissa Bluestone

Heavy footsteps, thunderous snores, clanging air-conditioning units, and whining minifridges — it’s a marvel anyone gets a good night’s sleep at a hotel. USA Today’s travel gurus air their most common complaints regarding sleep-stealing noise, and offer a few tips to dampen ambient noise. They also point out an amusing way that North America is failing behind Europe in customer service: Crowne Plaza deploys “snore monitors” at its European properties to walk the halls, note excessive snoring that might be disturbing other guests and offer the guilty party some suggestions on how to better control the snoring.

Hotels do seem to be getting better about dealing with guest noise. Some major chains have instituted what are essentially “quiet hours,” like those you’d find at a campground: make egregious amounts of noise after 10 pm and risk incurring fines or forfeiting your room.

Guest noise is easy to control. Thin walls and loud machinery are problems that no type of patrol can solve. AOL Travel has even more tips on getting better rest on the road, and the LA Times has a good rundown on how to pick a room to minimize disturbances.

Markets, Lakes and Gorges: Guelph to Southampton, Ontario

The Southampton shore. (Photo by Alistair Edmondson)

By Meghan Wilson-Smith

Fall driving in southwestern Ontario means landscapes of lush, ready-to-be-harvested fields of rich yellows, oranges and greens, and sunny skies dimpled with heavy wet clouds whisked by on a breeze just cool enough to bring out the wools. Air-conditioning off, windows open, and nothing but the splendor of the great Canadian north in your windshield.

Start: Guelph
End: Southampton
Overnight: Southampton

Get the map.

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS

1. Guelph is already a pretty special town, a vibrant city core with a popular farmers’ market on Saturdays. It retains many small town values while delivering on big city comforts. It’s also a great take-off point to some of the quaintest of towns en route to beautiful Lake Huron.

2. Just a half-hour outside of Guelph, the town of Elora and the stunning Elora gorge are musts. Heading north on Highway 6 you’ll see a small sign for the Fergus and Mount Forest to the north or Elora to the west. Bend west a bit and head straight to Elora. The town is mostly made of limestone, as if it were an extension of the gorge it sits on. It has lovely shops and great hiking. (25 km)

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Travel and iPad Go Together

Photo by Jared Earle

By Amanda Yiu

A new study published by mobile advertising network Greystripe reveals that 67% of iPad users are frequent travelers. It also found that 91% of iPad users regularly engage with their device for travel-related activities, from booking flights to getting directions and finding the best local restaurants.

To gather the findings in the report, titled “Smartphone and Tablet Travel Insights” (PDF), Greystripe collected data from 971 iPad, iPhone (including iPod Touch) and Android users over a monthlong period. (more…)

5 Smartphone Photo Tips

An Instagram-ed image of Montreal's Tavern Le Normand. Photo by misspixels

Nothing beats the heft of an SLR lens or the cool of an artfully beat-up camera bag, but most trip photography these days consists of hastily snapped iPhone photos. A series of graphs on Flickr show that (a) the majority of the site’s photos are uploaded via the iPhone, not with digital SLRs or point-and-shoots, and (b) the iPhone beats the pants off of all other camera phones. Plus, the iPhone 5 is likely to arrive in the next few weeks; specs to be announced on Tuesday.

But no matter which operating system you pray to, there are some common tips for mastering smartphone photography:

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Review: 4 Trip-Journaling Apps

From left to right: TripColor, Moleskine, Trip Journal, HipGeo

By Carissa Bluestone

After passport renewal and seat selection, the most pressing pre-travel concern is how best to taunt our friends with real-time vacation updates. Journaling, scrapbooking, digital instigation—whatever you call it, these apps will help you share your pics, anecdotes, and geotagged minutia. (more…)

Getting to the Sweet Spot in BIXI Bike Pricing

Photo by Ian Muttoo

By Amanda Yiu

Montreal-based bike-sharing company BIXI, which launched in Toronto, Ottawa, and Boston in the past few months, may be expanding to Vancouver in the near future, and plans for a 10,000-fleet New York City launch are set for next summer.

BIXI has grown rapidly since first launching in Montreal in 2009, beginning operations in Toronto, Ottawa and Boston in the past four months and rolling out overseas in 2010, in London, Melbourne and DC. The bike-sharing program is undeniably popular, with more than 3 million BIXI trips taken since the beginning of 2010.

For visitors, borrowing a bike at a pay-as-you-go rate can be a fabulous way to explore the city. But be sure to keep your ride short. A friend visiting from Australia last month made the mistake of taking out a BIXI bike in Toronto for the full day and ended up paying over $100 in usage fees. As the breakdown of non-subscriber fees (below) shows, long trips can add up quickly. (Subscribers can pay $95 for a one-year membership, waiving the $5 daily flat fee, but the same time-of-use rates still apply.)

BIXI fees for 8 hours of continuous usage:

$5 flat 24-hour access fee (includes first 30 minutes)

+ $1.50 for 31–60 min

+ $4 for 61–90 min

+ $104 for additional 6.5 hours ($8 x 13 half-hour increments)

= $113.50 before tax

Additionally, a $250 security deposit is charged to your credit card and refunded after 10 days.

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