Celebrating “The Day of the Dead” in Puerto Vallarta

Growing up Catholic in a large, extended German immigrant family in Canada with more relatives than I can possibly count, death was as natural as life itself. But no one “does death” quite like the Mexicans do as witnessed in Puerto Vallarta on Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead). Attending Catholic school until age 11, the church was attached to our school and it was required that all students attend masses and every funeral, whether you knew the

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My Parisian Street Hair “Sculpting” and Deluxe Curl Job

My hair tends to be dry and I am always battling split ends. So one day in the Marais, we came upon the “Hair Cowboy,” a street hair stylist who claims he was a model in Los Angeles and a stylist. Kanu is sweet but I think he has seen better days. We watched as he “sculpted,” not cut, a woman’s hair and it looked gorgeous. In a leap of faith and being the risk-taker that I am, I went for

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Distorted View of the Eiffel Tower

Soaking up atmosphere and watching the world go by at one of the City of Light’s celebrated cafés is a favorite past-time, for tourists and locals alike. For years, I took tour clients to see the Eiffel Tower magically light up from the Place du Trocadéro and then snag a prime seat at the Café du Trocadéro, which has the best view of La Tour. Well, it used to. But now the trees that the city planted almost completely obscure the

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A Day of Luxury in Paris

One of the great pleasures of being in Paris is being immersed in luxury and exquisite presentation, as only the French can do. We started our “luxury tour” at Printemps Homme, one of the Grands Magasins near Opera Garnier at Boucheron to see if I could get my Boucheron wedding ring cleaned. Bien sur, Madame. The cost: 250 euros and it would take 7 weeks! We explained that we were only going to be in Paris until the end of October

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Shopping in the Ancient Walled City of Alcúdia, Spain (Majorca)

While some of our group set out on a grueling, hill-climbing 100 kms cycling ride (painful just to hear about it!), I chose to go on a much tamer adventure: shopping in a large street market in nearby Alcúdia. Boarding the large, very comfy transport bus (for under 5 euros return) in Port de Pollença, the 20 to 30 minute journey winds past the exquisite beaches on the Balearic Sea. Stopping in front of the market entrance and witnessing the miles

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31 Days in Paris in October (Gourmet, Nuit Blanche)

Pre moving to Paris in 2004, did I give a hoot about salt? Negatory. But since spending time in France and becoming obsessed with salt, this condiment and other seasonings were at the top of my gourmet shopping list. So off we went in search of our fav sprinkles at the street markets and La Grande Epicerie (Le Bon Marché) in the 6th. Then of course the exquisite Galeries Lafayette Gourmet in the 9th – now housed in, and combined with,

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31 Days in Paris in October (Day 1 – Lax Border Controls)

Paris in fall. The best. Pourquoi? Let me tell you the ways. First of all, the massive tourist crowds have thinned, the weather is still good (20 C today!), wine events are plentiful and travel kicks into “off season”  – so that means deals on hotels and airfares. I am still astounded, even more now (see more on that below), that as a visitor landing at Charles du Galle airport, all one has to show to enter the country is a

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Discover West Kelowna’s Westside Wine Trail

What do you get when you cross a 60 million year old volcano (now dormant), a mountain range that juts up from a pristine 135 km long lake formed by glaciers and fertile vineyards and orchards that produce some of the world’s best wines and succulent fruits? Answer: The Okanagan Valley! And specifically, West Kelowna’s Westside Wine Trail has it all. September is the perfect month to explore this plentiful wine region as the tourist crowds have thinned. Read on for

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Vacay Rental in Heart of Okanagan Wine Country with Lake Views

“Beach Walk” Barona Beach Lakeview Resort – West Kelowna, BC Welcome to Beach Walk, your lakeview home-away-from-home at a beautiful resort in the heart of Wine Country! Newly updated, 2-bedroom/1 bath condo with peaceful canal and lake views. The deck is sun-drenched starting very early in the morning. Walk just steps to our sandy private beach, lounge for hours by the pool (so fun there!), have happy hour on one of the docks or enjoy some R&R in the condo after

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Restoring a 70s Boler Camper

Flashback to the 70’s. This is the era when the Boler made it’s Canadian debut and today, these cute campers are highly sought after. After I left home, my parents had a Boler and my friends and I would take it camping. This was the first “glamping” back then. With the Boler, you were protected from the elements, could fully stand up in the trailer and if you had access to power, could plug in and have a heater, fan and

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