Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

US: Dunn, NC – Celebrating Cotton and Importantly, the Cotton Farmers

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

The 19th annual North Carolina Cotton Festival  takes place in Downtown Dunn on November 4, 2017. This family-fun event draws more than 10,000 people each year and is a celebration of the farmer and in particular the cotton farmer and their contributions as well as the cotton farming and harvesting heritage that plays an important role in the Dunn show

November is peak season for cotton farmers and downtown Dunn was once known as the largest wagon cotton yard in the country. During the festival, the local cotton gin, that until recent years was located in downtown, offers free tours through the gin, allowing you to see cotton production up close and personal. Shuttles are offered from the festival site to the gin every half hour.Quality Equipment

The event covers over 16 city blocks and offers entertainment on 2 stage featuring a variety of music, carnival rides and games, a classic car show -where over 100 antique and custom cars compete for best in show, petting zoo, Kiddie Land, Antique Tractor Show, over 125 vendors showcasing commodities like cotton, needle work, fabric, food and crafts.wilson avenue

FREE admission, lots of downtown shopping at some interesting shops, freebies and family fun for all ages.

Location: Downtown Dunn
Date: November 4, 2017
Time:10am – 4pm
Tel: 910-892-3282
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:

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Canada: Montreal, Quebec – Just for Laughs Sandbox

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Kids playing in the sand in the center of downtown at Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. A square block of sand Is dotted with picnic tables and surrounded by food stalls, from BBQ ribs to foie gras poutine.



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Cosmos Tour: Prague Vienna Budapest – First dinner

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

PragueNHDinnerThe first included dinner of the Cosmos tour started with a light beef broth and then a plate with a large bready dumpling  sliced up (a bit of a rye bread taste) and fanned on the plate next to pork with duck gravy and a tasty cooked red cabbage side. The dumplings soaked up the gravy quite nicely.

Germany: Munich Beer Gardens

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Hofbrau Park Beer Garden


Play Structure in Beer Garden

It was surprising to learn – and see – that the expression “beer garden” means exactly that. there are huge garden  spaces filled with picnic tables – some have umbrellas or are covered by the trees. Families bring their own picnic food but no beverages. They buy beer from the concession. Some have play structures for the kids to climb on.

There’s even an outdoor beer garden at the Munich Airport.

Canada Ottawa: Museum of History

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

The swooping architecture of the building and jaw-dropping 17 metre-high domed ceiling of Canada Hall are visions you will not easily forget after you have visited the newly named Canadian Museum of History (was Canadian Museum of Civilization), which covers Canadian life from AD 1000 to 2000.

From now until Sept 28, 2014,  you can enjoy the informative exhibit about Snow and the ingenious ways in which  Canadians have adapted to difficult winter conditions, from sleighs to snow removal. You can participate in a fun quiz at the end.

The museum is a playground for all, as the Children’s Museum takes the kids on travels around the world – including a passport to stamp in each country. All kinds of imaginative play from driving a bus, motorcycle, ship or camel to running a shop, putting on a puppet show, living in a pyramid, moving heavy boxes using a winch, or booking a trip can all be tried out.

In the main galleries, visitors see a Viking family arriving in Newfoundland around AD 1000,  discover New France through a farmhouse, inn, hospital, shoemaker’s shop and visit a voyageur camp, a lumber camp, a Métis campsite, British military living quarters and a Maritime shipyard. There’s a stroll past shops  along the main street of a small town in late 19th-century Ontario.

Learn about life in a turn-of-the-century prairie railway station and yard, a Saskatchewan grain elevator, an authentic Ukrainian church, a Chinese hand laundry and a 1920s Alberta oil derrick. You can even sit in Yellowknife’s Wildcat Cafe, the town’s first restaurant and a popular gathering spot for prospectors, bush pilots, miners and trappers.

If you love animals, leave time for the up close and personal movie, Kenya 3-D about a safari through Africa.

Location: 100 Laurier St., Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0M8
Phone: 819-776-7000 or 800-555-5621

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US: Allegiant Black Fri/Cyber Monday $30 or $59 deals

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Allegiant Air taking a cue from brick and mortar retailers, is offering for the first time, doorbuster fares for both U.S. Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday as well as great deals on hotels, rental cars and attractions.

U.S. Thanksgiving Doorbusters – Beginning at 5 am on Thurs, Nov. 28, Allegiant will offer $30 one way fares (including taxes and fees!) on select routes. Only 60 seats are available on each flight at

Cyber Monday Sale – Beginning at 5 am on Mon, Dec. 2,  Allegiant will offer fares as low as $59 one way on select routes. Deep Cyber Monday discounts can save travelers up to 30 percent.

Allegiant’s Cyber Monday deals will include dozens of vacation specials including free nights, free upgrades, and free meals at participating hotels in Hawaii, Florida, Las Vegas and Arizona. Allegiant customers can save with free double car class upgrades at Allegiant’s Alamo locations nationwide.

Allegiant Air is focused on linking leisure travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations  operating a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline. The company has been named one of America’s 100 Best Small Companies by Forbes Magazine for four consecutive years.

“Our customers love a great deal, so we’ve decided to give them something special,” said Rich Winiarski, Allegiant Travel Company Vice President of Marketing. “We are excited to offer travellers even more ways to save on flight, hotels and vacations with our exceptional U.S. Thanksgiving doorbuster sales and deep Cyber Monday discounts. This will be our biggest sale ever.”

History of Tea

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Tea, which is over 5,000 years old, was possibly born in the Yunnan province of China. Legends mention Shen Nung, an early emperor and scientist, who ruled that all drinking water be boiled as a hygienic precaution. One day while traveling, his servants boiled water for him, and just then dried leaves from a nearby bush fell into the boiling water. The emperor drank the brown liquid and enjoyed it.

In 800, Lu Yu wrote “Ch’a Ching”, the first definitive book on tea. He diligently recorded the various methods of tea cultivation and preparation. Zen Buddhist missionaries later introduced his meticulous methods to imperial Japan. One missionary in particular, Yesei, had observed its use in religious ceremonies in China and appreciated its value, and there are records of his findings.

Tea was so highly thought of in Japan that the serving of it was elevated to an art form, resulting in  the Japanese Tea Ceremony. While visiting Japan I was privy thrice to this exacting two hour ceremony while sitting on bended knees – once by a Buddhist Monk in a temple, once by a Canadian Tea Master and once in a private home while dressed in a kimono.

Perhaps one of the first Europeans to encounter tea and write about it was the Portuguese Jesuit Father Jasper de Cruz (in 1560), and around that time a Dutchman named Jan Huygen van Linshoten visited Java. He wrote about his voyage to the East Indies in 1598 and mentioned “cha”, as it was called in Mandarin.

Around 1650 the Dutch under Peter Stuyvesant brought the first tea to America in the settlement of New Amsterdam, later re-named New York by the English

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Masterpieces – Cosmos Tour

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

Guilds were formed back in the Middle Ages to bring like-minded tradesmen together and to form a teaching method for continuity of the trade. In Riga, Latvia, there are 19th century guild buildings still standing – one for big companies and one for the small merchants.

The guilds set the standards of hours, quality, number of masters, apprentices, etc. Each apprentice had to prove his competence to become a master by creating a “masterpiece” which was judged. Sometimes apprentices faked their credentials by just marrying the widow of their master and continuing his work.

Museum of Bags and Purses Amsterdam

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

The Museum of Bags and Purses ( or has over 4,000 fabulous examples collected over 35 years  by Henkrikje Ivo, and was a favorite of this smart shopper. It covers the history of purses, which started as loose pockets on the tops of petticoats. You’ll see armadillo purses, beaded ones, ironwork, tortoise shell, ivory, stocking purses and then the famous ones: Chanel 2.55 and Kelly by Hermes, etc.

You can have a light lunch in their café or pause for a break in their garden. And yes, you can buy purses in the gift shop (bring me home the tulip one).

The Pancake Bakery in Amsterdam

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Toodle 2 min. down the street from the Anne Frank House to the famous Pancake Bakery ( located in a Dutch East India Company canal house. It is reasonably priced, and we suggest you order a simple one so the taste of the light delicate dough comes through. The traditional one is with sugar and syrup but the menu is like pizza – you can have chicken, ham, pineapple, cheese and a whole slew of international varieties (think souvlaki, etc).

Dessert ones are topped with ginger, apple, nutella, Grand Marnier, bananas, or Dutch hot cherries with vanilla ice cream and cherry liqueur. Kids get kiddie meals: police, animal, princess or magic which come with an appropriate toy. You can just stop in for a drink as there’s a varied drink menu from buttermilk to cider, port, or hot chocolate and Baileys.