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US: Mystic, CT – Sharkfest Swim, Kayak and SUP Races Down the Mystic River

It’s the inaugural Mystic River Day, a day celebrating the Mystic River Community.

Festivities include: children’s activities and games on the Mystic River Park green, discover Mystic River history,  many local non-profits, animal encounters, meet the Mystic Mermaid in the park – photo op, Sharkfest Swim, Kayak and SUP races down the Mystic River.Mystic Day IMG_0252-2

Cheer on the Mystic Sharkfest Swimmers from  8:30 am – 11:30 am, on their 1500 meter swim from Middle Wharf at Mystic Seaport, down the Mystic River, under the famous Bascule drawbridge, finishing at Dock A at Seaport Marine.

This swim will give you the perfect excuse to visit a classic New England seaport on Long Island Sound. The swim course will take you past the fully restored whaling ship, Charles Morgan and around the Mystic Harbor lighthouse and down river through the picturesque village that is steeped in shipbuilding history.

Participating downtown shops, restaurants, and bars will offer specials, discounts and extended happy hours throughout the day.

Location:Mystic River Park, Cottrell Street, Mystic, 06355
Date: Sun, July 8, 2018
Time: 9am – 2:30pm
Tel: 860-572-9578
thisismystic.com/event/mystic-river-day
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: mysticchamber.org

US: Annapolis, MD – Celebrate and Bring Awareness to Clean Up Efforts in Spa Creek

The 2nd annual Clean Water PaddleFEST in Annapolis is to celebrate and bring awareness to clean up efforts in Spa Creek while enjoying a day full of fun.paddleFest2016_paddlers

Paddle at your own pace or take a guided on-water tour of Spa Creek. Guided tours available at 2pm. See educational stops along Spa Creek detailing conservation efforts which aim to make it again fishable and swimmable. Afterwards attend the Eco-Fest with informative exhibits from area environment groups with plenty of activities for kids.

All human powered paddlers and vessels are welcome to attend. Bring your own craft or use a stand up paddle board or kayak from Capital SUP. There will be a mass paddle and foot show of support for clean water in Spa Creek at 12 noon, on and in the water around the Spa Creek bridge.

Fun activities and prizes for all ages. Kid and dog friendly. All proceeds benefit Spa Creek Conservancy.paddleFESTposter

Your ticket includes:

On-water guided or self tour
Food BBQ beverages
Wine and beer
Event tee shirt
Admission to EcoFEST
Dry Bags to first 200 ticket holders
Live Music from 1-3pm

Location:Capital SUP on Spa Creek, 808 Boucher Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21403
Date: Sat, Sept 16, 2017
Time:  11  – 4pm
spacreek.net/index.php/events/special-events
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org

US: Daytona Beach, FL – Praise the Lord and Pass the Suntan Lotion

The Daytona Beach Drive–In Church – Back in 1953 when this was still the Neptune Drive-In Theater, The First Christian Church organized the first drive-in service. Daytona Drive In Church

Buying the property in 1957, they now welcome everyone – tourists, the physically challenged, families with kids or those looking for a unique way to worship (honking your horn = clapping).

Services typically last for about 55 minutes and they offer hot coffee and Krispy Kreme donuts before and after each service in Friendship Hall.

Perfect for those going to swim on Sunday (don’t need to wear your Sunday best!) – just stay in the car, tune in on your radio, and at the end Rev. Robert Kemp-Baird will shake your hand through the window – then you can zip across the street to the beach.

Location: Daytona Beach Drive In Christian Church, 3140 South Atlantic Avenue
Daytona Beach Shores, FL 32118
Hours: Sun 8:30 & 10
Tel: 386-767-8761
driveinchurch.net
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: DaytonaBeach.com

US: Mystic, CT – Mystic Sharkfest Swim

The 3rd Annual Mystic Sharkfest will be a 1500 meter swim from Middle Wharf at Mystic Seaport, down the Mystic River and under the famous Bascule drawbridge to finish at Dock A at Seaport Marine next to Red 36 Restaurant.Mystic Sharkfest - ParticipantsIMG_7483

This swim will give you the perfect excuse to visit a classic New England seaport on Long Island Sound. The swim course will take you past the fully restored whaling ship, Charles Morgan and around the Mystic Harbor lighthouse and down river through the picturesque village.

Mystic Sharkfest SwimDon’t miss the opportunity to explore this small town that is steeped in shipbuilding history.  Mystic Seaport is the nation’s leading maritime museum. Its collections and exhibits include over 500 historic watercraft, a major research library, a large gallery of maritime art, a unique diorama displaying the town of Mystic as it was in the 19th century, a ship restoration shipyard, the Treworgy Planetarium, and a re-creation of a 19th-century seafaring village. You will also want to visit the Mystic Aquarium where you can actually pet the sharks…the perfect conclusion to your Sharkfest weekend.

PLEASE NOTE: This swim is not for novices. This event is for experienced open-water swimmers only. You should be able to swim one mile comfortably in a pool in under 40 minutes.

Mystic Sharkfest LogoIMG_7394

Location:Downtown Mystic, Mystic Seaport, Main Street,  Mystic, CT 06355
Date: Sun, July 16, 2017
Time: 8:30am – 12:00pm
Tel: 415-868-1829
raceroster.com/events/2017/9524/2017-mystic-sharkfest-swim
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thisismystic.com
mysticdowntown.org

Canada – Montreal – Bakerfield Mist: Artsy Fartsy Tryst at Centaur

It is really hard to take the boring authenticity-proving side of the modern art world and make it into a delightful audience loving (2 standing ovations on opening night) theatre piece.

Stephen Sachs, the playwright, took on the true story of Terry Horton, a former truck driver who scavenged a painting for $5 at a second-hand shop as a gift for a friend who needed cheering up. Maude Gutman, as she is called in this play, is a lover of kitsch – her trailer is overwhelmed by it (A congratulatory shout out here for the jam-packed shelves created by set and costume designer Pam Johnson, who really needed my Smart Shopping Montreal book to find all that stuff!). At a yard sale, the local art teacher noticed the painting and mentioned it might be a Jackson Pollock; and so begins the tale. Somehow Gutman managed to get a major art house in NYC to send an expert over to check out her claim.

And therein lies this sparring pied-a-deux. A foul-mouthed bourbon drinking trailer park madam vs. the snooty elitist artsy gentleman. Human authenticity versus art authenticity is set to be proven. Nicola Cavendish walks the walk and talks the talk. Her sneaker grounded stalking moves her around the trailer while her expert verbal comedic timing keeps the pace going. She even manages to give the garbage pail “a line”.

Jonathan Monro (Lionel Percy), himself a renaissance man (competitive swimmer, piano prodigy, singer, director, lyricist, actor), glides around her, expertly dodging her verbal and physical attacks. My take-away forever (as a former NYC art teacher) is the exuberant and sexually suggestive way in which Monro teaches us the how and why a Jackson Pollock painting is important – and not just a bunch of paint splashes on a canvas.
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Though Percy always trusts his “first blink”, it is Nicola Cavendish who summed it up brilliantly when she observed Pollock’s paintings, “You can see that what emerges is layers and layers and layers. I think it’s a lesson on how we can learn to look more closely, whether we are talking about a piece of art or whether we’re talking about the woman who lives across the street who’s offensive.” Modern art is beyond the understanding of the ordinary citizen, and this play opens the door a crack as to what it is all about, how it works and doesn’t work. The show makes it all fun and drives Maude’s trailer expertly to the end to find out if she goes from rags to riches.

Location: 453 St-Francois Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: Jan 31-Feb 26, 2017
Prices $28- $51
www.centaurtheatre.com
Metro: Place d’Armes

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US: Newark, DE – Courtyard Newark/Univ of Delaware is Pet, Disability and Ice Cream Friendly

This is a special Courtyard, located on the grounds of the University of Delaware, so you can take advantage of University fun. Check to see if you can catch a game or something exciting going on on the campus. The hotel works closely with the University Hospitality Program, helping to teach future hoteliers, and has always employed hearing-impaired staff. It’s not only disability friendly, it is pet friendly too – including small pet yard outside.courtyard-newark-outside

There is good reason why this hotel is the winner of numerous Trip Advisor and Marriott awards for excellence in guest service, as evaluated by direct guest feedback. With over 250 years of hospitality experience on the management team, Bill Sullivan and his award winning crew do an amazing job exceeding your expectations.

Enjoy modern accommodations, state-of-the-art technology, and impeccable service at the  four-story, 126-room Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware. The hotel offers all of the comforts of home for your visit – whether you’re in the area for business, or to visit the campus of the University of Delaware. Make yourself at home in the spacious, pleasingly designed rooms and suites, equipped with a well-lit work desk and ergonomic chair, free high-speed Wi-Fi, flat-screen HDTVs, mini-fridges, and comfy pillowtop mattresses.bedroom-courtyard-newark2

For an interesting dining experience, ask them about the unique student restaurant on the campus – and the student ice cream parlor too. It is truly farm-to-table, since other students learning about the dairy industry care for the cows, milk them and prepare the cream for the ice cream.  Sample healthy American fare and award-winning crab cakes at The Bistro, which also serves Starbucks® coffee. Squeeze in a workout in the fully-equipped fitness center, or take a swim in the indoor pool. Book today, this hotel won’t disappoint!

Location: Courtyard Newark: 400 David Hollowell Dr., Newark, DE 19711 (GPS use 200 New London Rd)
Tel: 302-737-0900
udel.edu/hotel
For Regional Restaurants & Accommodations: go-delaware.com/Newark-Delaware

Canada: Ottawa, Ontario – Largest Turtle Skeleton

This is the skeleton of the largest turtle that ever existed – an Archelon. Instead of a solid shell, it had an open framework of struts covered by a thick coating of rubbery skin. This allowed him to swim more efficiently. You can see it at the Museum of Science and Nature in Ottawa.

Turtle Skeleton

 

Canada: Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – Blue Lobster Out of Jail Soon

This 3 pound blue lobster is living temporarily at the Arichat Fish Market until they let him swim back home. Very unusual.

Giant Blue Lobster

Canada: Doggie Off Leash Vacation in Quebec

At Domaine Summum in Quebec, they believe that your furry best friends should be free, to be able to enjoy life with you. So they can  run, bark, romp and roll throughout their hiking trails, and jump, splash and swim in their private lake.Molly

Besides the pristine  lake. there’s 200 acres of forest, with trails everywhere. Chalets are spotlessly clean and are well-equipped with a complete kitchen, grill, and a fire pit. You can order delicious frozen ready homemade meals prepared by their “Top Chef”.

The chalets are near Mont Tremblant Village and St-Jovite so that adds options for dining, hiking, golf, mountain biking and any number of other activities.

The owners love dogs (they are breeders of Bernese Mountain dogs) and understand what you need to have a great vacation with your pet running and barking, leash-free!

– No size restriction
– No breed restriction
– No extra fee for 2 dogs
– Pets can be left alone in the room ( without having to be in a crate )
– On site SPAWS (B&B for dogs)
– Special A La Bark menu for your pet
– On site Tail Waggin’ Day Camp

www.domainesummum.com