Cleveland, you DO rock!

img_3460I didn’t expect to love Cleveland. Maybe that’s why I was so impressed. I had no pre-conceived ideas of what Cleveland was before I went in.

Frankly, it was refreshing to not have an agenda going into a trip.

So, why did I go to Cleveland? I had some Air Canada flight credits that I was going to lose if I didn’t use them immediately. I had two nights off work and a desire to see some NFL football. So, I went down the Week 2 schedule, looking at every matchup and host city for games and flight combos that I liked.

Ultimately Cleveland was the winner!

It was an easy flight, the Toronto to Cleveland leg of the journey so short there was no time for pretzels and soda. We arrived so early on Saturday that we checked in to the hotel and took a leisurely stroll over to Progressive Field where we picked up $9 tickets and watched the Cleveland Indians victoriously battle the Detroit Tigers in a 1-0 ball game.

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Sunday football was exactly as it should be. An early and boisterous crowd heading for a Sunday afternoon game in the sunshine. Boos, cheers and lots of barking let you know you were in the ‘Dawg Pound’ and the ‘Brownies’ were your home team.

img_3402-2I picked up a t-shirt at the fan shop on my way in. When in Rome, right? Go Browns! Woof! Woof!

img_3450Our team was off to a great start. Two touchdowns in the first quarter made everyone believe it was OUR day. Lots of ‘woofing’ it up in the crowd. But, the Baltimore Ravens had other plans. They would play spoilers to this great game and beat the Browns 25-20. Nonetheless, my son and I had a good time.

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The final Cleveland activity was icing on the cake. We could have stopped at baseball, and football and called it a successful trip, but we pushed on and made time for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I’m so glad we did! It was 7 storeys of funky, fabulous music history and memorabilia. It was such a treat I really do need to write about it in its chapter and do it justice.

People have asked me, “wasn’t it a scary city? A tough town?” I can only answer from my own experience. No. No, I didn’t find it threatening, unusually populated or in any way scary. We used public transit, walked to both the stadium and ballpark, and chatted with people on the streets. One middle aged lady even stopped to ask where we were from and to say “welcome.” We were about to head into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and she said, “ah, you’ll love it. So many good things in there. You Canadians are gonna love it.”

She was right, of course, we did love it.

 

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Outside the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
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The front atrium at the Rock Hall
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Gift store at the Rock Hall. Their CD and record collection is a must-see
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David Bowie collection

 

We stayed so long at the Rock Hall, that we had the hotel arrange a private transfer service back to the airport. Again, that was nothing short of fantastic. A professional driver, a great vehicle and a lively chat about sports in Cleveland. What’s not to like?

Two thumbs up for this great city!

 

 

 

A week in Moncton, NB $660

Combining today’s flight sale, with a hotel, through Expedia.ca I’ve managed to find some coastal bargain holidays!

This is a week in Moncton, flight, hotel and taxes included! October 24-November 1st, 2016

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Or if you’d prefer a few days in Victoria? How about 5 days/4 nights at a beautiful coastal hotel, $555 tax and flight included?

 

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Sample prices and packages as of 2pm, September 1st. Prices subject to change and sell out without notice.

Air Canada’s Winnipeg Sale is on until midnight September 1st.

 

Winnipeg – 1 day sale

Air Canada has flights from Winnipeg on sale. A fabulous 1 day sale. I’ve checked it out. It’s legit.

This prices were spied at 9am on September 1st. Most dates are late September, all October and some into November.

Prices noted here, are taxes included, return, originating from YWG.

Moncton, NB $332; Seattle $324, Boston $296; Halifax $432; Victoria $237

As is typical, the competition (Westjet) has waded in with some similar sales prices. (It’s Westjet with the best price to Moncton right now.)

1 day sale, ends September 1st, at Midnight. Where are YOU going?

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September: Deals, Deals, Deals

Do you like bargain travel? 4 star vacations at 2 star prices? September is YOUR month!

October is a close second for bargains. Just be aware of holidays and blackout dates. (Like Canadian Thanksgiving) when prices will spike.

It’s the perfect time to plan yourself a post-summer vacation. Tourist spots are quiet. Kids are back in school and families are getting back into their hometown routines. And the North American weather is still fall-fabulous!

With hotels lucky to be at 40% capacity, you can be sure to nab a bargain.

Florida, Arizona & California are showing top bargains on my searches. Do visit your favourite last-minute vacation pages and travel sites.

I like Selloffvacations.com for hot last minute deals. If you like cruises….check that section too!

Find a bargain? Please share!

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Turks and Caicos Getaway

Work has gotten a little chaotic this summer. And while I DID escape for a few days, I haven’t had a moment to write about it.

I want to do a great job on this series, (since it’s one of my favourite places on earth), but until I can sit down and do a proper job, I offer you these photos.

Each is unedited, taken by me, August 2016. On my Canon camera.

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Grace Bay Beach
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Pier on Grace Bay Beach, near the future site of the Four Seasons Resort
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Sunset on Grace Bay Beach
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Loungers and view at the Royal West Indies Resort
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Parasailing over calm waters

 

Tips for seeing Kelowna and the Okanagan

1) Rent a car.

There are lakes, resorts and towns; wineries, national parks and historic sites abound. There’s literally something worthwhile to visit every 20 minutes, so you’ll want to stay mobile and cover some ground. The highway 97 north from Kelowna is double lane to Vernon and then single lane (with passing lanes) to the Trans-Canada and Revelstoke. I found it beautiful driving in the sunshine. Though I’m sure it would be more challenging in the winter and poor weather.

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One lane bridge over the Columbia River
Waterfall outside just outside the town of Revelstoke, BC
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Rock monument at Centennial Park in Revelstoke

2) Stay flexible.

Don’t over-plan or over schedule yourself. There is something around every corner that you’ll want to stop and see. For example. We had no idea that we wanted to go to a Kangaroo Farm. But when one of the tourism kiosk volunteers told us about it, and it was only 10 minutes away we decided heck ya! And now we’re going to recommend it to everyone we meet. Kids and youth admission is just $5, adults $10, or if you arrive before 10AM, everyone is just $5. (Cash only and at the gate. No advance tickets)

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Kangaroo Farm. 10 minutes north of the airport. See my friend the albino wallaby.

3) BC… Bring Cash

Roadside stands, u-pick fruit, and places like the kangaroo farm were cash only. And things in BC tend to be a little bit more expensive than on the prairies. For example, gas. In Winnipeg it was 96.9 cents per litre. In Kelowna 1.14 and in Revelstoke 121.9 on the same day.

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4) Save room for fruit and wine in your baggage allowance.

You don’t have to worry about packaging, or even making a stop on your way to the airport, YLW has it all conveniently inside the departure lounge. Once you’re past security, you can pick up a couple bottles of regional wine. They’ll even pack it in a carry-on approved box. (Bottle packs for 2 or 4)

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New Farm to Flight program. Packed fresh fruit for sale in the boarding lounge. A “suitcase” of peaches was $12.95
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Wine store at Kelowna Airport, past security and in the boarding lounge.