talktravel We Explore – You Discover
Food, W ine & Lifestyle Magazine
XI’AN, CHINA Terracotta Warriors
10 Reasons to go RVing Barkerville Celebration
Marana, Arizona The Magic of New Orleans
2018 • Issue 3 • Volume 10 • Table of Contents
Features 3. Fiji - a Dream Holiday for Everyone 4. The Next Frontier in Travel 6. Xi’an one of the hottest destination to visit in China 12. Ten Reasons to go RVing 16. Barkerville celebrates 150 years of Dominion Day 20. Your Ultimate Destination to
Explore The Canadian Wilderness
21. Marana’s outdoor Abundance 22. News
This July 1st, come celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s very first birthday party*
24. My Multi-Destination Adventure in Asia 26. The Magic of New Orleans 28. What’s Cooking 29. Talk Wine
Fiji - a Dream Holiday for Everyone (Your family will say you nailed summer vacation this year)
Fiji. The truly relaxing tropical holiday destination, with the friendliest people in the world. Perfect for those in search of ultimate relaxation, or a unique blend of adventure tourism and timeless cultural experience. Scattered across 200,000 square miles of beautiful blue ocean are 333 unspoiled Fijian islands - and some of the South Pacific’s most luxurious resorts. Lush green rainforest and rugged mountains, tall coconut palms, dazzling white beaches, clam turquoise lagoons, and exquisite coral reefs teeming with exotic fish.
(*July 1st, 1868) Come visit us year round! Interpretive programming runs May 17 to September 30, 2018. Check our website for winter recreation opportunities!
Barkerville Historic Town & Park • 1-888-994-3332 • www.barkerville.ca A PROVINCE OF BC HERITAGE PROPERTY & NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE OF CANADA
Fiji is probably the only place on earth where you can truly experience the perfect harmony between a land, its people and a melting-pot culture that has remained by the many age-old traditions in which you can actually interact in an authentic, way with the friendly, gentle Fijians.
letter from the publisher Wayne Hansen, Senior Editor
The next frontier in travel: Artificial Intelligence With the travel industry sitting at the forefront of technology adoption, we now sit on the cusp of artificial intelligence (AI) radically re-shaping the future of travel. The travel industry has always been at the forefront of technological progress. Although artificial intelligence is still in its infancy, it is in our future. Applying AI tools to travel data will open up an abundance of opportunities to improve the traveller experience. As it develops, AI will help simplify complex travel decisions, shorten the buying process and deliver a more personalized offering. And by automating lower priority tasks, it will free up human travel agents to add more value. Typically, in response to growing customer demands, the sector as a whole has been more willing than most to embrace new innovations when it comes to technology. With websites initially being used as the primary means to engage customers, the rise of evolving mobile appications is now the most popular and effective way to ensuring organizations stay connected with their customers any time, any place, anywhere. At its core, AI automates computer processes to understand and mimic the human brain. While there are many fields that comprise AI, two that are commonly used for everyday applications are Natural language processing (NLP), and Machine learning. NLP helps computers understand human speech or typing. Machine learning refers to computer programs that learn from new information or data without having to be explicitly programmed. Together, they enable computers to
respond to specific questions or requests, and improve the relevance of responses over time. The wealth of information that travel companies possess, including traveller profiles, activity history and airline and hotel preferences make the travel industry well suited to AI. Many travel companies are already using it to interact with travellers before, during and after their trips. Artificial intelligence now reprsents the next wave of technological innovation in the travel sector. Whether it’s predicting travellers’ preferences, personalizing a particular service, amending bookings, or addressing last minute requests, the power of the technology is increasingly being deployed to smooth these processes and overcome any obstacles. Once upon a time planning a holiday meant that you had to actually leave your home and visit a travel agent. More daring travellers would rely on word of mouth recommendations or their ever trusty travel guidebooks. Technology like highspeed internet disrupted these bygone ways and now AI is shaping up to be just as disruptive. Computers performing tasks that would usually require human intelligence is already game-changing. But computers with the ability to learn – with little to no supervision – will bring automation to a new level. Used in conjunction with predictive analytics, machine learning, which is one subset of AI, actively helps companies anticipate the future. For the travel industry, this means serving travellers faster and better throughout their journey.
Artificial intelligence is changing the rules for the travel industry and the ability to predict the behaviour of travellers will unlock new revenue opportunities for travel players. Without a doubt, exciting times are ahead within the travel industry and one should pay attention so they will be at the forefront of this revolution.
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Gina Hansen, CTC, ECC Publisher, Executive Editor
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CHINA - BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION
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Xi’an one of the hottest destinations to visit in China Mainland Chinese will tell you, “go to Shen Zhen for decades of Chinese history, Shanghai for centuries, Beijing for millenniums and Xi’an for everything”.” Xi’an is the most ancient city in China. History buff or not, visitors will be amazed and overwhelmed by the Zhong Hua 5000 nian = 5000 years of history it has to offer. Xi’an was the nation’s capital for 11 dynasties, so you’ll get to see the transitions and influences from the main four feudal dynasties - Qin, Han, Tang and Ming. 6
mercury, a “sky” studded with jewels representing the stars and all guarded by grave robber traps that would challenge Indiana Jones. So for now you’ll have to rely on your imagination to envision the emperor’s tomb. Away from the pits, a museum houses a stunning bronze chariot and horses, and other paraphernalia found with the warriors, including bronze vessels and weapons. Many tourists visit Xi’an for only a day to see the Terracotta Army but there are plenty of other activities and sights to keep visitors occupied in the area, including the historical relics at the Shaanxi History Museum, the mosque in the Muslim quarter, climbing the Big Goose Pagoda or heading to other archaeological sites that dot the countryside. When Zhu Yuanzhang, the first Emperor of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), captured Huizhou, a hermit named Zhu Sheng admonished him that he should ‘build high walls, store abundant food supplies and take time to be an Emperor’, so that he could fortify the city and unify the other states. The advice
In Xi’an, discover the power of an army of terracotta warriors crafted for the afterlife. Nothing about the countryside surrounding the central Chinese city of Xi’an hints at the archaeological wonders buried beneath the surface. This was certainly how the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, intended it. Ruling in the 3rd century BC, he ordered 700,000 workers to build a terracotta army for his afterlife and killed them when his tomb was completed 38 years later, so no one would reveal its location. In fact, were it not for farmers digging a well in 1974, the famed terracotta warriors might still be buried. But the secret is definitely out now. The huge mausoleum is one of China’s most popular sights, drawing about 2 million tourists every year. There are thought to be about 8000 soldiers and 150 cavalry horses, of which only a fraction have been excavated. These exquisite life-sized figures are being faithfully restored. They would have been even more striking in their original painted form but oxidization has worn away their vivid colours. Only one warrior unearthed so far has been discovered completely intact, and each warrior can take three restorers a year to painstakingly piece together. Three excavated pits are open to the public at the site, all beneath what looks like giant hangars
to preserve the warriors. In the largest pit, there are 6000 warriors. Only 1000 are unearthed, lined up and ready for battle. As you get closer you can see no two warriors are the same; all have different bodies, faces and expressions. They were modelled on the hierarchy of real armies, with generals, archers and foot soldiers, and guides will point out the differences from the uniforms and where they stand in the battle formation. One can almost picture the craftsmen absorbed in their work and the labourers hauling the warriors into position. Even the soles of the warriors shoes have intricate patterning. It’s the same spinetingling feeling one gets when seeing the ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia or Egypt’s pyramids. Work will continue on the site for many years, which makes it feel like a living museum, despite it being a tomb. If you return again, you might be able to see a pit not yet open to the public containing acrobats and dancers, presumed to be the emperor’s afterlife entertainment. The Chinese government has elected to preserve the main tomb by leaving it undisturbed for the time being. Ancient writings suggest the tomb itself is incredibly sumptuous with a floor laid out like a map of the empire with rivers of flowing 8
was followed and they began to enlarge the wall built initially during the old Tang dynasty (618-907), creating the modern Xi’an City Wall. It is the most complete city wall that has survived in China, as well as being one of the largest ancient military defensive systems in the world.
The Xi’an City Wall now stands 40 feet tall, 10 feet wide at the top and 50 feet thick at the bottom. It covers 8.5 miles in length with a deep moat surrounding it. Every 120 metres, there is a rampart which extends out from the main wall. There are a total of 98 ramparts on the wall, which were built to defend against the enemy climbing up the wall. Each rampart has a sentry building, in which the soldiers could protect the entire wall without exposing themselves. The distance between every two ramparats is just within the range of an arrow shot from either side, so that they could shoot at the attacking enemy. On the outer side of the city wall there are 5,958 battlements so soldiers could look out and shoot at the enemy. On the inner side, parapets were built to protect the soldiers from falling off.
Normally thought of as an ancient city, Xi’an has become a modern metropolis, and its nightlife is proof of this. The most famous bar street in Xi’an is the Defu Lane. This street has bars to cater to everyone’s taste. Every evening, businessmen, students, and visitors congregate here to enjoy live music, performances, and drinks. It is a great way to unwind after a busy day of touring. Anther great place to go during the night is the Bell and Drum Towers in the centre of Xi’an. At night the towers are lit and look spectacular. The market behind the Drum Tower is fantastic and offers wonderful arts and crafts, tea, shadow puppets and art supplies. Also at night many visitors like to go to the musical fountain near the Big Wild Goose Pagoda. The spectacular fountain is lit and computer controlled to dance to the music. It is especially popular with children who marvel at the dancing water.
Chang’an Impression Performance at the City Wall of The Muslim Quarter is probably the most vibrant and interesting neighbourhood in all of Xi’an. Hidden in the shadow of the looming Drum Tower, the area is a rabbit warren of twisty streets and shops. It comes alive in the evenings with people in the streets, sellers hawking their wares and the aromas of strange foods drifting through the air. The hidden centrepiece of ths area is the Great Mosque of Xi’an. The actual structure is enormous. An aging beauty at 1360 years old, the mosque is built in the Chinese style, absent of any minarets or domes, It’s still very much in use today.
The Food of Xi’an - The Terracotta Army may be the most famous landmark in the central Chinese city of Xi’an, but the Shaanxi capital’s array of noodles, breads and dumplings are the tastiest way to be transported back to ancient China. Once the starting point of the Silk Road, Xi’anese cuisine doesn’t just have one of the world’s longest culinary histories but one of the richest, too. The city was home to various religions during the Tang Dynasty, and a range of cultures have helped shape Xi’an cuisine, with Islamic influence being particularly strong. The city’s Muslim Quarter has become food heaven for locals and tourists alike. If one dish could represent Xi’an, locals would tell you it’d be without doubt yangrou paomo -- an aromatic, tasty and spicy bowl of shredded flatbread soaked in mutton broth. 10
Eating a paomo is a uniquely relaxing exercise and here’s the right way to do it. To start with, you’ll be served two pieces of unleavened flatbread -- or “mo” in Chinese -- in a bowl. It’s now your job to tear the bread into pieces as small as soybeans. The process can be laborious but locals believe mo tastes much better when hand-pulled. More importantly, it’s the time for locals to sit together and trade gossip. Then, you should return the bowl and your mo crumbles will be cooked in mutton soup with rice vermicelli until the bits are fully soaked in soup and flavor.
Be part of a breathtaking ancient from the celebration Tang Dynasty: the Grand Welcoming Celebration • Enjoy a performance that combines the history of the Tang dynasty and cultural customs
The stew will be topped with slices of lamb or beef of your choice and -- like what every local would do -- pickled sweet garlic is added to complete the dish.
• Feel the atmosphere of Xi’an as the ancient capital of China and the eternal city of the east
Xi’an is crazy for noodles -- from narrow to wide, from cold to hot, from egg noodles to spinach noodles -- as long as they’re hand-stretched. Here on the Guanzhong Plain where rain isn’t abundant throughout the year, wheat is the main crop in the region instead of rice. Of the most popular noodles, Biangbiang noodles are famous mostly because of their unique name.
Chang’an Impression is a live performance which takes place on the City Wall of Xian. On September 17th, 1,000 lucky Canadian tourists visiting Xi’an will be invited to experience a state-level Chang’an Impression Tang Dynasty Welcoming Ceremony, courtesy of the China National Tourism Administration and in continued celebration of the China-Canada Year of Tourism.
Xi’an is well connected by rail, bus and air to the rest of China. Many visitors will add Xi’an as a quick stop to their itinerary that includes Beijing. It is just a one hour flight from Beijing so is an easy addition. It has often been said that, “if you have not been to Xi’an, you have not been to China!” 11
• Take part in a ceremony that was previously only accessible to high-ranking visiting dignitaries!
Held at the Xi’an City Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, this oneof-a-kind performance is usually reserved for distinguished visitors to the city. Former President of the United States Bill Clinton and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi were all received with this ceremony upon their visit to the historically rich city. To be greeted with such a grand performance is a display of the city, and by extension the country, welcoming their esteemed guests with open arms. Guests will be introduced to yesteryear officials, guards, maids and officials throughout as the ancient city comes to life once again. The highlight of the show is the finale where rolls of delicate silk are drawn from the top of the wall to the stage below. This show symbolizes the modern Silk Road, where people come together from around the world in peace and harmony.
Ten Reasons to go RVing More and more Canadians are opting to spend their vacation time on the road. In an RV it’s more about the journey than the destination. You can stay at any destination as long as you want, take the whole family, including the dog, for about the same price as one person travelling on their own. 12
You’re in control! Go anywhere you want to at a pace that’s suitable for you. Forget about the stresses of airline connections and keeping up with schedules. Take a break and relax whenever you need to. A specific license isn’t required to drive an RV, but it takes some time to get comfortable behind the wheel, especially in a larger RV. Practice with another driver or by yourself to gain the confidence to drive others. Classes are available and usually offered by the RV dealer you buy from. The RV is attractive to the adventurous spirit who enjoys exploring every inch of their journey. An unplanned side trip is no problem when you’re driving. Take control of your vacation by doing what you want to do. 13
2. Quality time! Families and friends can reconnect when they
6. Follow your passions! Having an RV allows you to head to
Make new friends! RVers are a friendly bunch. At every stop you’ll meet new people or run into old friends, making memories that will last a lifetime. Learn about their passions (see #6) and share yours, and perhaps meet up with them again, somewhere down the road. After only a few trips you will know someone from every corner of North America.
are away from typical routine. Family memories made on RV travels can last a life time. Keep the electronics at home to feel disconnected and spend some quality time together. Work together on cooking or just catching up with each other without distractions. Give your full attention to your family. Park at campgrounds and have your children involved in activities. This is a great way for kids to make new friends and discover nature for themselves. Enjoy the classic style of camping with stories, campfire, and smores. A toy hauler is an additional option to bring bikes, quads, etc.
Camping with all the comforts of home! Enjoy the outdoors but bring all the comforts of home along with you on board your RV. Every day necessities such as a microwave, TV, refrigerator and bed are all handy. Sit outside in the sun, or if you prefer, under your awning protected from sun and rain. Enjoy a campfire, and if the weather turns really bad, move indoors. You’ll feel at home in your RV, filled with your own personal belongings. Your kitchen will be stocked with the food you like, you’ll always have your own pillow, and you’ll know that the bathroom is clean.
Cost! Yes, there’s the initial cost of purchasing an RV, but over the life of the RV you can save a great deal on vacation costs. Reduce your initial costs by buying used, or rent until you know that you enjoy the RVing lifestyle. Lodging can get expensive, especially with a large family. Parking in a campground for a few nights instead of renting hotel rooms is an ideal option. Flights add up for a family of 4 or 6. When you vacation in your RV you can save money by making meals at home instead of eating in restaurants.
Get away from the hustle and bustle! Reconnect with nature. Our world is full of mountains, lakes and rivers waiting to be explored, sunsets to be experienced, wildlife to be encountered and fresh air to be inhaled. Hiking, jogging, and swimming take on a whole new meaning away from the city. RVing will take you places where the outdoors becomes your preferred option and you’ll embark on adventures you could never experience at home. And all that clean air and sunshine might just be good for your health. 14
where your interests are found. Travel to destinations with different kinds of food, culture, historical landmarks, music and art. Support your favourite team at an away game. Go antiquing and you won’t have to ship your purchases home. No more extra bag fees to bring along your golf clubs. Fish a different lake or stream every day. More than any other thing, being part of what you’re passionate about will make you a happier person.
Unplug! Take a step back from the technology that runs (or ruins) your life. You’ll still have access to the social media updates, your favourite TV dramas, video games, and the internet, but after a few days on the road you’ll discover that you get more enjoyment from watching a sunset than from watching TV. You’ll find that you would rather sneak up on a chipmunk than blast aliens, and watching an eagle catch a fish is better in real life than on You Tube. Local history is more interesting in the museum than online. On the road you can enjoy learning about the stars, plants and animals, and local ways of life.
9. Pet friendly! RVing allows you to bring your pets along for the ride!
No more worries about who will watch your pet when you leave for vacation. No more dog sitters or kennel fees to pay. No more coming home to a cat clawed couch or a mess on the carpet. Enjoy the company of your pets as you travel and let them enjoy your company as well.
10. Stay on track! While some routines need to be shed in order to
have a relaxed trip, others are important to maintain. On a special diet? Always have dinner at 6 PM? Medication to take at the same time every day? These are things that are difficult to control when you travel but easy to stay on top of when RVing. Almost time to eat? Pull over and make dinner. No need to hunt through a menu to find the one thing you can eat. Just go to the fridge like you do at home. Need to go to sleep at 10 and get up at 6? No problem. 15
Barkerville celebrates 150 years of Dominion Day that the fledgling country didn’t even have a flag. The very next year Cariboo’s “new” Canadian Flag, with its iconic beaver and wreath, was raised in the dead of night to the top of a newly constructed flagpole almost 20 feet higher than that of the Americans. The next day began with the now traditional anvil chorus and the ensuing celebrations were legendary.
else, and a full eleven years before July 1st was officially recognized as “Dominion Day.”
of visitors have flocked to Williams Creek to take part in Barkerville’s annual Dominion Day celebrations.
Canada’s very first Dominion Day celebration was held in Barkerville, BC as a fervent display of support for Canadian confederation three years before British Columbia joined in 1871.
launched their own version of a 21 gun salute. Cannons were in short supply, so black powder charges were detonated between stacked blacksmith anvils, providing a loud and raucous start to Canada’s very first birthday party. A full slate of activities followed throughout the day and long into the evening, capped off with a fireworks display of epic proportions.
“This is the earliest recorded celebration of Canada Day in our country’s history,” said James Douglas, Barkerville’s Manager of Visitor Experiences. “And Barkerville has continued the party every year since, for the past 150 years.”
“Celebrating Canada’s birthday here in Barkerville has a profound meaning,” said Douglas. “Barkerville provides a unique and intriguing setting for visitors to commemorate British Columbia’s history, to reminisce about its pioneers, and to share the joy and pride of being a Canadian.”
Just past midnight on July 1st, 1868, the Dominion of Canada’s inaugural anniversary, Barkerville residents
It was quickly noted by resident Americans, whose upcoming July 4th party had just been eclipsed,
Extensive historical research suggests that Barkerville began celebrating Canada Day before anywhere
Ever since the entire town was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924, hundreds of thousands
It’s been 150 years since the first Dominion Day (or, Canada Day) party in history, and if you pay a visit to Barkerville this summer you’ll find the place where it all happened.
This year as special commemoration, Barkerville’s giant 150th anniversary
Dominion Day birthday cake will be served at 11:00 am, followed by a reenactment of the traditional (and explosive) anvil chorus just past noon, a costumed street parade and array of traditional games for both children and adults, including a broad jump, funny face contest, cracker eating whistle races, sack race, tugo-war, egg toss, hammer toss, ladies nail-pounding, egg-and-spoon race, and a grease pole climb. Later in the evening guests are invited to the Theatre Royal for a fun and frolicfilled musical variety show, and to
Photo: Thomas Drasdauskis
the House Hotel Saloon for dancing and mingling to the bluegrass tunes of the Milburn Mountain Band, and a grand finale fireworks display at approximately 10:00 pm. With a unique streetscape of 125+ heritage buildings, authentic displays, satellite museums, restaurants, shops and accommodations, Barkerville still has lots to explore – including a fascinating and substantial library and archives. “It’s really been in the last couple of decades that people have started to realize what a resource Barkerville is for research into what was happening not only in British Columbia but the entire world through-out the 19th and early-20th centuries,” said Douglas. Billy Barker’s mine produced 37,500 ounces of gold, worth $50 million in today’s market. Barker worked the claim for two seasons,
then sold his shares and moved on. The town was named after him as a tribute to his generosity in helping out his neighbours in the town with loans, which dwindled his assets considerably. He died a pauper, having spent his final years living in a men’s rooming house in Victoria on July 11, 1894. “So many of the guys who hit it big in gold rushes wind up with a similar story, they may not be destitute but the riches of their youth tend to disappear,” said Douglas. “In Barker’s case it was particularly sad because here’s the guy who’s the reason that British Columbia is the way it is today and he was buried in an unmarked grave in Ross Bay cemetery.”
Echo Valley Ranch & Spa ~ Lose Yourself in the Magic
Barkerville will be open May 17 for a sesquicentennial season that runs through September 30.
evranch.com • email@example.com • 1.800.253.8831
For more information go to
Located in the heart of BC’s Cariboo Country, 5 hours from Vancouver.
Your Ultimate Destination To Experience The Canadian Wilderness
Echo Valley Ranch & Spa provides all the comforts of home in Canada’s beautiful Cariboo Country, and then some. Expect a breathtaking, allinclusive setting that is nothing less than spectacular. EVR is a Canadian Signature Experience, and only a few chosen places get to hold this title. It was one of the first members of this Canadian collection, and it speaks to the ranch’s authenticity and their dedication for bringing eastern and western culture together for the ultimate experience.
Once you’re ready to switch gears and pamper yourself, EVR offers two world-class spas with a variety of treatment options – from traditional Thai skin care and Thai massages, to western-style body treatments and so much more. Let the experts at EVR help you wash your worries away.
Western-style log buildings, eastern elegance and style. A trail ride and a Thai massage. A western barbeque dinner and an eastern Thai dinner night. It’s all part of the EVR way, to appreciate the cultural diversity of this planet.
At Echo Valley Ranch & Spa in Jesmond, B.C., geography is everything. Set deep in the foothills of Mount Bowman, and overlooking a valley that crosses the majestic Fraser Canyon, this luxury, all-inclusive dude ranch experience is as unique as it is authentic. Pristine mountains, lush valleys, pine forests and desert canyons are just some of the sights native to the region, so don’t worry about finding ways to fill your days in the great outdoors.
Options abound when it comes to what you can do during your stay at EVR. The ranch is set on 160 acres and provides the ultimate playground for ranch guests. While you’re there, you can go horseback riding on one of the forty horses... one for everyone’s riding level or hiking, fly fishing in their own stocked pond or biking.
The ranch also offers a fitness room, geo-termal indoor pool and sauna, as well as Thai yoga for those early risers.
Outdoor Abundance As the gateway to Southern Arizona, Marana is brimming with adventure, excitement, and fun for the whole family. No matter what you are searching for, you will discover it in Marana.
The food at EVR is second-to-none, and the ranch believes in eating fresh and eating local – with most of the ingredients coming from the ranch itself. The ranch’s executive chef cooks up authentic, farm-fresh meals for guests, and you’ll never go to bed hungry. Your body and soul will thank you for this experience, in a place where people and nature come together in a family-like atmosphere. Visit them at www.evranch.com
Got the shopping bug? Marana region has one of the most diverse shopping experiences around, with unique boutiques, convenient outlet malls, and everything in between. If something more active suits you, explore Marana’s outdoors for an experience you will not soon forget. The Tortolita mountain range offers nationally recognized hiking and biking trails, and the aweinspiring Saguaro National Forest will turn your visit into a lifelong memory. For fun family activities in Southern Arizona look no further than Marana. Cool off at the Town’s new Splash Pad, or get your game on at the nearby ball fields. Take an afternoon bike ride along the cycling path winding its way along the Santa Cruz River, a scenic desert waterway teeming with wildlife. Any time of year, from baseball season in the summer to warm afternoon bike rides in the winter, Marana offers something for everyone. Museums in Southern Arizona cover everything from art and history to aviation and native flora and fauna. The Arizona State Museum is home to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of American Indian basketry and Southwest Indian Pottery. Let your imagination take flight at Pima Air & Space Museum, one of the largest museums of its type in the world.
The ranch also offers a fitness room, pool and sauna, as well as Thai yoga for those early risers. 20
The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is one of the nation’s leading outdoor, living museums, featuring more than 230 animals and 1,200 varieties of desert plants and was recently inducted into the “Certificate of Excellence” TripAdvisor Hall of Fame. One of the best reasons to visit is the drive – west on Ina through Picture Rocks and Saguaro National Park West. The views of the saguarocovered hills are jaw-dropping. Come to Marana for an outdoor experience you will surely remember – there is truly nothing like it in the world. With some of the best biking, hiking, and outdoors excursions in the Southwest, this is not an experience to pass up. Marana’s back yard is
filled with the most amazing flora and fauna, with species that are unlike anything in the world. The wild Tortolita mountain range shelters distinct plants and animals, including tortoises, javelina, and even jaguars. The Saguaro cacti, a national treasure will inspire you to venture further into its canyons and peaks. Manzanita trees shade seasonal and perennial streams, wind-carved hoodoos rising overhead, and a wide expanse of blue sky and bright sun shinesg above throughout the year. Southern Arizona is home to some of the country’s most spectacular open spaces, and Marana offers the perfect launching point for outdoor adventures.
Discover Marana, Town of Gastronomy GET CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE SONORAN DESERT TO TASTE IT. 4,000 YEARS OF AGRICULTURE
THE MARANA GASTRONOMY TOUR Exclusive tastings, including a multi-course small plate tasting at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Marana.
A TASTE OF THE WILD: THE MARANA WILD FOODS GASTRONOMY TOUR Exclusive tastings, including gourmet wildcrafted foods from Bean Tree Farm, Catalina Brewing Company, and Button Brew House.
news Get Paid to Journey Around the World The 2nd edition of World Life Experience is now receiving applications. The one year journey around the world is seeking candidates for its 2019 program.
The first trip began in January this year and is taking 11 participants across 3 continents. By mid March they had already been in 6 cities in 5 different countries working on reforestation, reconstruction, projects geared toward environmental sustainability, and work with refugees. For those eager to travel the world and at the same time contribute to the planet through socially responsible attitudes and actions, this is the “best job in the world”. The 2019 trip will cover 20 international destinations in Latin
America, Asia, Africa, Australia and Europe where the next 11 participants will get to know different societies and cultures while they do volunteer work in local non-governmental organizations (NGO) of different countries. Each selected participant will be paid a 2500 Euro monthly wage (currently about $4050 CAD) by Lisbon based World Life Experience, who will also cover all expenses. There is a 9 Euro application fee ($14.50 CAD) of which 2.5 Euros goes to support the more than 50 international NGO participating with the balance covering the selection process and costs. The selection process is a 5 stage process to narrow down the candidates until only 11 remain. It begins with registration and payment on the World Life Experience website and includes psychological testing, self promotion videos, English (the common language on the trip) proficiency testing and skype interviews.
Applicants must be between 21 and 39 years of age and meet a specific profile, including being responsible, empathetic, tolerant, proactive, flexible and work well in a group (not a complete list). For complete information, including selection criteria and all of the application procedures, go to www. worldlifeexperience.com and click apply. The initial stage of applications for the 2019 program must be completed by July 20th. World Life Experience is a sustainability and social responsibility project based in Lisbon, Portugul, promoting synergies between people, the business community, and humanitarian organizations. The selection process is carried out by an independent entity, CEGOC, a European training , development and recruitment group.
Money Money Money Since 1935 the Bank of Canada has issued 7 different series of bank notes, with release of the 8th about to begin. Initially the entire series of notes was redesigned about every 15 years. More recently the frequency has been increased to about every 10 years. As technology changes new security features are added to the bill design to combat counterfeiting. To keep security measures as current as possible, the release of the new $10 note later this year marks a shift in Bank of Canada policy. Rather than redesigning all denominations at the same time, one denomination will be released every few years, allowing for the most current security features to be included in each release. Since moving from cotton paper to polymer notes in 2011, Canada has had one of the lowest rates of counterfeiting among major industrialized nations (about 36 fake bills for every million authentic bills). Following an open call to Canadians to nominate an iconic Canadian woman, Viola Desmond is featured on the new $10 bill. A successful
Black Nova Scotia businesswoman, Desmond refused to leave a whitesonly area of a movie theatre in 1946 and was subsequently jailed, convicted and fined. Her court case is one of the first known legal challenges against racial segregation brought forth by a Black woman in Canada. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, an eagle feather—representing the ongoing journey toward recognizing rights and freedoms for Indigenous Peoples in Canada—and an excerpt from the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms are featured on the back of the new note. Once in circulation in late 2018, it will mark the first time that an iconic Canadian woman is portrayed on a regularly circulating Bank of Canada note. This new $10 note is the first vertically oriented bank note issued in Canada. “Our bank notes are designed not only to be a secure and durable means of payment, but also to be works of art that tell the stories of Canada. This new $10 fits that bill,” said Bank of Canada Governor Ste-
phen S. Poloz. “I’m immensely proud of all the innovation that went into this note—from the public consultation process that encouraged a national conversation on the important contributions of women in Canadian history, to the note’s beautiful vertical design, to its cutting-edge security features. Canadians can use this note with both confidence and pride.” The next $5 note will also feature a new iconic Canadian portrait subject and supporting imagery. The Bank of Canada will begin looking for input from Canadians in the near future.
it is easy to get talked into an entire new wardrobe but allow a few days for the necessary adjustments. This is quality tailoring at a fraction of the price but go prepared. Take magazine cutouts or bring designs you want to replicate. Hanoi is actually over 1000 years old so the wealth of history available there is mind boggling... temples, ancient citadels, unique theatres and stunning wilderness. Place to visit include Hanoi old quarter, the national park, opera house, temples, weekend night markets and a one night Ha Long Bay Cruise. Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a beautiful natural wonder. Shook Restaurant
My Multi-Destination Adventure in Asia By: Gina Hansen When planning your first excursion to Asia it is surprisingly easy to visit multiple countries. This time I used Hong Kong as my starting point and then ventured onward to China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore. Hong Kong, because of its location, right in the very heart of East Asia, is the perfect place to begin or end your Asia adventure. All the excitement of China, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and the tropical charm and beauty of Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines are just a few hours flight away. As a starting point a Hong Kong stopover for 2-3 nights gives you time to catch up on your jet lag. It’s a “Shopping Heaven” along with plenty of entertaining things to do. Exploring the downtown areas will keep you busy with a host of ex-
citing restaurant options from Dim Sum, Chinese BBQ, local snacks to fine dining to choose from. Make sure to do some sightseeing that includes Victoria Peak. My next destination was Shanghai where I took advantage of the 144 Hour Visa-Free Transit which makes for a great stopover experience. There was not enough time to see and do everything that can be done in Shanghai and area but a stroll on the Colonial Bund is Shanghai’s most iconic free activity and your first activity. Then visit is a walk through the stylist and charming French Concession. Tianzifang is a bustling touristic arts and crafts enclave that has developed from a renovated traditional residential area in the French Concession. It contains alleyways that are a fun shopping area. Another interesting place is the marriage market in People’s Park where very Saturday and Sunday parents and grandparents convene
to seek out promising partners for their offspring. My favourite restaurant experience was Shook at 23 East Nanjing Road. I enjoyed a great dining experience there on my first night in Shanghai. The food, ambiance, service were impeccable. Their rooftop area has an amazing view of the river and Pudong. Definitely a place not to miss. The next country on my itinerary was Vietnam and I would recommend staying a minimum of 7 days with so many things to do and see. Ho Chi Minh features exotic food, French colonial architecture and memories of the war. Local city tours will include markets, Cu Chi tunnels and the War Remnants Museum. Massage treatments and spas are everywhere and very affordable. A complete treatment would probably cost less than half of what one would spend back home. Tailors are everywhere and 24
My journey then took me to Malaysia, one of South East Asia’s most fun and exotic destination. Its friendly people and endearing Malaysian culture will make any visitor fall in love with the country. Kuala Lumpur, called KL, is the capital and is a city full of a variety of modern skyscrapers with lots to do. I managed to find the famed Lake Symphony, a children’s playground for the best photo angles of the Petronas Twin Towers. Places to visit in KL include Brickfields, Little India, churches, temples, shrines, art galleries, shop houses and hidden gem dining places. Other highlights include the Central Market, Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, Bird Sanctuary, Kuala Lumpur Zoo, Batu Caves that were created more than 400 million years ago. I highly recommend the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in KL. I was pampered in a gorgeous suite with butler service. This fine hotel is located near the famous Petronas Towers. The variety of their buffet breakfast is something to die for! The staff went the extra mile to offer a very warm and personal touch to my whole experience. 25
The Luxurious Starhill Gallery, connected to JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton, is perhaps the most upscale shopping and eating gallery in Kuala Lumpur. Expect to find any luxury brand your heart desires. I was invited to Shook in the Starhill Gallery. An Asian and European showcase restaurant that was sophisticated and modern with an open concept to include Japanese, Chinese, Italian and Western favourites... an experience to always remember. A short drive from Kuala Lumpur you will find the perfect beach holiday destination. Penang Island has always been my favourite place to come back to. You will find the very best in authentic Malaysian food and it is so affordable. There are lots of beach resort hotels but I was invited to experience a gorgeous architectural collection of old history of clan houses called Clans Kongsi Georgetown. This is the latest and most eclectic boutique residences and furnished with modern intricate decorative details that have been lovingly restored to their original stature. Khoo Kongsi is right in the heart of Georgetown a Unesco World Heritage Site. Its history dates back nearly 300 years when the first members of the Khoo clan left
Fukien Province in China in search for a better life in Malaysia. Penang is known as “The Pearl of the Orient”, and never fails to impress visitors with its old charm, cultural diversity and delicious authentic hawker food. Places to visit include Khoo Kongsi Temple, Cannon Square, Acheen Street Malay Mosque, St. George church, Temples and the lively morning Chowrasta market. Just across the Malaysian border at Johore is the tiny island country-city of Singapore. It’s so close that you don’t want to miss a visit there. It has a reputation as one of the most cleanest cities and places in the world to visit. I was able to visit Merlion Park where I walked from Boat Quay enjoying the scenery. The famous Bak Kut Teh, a delicious portion of pork ribs cooked in broth is something not to miss. And, of course, when there don’t forget to enjoy a few Singapore Slings! It is always hard to leave this beautiful and exotic part of the world but it gets easier to return again and again with airfare more affordable than ever and hotels, resorts and food less than most other places in the world. You won’t be disappointed. Clans Kongsi Hotel, Penang
taneous spirit of celebration. You never know what new experience you’ll have, whether it’s an invite to a neighbourhood crawfish boil or catching a second line parade—travellers can always expect a bit of the unexpected in New Orleans.
2. Bourbon Street | French Quarter - The infamous Bourbon Street is a well known hot spot for late night revelry in New Orleans. The street really comes alive with parades and street parties during major festivals and events like Mardi Gras, Halloween, Pride, and Southern Decadence. 3. Frenchmen Street | Marigny - Frenchmen Street is often referred to as the local alternative to Bourbon Street, and is the epicentre for great live music by local and touring artists. Every night is a party on Frenchmen, and with three blocks packed full of venues and restaurants, there is something for everyone.
The Magic of New Orleans
By Gina Hansen Friendly people, the finest food almost anywhere, some of the world’s best music... and a comeback in full swing. How can you not fall in love with New Orleans. The city may be beautiful during the day, but the true magic of New Orleans comes alive at night. With its hip jazz clubs, wonderful restaurants, and lively bars, New Orleans is known for its nightlife.
4. Mardi Gras World | Warehouse District - Mardi Gras World keeps the spirit of Mardi Gras alive all year long, by offering visitors an exclusive look at all that goes into creating the spectacular floats that lead the biggest celebration of the year. 5. French Market | French Quarter - Dating back to 1791, the French Market is the nation’s oldest operating open-air market for fresh produce and other goods. Today, the market is home to a unique collection of open-air eateries, craft vendors, and retail shops.
New Orleans’ cultural heritage is a melting pot of traditions from French, Spanish, African, Creole, Cajun and American residents who have inspired a passion and creativity in music, food, art, and architecture that is uniquely its own. Millions of visitors from around the world visit every year to experience New Orleans’ famous culture, and with a packed calendar of events, festivals, sporting events and conferences there is always something interesting going on.
When choosing a hotel for your visit to New Orleans I would highly recommend selecting one of the local boutique hotels. Two that I stayed at were Hotel Mazarin and Hotel Le Marais.
In the words of Bob Dylan, “everything in New Orleans is a good idea,” and I couldn’t agree more. But with so many amazing things to see and do in the city, I thought I’d help out a bit by creating a list of some top must-see cultural attractions in the city.
The Hotel Mazarin what a great hotel! Without doubt the best staff in any hotel I have stayed almost
One last word of advice: don’t stick too closely to an itinerary. Part of the magic of New Orleans is a spon 26
1. Jackson Square | French Quarter - The Square is a great spot to people watch and be entertained by a regular crowd of brass bands, buskers, and street performers.
anywhere! The hotel is very conveniently located, right off Bourbon street and walkable to many of the main attractions but far from the noise to feel as though you are in a remote countryside hotel rather than the French Quarter. My room was terrific, spacious, clean and well equipped with nice little touches included. Great buffet breakfast. The Hotel features 102 brilliant and spacious rooms and the French Quarter’s most elegant courtyard with European style fountain as its centerpiece. All in all, a wonderful experience in a wonderful City. Hotel Le Marais is a great choice for travelers who want to be in the French Quarter. One block off Bourbon St. And either a short walk or streetcar ride to anywhere! Perfect location, wonderful pool, comfortable room, and very friendly, helpful staff. Also, there are wonderful restaurants within easy walking distance. The Le Marais manages to place guests in the thick of it all while providing an oasis of calm, hospitality and comfort. There are many advantages to well-run small hotels, and Le Marais nails them all: friendly, helpful staff that take a personal interest in their guests; unique architecture, design and room appointments; laid-back atmosphere; exceptional amenities and services. Add to this remarkably affordable rates, an excellent complimentary breakfast, and delightful common space that includes a lush courtyard complete with small salt-water pool, and the result is an outstanding bargain smack in the middle of the French Quarter.
what’s cooking The Art of Ceviche:
a New Paradigm for Cooking Origins of Ceviche
Although it is known to be a South American dish, many have credited the dish to the Spanish (which may explain why the dish is not found in Brazilian cuisine). The Spaniards has been said to adopt the dish from the Polynesia Islands (which may explain why Fiji is also known for ceviche dishes).
The craft of ceviche (pronounced cebiche or seviche) cookery is an art that requires no pots nor pans, no ovens nor grills, no microwave radiation nor fire – all you need are your ingredients, a bowl, and adventurous taste buds. This South American dish has won the hearts of many – and although it may garnish a sophisticated taste, it is relatively quick and easy to make. The five main ingredients to any ceviche dish are fish, lemon/lime, cilantro, onions, and ginger. There is neither fire nor any heat involved, so the fish’s preparation lay in its marination. To avoid the initial shock of consuming raw fish, the reader should realize that the acidity in the citrus and the onions rids the fish of bacteria. The marinated fish transforms from a translucent color into a more opaque shade in about ten minutes (depending on the quality and grade of the fish, it is sometimes preferred to leave the fish in the marination for a few hours or refrigerated over night).
The five ingredients should only be used as guidelines, and the reader is encouraged to explore and experiment with different fruits and fish. In Peru and Panama, both celery and pepper (habanero or serrano) are added, and the dish is accompanied by sweet potatoes and corn. Sea bass is generally used, however it also is found prepared with octopus, shrimp, and squid. Ecuadorian ceviche is made with tomato sauce for a sweet tangy taste; while in the Philippines, ceviche is marinated in vinegar or orange juice, adding garlic as an important ingredient. In Mexico and Costa Rica, ceviche is served in cocktail cups accompanying tostadas or lettuce leaves. In Fiji and the Bahamas, the ceviche is mixed with coconut cream. Ceviche is made with many different kinds of seafood: like Crab (Hawaii), Halibut (Chile), Mahi-Mahi (Cuba / Costa Rica) Sea Bass (Peru / Panama), Tilapia (Costa Rica), Tuna (Mexico), and Shark (Costa Rica) – while some restaurant in the US and Canada prepare it using Salmon. It can be marinated in any citrus-based fruit like lemons, lime, oranges, grapefruit, banana passion fruit, or papaya. Many Spanish Tapas restaurants experiment with adding a variety of different fruits, like mango, avocado, bananas, apples and guava. 28
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Wine’s Defining Elements
Four basic elements define every wine: the grape, the region, the vintage, and the producer.
Wine Tasting Process
The first defining element is the grape. The variety of grape used to make a wine fundamentally determines the wine’s taste.
against a white background, such as a napkin or table cloth, to evaluate its color and clarity. Red wines should range in color from deep purple to brick red. Red wines generally fade in color with age. White wines should range in color from lemon gold to golden amber. White wines usually darken with age. If the wine is discolored or cloudy, the wine may be bad.
The second element is the region where the grape is grown. The region is important because it affects the style of the wine. For example, in cooler climates, grapes generally become less ripe. Less ripe grapes produce lighter bodied wines. In warmer climates, grapes become riper, producing fuller bodied wines. The third defining element is vintage. Vintage refers to the year in which grapes were harvested. Vintage may influence the wine’s quality because the weather in a particular region varies from year to year. The final important element defining a wine is the producer, or the person that turns the grapes into wine. The producer makes many decisions that impact the wine, such as when to harvest the grapes and how they will be fermented.
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Once it is poured into the proper glass, it’s time to evaluate and enjoy the wine. Evaluating wine involves four basic steps – looking, swirling, smelling, and tasting.
Step #1 – Look. Begin by holding the wine glass up
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Step #2 – Swirl. Swirl the wine in your glass to aerate it and release its aroma. Step #3 – Smell. To properly smell your wine, put your nose in the glass and take a deep breath. Pay attention to what the wine smells like. Older wines should have subtler aromas than younger ones. Is the wine fruity, if so, what fruit does is smell like. Is it earthy or spicy?
Step #4 – Taste. To taste the wine, fill your mouth about ½ full and subtly swish the wine around. Moving the wine in your mouth should release its aroma and coat your mouth. Think about the wine’s aroma. Does tasting the wine confirm your interpretation of the wine’s bouquet. 30
September 29th, 2018 EAST EXHIBITION HALL B Vancouver Convention Centre 31
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Xi'an one of the hottest destinations to visit in China. Plus 10 Reasons to go Rving. Barkerville Celebration Marana, Arizona The Magic of...
Published on Jun 13, 2018
Xi'an one of the hottest destinations to visit in China. Plus 10 Reasons to go Rving. Barkerville Celebration Marana, Arizona The Magic of...