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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Old-world Christmas traditions at markets in Toronto, Kitchener

   One-Tank Trip published on Nov. 26/27, 2011


   (c) By Jim Fox

   ‘Tis the season for some “old-world” holiday traditions – Christmas markets.
   Toronto’s Distillery Historic District has a re-enactment of a traditional European-style market while downtown Kitchener is the place for a festival of German Christmas.
Kris Kringle, an old-fashioned Santa, arrives by horse at the Distillery District’s Toronto Christmas Market.
   Markets have been part of the festive time for centuries in Germany, with the oldest recorded in 1310 in Munich.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Holiday house tour puts Niagara-on-the-Lake in the Christmas spirit

   One-Tank Trip published on Nov. 19/11

 
   (c) By Jim Fox

   Visitors to Niagara-on-the-Lake can relive the spirit of Christmases past – all the way back to the Victorian era – during the Holiday House Tour.
   The event on Dec. 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. presents six houses among 15 properties all adorned in festive decorations.
   Thousands of visitors will descend on this picturesque and historic community for the event, now in its 13th year, presented by the local Rotary Club.
The Holiday House Tour is set in the scenic Victorian-style community of  Niagara-on-the-Lake. (Photo by Jim Fox)
   On view are “historic and contemporary properties, all decorated for the holiday season by local businesses and volunteers,” said club president Ward Simpson.
   “Stay for the weekend, enjoy the Friday night Candlelight Stroll, enchanting town atmosphere and holiday shopping all weekend long,” he added.
   A ticket supports the club’s community work and provides admission to all the properties, wineries, lunch at St. Mark’s Addison Hall and a chance to win door prizes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Metro Detroit: Shop 'til you drop; everyone loves a parade

    One-Tank Trip published on Nov. 12/13, 2011


   (c) By Jim Fox

   Shop ’til you drop could have a new meaning for “Black Friday” shoppers heading to the U.S.
   It might be called the turkey trot as there will be hardly enough time for that U.S. Thanksgiving dinner to digest when shoppers will be hitting the malls in Metro Detroit, joined by bargain hunters from Ontario.
   That’s because one of the largest and most popular shopping destinations, Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills, 30 minutes north of downtown Detroit, opens at 9 p.m. on Nov. 24, the evening of the U.S. Thanksgiving.
   The 1,000-seat food court at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets in Auburn Hills has children’s rides including a carousel. (Jim Fox photo)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tea times at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts around the world

   One-Tank Trip published on Nov. 5/6, 2011


   (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s a custom steeped in time and tradition.
   Afternoon tea, a thoroughly British tradition from the early 1800s and popularized by Queen Victoria, is back in fashion.
A traditional royal afternoon tea is served by Christophe Dumas for Rehanna Palumbo in the Heritage Court at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess in Bermuda. (Jim Fox photo)
   The afternoon restorative cup of tea served with small plates of sandwiches and pastries on fine china, of course, are offered at fine hotels, inns, tea rooms and on many cruise ships.
   After all, an ancient Chinese proverb says: “Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one.”
   Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has a long, illustrious history of having some of the best afternoon tea parties.
   To celebrate this cherished tradition, Fairmont has declared next Saturday (Nov. 12) an “official” day to celebrate tea at its properties around the world. 

Yee haw for the Royal; Niagara Falls lights up; cottagers and DIYers

   One-Tank Trip published on Oct. 29/30, 2011

    (c) By Jim Fox

   It’s not yet winter but a couple of big upcoming shows have that season as part of their name.

   The Royal, yee haw
Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., the top-ranked rider in the world, will appear at the Royal Horse Show. (Photo credit © mdunnphoto.com)
   It’s known as the “world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show” and returns to Toronto for its 89th year.
   Although it’s not winter, the Royal – officially known as the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair – brings with it the best the country has to offer.
   It runs from Nov. 4 to 13 at Exhibition Place, offering “spectacular sights and sounds of thousands of horses and livestock animals, combined with the thrill of international competition – from equestrian to agriculture innovation,” said publicist Tiffany Fisher.