Friday, January 29, 2010

Nova Scotia Ice Wine Festival February 4 - 14, 2010

I am working on a book about travelling Nova Scotia's vineyards and just received an invitation to this years Ice Wine Festival:

"The countdown is on - only 10 more days until the third annual Nova Scotia Winter Icewine Festival begins. Running from February 4-14, this year's festival features over 40 wine and food related activities, winery events and accommodation packages.
To kick off the festival celebrations, we are giving away an Icewine gift basket from Benjamin Bridge*.
In the basket you will find a bottle of their delicious Borealis Icewine (yum!) and two Icewine glasses. All you have to do to enter, is make a comment on our brand new website, ".

But you don't need an invitation to attend these events and have lots of winter fun and great wine and food:

Saturday, February 6, at 6pm in downtown Wolfville
Wolfville entices you to a variety of activities for the whole family - from wine makers dinners to an ice carving competition sponsored by local businesses to a fireworks display at Waterfront Park. Dress warmly.

Stars on Ice
Saturday/Sunday February 6 & 7

L'Acadie Vineyards, Gaspereau Valley
Join award winning winemaker Bruce Ewert in a geothermally heated winery for samples of Traditional Method sparkling wines and our unique rich dessert wine, Soleil, paired with chocolate and classic cheese fondue. 12-5pm. Cost: $10 (includes tastings and food pairings).

Festival Wine Dinners on February 4, 2010:
Taste of Nova Scotia Gold - Saege Bistro, Halifax
Winemaker's Dinner - Amherst Shore Country Inn, Amherst
Tempest-Muir Murray Wine Dinner - Tempest, Wolfville

Daily Festival Events, Feb 4-14, 2010
Icewine & Chocolate: Brooklyn Warehouse, Halifax, 2795 Windsor Street
Sweet & Delicious: Fox Hill Cheese House, Port Williams

*Benjamin Bridge is an innovative sparkling wine house on the south facing slopes of the Gaspereau Valley, where owners Gerry McConnell and Dara Gordon have been working with an international team of winemakers to produce Méthode Classique sparkling wines on the order of cuvées de prestige wines. They have released several limited editions, luxury whites and reds to date including NOVA 7, Borealis Icewine, NEXUS Rosé and TAURUS.
This winery is a working winery only and does not have a tasting room or retail store and is not open to the public.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Security Regulations

The good news first:
When flying within Canada, e.g. from Montreal to Calgary, passengers can bring their carry-on suitcase. The new security regulations affect only flights into the United States. Within Canada you are still allowed two carry-on items.
And you can carry on liquids and gels (if you can smear it, it's considered a liquid) only if they're in containers of 100 mL (100 grams/3.4 ounces) or less and they all have to fit in a one-litre (one-quart) resealable clear plastic bag.
Avoid hussles at airport security
  • Carry on as little as possible.
  • Don't wear metal snaps, large jewelry or belt buckles
  • Remove hidden metal body piercings
  • Don't wear shoes with metal arches, buckles, shanks or steel-toes
  • Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off
    And, for heaven's sake, don't make jokes about bombs or weapons
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority published the new rules for flights into the USA: Forbidden carry-on bags means items to which a passenger has access to during a flight, BUT DOES NOT INCLUDE: Personal items such as medication or medication devices, small purses or laptop computers (size: 43 cm by 16 cm by 33 cm), cameras, coats, items for care of infants, laptop computers, crutches, canes, walkers, containers carrying life sustaining items, a special needs item, musical instruments, or diplomatic or consular bags.
"Additional screening for U.S.-bound passengers will take more time, "passengers are encouraged to arrive early for their scheduled flights." That's even earlier than the usual two hours recommended for international flights. Expect always delays at the airport. It wouldn't hurt to get there even earlier.
Full-body scanners will be used only for passengers on U.S.-bound flights. A recent survey of 403 people by an online travel company based in Toronto, found that 73 per cent of respondents are in favour of the scanners and 95 per cent say they still plan to travel to the USA over the next year.

More Info or call this number: 1-888-294-2202

Four-legged travel companions

You don't need to hide your family pet in the car and sneak it into a motel room for the night...
I experienced it all: rightout refusals to allow dogs on the premises, 50% higher room prices or tiny cages that might fit a small poodle but not a German Shepherd.

Until I found several websites that provide information on Hotels, Bed & Breakfast, Daycare & Vets, Travel Tips, Fun Places and more

Travel tips for you and your pet

  • Call ahead to reconfirm the hotel is pet friendly.
  • Try to get a ground floor room so your dog can get outside quickly.
  • Bring it's bed or blankets from home to sleep on - and also it's favoured toys.
  • Don't leave your dog alone in the hotel room.
  • Check with the Vet before travelling.
  • Keep your dog always on a leash in public areas.
  • Pet your dog often to reasure it! Being in an unfamiliar area and out of his usual routine can be stressful for pets.

Thumbs up! Dog-friendly Toronto
Between 9:30 am and 15:30 pm dogs on a leash are allowed in Toronto's subway, busses and streetcars.