Paddling out into the river, it was hard to grasp just quite how far north I was. But sitting in a little yellow kayak, mere yards behind me swirled the Hudson Bay. And each stroke of an oar pushed me farther through subarctic waters toward the afternoon’s highlight: Beluga whales.
Churchill, Manitoba is known as the "polar bear capital" in October and November during bear season, but the tourism anarchist in me couldn't resist going in August. And while I desperately did want to see wild polar bears too, an off-peak visit in summertime also meant kayaking with whales on the Churchill River.
Thanks to efforts by gun advocacy organizations, Amtrak passengers will now be allowed to bring their firearms on board. There are some restrictions. AOL Travel explains:
Congress ordered the reversal of a gun ban that had been in place on the government-owned railroad for nearly a decade, reports the Sacramento Bee. The policy change takes effect Dec. 15.
The new rail policy is in line with air travel rules that allow unloaded guns to be stored in locked baggage holds.
Gun owners will need to let Amtrak know 24 hours in advance of their intention to bring firearms onboard and the unloaded guns will need to be packed in hard-sided containers. These will be placed in special storage lockers - guns will not be allowed on trains that don't have checked baggage service.
A CHRISTMAS CORAL John Galliano makes a splash with his "Under the Sea" Xmas tree. Sea horses, pink coral, starfish, anemone. Silver leaves and lavish jellyfish, swim in Claridge's lobby. It's my dearest winter wish for a holiday suite at a London hotel ever fab, never snobby.
Shane Mitchell is a special correspondent for Travel + Leisure.
We head out to the PhoCusWright conference each year to find
out what’s new in the world of Internet travel. This year’s was held last week at the
Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, AZ—and while we didn’t get a
chance to play the property’s gorgeous golf course (which is so steeped in
Scottish tradition you can rent a kilt to play in!), we did get a chance to meet with some cutting-edge creators of travel technology. Some highlights:
As you may remember, I stumbled upon the relatively new Garces Trading Co. on a recent visit to Philadelphia. Well, chef Jose Garces opened yet another restaurant in the city: JG Domestic. This is his seventh in Philadelphia; his eighth including Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago. I was invited to celebrate the opening by enjoying a dinner at the new space, conveniently located directly behind the 30th Street train station.
Vacationist has upped the ante this week, perhaps to spur you, happy Thanksgiving revelers, into shopping for travel this holiday season. Because if you’re planning to look for deals in the next few weeks, we’re delivering stellar hotel stays for up to 60% off, right to your inbox.
Here’s a taste of what’s in store: a desert oasis in California, New York’s SoHo for a song, plus, coming up, a 2009 World’s Best Business hotel in London, a 2010 It List recipient in Florence—even a coveted room in a midtown Manhattan skyscraper, for easy access to the tree lighting come November 30th. A bonus? You never have to fight the Christmas crowds at Vacationist.com.
Still not a Vacationist member? Click here to join.
This month's contest watch is all about indulging. Whether it's a culinary trip through Italy, a $1,500 shopping spree, or sports fanaticism, leave the moderation at home.
Trip for Two to Italy, DK Books Enter now through February 28
To celebrate DK’s inspirational new book, Where to Go When: Italy ($40, Oct ’10), DK Eyewitness Travel is giving foodies the chance to win a trip to Italy valued at $4770. The lucky winner and a friend will choose from more than 40 Epiculinary tours. To enter to win, simply sign up to receive the traveldk.com e-newsletter or visit their website.
Today and tomorrow are among the busiest travel days for the entire year, as folks make their ways to visit loved ones for Thanksgiving. If you’re one of the many who will brave the crowded airports (something I have done once, and will never do again), you may not be able to avoid delays, but you can at least get a heads-up.
For the tenth year, Travelocity has set up its Thanksgiving Task Force, which places spotters in 12 airports across the country to monitor and post updates on security wait times, delays and cancellations, and crowd conditions.
I recently had the opportunity to sample some of the new items on the menu of Theater District restaurant Insieme (Italian for “together”), compliments of new executive chef, Andres Julian Grundy. As a New York City resident, I’m required to feel compelled to avoid Times Square and the immediate vicinity whenever possible. But this restaurant is making me second-guess that compulsion.
For the first time in its 173-year history, Hermès has ventured across the Seine to open a boutique on the Left Bank. But although this shop is the house’s second-largest (after the Right Bank flagship) it surpasses the "store" concept on several counts.