Just back from a lunch/press conference put on by tourism folks from Alberta. Learned a lot about the cities of Edmonton and Calgary and saw some glorious pictures of the Rockies and the Alberta badlands and all.
But the best part had to be the presentation on the Calgary Stampede, where journalists and other freeloading observers learned that there are (children, turn away) young women who like to keep tabs on the young guys at the rodeo. And that they're called ... drumroll please ... buckle-bunnies.
Apparently the guys who win the rodeo contests get a giant belt buckle. So, naturally, the enthusiastic females who follow their work earned the buckle-bunny moniker. It's probably offensive to someone out there but I think it's funny.
Anyone who wants a taste of the world-famous stampede can mosey on down (sorry about that) to Yonge-Dundas square at noon on Friday, March 27. They say the first 2,000 folks who show will get a free cowboy hat.
MEANWHILE, IN ANOTHER COUNTRY FAR, FAR AWAY
With the Star-sponsored Ultimate Travel Show on this week (Friday through Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre), there are tons of tourism types hanging about the Big Smoke this week. On Wednesday there was a lovely lunch with mussels and coq au vin and other specialties at the Park Hyatt Hotel courtesy of French tourism and Air France.
While some folks are still bearish about air travel, the folks at Air France said they're boosting their capacity on runs from Toronto and Montreal to Paris.
As of March 28 they'll have 1,072 seats available per day from Montreal and Toronto to Paris. That will jump by 1,752 by early June.
Officials also showed off their new "premium voyageur" class, which will provide travellers with 40 per cent more space than regular voyageur class (coach). The most interesting thing to see were the new seats, which are fixed in place and have seats that recline with some kind of roller system. Which means that the person who sits in front of you can recline their seat within the fixed shell, which doesn't move. Which means you won't have some inconsiderate slob hammering his seat backwards into your face at 30,000 feet when you have no place else to go and the person next to you hasn't bathed in a week and you can't even reach down to get your magazine off the floor and you can't find the fork so you have to eat your salad with a tiny knife and spoon.
Maybe I need a vacation.
WATCH FOR SOGGY POPCORN
Missed this during my recent trip, but we're told that the Waikiki Parc Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii shows movies by the pool and that folks can swim and keep an eye on the film at the same time, or watch from the comfort of their chaise lounge or even on an air mattress in the pool.
The name of the program? The Waikiki dive-in movies.
They play every Wednesday night and there's no admission charge. Perfect, but not necessarily the place you'd want to watch "Jaws."