How's this for a trip?
You get to travel by private, chartered jet and you travel around the world from Oct. 21-Nov.13. Sure, it'll cost you $29,575 CDN per person if you're sharing accomodation ($2,345 extra for a single supplement), but consider the itinerary, put together by Travel Guild Inc.
You fly to Vancouver and stay for two nights in Russia, visiting the volcanoes and hot springs in Kamchatka. Then there's a chance to, among other things, stroll the Great Wall of China and visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, ride an elephant in Thailand, see the Himalayas, visit Petra and the Red Sea, check out the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, wander through the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and then down a few pints in Dublin.
Not what you had in mind? Need to save some cash? You can go next March and visit Tokyo, Angkor Wat, the Taj Mahal, Dubai, a game preserve in Kenya, the pyramids of Egypt, Prague and Iceland. But that one'll cost you $33,995 per person, plus another $2,695 if you're a single.
For more information visit www.privatejetadventures.com
ON THE OTHER HAND, HOW ABOUT HELPING THE CANADIAN ECONOMY?
Bryson Forbes, who blogs for Best Western at www.youmustbetrippin.com, suggests that Canadians might want to stay close to home this summer and do their bit to help the economy.
Among his tips:
- check out Canada's national parks as there's a price freeze this year;
- eat at smaller, independent diners and restaurants instead of the chains (this is good advice ANY time)
- look for hotel properties owned and operated locally, including Bed and Breakfast places and (naturally) Best Western's that are owned by indepedent hoteliers.
- check out local festivals at www.canada.travel.
Good advice. There's a billion things going in Toronto all the time, including Caribana and Taste of the Danforth and, in a few weeks, The Toronto International Film Festival. There are also are ribfests, art gallery openings, antique boat shows (often in Gravenhurst) and hundreds of events from Muskoka to Prince Edward County to Niagara and down towards Windsor.
GOOD OLD AMERICAN FOOD
Forbes is right about sticking with local spots. But we're all guilty of caving in to the PF Chang's and Chili's and Applebee's of the world now and then, possibly because we know what we'll be getting.
Anyway, I bring this up because I read a story in the Houston Chronicle about a couple of American foodies, Jane and Michael Stern (any relation to Bonnie?) who have written a book called "500 Things to Eat Before It's Too Late and the Very Best Places to Eat Them."
The story didn't have much detail about weird food they've eaten, although they made reference to Frito pies, pulled pork, barbeque spaghetti and fried hot dogs.
Stern told the paper it's pretty hard to find turtle soup and even good rye bread in New York, which is quite shocking.
Other observations from Michael Stern:
"You can't get true Texas barbeque anywhere other than Texas."
"Sooner or later, I'm thinking that the food police and the nutrition nannies are going to make it taboo to eat a bacon cheeseburger."
"One of the earliest big disappointments of our traveling career was the difficulty of getting a really good glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice in Florida. We imagined there would be people literally squeezing it into our mouths. But no."