KUDOS FOR CANADA, BIZARRE ICE CREAM...AND A SHORT BREAK
You've seen the ads in the paper, we trust. The Canadian Tourism Commission a few weeks back launched a major campaign with the theme "locals know."
The emphasis is for folks to "discover the Canada you don't know," and it's quite nice. The website, localsknow.ca, has lots of interesting pictures beyond the usual CN Tower/Banff Springs Hotel stuff, and it's interesting to see how many "hits" each picture has had.
As of Friday morning, the clear winner seems to be a picture of people snorkelling in what looks like Caribbean waters. Us folks in Ontario know it's up near the Bruce Peninsula, but it looks like lots of people have no clue as the picture had received more than 60,000 hits; dwarfing some pretty cool spots such as Writing on Stone provincial park in Alberta, which looks really beautiful and which I hadn't heard of.
Forbes.com recently included the campaign in its list of great tourism web sites, so good for the CTC.
Forbes said the locals know campaign "uses hand-held camera work and postcard-style print ads to showcase some of the country's hidden gems. Locals are also invited to submit photos of their favourite spots."
Staying local makes a lot of sense in this day and age, and we're blessed with some remarkable places to visit. I haven't had a chance to spend as much time exploring the country as I'd like, but I'll add Charlevoix, Quebec (a lovely, gentle landscape with a great artists community in Baie St. Paul) and Twillingate, Newfoundland (hospitable, interesting people and breathtaking ocean vistas).
WEIRD ICE CREAM
Just got around to perusing the New York Times Style Magazine for summer travel, and spotted a piece on unusual ice cream makers in the San Francisco area, where experimentation in just about everything is a way of life.
Balsamic straweberry isn't that exotic, but Bi-Rite Creamery and Bakeshop on 18th St. will give you chocolate ice cream topped with bergamot olive oil and Maldon sea salt. And Sketch Ice Cream in Berkeley makes one with Earl Grey tea, cardamom, saffron and homegrown rose geranium.
Over at Humphry Slocombe in the fascinating Mission District they have a variety with foie gras and gingersnaps (uh, maybe not for me), as well as strawberry/candied jalapeno, which I'd definitely try. The Times said owner Jake Godby even does something called Secret Breakfast with, wait for it, corn flakes and bourbon.
Personally, I'd prefer Captain Crunch and tequila but there you go.
TAKING A BREAK
I'm off for a few days. Back in blogging action next week....