101 places NOT to visit before you die...Vacation Deprivation...Jim's Deals/Day
Thanks to the Star's Serena Willoughby for pointing this out to me...an upcoming book that turns the travel biz on its head a bit.
We've all seen the books about 101 places to see before you die, or some such. But American author Catherine Price has reversed field by writing a book entitled "101 Places Not to See Before You Die."
It's a brilliant idea; like going to Italy and writing about beer festivals instead of wine, as a reporter did a year or so back in the New York Times. I really like it.
Price has a few obvious spots on her list: Euro Disneyland being one. Also the museum of tap water in Beijing, which likely is fascinating only to civil engineers or to members of the Communist Party who are taken on field trips and forced to nod their heads and tremble with excitement if they hope to get promoted.
She also singles out Mt. Rushmore (I disagree, but what's the point of a list if it isn't a little bit controversial), the "testicle festival" in Montana, which I think has been over-covered and then some, and the island of Ibiza, which she says is basically an excuse for horny kids to get together and not that there's anything wrong with that.
Also on her list: "Any Hotel That Used to be a Prison," and amen to that (a cute idea but it's been done, folks) and "Any Place Whose Primary Claim to Fame is a Large Fiberglass Thing." That would include Toronto's lame street-side moose, I would think.
She also names the Sam Kee building in Vancouver, which is engaged in a bit of a public relations war with a building in Pittsburgh, as well as perhaps Philadelphia, as to which is the skinniest building in the world.
I'd add a couple of my own:
1. The Canadian walk of fame in Toronto, which is boring and so derivative as to be embarrassing,
2. Any city other than Sacramento in the central valley of California, and,
3. Any port on a Caribbean cruise where you're only given two hours to walk around. It's almost pointless as all you're gonna see is duty-free shops and jewelry stores and cheap bars and they all start to look alike.
Price wrote in an email that she's not trying to be mean with her book.
"One thing I'm trying to emphasize with this project is that sometimes the worst places in the moment make the best stories afterwards -- in other words, it's not all about putting places down; it's about finding the absurdity (and memories) in places and experiences that are unpleasant in the moment but funny when you look back on them."
I haven't met Catherine Price, but I'm beginning to like her.BORDER CROSSINGS ON TWITTER
Canadian Press reports that motorists planning to cross the Canada-U.S. border can receive estimated wait times via Twitter as part of a pilot project launched by the Canada Border Services Agency.
"The CBSA is committed to applying low-cost technologies like Twitter to keep service delivery standards high without increasing costs to the taxpayer," agency president Stephen Rigby said in a release announcing the three-month project.
Travellers can choose specific port of entries to follow on Twitter. For details, go to www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/new-neuf/twitter-eng.html.FEELING VACATION DEPRIVED? WHO ISN'T?
The eighth annual Expedia.ca Vacation Deprivation survey by Harris/Decima reveals that 47 per cent of Canadians identify themselves as very or somewhat vacation deprived - the highest level in four years.
The survey found Canadians receive an average of 19.68 vacation days from their employers but that one-quarter of us (24 per cent to be precise) aren't taking all of our vacation time; giving back an average of 2.17 unused days. That translates into nearly 36.5 million unused days in Canada overall.
"Investing in our jobs is important, but so investing in our physical and mental health," said Beverly Beuermann-King, a stress and wellness expert. "The vacation time is there; we just need to use it."
A full 50 per cent of Ontarians identify themselves as vacation deprived, which kind of cements our status as work-too-hard-fail-to-play types. But before folks in B.C. get too smug, they weren't far behind, with 46 per cent of British Columbians saying they've vacation deprived. The same number was found in Quebec and Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Atlantic Canada (45 per cent) and Alberta (44 per cent).JIM'S DEALS OF THE DAY