The cardinals are singing their mating songs. The temperature in Toronto is supposed to be above freezing for several days in a row. And daylight savings time is around the corner.
There's hope for spring, folks, and there are plenty of great places to check it out. Here are a few that come to mind on a grey but not overly cold Monday morning in T.O.
Victoria isn't quite in spring conditions yet, but the long-term weather forecast calls for temperatures up around 10 degrees by week's end. And the spring flowers should be coming out about now, which is always heartening.
Mind you, as expensive as it is to fly within Canada these days you may as well head south to something a little warmer. Yeah, they had snow in Tucson, Arizona last week at the WGC Match Play championship golf tourney, but that's pretty rare. The forecast is for daytime highs up around 20 Celsius by mid-week; just about perfect for golf or (for Canadians, anyway) lying by the pool.
It's a little cool right now down Myrtle Beach way, maybe 13 degrees later this week, but in the Tampa Bay area it's supposed to be near 20 and then down around 16 or so later this week. Not hot, but the Blue Jays are now in full spring training mode in Dunedin (see photo) so you don't have to worry if it's not perfect beach weather.
Further afield, here are some expected daytime highs for the next little while in various parts of the world.
Paris: Only 2 degrees today, says the weathernetwork.com, but all the way up to 15 or 17 degrees towards the end of next week. Talk about a change in seasons.
Rome: The cardinals gathering in Rome (as opposed to the ones in my backyard) should expect a bit of rain, but also temperatures soon up around 15 degrees.
Honolulu: Only about 23-24 degree highs the next couple days; downright chilly for Hawaiians. I bet the locals will be wearing toques.
Bangkok: Phew. Daytime highs all week around 35 or 36 with a fair bit of sun. Those luxury hotel swimming pools should be pretty full. Yeah, it's expensive to get there but a four or five-star hotel can often be found for $200.
Sydney: It's supposed to be around 28 today and tomorrow but then cooling off to the low 20's later in the week. Don't forget, for them it's about to turn into fall.
Jamaica: You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows in this part of the world. Daytime highs in Montego Bay ranging from roughly 24 (cool for them) to 28 C this week.
IRELAND TOURISM VIDEO
Ireland has put together a smashingly good travel video to help lure folks for The Gathering 2013, a huge festival where Irish folks - or those who wish they were - get together for festivals of all kinds. There are festivals for left-handed people, for folks named Clair (or Clare or probably Clara) and all sorts of gatherings, including a Messiah festival and a Riverdance festival and a ton of sporting events.
The video is loads of fun, with comedian Andrew Maxwell strolling the city and Ireland's seaside with surfers, babies in beards and folks with red hair (in various places), so check it out here.
TOURISM BOOST FOR IRAN? DOUBT IT
A "best picture" win for Lincoln would undoubtedly have helped boost tourism in Virginia, where much of the film was shot, and in Illinois, where Lincoln was born. Instead, Oscar gives the nod to Argo. Notwithstanding the factual inaccuracies (galore) and the downplaying (severely) of Canada's role, it's not a bad film. But I don't think it'll do a lot to boost tourism in Iran. Just a hunch.
JAUNT.CA DEAL OF THE DAY: GREECE AND TURKEY
Jaunt.ca, a division of Torstar, has a deal for a land and sea package for nine days and seven nights in Greece and Turkey for 2,029, including $670 in taxes .
- BONUS: FREE UPGRADE - Enjoy 5-Star Hotel Accommodations in Athens, Outside Cabin Stateroom on cruise portion, and Business Class for Ferry transfers
- BONUS: Extend your flights post tour for up to 30 days at no additional cost (return from Athens)
- 9-day/7-night Greek Islands & Turkey Cruise onboard the Louis Cristal, including 3 night post-cruise stay in Athens
- Includes return airfare from Toronto to Athens on Air Transat
- Ports of Call include: Piraeus, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; Kusadasi, Turkey; Patmos, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Crete, Greece; and Santorini, Greece
- Includes 15 meals
- You'll have the chance to explore Greece in the heart of its most dynamic city, and to traverse its diverse islands
- Your ship provides comfortable, upscale accommodations
- Valid for travel on July 7 & July 14, 2013
(Other dates available. Please call: 1-855-687-5925)
- Pricing (Rates are per person, and based on double occupancy):
Double : $1359
- Valid passport required for travel from Canada
- This offer is refundable until Feb 28, 2013 at 5PM EST. After that time, this offer is 100% non-refundable