Bluenose II com­ing to Sar­nia in 2019

The Observer (Sarnia) - - LIFE - BOB BOUGH­NER CANA­DIAN PRESS

The ship that has adorned the Cana­dian dime since 1939 will dock in Sar­nia and Kingsville next Au­gust as part of the Tall Ships Chal­lenge. The his­toric Bluenose II will lead a fleet of ma­jes­tic tall ships as they make stops at a hand­ful of ports.

The Sar­nia tall ships cel­e­bra­tion is slated for Aug. 9-11 and dur­ing that time the city’s wa­ter­front will be trans­formed into a nau­ti­cal won­der­land with a fleet of tall ships po­si­tioned along St. Clair River in Cen­ten­nial Park.

Pri­vate func­tions aboard the Bluenose 11 are sched­uled for Aug. 9 fol­lowed by pub­lic tours Aug. 10-11.

The tall ships will be in Kingsville Aug. 16-18.

Snow­birds think­ing about leav­ing their ve­hi­cle home this win­ter and buy or lease a ve­hi­cle at their win­ter va­ca­tion home should check out the in­for­ma­tion of­fered by Jill Wykes, ed­i­tor at Snow­birdAd­vi­sor. ca.

Jill, a long-time friend in the travel busi­ness, also points out that while the ma­jor­ity of Cana­dian snow­birds head south to the U.S., Mex­ico or Cen­tral Amer­ica, some travel across the At­lantic to the warmer win­ter regions in south­ern Spain, Por­tu­gal, the Ca­nary Is­lands, Italy, Malta and Cyprus.

Wykes tells me th­ese des­ti­na­tions are es­pe­cially pop­u­lar for win­ter­long stays in Fe­bru­ary and March and since con­sid­ered off-sea­son in Europe and the Mediter­ranean un­til late April or May you will avoid the crowds and en­joy great prices.

In fact, some Cana­dian snow­birds even head to the cooler parts of Europe in win­ter sim­ply to en­joy the lack of crowds in cities like Paris, London and Rome where you can rent apart­ments for less at that time of year.

The eighth an­nual vet­eran can­dle­light trib­ute is tak­ing place Satur­day at Br. 62 of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Sar­nia start­ing at 7 p.m. Can­dles can be spon­sored for a min­i­mum $5 do­na­tion in mem­ory of a vet­eran.

The an­nual Walk­erville Hol­i­day Walk is slated for Nov. 16 and 17. Shop, Stroll, savour this great neigh­bour­hood this month.

Are your loonies feel­ing the pinch? Let Scotts­dale, Ari­zona show them a lit­tle love. The state has pulled to­gether some great va­ca­tion pack­ages ex­clu­sively for Cana­dian friends that in­clude all the best Scotts­dale has to of­fer in­clud­ing amaz­ing re­sorts and spas, cham­pi­onship golf, award­win­ning cui­sine and great ad­ven­ture and ac­tiv­i­ties. So ditch the toque or at least trade it in for a sun hat.

Have you heard the news? The coolest brew­ery on the block in down­town Graven­hurst – Saw­dust City Brew­ery – has been re­warded for their Funk­fest ef­forts this past Canada Day long week­end. The day was filled with funky live mu­sic, cold brews and fes­tiv­i­ties. Funk­fest was a huge suc­cess and the judges at the On­tario Culi­nary Tourism of Ex­cel­lence were im­pressed.

The 2018 Funk­fest was only the third an­nual for this event and al­ready it has be­come a sum­mer main­stay in Muskoka.

The 2019 Funk­fest date is June 29.

There are three great self-guided his­toric walk­ing tours in Lake of Bays, one be­ing in the town of Baysville. Take the tour any day of the week and at your own pace but note that the pri­vate his­toric homes are not al­ways open to the pub­lic. You can pick the walk­ing tour brochures up at Muskoka Tourism or at the Lake of Bays town­ship of­fice.

The Cale­do­nia Golf and Fish Club is giv­ing away a golf va­ca­tion to two of Myr­tle Beach’s premier cour­ses – Cale­do­nia Golf and Fish Club and True Blue Golf Club

The sev­enth an­nual Los Ca­bos In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val is cur­rently tak­ing place in this fan­tas­tic Mex­i­can va­ca­tion com­mu­nity on the west coast. It winds up Sun­day. The fes­ti­val aims to pos­i­tively con­trib­ute to the global film cul­ture and el­e­vate the works of tal­ented di­rec­tors from Mex­ico, Canada and the U.S. This year 21 ti­tles will be com­pet­ing for var­i­ous awards amount­ing to more than $400,000.

Dis­ney on Ice is cel­e­brat­ing 100 years of magic and is gear­ing up for a colour­ful show Feb. 28 to March 3 at Bud­weiser Gar­dens in London. Tick­ets are now on sale. Cel­e­brate the legacy of Dis­ney in this ice skat­ing spec­tac­u­lar as mous-ter of cer­e­monies Mickey Mouse leads a pa­rade of char­ac­ters in­clud­ing Min­nie Mouse, Don­ald Duck, Goofy and an en­sem­ble of Dis­ney princesses.

For ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion visit Dis­neyOnIce.com.

Cuba has launched a new site, CubaMaps – www.cubamaps.com – to share main tourist points of in­ter­est with its vis­i­tors. The ex­ten­sion of Wi-Fi cov­er­age con­tin­ues to be a pri­or­ity across tourist fa­cil­i­ties po­si­tion­ing Cuba as a smart des­ti­na­tion.

A to­tal of 11 new ho­tels will be open this win­ter in Cuba in­clud­ing two new prop­er­ties in San­ti­ago de Cuba by Cubanacan Ho­tels and the open­ing of the Melia In­ter­na­tional ho­tel in Va­radero.

And Cuban Med­i­cal Ser­vices has de­vel­oped the “For a happy age” pro­gram for groups of older adults ages 75 to 85 in stays of two to three months pro­mot­ing healthy life­styles.

The Capt. Gar­net Brackin chapter IODE in Chatham is gear­ing up for its 14th an­nual Christ­mas Home Tour Nov. 17 and 18 from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Tick­ets are $20 and can be ob­tained at a num­ber of lo­cal lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing The Pur­ple Pansy Flower Bou­tique and Lau­rie Clark Flo­rals in Thamesville.

This year’s tour will fea­ture ru­ral Chatham area homes, a barn and church venue.

The pub­lic is in­vited to at­tend the Jack Miner Coun­try Christ­mas Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 at the Miner home on the out­skirts of Kingsville. Come and see the Miner home all dec­o­rated for the sea­son. There will be spe­cial visits from Santa, mu­sic, cider and cook­ies and on Dec. 1 and 2 there will be chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties, house tours and a toonie raf­fle.

The 2018 Chatham Santa Claus Pa­rade is slated for Nov. 16 start­ing at 6:30 p.m. This year’s big­ger and bet­ter event is be­ing hosted by the His­toric Down­town Chatham Busi­ness Im­prove­ment As­so­ci­a­tion. The pa­rade not only de­lights the young and young at heart, it is also able to help the less for­tu­nate.

Sev­eral groups will be along the pa­rade route to col­lect canned goods and teddy bears.

The theme of this year’s pa­rade is an His­toric Christ­mas.

Ap­pli­ca­tions to par­tic­i­pate in the pa­rade can be ob­tained by email­ing the bia@bell­net.ca.

The pa­rade will start on Sandys Street, cross over the Lacroix Street Bridge and down King St. to the W.I.S.H Cen­tre. Santa will greet kids at the cen­tre at the end of the pa­rade.

Other area Santa pa­rades in­clude London, Nov. 10; Kingsville, Nov. 17; Wallaceburg, Nov. 17; Til­bury, Nov. 30; Blen­heim, Dec. 7; and Dres­den, Dec. 8.

The huge Toronto Santa pa­rade will take place Nov. 18 kick­ing off at 12:30 p.m. No mat­ter where you stand along the route you’ll see the pa­rade in all its glory.

Get in the spirit of Christ­mas at Canada’s orig­i­nal four-day Christkindl Mar­ket in Kitch­ener Dec. 6-9. Ad­mis­sion is free. This marks the 22nd year for the colour­ful event fea­tur­ing hun­dreds of ven­dors.

Spend two days – Nov. 10 and 11 – ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the scan­dalous his­tory of boot­leg­ging in York Durham Head­wa­ters in a tour billed as Tem­per­ance and Temp­ta­tion.

But be­ware as around ev­ery cor­ner lies temp­ta­tion whether it be wily lo­cal spir­its, craft brews, award-win­ning wines and tan­ta­liz­ing meals.

Tick­ets start at $399 and in­clude lunch, din­ner, overnight ac­com­mo­da­tions and break­fast next morn­ing.

The Boot­leg­ger Band will make ap­pear­ances through­out the day.

Pickup times and lo­ca­tions on Nov. 10 in­clude 9 a.m. at Scar­bor­ough Town Cen­tre and 9:25 a.m. at York Mills Sub­way Sta­tion.

Read­ers are in­vited to sub­mit their ques­tions or sug­ges­tions on travel close to home or far away to travel writer Bob Bough­ner at bobg­bough­ner@gmail.com.

AN­DREW VAUGHN/THE

Bluenose II is shown at berth in Lunen­burg, N.S. on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 24, 2014. The iconic ves­sel will be dock­ing in Sar­nia and Kingsville next Au­gust as part of the Tall Ships Chal­lenge, it was an­nounced this week.

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