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Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

March Break getaways at Muskoka's Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville

(News Release)
 

Huntsville, Ontario (February 25, 2015) — Instead of disappointing the kids by not going anywhere, explore your own backyard at Deerhurst, a Skyline Resort, and enjoy 20% savings while doing so.

Treat yourself and your family this March Break to a “staycation” experience, and get more bang for your buck, rather than spending your money south of the border.

Deerhurst Resort, Ontario’s favourite resort is only two hours north of Toronto. From an 11,000 sq. ft. indoor Holiday PlayZone for the kids, to outdoor adventures, a relaxing day in the spa or a family-friendly live show, there is as much fun indoors as outdoors at Deerhurst Resort this March Break.



“This March Break, both the kids and parents will have lots of fun activities to choose from, so it’s a great chance to avoid airport hassles, get more for your money and enjoy the best of what Muskoka has to offer,” said Chris Lund, General Manager, Deerhurst Resort.

Below are the top five reasons to visit Deerhurst this March Break:

Muskoka is a winter wonderland



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 28/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Have you had enough winter this year?
   Well, it’s never enough for visitors to the four-season playground of Muskoka, north of Toronto.
   “Muskoka has long been considered a summer destination, but we are getting more and more recognition for being a top winter destination,” said Jordan Mulligan, marketing manager with Muskoka Tourism.
Pond hockey is called the “epitome of a genuine Muskoka winter experience.” (Muskoka Tourism)
    “For those that dread winter, they head south for a getaway. For those that love winter and all of the experiences that come with it, they head to Muskoka.”
   With the area having “tons of snow and winter activities,” this is the place for anyone looking for “an authentic Canadian winter experience.”

   Putting winter on ice
   The tourism office has compiled a Top 10 list to “Take Back Your Winter in Muskoka.”
There’s no shortage of ice and snow at Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka. (Barbara Fox photo)
   - Ice Skating Trail: The Arrowhead Provincial Park attraction is called “one of the most hyped and popular winter attractions in Muskoka this winter.”

Friday, February 27, 2015

Major renovations planned for the Westin Fort Lauderdale



Westin Fort Lauderdale (Jim Fox photo)
 FORT LAUDERDALE -- Located in the warm Fort Lauderdale/Pompano Beach sun overlooking a beautiful three-acre tropical lagoon, the Westin Fort Lauderdale is awaiting your arrival.

The 298-room Fort Lauderdale hotel is only 14 miles from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL), 30 minutes from Miami International Airport (MIA) and 45 minutes from West Palm Beach International Airport (PBIA).

For your convenience corporate jet centers including Aero, Banyan, Executive Jet, Net Jets, and Sano, are all 4 short miles from this hotel. For those guests traveling for a pre or post cruise vacation, we are the perfect Port Everglades hotel located just 5 miles away. Explore the many more attractions and things to do in Fort Lauderdale while staying at The Westin Fort Lauderdale.


Upcoming Renovation
The Westin Fort Lauderdale is delighted to announce our upcoming renovation which will begin in late April and be completed in late summer. We will do everything we can to minimize any disruption to our guests.  For any questions, please call us at 954-772-1331.

Niagara Falls Comic Con star-studded line up sets eyes on June

(News Release)

Niagara Falls, ON – For the firth year in a row, Niagara Falls Comic Con is set to invade the honeymoon capital during the first weekend of June, and once again will feature a star studded line up, cosplayers, memorabilia, movie screenings, workshops, comics books and more.

 
Fans look over 1966 Batmobile (Niagara Falls Comic Con 2014)


“Our main goal each year is to listen to our fans and improve on the previous year,” said Chris Dabrowski, Show Manager for Niagara Falls Comic Con.  “We’ve expanded again and have booked out the whole convention centre, including a 1,000 seat theatre, that we will utilize for Q&A sessions, workshops and more,” he added.

It's time to plan March Break at Blue Mountain Village


Blue Mountain Village

Can you handle 9-days at Blue?
There's never been a better time to love the slopes and the Village than this March Break! Best of all weekday lift tickets will be $35 for all elementary and high school students Monday-Friday during the break!


DAY 1: Saturday, March 14th
Gromination Slopestyle
Gromination Slopestyle runs from 9-4pm at Badlands Terrain Park.
Gromination is a Canadian Freestyle competition, now in its 3rd year it is high energy, no pressure, youth focused event. Catering to the little ones of Freestyle Ski and Snowboard this event offers a great experience for the next generation of little rippers. With 3 categories 14 years old and under. Registration details>>

It’s hip, hot and happening . . . Aloft Atlanta Downtown



ATLANTA -- This is the hottest new hotel to hit Atlanta.

Our Downtown Atlanta hotel is centrally located within walking distance of attractions such as Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, The Tabernacle, and more. And at Aloft, business is a breeze with free WiFi, meeting space with state-of-the-art A/V equipment, and a convenient location near many downtown Atlanta businesses.

Downtown Atlanta Hotel Features

Stay in style at our Downtown Atlanta hotel. Wake up refreshed and ready to go in our signature platform bed, and revive in our oversized shower with Bliss Spa amenities. Stay connected with free WiFi throughout the entire hotel, enjoy the social scene in our Re:mixSM lounge, and relax over cocktails at our W XYZSM bar. Hungry? Enjoy grab & go snacks from Re:fuel, our 24/7 gourmet pantry before exploring everything Atlanta has to offer.
A funky Corner Suite guestroom. (Jim Fox photo)

Meetings & Events

Looking for Atlanta meeting space? We offer 1,688 sqare feet of flexible meeting space that can accommodate a variety of functions. Plus, we're conveniently located within walking distance of the Georgia World Congress Center, AmericasMart, and many local businesses. After your meetings, unwind over signature cocktails at W XYZ Bar, or explore the area with our list of things to do in Atlanta.

ATLANTA ACCOMMODATIONS
Our Atlanta accommodations feature Aloft signature platform beds, spacious bathrooms and modern designs. Whether you're turning in for the night or exploring the city, you will find plenty of perks that plug you in and stay connected. Chill out in one of our guest rooms after a day exploring Atlanta and rest easy in our signature platform bed. You'll wake up refreshed and ready to jet off on your new adventure. 
Corner Suite bedroom (Barbara Fox photo)

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Penn & Teller and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience at Caesars Windsor

May shows bring Legends, Magic and Classic Rock to the Colosseum stage:

Windsor, ONFridays in May are stacked with an incredible line up of entertainment and music from all-time favourites, magic and comedy to classic rock.  

Caesars Windsor is thrilled to welcome back Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to the Colosseum stage on Friday, May 8 at 9 pm. As members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame their success and accomplishments have made them one of the best-selling musical groups of all time. The legendary group’s story has even inspired the creation of the Tony award winning musical Jersey Boys. Today, Valli continues to pack concert halls worldwide with hit songs including “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and more! Tickets start at $35 Canadian.

The hilarious and talented comedy magic duo Penn and Teller return to the Colosseum stage on Friday, May 15 at 9 pm. Known for their outrageous blending of magic and comedy, the award-winning Penn and Teller Magic Show is one of the longest running shows in Las Vegas. Their iconic status and critical acclaim stretches beyond the Vegas strip with appearances on television ranging from Late Night with Letterman, The Simpsons, Chelsea Lately and Top Chef.

Toronto Zoo celebrates International Polar Bear Day

Toronto, Ontario: Toronto Zoo is a leader in polar bear conservation and is a champion for Canada's threatened majestic species and is hosting its annual Polar Bear Festival on Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015. This is in celebration of International Polar Bear Day, February 27th.
 Toronto Zoo is involved in collaborative research projects with multiple accredited zoos and organizations to help better understand polar bear reproductive biology, nutrition and behaviour studies to provide valuable information to support polar bear education, research and conservation efforts both at the Zoo and in the wild. Some of these organizations include Polar Bears International (PBI), Parks Canada, the North American Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP), and Acres for the Atmosphere.
 Over the two days, polar bears will be taking over the Panda Interpretive Centre from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and visitors will be able to take part in 'cool' fun and educational activities that help to educate, raise awareness, and support this threatened Canadian species.

Warm up and chill out at the Spring Cottage Life Show in Mississauga (Toronto)



(News Release)
 

Toronto, Ontario – While many Ontarians are in hibernation-mode, cottagers will soon be warming up for another season at the lake. The Spring Cottage Life Show returns March 27-29, 2015 to The International Centre in Mississauga.

Armed with shopping and to-do lists, more than 33,000 cottagers will attend the Spring Cottage Life Show, making it the world’s largest cottage show. Created for cottagers, by cottagers, you’ll find more than 550 exhibitors, plus exciting and informative feature areas and seminars.

More than 550 Exhibitors
Colourful Muskoka chairs
You can explore everything a cottager could ever need or want. Boats, docks, decks, water toys, and paddle sports abound.

The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta features 1,073 newly renovated guest rooms




The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta hotel is an Atlanta skyline icon. Crowned by the revolving Sun Dial Restaurant, the 73-story downtown Atlanta hotel overlooks some of the best attractions and things to do in Atlanta.



Each newly rejuvenated guest room and suite offers new carpet, new Heavenly Bed® duvets, 42" flat screen Vizio HD televisions, new window treatments and more!



Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, our Atlanta hotel is attached to AmericasMart, and also steps away from CNN Center, Georgia World Congress CenterWorld of Coca-Cola, Philips Arena, College Football Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Dome.


Designed for Comfort

Renowned Atlanta architect John Portman designed our hotel, the tallest in the Southeast U.S. All 1,073 guest rooms and suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows, desks, High Speed Internet Access, the Heavenly® Bed, and a marble Heavenly® Bath.

We Work On Your Agenda

Our 53 breakouts, totaling 80,000 square feet, provide unparalleled flexibility in planning your meetings.When business is done, relax in our retractable-roof pool, health club or walk to downtown nightlife and attractions.

Downtown Atlanta Hotel

The meeting and function spaces in our downtown Atlanta hotel offer unmatched versatility for Atlanta meetings or events. We have more than 80,000 square feet of flexible event space in Atlanta, highlighted by our 15,120 square foot Peachtree Ballroom.
A foggy morning as seen from a Westin Peachtree Plaza guestroom. (Jim Fox photo)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Explore, excite & entertain in Toronto this March Break

(News Release)

TORONTO – This March Break families travelling to Toronto will stay intrigued and entertained with special exhibits, live theatre, sporting events and family-friendly attractions all week long from March 14-22, 2015.

Soar high above the city at the CN Tower, get creative at ComiCon or stir up something sweet at Le Dolci’s baking classes.  Check out www.SeeTorontoNow.com for more information.

ATTRACTIONS & EVENTS
Visit the Toronto Zoo this break and you’re sure to have a wild time with some animal friends including the magnificent polar bears, African penguins, Western lowland gorillas, red pandas, Arctic wolves and more. Looking for some warmth? Stop by one of the five tropical pavilions, bursting with animals, plants and sea life. Grab a hot chocolate and take in one of the educational and fun daily Keeper Talks, and drop by and chat with the knowledgeable volunteers stationed throughout the Zoo. torontozoo.com

This March Break, make the CN Tower your next big adventure.  Explore the world’s #1 elevator ride, LookOut Glass Floor and SkyTerrace observation areas, movie, plus enjoy March Break week activities. At a height of 553.33m (1,815 ft., 5 inches), the CN Tower is Canada’s National Tower, an engineering Wonder and Toronto’s must see.  SAVE with the $99 Family Pass - 4 General Admission tickets (4 tickets with a maximum of 2 people between the ages of 13-64).  cntower.ca

Tap into Maple 2015 launched in Ontario's Lake Country


(News Release)

This past weekend marked the start of the upcoming maple season!


Two events to celebrate the maple season took place including the launch of the Tap into Maple route and the first tapping of the season. The local maple syrup producers are gearing up for the upcoming time of year and with the samplings of the sweet flavours we are all ready and excited for the Tap into Maple program to kick off.

Hewitts Farm Market and Bakery in Severn was abuzz with all things maple during the launch of Tap into Maple this past Friday. All of the featured businesses attended this event to provide sweet samples and to showcase, on how their business is participating in the program. 

This year there are five maple syrup producers, four stay and play packages, many maple related events and celebrations, giftware and products, delicious treats and restaurant menu items, farmers’ markets and museums with a large variety of available maple items. It was a great opportunity to get a taste of what the route will involve and what to expect. It was a very well attended event filled with delicious treats, great networking and a wonderful way to kick off this fantastic program.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Just can't wait to get on the road again: I-75 to Florida, the expressway to the sun



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 21/15

   “Get your motor runnin'
   Head out on the highway
   Looking for adventure
    In whatever comes our way”
-- Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Thousands of people will soon be getting their motors running and heading out along U.S. Interstate 75 – the expressway to the sun.
   Ontarians join this heavily travelled route at Detroit that winds its way to Florida, the “Sunshine State.”
   It will be especially busy during the March school break with cost savings from the drastic plunge in gasoline prices tempered, however, by our lower-valued Canadian dollar.
   We decided to make this “one-tank-a-day” trip en route to a cruise out of Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale) in December.
   For this journey, we took along our Mississauga friends, Kathy and Dave Hunter.
We’ve arrived. Barb and Jim Fox at the Florida Welcome Center along Interstate 75.
   Well, not really, but it felt like they were making the trip with us as we had an invaluable copy of their “must-have” guide, Along Interstate 75.
   It did indeed give us “local knowledge and insider information” for the I-75 between Detroit and the Florida border – a distance of 1,542 kilometres.
   Then we switched to their companion publication, Along Florida’s Expressways, to help guide us to and from the cruise port.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Westin Cincinnati announces multi-million dollar renovation



 Hotel to Reveal Extensive Transformation and Enhanced Guest Experience



Westin Cincinnati is a favorite hotel for Canadians enroute along Interstate 75 between Detroit and Florida




The Westin Cincinnati is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation that includes significant upgrades and contemporary enhancements to its 456 guest rooms. Additionally, the hotel has completed construction on an innovative meeting space, Tangent at Westin™.



“The Westin brand is about living well and the changes that we are making to this renowned property are designed to inspire well-being in travel, work, meetings and vacations,” said Kathleen Gilbey, the Westin Cincinnati general manager. “We look forward to revealing our re-design in the coming months, and will of course continue to provide our guests with excellent service during this time of transition”

 
Renovated guestroom at the Westin Cincinnati Hotel

Embracing the Westin brand’s promise For a Better You, the renovations will include a refresh of the 456 guest rooms featuring the Westin Heavenly® Bed and Westin Heavenly® Shower, new guest corridors, an enhanced ADA-compliant hotel entrance and Tangent.

Designed to facilitate collaboration among small groups, Tangent is ideal for impromptu meetings, brainstorms or interviews and comes equipped with smart technology to enhance productivity.

Third Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs location to open in Toronto

(News Release)

Toronto, ON – With baseball season just around the corner, and spring fast approaching, Toronto foodies will soon be treated to a new Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs situated in the heart of downtown Toronto at 453 Queen Street West – on the second hippest street in the world (Queen West) as voted by Vogue Magazine.


The doors will open at the beginning of March. This expansion brings their unique restaurant to a new part of town and the launch of a new Poutine menu as they continue to serve good old fashioned style Hot Dogs that have customers lining up.

This restaurant concept was inspired by one of Americas’ most famous Hot Dog eating destinations, Coney Island.


Angelos Economopoulos opened the very first Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dogs restaurant in 2012 at 326 College Street across from the very cool Kensington Market; with the vision of appealing to everyone and bringing a little New York taste to Canada.

Economopoulos’ main goal was simply to create delicious, locally sourced Hot Dogs that would please even the pickiest of eaters. From a Greek salad on a Hot Dog “Frankathenapolis” to the now popular “Fancy 90210” with avocado, tomato and bacon, there is a special themed Hot Dog for everyone.  The restaurant has recently been featured on Food Networks critically acclaimed show “You Gotta Eat Here!”  Some of the celebrities that have indulged in a Fancy Franks Gourmet Hot Dog include:  Katy Perry, Octavia Spencer, John Catucci, Adam Egoyan, Roger Peterson, Richard Crousse, DB Woodside and Leah Miller

Spring flower shows offer a blooming good time



   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 14/15

   (c) By Jim Fox
  
Everything’s coming up roses, tulips, daffodils, lilies, chrysanthemums, daisies – and even orchids – at flower shows in Stratford, Toronto and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
   Savour this early taste of spring with a cavalcade of colours and earthy scents.

   Zoom, zoom
   It’s “Blooming Beautiful” at the Stratford Garden Festival from March 5 to 8 at the Rotary Complex.
   A 1926 Model T will be the focal point for Richard Ivey, of Richard’s Lawn and Garden Care, while Sebringville Garden Centre will have a “fairy glen of leafy ferns and cool moss, the perfect home for magical inhabitants,” said Deedee Herman of the sponsoring Lung Association.
   “Visitors to the Caribbean-themed garden, created by A Touch of Dutch Landscaping, will relax among tiki umbrellas, gorgeous blooms and water features,” she added.
   Eight gardens will showcase the talent and creativity of area landscapers and offer inspiration for the gardening season ahead.
Colourful blooms and spring fragrances fill the air at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   Visitors will discover ideas to apply to their own gardens including water features, colour and form to designing a quiet green oasis and creating a modern entertaining setting.
   There will also be beautifully designed planters on display while the show’s Marketplace will be bursting with items to tempt the garden enthusiast.
   Speakers sharing their knowledge include Frankie Flowers; Carson Arthur; Sean James; Miriam Goldberger; David Hobson; and Beckie Fox.
Inviting and creative settings can be found at the Stratford Garden Festival.
   There’s a Seniors’ Tea on March 5 and that night from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is the Opening Garden Party with live music, an auction, food and drink (tickets are $30).
   Family Fun Night is March 6 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Bogle the Clown and children can create a garden craft, take part in story-telling, a scavenger hunt, face painting and enjoy free refreshments.
   The Stratford Rotary Complex is at 353 McCarthy Rd. Tickets are $9 (free to children to age 12); $20, four-day pass.
   Hours are March 5, noon to 5 p.m.; March 6, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; March 7, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and March 8, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. stratfordgardenfestival.com; (519) 271-7500

   Slip away
   Canada Blooms, from March 13 to 22 at National Home Show at Exhibition Place in Toronto, offers an escape from winter with “inspiring and engaging fantasy gardens.”
   As Canada’s largest flower and garden festival, it will have a whole new look and feel, moving to a new location in the Direct Energy Centre at Exhibition Place.
Canada Blooms is an escape from winter with inspiring and engaging fantasy gardens.
   “Canada Blooms is sure to brighten up your day and leave you with a new appreciation for the beauty of garden landscapes,” said Terry Caddo, general manager.
   The Let’s Play theme will “inspire our garden designers and builders to create acres of fantasy gardens that capture the imagination.”
   Visitors will see “stunning showcases” with vibrant colours, alluring fragrances and captivating designs while Landscape Ontario incorporates a natural climbing wall in its Otium Garden.
   For inspiration on edible landscapes, industry experts will show how to grow vegetables while seminar hosts include the Pond Stars from National Geographic and TV gardening experts Mark Cullen and Frankie Flowers.
Canada Blooms displays "stunning showcases."
   Floral Alley is another highlight that changes and blooms daily, and specialty nurseries will showcase the hottest garden trends, tools and unusual varieties and colours of plants and flowers.
   Kids can get their hands dirty by learning how to garden and take home vegetables and flowers.
   Show hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, March 15, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, March 22, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   Tickets are $20; $17, seniors; $16, students; free to age 12 (discounted online). canadablooms.com

   Blooming nice
   The Orchid Society’s annual show is on Feb. 28 (noon to 5 p.m.) and March 1 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Royal Botanical Gardens (680 Plains Rd. W.) in Burlington.
   There will be thousands of orchid blooms, artistic displays, plants and gift items for sale, art and photography displays, and seminars.
   A frog exhibit is a “ribbitting” show at the Royal Botanical Gardens about colourful creatures including this ornate horned frog.
   On through April 12 is the exhibition Frogs: A Chorus of Colours, a “ribbitting” show about these colourful creatures “whose beauty and elegance are often overlooked.”
   The shows are included with gardens’ admission at $12.50; $10.50, seniors/students; $7.50, ages four to 12; $30.50, family. Discounts online rbg.ca; 1-800-694-4769

-30-

Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Russell Peters returns to Casino Rama with new tour; Lee Ann Womack, Paul Anka, Frankie Valli, Vince Gill and Travis Tritt, too

Announcing spring concert additions to the 2015 event line-up at Casino Rama

RAMA, ON (Monday, February 9, 2015) -- Casino Rama is thrilled to announce the return of popular Canadian comedian Russell Peters whose latest ALMOST FAMOUS WORLD TOUR will feature all new material, alongside his signature lightning fast audience improv.

Returning to the Entertainment Centre stage by popular demand will be crooner Paul Anka, country performers Vince Gill and Travis Tritt and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience.

The just announced additions to the 2015 concert line-up include:

Lee Ann Womack
Saturday, May 2
SHOWTIME: 9 PM, DOORS OPEN: 8 PM
Tickets are $22/$32/$47
“The Way I’m Livin’ ”, “I May Hate Myself In the Morning” & “I Hope You Dance”.

Russell Peters NEW TOUR
Almost Famous World Tour
Thursday, May 7
SHOWTIME: 8 PM, DOORS OPEN: 7 PM
Friday, May 8
SHOWTIME: 9 PM, DOORS OPEN: 8 PM
Tickets are $70/$80/$95
Canada's number one stand-up export, Peters returns with ALL NEW MATERIAL for his ALMOST FAMOUS WORLD TOUR.  Featuring his take on some of his favourite communities, jobs he can understand, cell phones, dating and his uncle who's never been punched in the mouth, plus Russell's signature lightning fast improv with the audience.
Please note: Show contents are determined by the artist and may be offensive to some patrons.