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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Water, water everywhere in Niagara Falls

   One-Tank Trip for April 23/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   For a good time in Niagara Falls, just add water.
   Water cascading over the steep cliff-like Niagara escarpment has been drawing visitors and honeymooners to the falls for centuries.
Just add water: Jim and Barb Fox check out the red, heart-shaped Jacuzzi that’s standard in many Niagara Falls hotel suites. (Jim Fox photo)
   The falls were formed 12,000 years ago by melting glaciers that created the fresh-water Great Lakes.
   The rushing waters carved out a river in their descent and over the years began to wear their way back up the river with the path today known as the Niagara Gorge.
   The beauty of the two waterfalls – the Horseshoe in Canada and the American in the U.S. – are practical as well by generating hydroelectricity for both countries.
   This spot is known for romance as its claim as the “Honeymoon Capital of the World” was established by the French in the early 1800s.
   The story goes that Napoleon’s brother, Jerome Bonaparte, travelled by stage coach from New Orleans to spend his honeymoon at the falls and the word about this romantic spot spread throughout the world.
   As well as the honeymoon capital, it has to be the capital of hotel rooms with red heart-shaped Jacuzzi whirlpool tubs beside the bed.
   Today, all types of “once-in-a-lifetime” honeymoon suites can be found at the hotels and motels.
   And, don’t forget the “Magic Fingers” vibrating beds for a fun time at the falls.
   Newlyweds can receive an official Honeymoon Certificate signed by the mayor along with admission passes and discounts through Niagara Falls Tourism. niagarafallstourism.com; 1-800-563-2557

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Fun awaits at LEGOLAND and Toronto attractions

   One-Tank Trip for April 16/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Here’s a chance to get as much as you want of a good thing with season passes to popular attractions in Toronto and area
   One of the fun places is LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto that urges visitors to “get adventurous with your family,” said Lara Hannaford, marketing manager.
   The centre is suggesting five of the “best locations that offer family season passes at an affordable price.”
   These “must-have” family passes are for LEGOLAND, the Ontario Science Centre, Bowmanville Zoo, Black Creek Pioneer Village and Centreville Amusement Park.
Kids can have fun creating with bricks at the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre.
   Get creative
   LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is a “world of entertainment, colour and creativity.”
   It’s located at Vaughan Mills, off Highway 400 north of Toronto, and this indoor playground is full of interactive activities for children of all ages.
   Visitors are surrounded by LEGO bricks, a 4-D cinema, master building classes, rides and a Toronto Miniland.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blue mat treatment and ecopassages for critters are new at Ontario Parks

   One-Tank Trip for April 9/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   They’re rolling out the red carpet – actually blue mats to aid the handicapped – and under-road passages to reduce road kill at Ontario Parks.
   Along with upgraded roofed accommodations, a Pinery app and being able to book group campsites online, there’s much that’s new at provincial parks this coming season.
   Accessibility mats “make popular beach parks more manageable for visitors who use walkers, wheelchairs or strollers,” said Sheila Wiebe of Ontario Parks.
Additional mats, such as this one at Wasaga Beach, are planned.
   Port Bruce Provincial Park at Aylmer on Lake Erie is the latest to roll out the mats.
   They’re similar to those at Wasaga Beach, Sandbanks and Long Point “that allow everyone to enjoy a day at the beach.”
   Meanwhile, giving wildlife a break are “ecopassages,” or mini corridors, that help critters cross roads safely.
   Similar to wilderness corridors over and under the Trans-Canada Highway, these ecopassages are like a “critter-sized subway tunnel” under the road.
   There are also specially designed fences and culverts to reduce roadkill by providing small animals with a safe way to cross.
   Pinery Provincial Park, south of Grand Bend on Lake Huron, and Presqu’ile, on Lake Ontario near Brighton, are the latest to construct the passages.
Two raccoons are trying out the new “ecopassage,” helping them to cross parks roads safely. (Ontario Parks)
   Pinery’s was installed after construction of a water control structure in the culvert below the Burley Causeway limited the movement of mammals, reptiles and amphibians and due to “observations of road mortality.”

The Rizdales: Blue Ain’t The Word – A Tribute to the Music of Legendary Ray Price - Stratford’s Revival House April 21

 Plus Bevy of Talented Special Guests

Stratford, ON  On the heels of the sold-out Amelia Curran concert comes The Rizdales with their signature show Blue Ain’t The Word - A Tribute to the Music of Ray Price at Stratford’s Revival House at 8:00 pm on April 21, 2016. Opening artist: the talented lead singer and former Ronnie Hawkins bandmate B.W. Pawley with Plum Loco. The concert is part of the String Bone Presents! Live at Revival House concert series.

The Rizdales, who hail from London, ON, showcases the talents of Tara Dunphy (fiddle, vocals), Tom Dunphy (guitar, vocals), Rob Clarke (bass), Mark Duff (drums) and Blair Heddle (electric guitar). A hardworking honky-tonk country band, the Rizdales regularly perform in Toronto, Austin, Texas and other locales throughout the southern United States. Tara Dunphy, who has a smooth as silk, authentic country voice, has been nominated twice for an Ameripolitan Award (Austin, TX) for Honky-tonk Female Vocalist of the Year.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

For a good time, take a Sunday drive around Ontario

   One-Tank Trip for April 2/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Now that spring has sprung, it’s a great time for that “Sunday drive” to enjoy life in the slow lane.
   Lower gas prices and a slumping Canadian currency will likely drive the trend to stay closer to home and take such journeys.
   And, what could be more fun than exploring Ontario during that iconic Sunday drive?
   For anyone unfamiliar with the term, online Wikipedia weighs in with this explanation:
  A Sunday drive is an automobile trip . . . typically taken for pleasure or leisure on a Sunday, usually in the afternoon.
   “During the Sunday drive, there is typically no destination and no rush.”
The scenic Niagara Parkway wends its way past Niagara Falls and is perfect for a Sunday drive. (Jim Fox photo)
  The use of the car for the Sunday drive began in the 1920s as “the idea was that the automobile was not used for commuting or errands but for pleasure.