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Monday, February 25, 2019

Garden shows offer taste of spring and a blooming good time

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 23/19

    (c) By Jim Fox

   Everything’s coming up roses – and just about everything else – for a taste of spring at the Stratford Garden Festival, Canada Blooms and the Peterborough Garden Show.
   Stratford’s show, presented by the Lung Association Feb. 28 to March 3, is at the Stratford Rotary Complex, (353 McCarthy Rd.).
   “It’s a wonderful day trip and reminder that spring is just around the corner,” said Tracy Brennan, regional manager.
The Stratford Garden Show offers a welcome taste of spring. (Photos by Randy Huitema, Trending.Info)
    Along with the colourful gardens showcasing the talent and creativity of area landscapers and offering inspiration for the gardening season ahead, there is “an amazing line up of speakers,” she added.
   Visitors will discover ideas to apply to their gardens – from water features to the use of colour and form.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Blast off in space; elegant cars, Bieb's on display; and crawl for art

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 16/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Experience life at the space station, view the era of automotive elegance, check out a refreshed “Bieb’s” exhibit and join an arts crawl in St. Thomas.
   That’s all possible, blasting off with Journey to Space, an exhibit on now through April 28 at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener (10 Huron Rd.).
   “Journey to Space takes visitors as close to being in space as one can get from Earth,” said publicist Sean Jasmins.
Blast off at the “Journey to Space” exhibit at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener.
   He calls is “an incredible and unforgettable hands-on and climb-aboard adventure for all ages.”
   It’s highlighted by a simulation of life on board the International Space Station where visitors can try feats of engineering that support the astronauts.
   The challenges and triumphs of space exploration and discovering what is possible and what awaits in orbit and beyond are explored.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Calling all lovers -- Love is in the air and at fancy retreats for Valentine's Day/Weekend

   One-Tank Trip for Feb. 9/19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Calling all lovers, Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, so why not make it a memorable one?
   As love is in the air, innkeepers and hoteliers are stoking the fires for romantic escapes to a charming inn, boutique hotel or spa for Valentine’s.
Skaters share a kiss on the Rideau Canal Skateway during Winterlude in Ottawa.
    With the big day falling on a Thursday, many will hold their desires until the weekend.
   Enjoy a romantic tea for two at Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel overlooking the Parliament Buildings.
   Zoe’s, the “beautifully revitalized lounge,” offers signature cocktails, light bites and maybe add a glass of Champagne to mark the occasion, said Deneen Perrin, director of public relations.
   Afternoon Tea finds freshly baked scones, homemade strawberry jam and clotted cream with a choice of tea prepared tableside.
    While outside, lovers can take in Winterlude on Valentine’s weekend and skate on the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Discussing the selections with Afternoon Tea master Alexandre at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. (Barbara Fox photo)
   Come in from the cold with special menus offered at the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Wildrids. fairmont.com/laurier

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ripley's strange and bizarre attractions entertain for a century

   One-Tank Trip for February 2-19

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Believe it or not, Ripley’s is 100-years-old and is still true to its founder’s notion that “truth is stranger than fiction.”
   The Ripley entertainment empire, highlighted by its “Odditoriums” including one in Niagara Falls, is now one of Vancouver’s entrepreneur Jim Pattison’s companies.
   Experience the strange and bizarre at the Ripley’s Niagara Falls Odditorium.
   Built from a small daily newspaper cartoon drawn by Robert Ripley started in 1918, there are now 30 facilities in 10 countries.
   Ripley was famous for his world travels and regaling his readers with tales of far-flung places,” said publicist Suzanne Smagala-Potts.
   Called an avid artist, great athlete and flamboyant character, he travelled the world collecting artifacts and writing stories about his weird and unusual findings.