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The Bachelor Canada headed to exotic destinations

- October 26th, 2012
The Bachelor Canada's Brad Smith. (Courtesy CityTV)

The Bachelor Canada’s Brad Smith. (Courtesy CityTV)

The Bachelor Canada star Brad Smith definitely gets around… and we’re not talking about the lip locks he finds himself in each week with the bevy of single beauties on the reality dating show.

As in past seasons of the American versions of The Bachelor and The Bachleorette, the show’s star and his or her eligible bachelorettes and bachelors head to a number of exotic, luxury travel destinations throughout the series. Past fantasy date destinations have included Curacao, Tahiti, Switzerland and New Zealand.

See the gallery: Top Bachelor/Bachelorette dream date destinations

Brad’s passport stamps have already begun to rival his American Bachelor counterparts’ just a few episodes into the inaugural season of The Bachelor Canada.

In the first episode, Brad met his 25 eligible ladies in rustic Victoria, B.C., where the girls were pampered  at the Westin Bear Mountain Resort. From there, Brad and the ladies were whisked away for dates in New Orleans’ French Quarter and Las Vegas before returning to B.C.

The Bachelor Canada in Mexico. (Courtesy CityTV)

The Bachelor Canada in Mexico. (Courtesy CityTV)

The destinations got increasingly exotic in episode three as Brad and his bachelorettes fly to Riviera Nayarit in Mexico to stay at the uber luxurious Grand Luxxe Resort.

“As we were filming, Brad and the bachelorettes kept commenting on the beauty of the beaches, the great vibe and friendliness of the people and especially, their spectacularly luxurious suites at the Grand Luxxe,” Richard Zarkin, director of the Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau, said in a press release. “We were delighted to show the romance of Riviera Nayarit to Canadians and look forward to welcoming many weddings, honeymoons and romantic travellers to our destination.”

The Bachelor Canada in Paris. (Courtesy CityTV)

The Bachelor Canada in Paris. (Courtesy CityTV)

In episode four, Brad and the bachelorettes found themselves in Paris, France for a romantic date and carriage ride around the city. They have also visited Osoyoos, B.C., southwestern Alberta and Sooke, B.C. for dates so far this season.

As Brad gets closer to love and the field of eligible bachelorettes begins to dwindle, viewers can expect even more far-flung romance in the world’s most desirable travel destinations. And, if the romance doesn’t last between Brad and his chosen lady, well… they’ll always have Paris.

Fairmont hotels spook guests with Halloween cocktails

- October 17th, 2012

What’s Halloween without a good fright? Fairmont Hotels & Resorts hopes to inject a little spooktacular fun into their guests’ visits with a number of new themed cocktails perfect for this scary time of year.

Find yourself in Chicago this Halloween? Drop by the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park to sample the Blood Orange Martini or cognac Jack-o-Lantern. Headed to Vancouver? Creep on over to the The Fairmont Waterfront for a sinfully tasty Bloody Raspberry cocktail.

If you can’t make it far from home this Halloween, though, don’t despair! These frighteningly good Fairmont cocktails are easy to make at home.

Witches Brew by Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona

Witches Brew by Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona

Witches Brew by Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Arizona

•  2 ¼ oz Bacardi Light
•  2 ¼ oz Meyers Rum
•  1 ¼ oz Bacardi 151
•  2 ½ oz Pineapple juice
•  2 ½ oz Orange juice
•  1 ¼ oz sour mix
•  1 ¼ oz Grenadine
•  Garnish with sour or regular gummi worms

Preparation
- Fill a glass completely with ice and add all ingredients
- Use your bar spoons to stir the drink until all ingredients are combined. It should be a pinkish red colour.
- Throw in a handfull of gummi worms and the appropriate amount of silly straws.

Adult Ghoul-Ade by Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

Adult Ghoul-Ade by Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

Adult Ghoul-Ade by Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park

•  1 ½ oz Peach vodka (Preferably Stolichnaya)
•  1 ½ oz Lemon juice
•  1 ½ oz Orange juice
•  1 ½ oz Grenadine

Preparation
- Shake all ingredients except Grenadines with ice and pour all contents into a highball glass.
- Pour grenadines in a circular fashion around the inside of the rim of the glass to see the gory appearance flow!

Canadian places with spooky names

- October 11th, 2012
(Shutterstock)

(Shutterstock)

Coffin Cove, Axe Point, Sleepy Hollow… if you’re looking for a fright this Halloween, one of these scarily named Canadian spots may be just the place to get your heart racing and your imagination running wild.

These towns are among dozens of Canadian places with bone-chilling names. If you crave a creepy getaway this Halloween, check out some of the other spooky spots in Canada named in a list compiled by Statistic Canada’s Geography Division. Just click the blue markers on the below map to discover scary haunts across the country.


View Spooky Place Names in Canada in a larger map

Top Las Vegas attractions… beyond The Strip

- October 4th, 2012
Las Vegas Strip. (Shutterstock)

Las Vegas Strip. (Shutterstock)

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, more than 1.7 million Canadians headed south to Las Vegas last year. Seems we can’t resist the chance to gamble big, enjoy a show or two and indulge in all the adult delights of Sin City.

While most tourists stick to “The Strip” after arriving — that famed stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that hosts some of the largest casinos, hotels and attractions in the desert city — 81% of Vegas residents told Expedia.ca that tourists are missing out on the real Vegas when they do.

In the new Expedia survey, which gathered responses from 502 adults living in the Las Vegas area, residents reveal their must-see sites in Vegas and the surrounding area that tourists often miss out on. 

“Las Vegans know their city is an exciting and unique place to visit because of The Strip. However, the locals we surveyed were equally enthusiastic about other attractions and activities in and around Las Vegas that they felt visitors should make a point of experiencing,” Sean Shannon, vice president and managing director of Expedia Canada, said in a press release. 

With 29% of residents’ votes, Red Rock Canyon was the top choice. Located about 25 km west of Vegas, the unique red rock formations, sandstone walls and sparse vegetation of Red Rock Canyon provide an unusual, nature-driven escape from the lights of the Strip. 

A perfect area for rock climbing, biking and hiking, this national conservation area welcomes 1 million guests from across the world annually. Locals themselves say Red Rock Canyon is a popular destination for their families, with 73% of respondents saying they’ve visited the area.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. (Nicole Feenstra/QMI Agency)

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. (Nicole Feenstra/QMI Agency)

Mount Charleston was the second most popular suggestion for tourists from locals, with 13% of votes, followed by the Hoover Dam in third with 9%. Other attractions named include the eclectic Fremont East Entertainment District and the uber cultural Downtown Arts District.

Despite there being so many other attractions in the Vegas area worth seeing, 70% of respondents to the Expedia survey acknowledge that Vegas’ casinos are still a must-see attraction for visitors. Catching a Las Vegas show is considered a must by residents as well, with 65% of respondents recommending tourists find time to take in a show.

A special pumpkin cocktail to toast Thanksgiving

- October 2nd, 2012
Mill Street Brew Pub's Great Pumpkin coctail. (Courtesy Mill Street Brew Pub)

Mill Street Brew Pub’s Great Pumpkin coctail. (Courtesy Mill Street Brew Pub)

Toast your friends and family this Thanksgiving weekend with a special pumpkin cocktail from Ontario’s own Mill Street Brewery.

Made with Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale, a favourite, festive brew available from Mill Street during the autumn season, this cocktail combines the flavours of fall, including cinnamon and maple syrup, with the popular ale to create a refreshing, sweet elixir.

Is this cocktail the perfect companion for a turkey dinner? Find the recipe for Mill Street’s Great Pumpkin cocktail below and discover that for yourself.

Recipe: The Great Pumpin Cocktail by Mill Street Brew Pub

In a Pilsner glass, muddle 1oz Bourbon with a small slice of fresh ginger and a cinnamon stick.

Fill the glass generously with ice and pour Mill Street Pumpkin Ale to the top.

Drizzle pure maple syrup on the top and give it a stir with a cinnamon stick.

Garnish with an orange wheel and enjoy!

Found in Toronto’s historic and oh-so-picturesque Distillery District, Mill Street Brew Pub is a lovely place to relax over Sunday brunch with friends or to drop by to discover how the award-winning beers at Mill Street are created. Tours are complimentary and run from Monday to Friday at 4 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 3 and 5 p.m.

Nightmare on Mill Street Pumpkin Ale is available in Mill Street’s Autumn Harvest Sampler six-pack, which includes three bottles of the pumpkin ale and three bottles of the Oktoberfest Beer.

Mill Street Brew Pub in Toronto's Distillery District. (Courtesy Mill Street Brew Pub)

Mill Street Brew Pub in Toronto’s Distillery District. (Courtesy Mill Street Brew Pub)