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Wine / Wine Travel / Wine-Tasting / Wine-Tasting Travel / Vancouver Travel / Vancouver / Bars / Canada / Canada Travel / → All Tags
You may not be able to order a kegger of wine from this Railtown working winery, although restaurants can, but what you can order is a tasting of some really good B.C. wine that’s on tap.
The Vancouver Urban Winery is, first and foremost, a commercial winery that manufactures, packages, imports and distributes wine for multiple brands (including their own Roaring Twenties label, which you can buy by the bottle from their on-site store). In addition, and this is where it gets interesting, the Winery takes in kegs of wine from B.C. wineries and packages it for distribution to restaurants and bars in big steel tanks and—ta dah!—this is how you get wine-on-tap.
But why should you, the visitor with a jam-packed schedule, take time out of your busy day to visit the winery? Well, first off, it’s a cool place to hang out. The owners and sommeliers are all around the 30-years-old mark and you can feel the unbridled enthusiasm yet laid-back vibe of the place. There are comfy chairs to chill in or you can set yourself up at the bar if you’d like some interaction with the hopping bartenders. When we were there, it was open mike night with some pretty good singers doing their thing.
Click on the headline to get to the photo gallery!
Jaunted On Location / Photo Gallery / Art / Art Travel / Architecture / HotelChatter / Art Galleries / Architectural Travel / Canada / Canada Travel / Vancouver Travel / Exhibitions / History / Museums / Museum Travel / → All Tags
Ah, hotels. If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re already a believer in the power of hotels for good. In them, a conversation can be started between strangers from opposite ends of the world; an idea can be sparked over breakfast and a changing streetscape; a restless soul can be momentarily at peace during a detoxifying herbal wrap; and more visceral needs can be sated with a special someone in the privacy of a room of one’s own.
Happily, we’re not the only ones who think this way. The Vancouver Art Gallery has opened their Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life exhibition and you have until September 15 to check it out. It explores the hotel from the beginning –- when it was simply a utilitarian place to rest your head –- to what it is today: a center of design, a social hub and, sometimes, a destination unto itself.
The Grand Hotel exhibit is broken down into four themes: Travel, Social, Design, and Culture. Here’s our take on what these themes mean. It’s a bit esoteric but that’s art, right? (If you’d like to see how these themes play out in real life, check out our sister site HotelChatter.)
There is a video embedded at the bottom of this post in which a goat rides a horse. It is directly relevant to Jaunted's purpose and mission to bring your attention to this video, inasmuch as it is a travel advertising spot for Newfoundland in Canada. It is also a video of a goat riding a horse, and we kind of like to think we would have found a way to pass it along no matter what.
There are of course debates over whether the video is real or staged. Some skeptics addressed themselves to the Newfoundland tourism board and basically said "no way a goat would ever ride on a horse." But instead of backing down, the tourism board re-raised. "You think it's impossible for one goat to ride the back of a horse?" they said, in our minds, "well fuck you, because there are four goats at this farm and they all ride this one particular horse." In our minds the Newfoundland tourism board is really belligerent and has been day drinking since 3pm, incidentally.
Zoos / Zoo Travel / Green Travel / Toronto / Toronto Travel / Canada / Canada Travel / → All Tags
When last we brought the Toronto Zoo to your attention, it was to outline how the gigantic park was building a $13 million facility that would transform animal poo into usable electricity via bacteria. Today's post is like that 2008 article, except it has nothing to do with poo or electricity or bacteria, and instead is about baby lemurs and baby polar bears and how you should indulge in some Canada travel so you can go see them. So really, more different than the same.
Via Zooborns we learn that there's a new ring-tailed lemur on display with mom Lily. The little baby is set to stop clinging to mom's chest and go exploring any day now, which means that visitors will soon be able to see something very small and very cute learning how to swing and jump. In the meantime we've embedded a video below showing what the last month has been like, with the baby hanging on for dear life.
VIA Rail Canada is hoping to convince budget-conscious luxury travelers to give up cruising on the oceans and instead head through the wilderness. The Montreal-based Canadian intercity train company is pushing tourists to embrace a four-night, three-day "land cruise" that will go coast-to-coast and provide meals and accommodations in between. The offer is making its way out through press releases and currently sits at the top of the official @viarailbuff Twitter feed. There are, however, a few minor glitches. Let's go to the blurb:
Though travelers can't expect casinos and nightclubs on board VIA Rail, many favorable comparisons can be drawn, including private sleeping accommodations, inclusive meal service and additional on-board amenities. Ready to "set rail"? VIA Rail's flagship service, the Canadian, which has been designated as one of the "World's Top 25 Trains" by the Society of International Railway Travelers... offers travelers one of the most comprehensive vacation options in Canada.
Airline News / Airlines / LCCs / Canada / WestJet / Hawaii / → All Tags
For one reason or another, Canadian low cost carrier WestJet flies planes to Hawaii at less than full capacity. Being an airline, and an LCC at that, they've naturally come up with a way to use that reality to charge passengers. Customers who prefer to have an empty seat next to them - and who doesn't - will now be able to pay to lock in that privilege:
WestJet’s simple solution is to leave the middle seat empty in the first eight to ten rows of its Boeing 737-700s flying between Calgary and Hawaii. The company says there will be a small price increase for passengers wanting the extra elbow room... The empty seats are actually necessary to make the flight to Hawaii... The company’s 737-700s have been flying the shorter non-stop route between Vancouver and Hawaii for several years now. But the airplane... can’t make the longer flight from Calgary to Hawaii with a full passenger load because of range limitations based on the fuel it can carry.
Let's collectively take a moment to mourn the end of summer, a season rich with getaways and celebrations like last weekend's definitive season-ender, Labor Day. While the masses file back to reality, we're not convinced that summer's close has to put a violent halt to our travel plans. If anything, the end of summer marks the beginning of off-season deals, which we gladly welcome to pocket some extra cash.
Keeping tabs on Travelzoo's Twitter feed is a smart way to stay wise to travel discounts which pop up from time to time, whether you're planning an overseas trip or are firmly in staycation mode. We found a couple that are worth noting, including a host of ticket discounts for everything from Mets games to two-for-one tickets to see Hairspray, if you happen to be in London.
Bike Sharing / Montreal / Canada / Bicycling / Bixi / → All Tags
Following the huge success of Paris' Velib bike sharing program, we've been wondering how long it would take for North American to get in on the action. Leave it to Frenchy Montreal to show everyone up by being the first on the continent to put the pedal to the metal.
Launched last week, the Bixi program (a combo of "bike" and "taxi") puts aluminum Montreal-made bicycles on the streets, available for rental with annual memberships of $75, a daily rate of $5, or per-hour pricing following a free first half-hour. By June 7, the city is aiming to place 3,000 of the bikes at 300 hubs around the city, and your rented Bixi may be picked up at and returned to any of them.
And these babies weren't named one of Time's top 50 top inventions of 2008 for no reason; the bike docks are equipped with wireless RFID technology which can immediately signal if one is defective, and the pay station itself is touch-screen with energy support from solar panels. According to the Vancouver Sun, this model of bike sharing in Montreal is what's being studied for the future in other bike-desperate cities like New York and London. Bring it on!
Airlines / Porter Airlines / WestJet / Canada / → All Tags
...in which we gently remind you (and ourselves) what airlines are taking you where these days.
Some of the most interesting new services popping up are between the U.S. East Coast and Canada. Interesting because they involve airlines that could be quite unfamiliar to travelers. WestJet is already established in the States, but mostly in the West and Florida. Porter Airlines, on the other hand, is just now adding its first U.S. destination.
Both WestJet and Porter are about to invade Newark--WestJet to/from Calgary, and Porter to/from Toronto-YTZ (City Centre Airport). Porter is especially welcome for the extra competition between NYC and Toronto--those fares have a history of getting pretty crazy.
So what can you Americans expect from Porter Airlines? For one, sexy snack boxes (see above), sexy service, and a free, sexy-ass lounge at the Toronto airport. The reviews for Porter on Airline Quality are glowing. We love it already!
· Eos to fly from Newark Liberty [NJ.com]
· More destinations for Oneworld members [Dallas Morning News]
· Canada's Porter Airlines to launch Toronto-Newark service [AP]
· WestJet unveils Big Apple flight plan [Calgary Herald]
· Air Canada offers New York weekender pass to Calgary [Calgary Herald]
· Japan's ANA to launch budget Asia airline [Reuters]
The city of Vancouver isn't just a great place to see celebrities or fly to Hong Kong any more. While the next Winter Olympics are two years away, Vancouver and nearby Whistler are already experiencing a construction boom, according to the New York Times, including an all-new light-rail line and several luxury hotels that will be ready to accommodate travelers in 2009.
Traveling to Olympic host cities before their big games is a great way to get a deal on a new, or newly renovated, hotel. The celebrities are just a bonus.
[Photo of Olympic mascots Miga, Quatchi and Sumi: stevenbuy_toy2005]
Museums / Calgary / Alberta / Canada / → All Tags
Come one, come all, to see exactly when dinosaurs roamed the earth! A creationist group outside of Calgary has built a creationist museum displaying the Genesis-based view of history, plus some scrolls proving that England's King Henry VI is a direct descendant of Adam and Eve. With Biblical calculations giving the Earth's age at some 6,000 years old, the Big Valley Creation Science Museum is like a planetary facelift. It even has a front lawn full of fossils, to test our faith!
Lest we err in attributing this sort of judgment to be a Canadian trait, it's worth pointing out that the U.S. just opened its own creation museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Moreover, where Canadian creationists used placards, we hired the guy who made the Hulk roller coaster to make dioramas of children playing with dinosaurs -- for an estimated $27 million. And that's the difference between Canada and America.
· Museums Travel [Jaunted]
· Museums Founder Insists Creation Backed By Science [Associated Press]
Knut / Zoos / Tourism Boards / Canada / Animals / Adventure Travel / → All Tags
As world famous German polar bear cub Knut inches towards adulthood and becomes drastically less cute, what may be a final surge in cross-promotional activities rages on. The latest entity to snag a piece of Knut madness is the Canadian Tourism Commission, which recently sent the little guy a special Canada-branded ball to play with.
As the Brand Canada Blog points out, it's a small hint that Canada (and not Germany--who knew?) is a natural home of polar bears. You can even swim with them at the Polar Bear Habitat in Cochrane, Ontario, a good 450 miles north of Toronto.
· Knut the Polar Bear Cub Becomes Pitch-Man for Canadian Tourism Commission [Brand Canada]
· Giant Pillow Fight in Toronto [Brand Canada]