5 Tips to Enjoy a Last Minute Getaway
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5 Tips to Enjoy a Last Minute Getaway

Your next adventure could be closer than you think.

The summer season is hitting full stride so you know what that means – time to start your next great getaway. It’s pretty easy to daydream about lavish travel in the midst of a regular work schedule however you don’t need a summer vacation to enjoy a lovely getaway. There’s plenty of fun to have in a regular weekend. So if you’re already itching for a getaway, here are some last-minute ideas to get the most out of the upcoming weekend.

Hit the Road

The classic road trip is always a good idea when you want to get away but don’t know where you want to go. Usually it’s advisable to plan your trip ahead of time to be safe but since it’s just for the weekend, you probably don’t want to venture too far anyway. Pack some essentials in the car, get on the road early and don’t stop until you like the scenery. For bonus points, ditch the smartphone and navigate with a map.

Camp

Though the longest summer days have just passed, the hottest summer days are approaching (or so we hope – it is Canada after all). There are still a couple of months of seasonable weather to enjoy the outdoors. Finding the nearest provincial park or beach and setting up a relaxing camp site can be the perfect weekend activity to help break the monotony of your regular routine.

Get Secluded

When the hustle-and-bustle of everyday life is stressing you out, sometimes all you want to do is escape all the noise and get to somewhere remote. As Canadians, we’re lucky that natural paradises are never too far away. Whether you seek isolation, seclusion, water or land, finding a reasonably-priced cabin in the middle of nowhere is not too difficult nowadays. Get away from it all, unplug and enjoy nature’s peace and quiet.

Go out in the city

Of course, some people aren’t looking for peace and quiet to unwind. They like to get out and explore the big cities and their big events. Again, you don’t need to go too far for that. Treat yourself to a night on the town. Go to a local event, book a hotel room, enjoy a night out for dinner, walk along the waterside and partake in whatever is going on in the city that night.

Visit a neighbouring town

Sometimes being forced to stick closer to home on your weekend travels can actually expose some of the great areas around you. Head to one of your neighbouring towns – one of those places you drive through all the time but never stop in, maybe an hour or less away. Spend some time there and discover what it has to offer. Meet the people, eat at the restaurants and have some fun right next to home. Who knows, you might find your new favourite destination.

Baby boomers love the city life
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Baby boomers love the city life

A popular misconception surrounding the ideal way to enjoy living in retirement is to move from the city and enjoy the rest of your years in a small county or suburb. While this idea was once popular, times have changed. Now the majority of baby boomers have no intention of moving to a suburb because they love the city life.

Boomers are becoming dwellers of the city because of urban convenience. Living in the city provides easier access to social amenities, increased activity and more interaction with people. With lots of leisure time, many boomers find they can use social interaction to tackle loneliness and idleness.

Obviously sustaining a lifestyle in the city can be expensive, however, even boomers who have acquired modest wealth can manage to live in the city without undue financial stress. Whether it’s living in a rental or using rental home services that cover the basics like maintenance, free laundry service and home cleaning services, CNBC reports that there is an increasing number of services available to control the cost of living in the city for boomers.

For boomers who have lived in big cities all their lives, retirement isn’t a sufficient reason to move away from the city. Large cities, known for their dense population and access to social amenities, can provide an exciting and variety-filled retirement. In fact, Magazine Realtor reports that these 20 cities in the U.S. are increasingly home to more and more seasoned professionals looking for an exciting retirement. Unsurprisingly, New York came on top as the state with the largest boomer population.

As interest in urban retirement increases, we expect to see more boomers stay in the city as they look for ways to increase their social activity and live in a manageable space while avoiding the burden of home maintenance.

Undiscovered Pleasures of the Northern Rhône Valley
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Undiscovered Pleasures of the Northern Rhône Valley

By Mark DeWolf

National President Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers

The Southern Rhône Valley offers well-known destinations for wine lovers: Avignon, Orange, Aix-en-Provence, and even Chateauneuf-du-Pape. While thousands of tourists visit the Southern Rhône, many don’t realize that they are steps away from Pont-de-L’Isère, the symbolic divide between Northern and Southern Rhône Valleys.

Pont-de-L’Isère is named after the bridge that crosses the Isère river on the southern edge of the town. Those who enjoy wines from the Southern Rhône Valley will discover that the wines of the North have a lot to offer.

While Syrah-based wines that come from the slopes of Cornas, Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie bask in the warmth of notoriety the pleasures of Rhône extend to white wines as well. Lesser known flavours like Marsanne, a white grape varietal, play a key role in the whites of the southern section of the Northern Rhône. These grapes are less known than Viognier which stars in the celebrated wines of Condrieu and Château Grillet in the far north.

Another feature of the North is its easy pace. This makes travelling the Northern Rhône a pleasure, whether from the deck of one of the many river boats that travel the river’s calm waters or like me from the high perches of the Hill of L’Hermitage, high above the town of Tain Hermitage.

The pleasures of this part of the Rhône extend beyond the vineyards. Hikers can walk between the vines for spectacular views overlooking the valley below. This is also perfect for leisure hikes while enjoying the breathtaking views of Saint-Péray, which led me to a 12th-century limestone castle named Château de Crussol. The limestone has left its lasting impression on the soil which has also translated to the wines being made as either still or sparkling wines.

The wines of Saint-Péray have a high degree of purity which leads to a natural feel. Saint-Péray is only a short 15-minute drive from the town of Tain L’Hermitage. Tain L’Hermitage town offers a remarkable amount of food and wine experiences as in addition to birthing prestigious wineries such as Chapoutier and Jaboulet but it is also home to Valrhona – the world-famous chocolatier.

On my recent trip to the hill of Hermitage, I anticipated lasting memories of savoury Syrahs. Having tasted a variety of red wines from the Northern Rhône, the whites of the hill are equally memorable. While I reaffirmed my love of Syrah in the vineyards of St. Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas and the Côte-Rôtie, I rekindled a love of Marsanne in the Northern Rhône. Often when travelling the wine regions of the world it is the unexpected that is the most rewarding.

For wine lovers and foodies alike, the Northern Rhône is an undiscovered gem worth visiting.