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Guest: Carnaval de Quebec
Get Ready for Carnaval de Quebec: A Natural Traveler Slideshow
(This offering is courtesy of Natural Traveler)
By Skip Kaltenheuser

anada remains among the most user-friendly destinations for families. It would be even more so for Americans heading north, and Canadians heading south, if the US would lighten-up the unnecessary passport requirements it added, at least for kids. Despite that hurdle, Canada beckons with a range of offerings befitting a continent-wide country, the second largest in the world, with its diverse landscapes and peoples, and its cornucopia of activities, adventures and festivals.

This is the first of several photo essays glimpsing some favorite Canadian offerings, offerings particularly suitable for travel with a kid. In the high energy festival category, it aims to give a feel of some of what awaits at Carnaval de Quebec. The 2014 carnival, the 60th, stretches from January 31st to February16th, with most activities concentrated on weekends. One of the bonuses of Quebec is that its as European an experience you’ll have short of winging it to France. Check out Carnaval here, and Quebec more generally at www.quebecregion.com/en. And explore area skiing options, such as Mont Sainte-Anne, a short drive away. The slopes overlook a beautiful stretch of the icy Saint Lawrence River. One caution throughout, on or off the slopes: Quebec City and environs often have a penetrating cold, so dress like an astronaut in order to enjoy long stretches outdoors. You’ll have a better time.

Try it, you’ll like it.

Related Articles:
Two Winter Festivals; The Charm of Canadian Cities; My Own Private Montreal; The Flavor Road of Charlevoix, Quebec; Charlevoix Dinner and the Battle of Quebec; Calgary Folk Fest; The Towns on the St. Lawrence River


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Let Skip know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Ed Boitano's travel blog/review
Journey to the Bottom of the Globe: Exploring the White Continent of Antarctica

nguins on  shore as writer's cruise ship passes by, Antarctica
As a travel journalist I am constantly asked what are some of my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless. But there is one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows. That destination is a cruise to Antarctica. Sadly, that cruise line I was on is no more, but today there is a plethora of cruise lines that offer similar packages. Here's a look back at my Antarctica cruise.

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Tom Weber's travel blog/review
Treasures of Ireland: Food, Fun and Falconry at Ashford Castle (Dispatch #18)

sunset at Galway Bay

The Palladian Traveler soars above the crowd with a gal named Lima, cruises across a lake dotted with hundreds of islands, and feasts like a king in a regal dining room.

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John Clayton's travel blog/review
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!) People!

Emirates Airbus A-380
As she came around the corner we could not believe how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful – almost elegant in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as quiet as a church mouse – or "as quiet as dreaming trees."

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Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's Gold Country

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world – and they came for one reason: gold. James Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in El Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.

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Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

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Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing as the Man who Lived There

Cedar Hill, Washington DC
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job... – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.

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Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Hanging Out in Huntington Beach, California

Greg at Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is legendary around the world as one of the best surfing spots. Its waves and beaches are so great, it is also officially known as "Surf City." But as I learned on a recent getaway, the town is more than just tasty swells and beautiful white sand; it also boasts gourmet restaurants, luxury, ocean-front hotels, great shopping, and tons of California coastal charm.

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Bev Cohn's travel blog
Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar Discuss "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer"

a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

Richard Gere is one of America's acting treasures. He has an uncanny knack for selecting scripts with the most interesting characters. Included in some of his vast body of films are "American Gigolo, "An Officer and a Gentleman," "The Cotton Club," "Internal Affairs," "Pretty Woman," "Primal Fear," "Unfaithful," and "Chicago." Joseph Cedar, writer and director of the critically acclaimed "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer," was born in New York City but when he was five, his family moved to Israel where he was raised.

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Gary Singh's travel blog/review
Monte Verità: In the Footsteps of Anarchy

Chiara's Rainbow, Monte Verita, Switzerland
Just as I reach the end of a squiggling, multicolored path, an acorn plummets from an oak tree above me. It lands at my feet, just as the path culminates at a mandala of Venetian glass, eight feet in diameter. On the worn-out front lawn of Monte Verità, the Mountain of Truth, this path, Chiara's Rainbow, evolves through the colors of the spectrum – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and finally violet – before arriving at the mosaic mandala where psychic energies supposedly prevail. The falling acorn brings me to the present moment.

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John Blanchette's travel blog/review
Rolling Through the Outback on the Indian Pacific's Christmas Train

Santa with native Australian on an Indian Pacific Christmas train stop
It was mid December and a heat wave had embraced the country. Record setting temperatures were searing the land from high 90s in Sydney and Adelaide to blast furnace heat in the great Outback. Fires were raging throughout the country. But we were cool, riding the air-conditioned Indian Pacific railway across the southern expanse of Australia to the west coast city of Perth, a four-day transcontinental tour...

Traveling Guest

Raoul Pascual's travel blog
Leviticus 20:13
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA

It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've been interpreting it wrong all these years!

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Tim Mattox's travel article
John Nemeth Doubles Down

Nemeth and Deanna Bogart performing at Rosarito Beach, Baja, Mexico

John Nemeth is a busy guy. He and his band, the Blue Dreamers, tour constantly and rarely leave the road. But when they do it's just long enough to feed the heads of their rabid and enthusiastic fan base. Personally, I've witnessed multiple Nemeth shows in both intimate and festival settings and not once have I ever seen a patron stagger away without a face full of grin. So when word came down that a new recording was in the works, my grin got wider.

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Terry Cassel's travel blog
The Impossible Happened: Itís Time to Get to Work

the White House

All of us are stunned, across the entire political spectrum, by the results of this election. Many are both sickened and saddened, while others are jubilant. I am guardedly optimistic. I think it's too early to despair, or to celebrate. In my experience nothing is ever as bad as it seems, or as good. But there is great cause for concern.

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Dette Pascual's travel blog
Dia delos Muertos: The Day of the Dead – All Saints Day

All Saints Day scene at a Philippine cemetery
October draws to a close with a melancholy air. Days are colder, dead leaves flutter to the ground after a last burst of color, before finally drifting away to be tossed by the winds in all directions. Something about this image that inspires vintage, romantic songs like "Autumn Leaves"… and brings memories of a Love, once held close.

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Richard Carroll's travel blog/review
Costa Rica's Green

Costa Rican volcano

Sitting at an umbrella table in downtown San Jose overlooking the Plaza de la Cultura is like a page out of Hemingway's "The Sun Also Rises." The plaza is laid out in a maze of stalls where passive vendors sell sparkling silver jewelry by the trayfull, hand-carved clay masks, colorful Guatemalan belts, area rugs, and hammocks perfect for a midday siesta. Three men play an old wood marimba over the buzz of the crowd while a steaming plate of Gallo Pinto (rice and beans) is served to an elegant lady who was performing with her guitar and who is chummy with everyone from the shoeshine man to the waitresses..

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Richard Frisbie's travel blog/review
Seville – The Most Gay-Friendly City in Spain

Seville tower

I find it nearly impossible to sleep on airplanes. When I couldn't sleep on the overnight Delta flight from New York to Andalusia last September, I scrolled through the movies (blah) and other entertainment (double blah) until I came across the TV show "Game of Thrones". I knew of it, that it was bloody and sexy, but had never seen it. I watched more than heard three episodes before dozing off. As I found out later, it was the perfect introduction to my visit to Seville, Spain.

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Deb Roskamp's travel photo blog
Tahiti and Her Islands

Tahiti

Just their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea, Taha'a. Her people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed. Warm lagoons, majestic peaks, tropical fruits from the land and bounty from the sea all tantalize the senses. Paradise! As near as can be found on planet earth. And, in my experience, the finest way to explore her is on a ship designed for that single purpose.

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Corinna Lothar's travel blog/review
NOLA: New Orleans, Louisiana

19th century building, Stuttgart, Germany
Mardi Gras, the French Quarter, the Garden District, the streetcar (now a bus) to Desire, the jazz clubs, the beignets at the Café du Monde and breakfast at Brennan’s come to mind when you think of New Orleans. But that’s not all there is to this unique American city, filled with treasures both culinary and cultural.

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Ruth J. Katz's travel article
The Corinthia Lisbon: A Sybarite's Dream

the Terrace Garden at the Corinthia Lisbon

I was kind of bedraggled and despite the fact that it was just before noon, I was ready for a nap. However, when I heard how fabulous the hotel's spa was, I opted for a long and leisurely deep-tissue massage and knew that afterwards I could collapse on a lounger. What I had not anticipated was that the spa is a veritable water park, with an extraordinary hydrotherapy circuit pool and seductive sensory showers.

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Masada Siegel's travel blog
Happiness in Hawaii

sailboat at sunset, Hawaii
In 2014, according to a Gallup poll the hypothetical happiest American was described as a tall, Asian-American man over 65 years old, who lives in Hawaii, is married with children, owns a business, earns a household income of more than $120,000 a year – and is an observant Jew. While I don't fit most of the criteria, I thought why not investigate on my own. Hawaii was a mere plane ride away. And if you are seeking a mecca for happiness, and, in my case, taking a first trip with my baby, Hawaii offered the ultimate for a relaxing holiday.

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John Blanchette's travel blog/review
Rolling Through the Outback on the Indian Pacific's Christmas Train

Santa with native Australian on an Indian Pacific Christmas train stop
It was mid December and a heat wave had embraced the country. Record setting temperatures were searing the land from high 90s in Sydney and Adelaide to blast furnace heat in the great Outback. Fires were raging throughout the country. But we were cool, riding the air-conditioned Indian Pacific railway across the southern expanse of Australia to the west coast city of Perth, a four-day transcontinental tour...

Traveling Guest

Brom Wikstrom's travel blog/review
The Hill Towns of Tuscany and Umbria

a villa in the village of Bessano, Umbria, Italy
I sometimes wonder what I was thinking about taking a wheelchair to the Italian hill towns of Tuscany and Umbria. It was a given that the ancient cobblestones would punish my wheels mercilessly and that the transportation would be a challenge to put it mildly, not to mention the currency exchange. The language barrier however would not be a problem as my wife Anne lived in southern Switzerland for a few years and speaks Italian fluently.

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James Thomas Boitano's travel blog
The Last Place You’d Visit: A Few Days in Europe’s Least Visited Country

Chisinau panorama from the Cosmos Hotel
I’m a biased traveler. Having fallen in love with Europe on my first trip to Italy with my father as a 14 year old, it is to this continent that my travel plans always seem to lead. I return to somewhere in Europe now every May to see old friends and favorite cities. But with each trip, I have a firm goal: to fit in at least one new country every year.

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Tamara Lelie's travel blog/review
The Hawaiian Landline to a Soul Connection

Kona Village Resort, Hawaii It was sometime around late afternoon when I arrived at Kona Village Resort and was greeted by a warm Hawaiian woman gently placing a lei around my neck and handing me a Mai Tai. Sweet respite for the soul! I had never been to Hawai'i before and my only images I had were of the few episodes I had seen on "Hawaii 5-O" as a kid; so I had no idea what to expect.

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