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Canada Travel news and blog articles from The Huffington Post

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    (Relaxnews) - A luxury travel company has launched an outrageous, year-long travel package worth $1 million that will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to stay in some of the most luxurious and exclusive properties around the world -- for free.

    necker island

    The master bedroom of the Great House on Sir Richard Branson's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands.

    Unlike’s other offers which cater to a fraction of the population with the means to pony up $99,300 for a Valentine’s Day dinner and $38,500 for a Christmas pudding, this latest package is an extravagant, all-expenses-paid trip that includes stays in some of the newest and most exclusive hotels in Buenos Aires, Venice, Las Vegas and the Maldives.

    gritti palace in venice
    The reception and lobby of the Gritti Palace in Venice.

    The only catch? It won’t all be frolicking on tropical beaches and champagne-soaked fine dining meals. Not all the time anyway. Because the winning candidate will serve as a researcher for VeryFirstTo’s partner Luxury Travel Intelligence (LTI), providing reviews and updates on the latest innovations and services at the properties.

    The researcher will also test different modes of luxury travel, including yachts, jets, and Japan’s Kyushu Seven Stars luxury train.

    seven stars luxury train
    The lounge car of the Seven Stars luxury train, Kyushu, Japan.

    Though the trip is open to all adults around the world, organizers say the successful applicant needs to be “a very special individual indeed.”

    chedi in andermatt
    The Chedi in Andermatt in Switzerland.

    That means being" discreet, discerning, eloquent, sociable," and having "considerable travel passion, knowledge and experience, and a fine appreciation of food, culture and entertainment.”

    “Due to the continuing explosive growth of the luxury travel sector, LTI requires the highest caliber research to ensure that recently opened facilities are delivering to the highest standards,” said Luxury Travel Intelligence founder Michael Crompton.

    “We have a duty to our members to check the reality behind the hype. This unique role will ensure that we provide our members with a seasoned travellers’ input.”

    las vegas champagne lounge fizz
    Las Vegas champagne lounge, Fizz.

    Applications are open until the end of April, and the trip starts this summer.

    Here are some of the places the researcher may visit over the year:
    Venice: Aman, Gritti Palace, Necker Island
    Buenos Aires: Four Seasons
    Miami: Metropolitan by Como, Fisher Island Club, Roberto Cavalli Restaurant
    Las Vegas: Hakkasan, Fizz
    Maldives: Velaa Private Island
    Ski resorts include the W Hotel in Verbier, L’Apogée in Courchevel, and The Chedi in Andermatt

    For more info visit

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    The world’s most beautiful restaurant is located five metres below the sea in the Maldives and offers panoramic views of the marine underworld.

    According to a ranking compiled by food blog The Daily Meal, the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant at the luxury Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort is the most beautiful dining destination on the planet, not for cascading crystal chandeliers, gold-gilded decor or high end art, but for the stunning, unparalleled view.

    Guests dine under a vaulted ceiling made of transparent acrylic that offers panoramic 180-degree views of the ocean and marine life.

    Schools of rainbow-colored, tropical fish and sharks glide overhead as guests tuck into dishes like duck agnolotti and Maldivian lobster carpaccio, and the restaurant is illuminated by blue-green hues of the sea above.

    For the list, editors looked at restaurants that had won awards and accolades for their design, the clout of the designer, location, and the destination’s overall reputation, be it from reputed sources like the Michelin guide or press reviews.

    Taking the second spot is The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York, designed by celebrated architects Philip Johnson and Mies van der Rohe. The Grill was called “the city’s greatest dining room” by New York Magazine and is also known as America’s “most powerful lunchroom.”

    Walnut-paneled walls and soaring, two story windows characterize the Grill, while The Pool Room is described as more airy and romantic.

    And in the No. 3 spot is Le Louis XV-Alain Ducasse in Monte Carlo, a sumptuously decorated restaurant in the style of Versailles splendor.

    Here are the top 10 most beautiful restaurants in the world, according to The Daily Meal:

    1. Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, Maldives
    2. The Four Seasons, New York, U.S.A.
    3. Le Louis XV, Monte Carlo, Monaco
    4. La Maison 1888, Da Nang, Vietnam
    5. Tori Tori, Polanco, Mexico
    6. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
    7. L’Opera, Paris, France
    8. Maiden’s Tower, Istanbul, Turkey
    9. Hakkasan, Beverly Hills, U.S.A.
    10. Mugaritz, Rentería, Spain

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    After our car collected us from the tiny regional airport in Querétaro, we snaked our way out of town and began to take in the landscape beyond our windows. Gone was the cold tundra of Ontario with its grey January skies and roadside snowy mounds stained by exhaust. Before us was the most spectacular light (especially for 3 p.m. on a winter afternoon), the arid terrain of the desert, and the spiky, spiny plant life that grows abundantly in these parts. My travel companion was my two year old Atticus (a man of few words) who surprised me by declaring enthusiastically: "Mexicooooo" as he looked out the window in wonder.

    No, we weren't headed to some coastal gated community or beachside all-inclusive. We had touched down in central Mexico. And when I say central, I literally mean the geographic center of this beautiful country (they even have a statue erected to memorialize this fact). Curiously, 70 per cent of all Canadian tourism to Mexico is to its coastal towns.

    We were bucking the trend of beachside cabanas and contained kids clubs in favor of the rich colors, magical sights, picante flavors, cross-cultural interactions and intoxicating scents of colonial Mexico, the world heritage site of San Miguel de Allende to be specific. I was determined to make this an adventure my son would not forget. As is fitting to our experience, the account of our travels is broken down into five categories to reflect each of the five senses. Let the adventure begin.

    When I close my eyes and think of San Miguel, I immediately hear the morning call of the roosters, church bells chiming, children's laughter, and crickets buzzing at dusk. I also hear the Spanish language rising and falling with it's unique rhythm and melody. However, if there was one thing that struck the biggest chord with Atticus, my wannabe rockstar, it was all the live, and at times, spontaneous musical performances.

    From multiple mariachi bands in the main square (El Jardín) to singing duos popping up at the many markets. We also encountered professional musicians playing in the numerous cafés. You could say that music is in the San Miguel air. Toddler Tip: Hang out in the Jardín on weekends and evenings for Mariachi and live band spotting, and be sure to visit Buen Día Café on Sunday mornings (10-11) to hear an acoustic set by Ernesto Auerbach. Bonus, owner and barista Juan Carlos makes the best cappuccinos in San Miguel!


    From the smell of grilled meat that fueled our hunger, the sweetness of ripe mangoes at the market to perfumed bougainvillea crawling up the ancient walls, our noses were alive with deliciousness the whole trip.

    Toddler Tip: Follow your noses to the taco stand at the corner of Calle de Mesones and Pepe Llanos. Atticus loved watching the all-male team prepare our tacos from the roadside perch. This food truck was a food truck before 'food trucks' were a thing and has a fun eat-in bar. The tacos and quesadillas are outstanding. It also doesn't hurt that it was once included on a list of the world's best street food by Conde Nast Traveler.


    San Miguel is known for its great light which has been attracting artists and photographers for years. As such, the town is filled with galleries and artisan markets (both permanent (Galeria Ensueños) and semi-monthly -- The Arts & Crafts Fair held at the Instituto Allende) featuring local art and handicrafts. Of note, we always visit Fabrica La Aurora, a converted fabric factory now full of galleries and artists workshops.

    I was determined not to let the colors of Mexico become commonplace. A trip to the local fruit and vegetable market was a visual feast for the eyes of any child (or adult for that matter), and a daily reminder that we were NOT in Canada. The well-worn cobblestone streets appear golden at certain times of the day and the vibrantly painted buildings were an ongoing lesson in color theory.

    Toddler Tip: Be sure to visit the Parroquia -- allegedly this religious monolith overlooking the Jardin served as inspiration for Walt Disney's castle when he visited in 1951 while shooting a movie. It is magical at dusk -- after the sun slips out of site and the lights slowly twinkle. For a killer birds-eye view, head to Luna, the rooftop bar at The Rosewood Hotel and ask the wine steward, Elias, to help you choose a glass of local vino.



    The Latin American culture is so warm and nurturing. The amount of head pats and hair ruffles doled out to Atticus by sweet locals was heart warming. Few cultures match this respect and appreciation for parenthood and family. Which is why I rarely felt the need to apologize for any over-exuberant toddler behavior while in public.

    Toddler Tip: For less than $5 make your child's day by letting him choose something special from one of the many toy sellers in the Jardín. From balloons to snakes and little toy dogs on leashes, the tactile fun is endless. Another favorite pastime was to visit Parque Juárez - the tropical plants and pathways are a beautiful place to roam, and we always ended the visit with a romp around the amazing playground to climb aboard the big metal turtle and play the toy instruments (drums, shakers and horns).


    These days, Mexican cuisine is experiencing a bit of a renaissance with trendy taquerias and cantinas popping up in the world's most fashionable cities. While you can certainly find a mean bowl of guacamole in San Miguel, it also happens to be a culinary treasure trove of all types of food and flavours. Our days always began with a sweet and juicy mango. It was also fun introducing Atticus to some of my local favorite meals and snacks. From traditional pozole (a rich pork and hominy soup), coconut and other fresh fruit gently dusted with chilli powder, fruit popsicles called paletas, street tacos, and for special -- warm churros straight out of the deep-fryer rolled in sugar and cinnamon.

    Toddler Tip: Be sure to try a traditional Barbacoa. It's a Sunday feast (equivalent to our "brunch") hosted in a temporary roadside tent. The meal consists of a succulent and extremely tender roasted lamb served with homemade tortillas, pico de gallo, fresh lime, hot sauce, onions and cilantro. Its the Mexican version of make-your-own tacos, and you and your kids will love it equally!


    After a couple weeks of the vibrant colors, mouth watering tastes and scents, the varied sounds and warm vibe of San Miguel, it was time to pack up and head home to Canada. I can tell you that our cab ride from Pearson in the cold, dark night was a bit of a let-down after such an exquisite and overwhelming trip. But no denying there's no place like home!


    Where to lay your dizzy heads. Because this city is such a feast for all the senses, the following suggestions provide easy access to the energy and excitement, while still offering a refreshing oasis to unwind:


    Hotel Matilda:
    This elegant boutique hotel doesn't scream family-friendly, which is exactly what piqued our initial interest in the property (nothing worse than an over-crowded kid-zone). But what won us over was their warm welcome and the way they accommodated all of our unique needs. Atticus was always greeted by name when coming and going, which was a personalized touch that added a welcome intimacy to our stay. We were both fascinated by the hotel's original contemporary art collection which spawned much conversation (well...gibberish) between us. And most helpful, we were generously granted a late check out to accommodate Atticus' nap schedule.

    Pssst Parents: Be sure to take advantage of Hotel Matilda's babysitting service and indulge in a treatment at their award-winning spa. Having just launched their own apothecary, I enjoyed a facial completely customized to my skin. Ask for Ledia Cámara.



    The Rosewood:
    A warm welcome awaited us at The Rosewood San Miguel. To say this hotel caters to families would be too glib. We were welcomed with drinks and homemade cookies in the elegant lounge while they prepared our room. The suite was enormous and very well appointed complete with standard kid-friendly amenities like a full-sized crib, fridge to store milk, even a high chair. But where they really went above and beyond was with the diaper genie, bottle sterilizer, bottle warmer, mini robe and slippers for Atticus, and best of all, a kid-friendly mini-bar full of local handmade toys and treats. The bathroom had extra diapers as well as natural baby products - perfect for the neurotic mom! It was so luxurious to have a relaxing oasis to retreat to every afternoon, and we spent many hours enjoying the facility. The food and service at Luna (the rooftop bar) and 1826 Restaurant were exceptional, but despite how elegant it was, I never felt uncomfortable bringing my toddler to dine. Atticus particularly enjoyed the shallow kiddie pool, while I appreciated the plush lounge chairs covered in large terry cloth and shady cabanas to escape the sun's midday rays.


    For a comprehensive list of our San Miguel recos and tips, visit our CITY Guide.


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    Located in Stanley Park, an artwork called "Nobody Likes Me" has gained worldwide attention online, including from Banksy, one of the street art world's biggest names. However, that wasn't part of the plan for the artwork's Vancouver creator, iHeart.

    "I see people walking down streets barely glancing up from their devices. Digitally we're hyper-connected and yet so disconnected from each other," he told me. "There's almost too much irony that happened with this piece. Posting it on Instagram, Facebook, my website, and Twitter, then it going viral. Basically the idea behind the piece completely backfired."


    Asked why Vancouver is home to the piece, iHeart replies: "I feel like a guidance counsellor when I talk about Vancouver. It has so much potential but applies itself inappropriately. Vancouver is a young, dynamic and creative city, but is way too distracted."

    Much like disdain for distraction, the street artist of four years, isn't interested in fame either: "Anonymity is a must. I think a lot of people fantasize about the idea of celebrity, but the little taste I got was really overwhelming and awkward."

    Like it or not, iHeart is receiving lots of attention after Banksy shared the image on Facebook. It immediately went viral and fans even started drawing comparisons between the two.

    "I think being compared to Banksy is cool just as much as its annoying. As far as stencils go, most people can probably only name one, maybe two street artists, let alone stencil artists. Banksy's career has been nothing shy of amazing. He's a heavy hitter and its nice to be put in the same league," said iHeart.

    As for more pieces gracing our city, iHeart's answer only enhances the mystery, simply stating, "Who knows?"

    In the meantime, if you want a piece of the puzzle that is iHeart, you're in luck. An original print will be placed in a mystery location today (Thursday, March 13) at 6 p.m. Check iHeart's Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and website for location details.

    Follow Sunny Lenarduzzi on Twitter and Instagram @SunnyLenarduzzi.

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    Landing in Delhi immediately shot electrical currents up my spine and sent my mind into overdrive. "Here we go," I thought. Peering out onto the tarmac, I was eager to lay eyes on a city I had heard so many wild tales about. The airport was surprisingly not unlike London Heathrow, where I had just flown from -- modern and new. I would later discover that India had a substantial face-lift following the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in which Delhi played host. Upgraded airport terminals, new freeways, improved infrastructure, and social housing all built in preparation. Luckily the madness I had imagined was still there waiting to greet me with a sobering smack in the face (figuratively speaking).

    On the cab ride to the hotel, I had my first taste of the freeway walkers, as I affectionately call them. People -- many of them young kids -- weaving their way through manic traffic, trying to hawk everything from bindis to books. At one point of the journey I dozed off, and when I awoke three kids were squished against my window, displaying stacks of goods. Startled, I jumped and immediately knew this wasn't going to be the only time I would be taken off guard here.

    Delhi is a city on the verge. Big business is booming, skyscrapers are dotting the skyline and the middle class is carving out a bigger, brighter future for this emerging economy. I can't imagine what the city might look like in 10 years. Yet, despite the modern influences and gentrification, traffic is still a mix of motorcycles, tuks tuks, cars and cows. Poverty is still prevalent and the slums still overflow with people barely scraping by. It's a hot mess, but it's functioning. In many ways, it's thriving.

    We set off to explore the Golden Triangle - a well-traveled route between Delhi, Agra and Jaipur - and to spend a few days in rural Rajasthan. Here's a list of must-see forts, ruins and off-the-beaten-track sights to help you discover this incredible corner of the world.


    Chandni Chowk (Old Delhi) -- no visit to Delhi is complete without a walk through one of India's oldest and busiest markets. You might say it's your initiation into the country. Narrow streets, colorful shops, and the pungent smell of incense and fresh samosa. Electrical wires balled up into a mess overhead, as monkeys hang from the wires. Don't cheat and attempt this on tuk tuk.

    Jama Masjid (Great Mosque) -- commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1656, standing tall across from the market is the Jama Masjid, the best-known and largest mosque in India. Its courtyard can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers.

    Gurduwara SisGanj - one of the nine historical gurdwaras in Delhi, this impressive Sikh temple was the first established in 1783 by Baghel Singh to commemorate the martyrdom site of the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Visitors are welcome to join in during worship or lend a hand in the communal kitchen.

    Qutub Minar - at 73 metres, it's the tallest minar in India. Originally an ancient Islamic Monument, adorned with Arabic inscriptions, the stunning Qutub Minar is made of red sandstone and marble and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Humayun's Tomb - the impressive tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, with a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal, was commissioned by Humayun's first wife Bega Begum in 1569, and designed by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiya.

    Lodi Gardens - with over 90 acres of green space, it's Delhi's version of Central Park. Here you'll spot locals playing cricket (India's national game), lovers laying in the grass, family picnics and businessmen lounging over lunch. Take refuge from the chaos, and relax at the tranquil Lodi Garden Restaurant.

    Stay - The Grand Vikalp, South Delhi



    First taken over by the Moghuls in the late sixteenth century, led by Akbar the Great, today Agra is dirty, kitschy and congested with traffic. But it's known as the City of Love, as the most romantic monument on the planet is located here. We actually stumbled upon a wedding procession one night and were invited to boogie down the street as the groom was carried to his bride in a golden chariot!

    Taj Mahal - constructed between 1631 and 1654 by a workforce of 22,000 people, the Taj Mahal was built by the Muslim Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favorite of three wives, Mumtz Mahal. She had already had fourteen children when she died in childbirth (poor woman), so the Taj is a romantic homage to her. It's considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, combining Islamic, Hindu, Persian and Turkish elements. I can't describe how surreal it was to finally see it up close. It changes colors throughout the day, but the best time to be there is sunrise.

    Baby Taj - a miniature version of the Taj Mahal, it's another Mughal mausoleum housing the tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah. Often described as a "jewel box", it's serene setting makes it the perfect place to rest after touring it's much larger counterpart.

    Agra Fort - skip the Red Fort in Delhi as it's a replica of the much more impressive Agra Fort. The walled city was built by the Mughals, originally a brick fort, held by the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs. Sikandar Lodi (1488-1517) was the first Sultan of Delhi who relocated to Agra to live in the fort. He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the role of second capital.

    Stay - Raj Mahal (incredible rooftop patio with a view of the Taj Mahal)


    Before crossing into Rajasthan, we stopped to explore Fatehpur Sikri, a massive fort built by Mughal ruler Akbar the Great. It exemplifies the Indian essence of religious diversity but cultural semblance in a variety of monuments and palaces built for each of his queens.

    Next, we took a short detour to visit the quaint village of Abhaneri, which has one of India's deepest and largest step wells (tank gardens). Rare in India, step wells were used as cool places to rest, pools for ritual cleansing prior to a temple visit, and as a water supply or irrigation during dry weather. Some of the ruins recovered here date back to the 6th century.

    As we approached the pretty city of Jaipur, otherwise known as The Pink City, we noticed the environment was reasonably cleaner and beautiful bougainvillea grows everywhere.


    Amber Fort - the ruined city of Amber was a flourishing settlement as far back as 967 AD. Located high on a hill overlooking stunning views of Maota Lake; it's famous for its mixture of Hindu and Muslim architecture. At the bottom of the hill sits Amber Fort, initially a palace complex within the fort on top of the hill (today known as Jaigarh Fort). You can stand in line with gaggles of tourists and climb to the fort aboard an elephant, or you can hire a driver in a jeep to take you through the village to the fort's entrance (I recommend the latter). Watch out for the gray langur monkeys - cute, but aggressive.

    Hawa Mahal - probably the most recognizable image of Jaipur, this beautiful pink palace has a sprawling complex, formal gardens and a small lake. Otherwise known as "Palace of Winds", it was built in 1799 as part of the City Palace, an extension of the chambers of the harem. Its original intention was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the streets below without being seen.

    Shopping - save your pennies until you hit Jaipur, because this is mecca if you've got a bit of cash to burn. Known for precious and semi-precious gemstones, block-printing textiles, and superbly tailored garments, all for a fraction of what you'd pay at home. It felt good to buy directly from local artisans and manufacturers as well.

    Bollywood - A visit to India is not complete without experiencing a Bollywood film in the theatre. Whistling, singing and shouting at the screen are encouraged! All films are in Hindi, of course, but given how expressive Bollywood acting is, we had no problem following the plot, which was a love story...naturally.

    Stay - Libra Hotel



    The highlight of the trip was spending a few days in the charming rural village of Sawarda. Everyone was so welcoming and curious, which was a nice break from the hawkers and hustlers in the larger cities.

    As we strolled through the village, kids came running out of their homes frantically fixing their hair and brushing their teeth. All in preparation for us to photograph them so they could see their image in digital form. It was such a joy spending time with these folks.

    We stayed in a 17th century fort restored into a hotel, with a rooftop patio perfect for star-gazing. It reminded me of the hotel in the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel - shabby chic, with tons of history and character.

    Stay - Fort Sawarda


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    Mountains, greenery, beaches, ocean: Vancouver really does have it all.

    It was all captured in a new drone video uploaded to Vimeo two weeks ago by Alterna Films. From ocean views to snowy mountain tops, the video reminds us to get outside and take it all in.

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    When it comes to the end of winter, many North Americans celebrate by retiring the shovels, wiping off the salt stains, and saying a cheery, "sayonara" to snow. That's usually followed by a trip to the patio and a pint of beer or two, and then everyone waits for the fluffy white stuff to melt away.

    But in India, locals celebrate the end of winter and the start of spring by heating things up with light:

    holi 2014

    An Indian Hindu devotee performs with fire as he participates in a procession ahead of the Holi festival in Amritsar on March 12, 2014. Holi, the popular Hindu spring festival of colours is observed in India at the end of the winter season on the last full moon of the lunar month and will be celebrated on March 17 this year. AFP PHOTO/Narinder Nanu

    Welcome to Lathmar Holi 2014, the warm-up to country's festival of lights and all things colourful.

    Hindu men from the village of Nangaon throw coloured powder at each other as they play holi at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    This year, the main Holi day falls on Monday, March 17, but some festivities started as early as Sunday. In Barsana, a small village in Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, hundreds gathered to pay tribute to Krishna, the eighth incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.

    Hindu men from the village of Nangaon throw coloured powder at each other as they play holi at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Legend has it that Lord Krishna travelled from Nandgaon, his nearby hometown, to Barsana in order to visit his beloved, Radha, and her friends. The story goes something like this: Krishna was bothered by Radha's fair complexion, so he tried to paint her face with colour. Wanting nothing to do with any of it, Radha chased him away with a stick.

    holi 2014
    Indian Hindu boys throw colored water on a woman at the Nandagram Temple famous for Lord Krishna during Lathmar Holi festival in Nandgaon 120 kilometers ( 75 miles) from New Delhi, India, Monday, March 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    holi 2014
    A Hindu man pours a bucket of colored water on a woman outside the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers ( 71 miles) from New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Today, men from the village of Nandgaon travel to Barsana, armed with shields and coloured water and powder to lob at participants.

    holi 2014
    An Indian labourer sifts coloured powder, known as 'gulal', to be used during the forthcoming spring festival of Holi, inside a factory at Fulbari village on the outskirts of Siliguri on March 9, 2014. Diptendu Dutta/AFP Photo/Getty Images

    Women also come armed, but with sticks called "lathis" to beat the men. The result looks something like this:

    holi 2014
    Men gesture to Indian Hindu women from Nandgaon village to stop beating the shield of a man from Barsana village during Lathmar Holi in Nandgaon, 120 kilometers (75 miles) from New Delhi, India, Monday, March 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    holi 2014
    Indian Hindu devotees covered in colour dances as they arrive at the Nandagram Temple famous for Lord Krishna during the Lathmar Holy festival in Nandgaon 120 kilometers (75 miles) from New Delhi, India, Monday, March 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    And if you think these photos are pretty crazy, just think about how colourful things will get once March 17 rolls around and the rest of the country is flinging coloured powder at one another.

    holi 2014
    Hindu men from the village of Nangaon are covered in coloured powder as they play Holi at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Hindu men from the village of Nangaon throw coloured powder on others as they play holi at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, in New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    Hindu men from the village of Nangaon covered with coloured powder sit on the floor during prayers at the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holy festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

    An elderly Hindu man seek alms from devotees outside the Ladali or Radha temple before the procession for the Lathmar Holi festival, the legendary hometown of Radha, consort of Hindu God Krishna, in Barsana 115 kilometers (71 miles) from New Delhi, India, Sunday, March 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

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    Our friends in Toronto may be experiencing their second winter, but over here in Metro Vancouver we are being delighted with sunshine, blue skies, and dare we say it, even some warmth! (Cue the evil laughter.)

    The sunshine has plastered goofy smiles onto just about everyone here, so we figured we'd join in and share some of the great spring photos on social media.

    It's. So. Warm.

    Some of us maybe got a little carried away, though.

    And of course, we still have our problems.

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    PHILADELPHIA - A Florida-bound plane's nose gear collapsed during an attempted takeoff at Philadelphia International Airport on Thursday, leaving the plane crippled on the runway and prompting the crew to deploy emergency slides for the passengers to get off.

    US Airways Flight 1702 was heading to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., when the pilot was forced to abort takeoff shortly after 6 p.m. when a tire on the plane's front landing gear blew out, airline officials said.

    The Airbus A320 jet was carrying 149 passengers and five crew members, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said. All the passengers were rescheduled on later flights, she said.

    Two passengers requested medical attention after the aborted takeoff, but no serious injuries were reported, she said.

    A passenger on the plane, Dennis Fee, told WPVI-TV that it was "very windy and when the plane took off, the nose of the plane went back down, hitting the runway."

    "We were airborne, then struck back down by the nose," he said.

    Another passenger, Christopher Teaney, told the Philadelphia Inquirer the plane "kind of shot up and then bounced down."

    "Bounced real hard," he said. "Shot up again, and then nose-dived."

    Emergency responders sprayed protective foam around parts of the plane because hydraulic fluid was leaking from it, but no jet fuel leaked, said police, who praised the actions of the airline crew for getting the passengers off the plane safely.

    Teaney said that passengers had to wait more than half an hour in the cold for buses to pick them up and take them back to the terminal. Police said they erected barriers to try to shield the passengers from the wind and put some women and children in their vehicles to keep them warm.

    The airport's four runways were shut down for about 35 minutes, police said. Three were reopened within a few hours of the accident, with only the runway where the accident occurred remaining closed, Lupica said.

    US Airways parent US Airways Group merged last year with American Airlines to form American Airlines Group Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas. The company plans to phase out the US Airways name.

    Here are some photos from the scene:

    One photo appears to be a "selfie" taken near the plane:

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    (Relaxnews) - Ferrari has announced its first European theme park for Barcelona's PortAventura resort, featuring the highest and fastest vertical accelerator on the continent.

    The €100 million ($139.5 million) ‘Ferrari Land' project will cover 75,000 square meters and feature a variety of attractions for all ages. The site will also welcome the Italian brand's first Ferrari-themed hotel, a luxurious 250-roomed establishment.

    The collaboration follows the successful début of the world's largest indoor theme park, Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, which opened in 2010. CEO Andrea Perrone said Ferrari would continue to consider additional destinations outside Europe to expand the concept, but said: "The brand is our most important asset and we have to enhance its value without diluting it."

    ferrari land portaventura resort

    "PortAventura is one of the leaders in Europe's tourism sector, while Ferrari is an iconic company that represents the very best of Made in Italy," said Andrea Bonomi, Senior Partner at Investindustrial, the group which owns PortAventura. "The synergy between the two groups creates a powerful combination that means we can offer clients of both brands a unique experience."

    PortAventura is the Mediterranean's most popular theme park and the second most-visited in Europe, welcoming 4 million visitors per year. Ferrari Land will officially open in 2016.

    ferrari land portaventura resort

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  • 03/14/14--08:05: Where to Drink in London
  • London is one of my favorite places to play on the planet. Every time I travel to Europe, or anywhere in the vicinity, I try to squeeze in a detour to soak in a bit of the energy. And while Londontown is teeming with fine eateries, it's the drinking that sets it worlds apart from most North American cities. That's not to say that Brits have a problem with booze, but rather, they like to blow off steam and have a laugh...regularly.

    Each time I'm in town, I try to find a new haunt to add to my well-researched list of watering holes so I thought I'd compile them here. Whether you're in town on business, traveling through or spending some time, don't land in some silly tourist bar. Try one of these and have a toast for me...


    Réunion Champagne & Cocktail Bar
    Located in the super chic Grosvenor Hotel, the elegant bar is meant to depict Victoria Station's historic continental connections - a place to meet friends between journeys or engage in a romantic rendezvous. Popular among business travelers, I suggest bellying up to the bar to eavesdrop on the jet setting guests.
    Neighborhood: Victoria
    Closest tube: Victoria


    The Lock Tavern
    Make the short trek north to hob-knob with hipsters and relax like a proper tarted up boozer. Cool tunes, a great atmosphere and comfort food for days. Stop in on Sundays for roast dinner to mop up the toxins from the night before.
    Neighborhood: Camden
    Closest tube: Chalk Farm


    The Only Running Footman

    This glorious little gastro pub is my latest London discovery. Popular among the after-work crowd, come 5pm its standing room only, but you can take your drink outside or chat with the regulars. Great wine list and the food was fantastic (not just by pub standards). If you're looking for a quintessential London pub, this is it.
    Neighborhood: Mayfair
    Closest tube: Green Park


    The Long Bar

    Located in the Sanderson Hotel (I have a thing for hotel bars), I love sitting at the bar to sip cocktails and people watch here. Drawing an eclectic mix of visitors and locals, the friendly staff can mix you just about anything you can dream up. The courtyard is cool in the summer - candlelit and cozy at night.
    Neighborhood: Soho
    Closest tube: Oxford Circus


    Playboy Club London
    If you fancy something a little more upscale and iconic, a cocktail at Salvatore's Bar is definitely in order. Try a classic negroni (Salvatore stopped by our table to praise me for ordering the Italian staple) or something a bit more daring, like Salvatore's Legacy at a staggering £5,500 a pop (approx. $9,200 USD). Made from his personal collection of liqueurs from the 17th and 18th century, I imagine it's a bit like drinking pure gold. At least your drink is served by a lovely bunny.
    Neighborhood: Mayfair
    Closest tube: Hyde Park Corner


    The Elusive Camel
    Stumbling upon this inviting, neighborhood pub after a long flight felt like a godsend. Totally casual atmosphere, tasty share plates and attentive staff make this the perfect place to just chill out.
    Neighborhood: Victoria
    Closest tube: Victoria

    The Punch Bowl
    Made famous by its former owner (and his ex-missus), I'll admit that's what drew me here in the first place. But this tucked away pub was surprisingly quaint and the food was top notch. Abound with businessmen at lunch - I'm certain I was the only female there at the time - and a cool crowd at night, you never know who you might spot.
    Neighborhood: Mayfair
    Closest tube: Green Park

    Where do you wet your whistle while in London?

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    (Relaxnews) - Nothing screams "tourist" more than asking for a cappuccino after noon in Italy, or ordering a latte with your dessert in France.

    Thankfully, navigating the European coffee culture scene just got a little bit easier, with the release of a design-led new infographic.

    The brainchild of holiday rental company House Trip, "European Coffee Capitals" provides helpful hints and tips for navigating the caffeinated cultural differences between Paris, Rome and Barcelona.

    Based on a coffee coloured graphic chart featuring clean and quirky iconography, the infographic contains information on the history of coffee, followed by a helpful breakdown of translations and pronunciations for different types of drinks and a map of the best coffee spots in each metropolis.

    The design also features a section devoted to avoiding cultural gaffes; for instance, did you know that in Italy, a latte is a glass of milk?

    The chart is the latest design from House Trip, which has also produced illustrated guides about Europe's most welcoming and greenest cities.

    So now that you're clued up on continental coffee, you're ready to hit the cafés of Europe! Just make sure you've brushed up on your tea etiquette before heading over to London...

    See the infographic:

    European Coffee Capitals infographic by HouseTrip

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    If you've grown weary while traveling the popular tourist attractions of India, the beautiful beaches of Goa are the perfect place to reflect and relax. Known worldwide for attracting a wave of western hippies in the 1970s (some of which still linger), the coastal region plays host to a new generation of travelers while carefully maintaining its chilled-out vibe.

    Many of the shops are constructed with nothing more than aluminum siding slapped together with a bamboo roof. Electrical wires are tangled haphazardly, and power outages are common, but usually restored within minutes, sometimes seconds (hooray for generators!). Beach shacks are just that -- shacks, outfitted with comfy chairs, heavenly hammocks and heaps of cold Kingfisher. It's as though a slight breeze could blow it all away, but it doesn't. Maybe it's karma.

    Choosing the right place to stay is daunting, because Goa is huge and each beach town has a completely different flavor. I spent hours scouring the web trying to piece it together. My conclusion: if you crave some peace and quiet, but with reasonable access to nightlife, head to Candolim Beach. Situated in the southern stretch of North Goa less than an hour from the Dabolim Airport, it was an ideal locale.

    Candolim is central, so if you have time to explore other towns and beaches, north or south, this is a great home base. The beach is huge and clean, as the party scene is a titch north in Calangute and Baga. The town is quaint and has plenty of good restaurants, shopping, ATMs, grocery stores, etc. Everything you need, but not too hectic. If you do fancy some nightlife but don't want to be in the middle of tourist hell (i.e. Baga) you're only a 15-minute cab ride away. And the nightlife is definitely worth checking out. Once you figure out where to stay, the rest is all beach shacks and bliss.

    Candolim & Sinquerim

    The beaches are vast and clean with little to no hawkers. You'll find plenty of small hermit crabs and sandpipers scurrying along, but otherwise soft sand for miles. We spotted a pod of dolphins one day playing and breaching, much to the delight of thrilled onlookers. Sunsets are epic no matter where you watch from in Goa, but I highly recommend walking to the end of Sinquerim beach to witness the sun drop from Fort Aguada alongside hundreds of locals.

    Like the many beach towns of Goa, each beach shack has a specific offering and it can be hard to choose where to stop. We loved the friendly staff and comfy hammocks at Ryan's Beach Shack and Calamari is always happening, with fantastic food for lunch or nibbles and drinks at sunset.

    Candolim has a fantastic selection of restaurants, many of them with live music and great atmosphere. If you're looking for something full-on hippie with groovy tunes and a garden setting, check out Shivers Garden Restaurant & Lounge Bar. It's just off the main drag, but they subtly lure you in with flashing arrows made of twinkle lights. For something a bit more sophisticated, head to Bomras. Thai/Indian fusion with tons of fresh and inventive seafood dishes, this was a culinary treat after weeks of traditional curry and naan. Order the tamarind margarita.




    Anjuna was by far my favorite place to hang during the day in Goa. The beach is small, but lined with palm trees and the aura of the hippie hay day hangs over you like no time has passed. We scanned the beach for the best spot and agreed that Cafe Lilliput was the place to be. Great tunes, attentive staff, cold beer and tasty food. Your beach chairs and umbrellas are complimentary if you order something to eat or drink.

    Unlike Candolim, this beach has a mix of hawkers, performers and artists, but we were up for a bit of action so this suited us fine. Women walk the beach, balancing massive baskets of fruit on their heads, selling fresh coconuts, pineapple, bananas and papaya. Have your hands or feet adorned with a beautiful henna design for 200 rupees (maybe less, but that's what I negotiated). And kids perform on the beach for tips, balancing multiple objects while walking a pop-up tight rope. Yoga retreats are also abound in this area.

    The only thing that's over-hyped in Anjuna is the popular Wednesday flea market. Not for the faint of heart, it's overwhelming and the selection is a bit overrated. It was much less stressful to shop in Candolim and the prices were considerably lower, but if you're a diehard shopper, you might dig it. The history behind it is kind of cool, as it's said that in the 70s the hippies would sell their belongings to locals to fund an extended stay in Goa and a weekly market was born. Warning: watch out for the aggressive ear cleaners! Yes, you read that right.



    Calangute & Baga

    I would avoid these beaches during the day, but if you're up for some pulsating nightlife, there's no better place to be in Goa. It reminded me of Koh Phangan in Thailand...on crack. Tons of restaurants and bars spill onto the beach for revelers to sip cocktails while star gazing on the sand (or indulge in other substances).

    We ventured to Cafe Mambo in Baga one night, by this time craving a party scene, and I was impressed by the skilled bar staff. Proper cocktails prepared to perfection. The lounge is open-air, with an air conditioned club attached. If you pick one place to have a big night out in Goa, Cafe Mambo is an institution for locals and visitors alike.

    Things to watch out for

    Cows meander up and down the beaches, and bulls may charge if they feel threatened. "Massage Therapists" offering their services, typically men dressed in trousers and button-up shirts - despite the searing heat - looking to give a half-naked western woman an oily rub down. And, as appealing and bohemian as it may seem, traveling by motorcycle is not worth the risk. In India, the biggest thing on the road wins and, according to The Goan newspaper, at least one person is killed each day in a motorcycle accident in Goa. Spend a few bucks and take a cab.

    After spending our final days in India soaking up the sun in Goa, it was bittersweet to leave a country we had fallen so madly in love with. But I know we'll be back. Until then...

    Stay - Marquis Beach Resort



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    Volunteers with the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue in West Vancouver are used to seeing porpoises and the odd whale or two when they're out training in the water.

    But they were amazed Thursday night when about 150 to 200 dolphins surrounded their boat in southern Howe Sound, between Bowen Island and the West Vancouver shoreline.

    "They were just swimming around jumping and playing in our wake and waves," deputy station leader Ian Grantham wrote in an email to The Huffington Post B.C.

    Check out the amazing dolphin action in the video above.

    dolphins howe sound

    dolphins howe sound

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    Now here's a view you won't get from any window seat.

    The National Air Traffic Services (NATS), an air-traffic control group based in the United Kingdom, has released a time-lapse video using data from a typical summer's day. The result? A 24-hour snap shot crammed into less than two minutes.

    Using U.K. radar data from June of last year and European flight plan info from July, NATS gives flyers a little perspective to the volume air traffic control has to deal with while passengers are up in the air or on waiting for their flight on the ground.

    "Airspace might be the invisible infrastructure, but it is every bit as important as the road, rail and utility networks we all rely on everyday. It is the lifeblood of our island economy, connecting the U.K. to the rest of the world," Paul Beauchamp, a spokesperson for the agency wrote on their blog.

    According to the video, which has been sped up 1,440 times faster than real-time, some 30,000 flights fly over European airspace —many of them from North America and into the corridors that connect to Gatwick International or London Heathrow

    You can watch the magic unfold in the video below:

    Europe 24 from NATS on Vimeo.

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    If there’s one skill Yuichi Takasaka has mastered, it’s patience. The Japanese-born, B.C.-based photographer is no stranger to spending hours upon hours waiting for that perfect moment when all the different variables come together to create an incredible image.

    And that’s after he’s hiked, boated or flown in to a ridiculously remote location to be sure that he will be the one to capture that elusive picture.

    But he’s learned not to take his wife and son along for the ride anymore.

    “They just get so bored,” he shrugs.

    Takasaka’s work is highly sought after. His photographs appear regularly in National Geographic; NASA is one of his best customers. Though he considers himself first and foremost a landscape photographer, the images he's best known for are of the aurora borealis.

    Last week, he happened to be in Yellowknife when a massive fireball exploded over the area. Takasaka's photos of the explosion were shared around the world.

    Over the past two decades, Takasaka has taken countless shots of the northern lights across Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and has travelled as far as Tasmania to do the same with the southern lights.

    Check out some of Yuichi Takasaka's photographs. Story continues below:

    What's surprising, is that he never planned for this; indeed his career trajectory has been a series of happy accidents that have brought him to this point.

    He came to Vancouver in the early 1990s to “just take a look around the place," reignited a romance with a local woman he had first met in Tokyo and got married.

    They decided to head north, driving all the way to Yellowknife where his wife had been hired to teach. Takasaka had no work visa, and was told that his immigration application was likely to take five years.

    He checked in with the rudimentary office in Yellowknife, manned by a retired fisherman from Prince Rupert, who told him to come back the next week. Takasaka showed up, and the immigration officer said, “Congratulations, you’re landed.”

    “That was so strange,” Takasaka smiles.

    Having been part of a very high-end tour company in Japan, it didn’t take long for the Yellowknife Japanese community (that numbered three, at the time) to point him in the direction of a local company specializing in the northern lights.

    “They were such a small operation,” he recalls. “They didn’t even have a computer, everything was written out by hand.”

    Takasaka told the owner he would help him, but that everything would have to change. That first winter, they escorted around 100 tourists. By the time Takasaka left to go freelance in 1999, they were hosting over 10,000 Japanese tourists per season.

    The photography began as a necessity: “We needed pictures of the northern lights for publicity material, to show people what they would be seeing,” he explains.

    Aurora hunting

    He bought a camera and started taking pictures. This was the pre-digital world, so he sent rolls of film to Edmonton and waited three weeks to see how they turned out.

    “It was so cold, cameras would break up, film would rip …” he laughs. “Many hundreds of pictures later, I learned how to do it.”

    Now, Takasaka teaches others. He still guides tours, but often for specialist photography or media visits to see the night sky do its spectacular show.

    He travels constantly: last year he was away from home once a month, taking tours through Yellowknife, Jasper and Alaska plus his own aurora hunting trips to Scotland and Australia.

    Despite all this, home is always somewhere remote. Yellowknife, Whitehorse and now, Lumby, B.C.

    Traded photos for food

    There were even a few years in a remote native village just south of the Alaskan border, only reachable by boat or air. The Nisga’a numbered around 300, and Takasaka quickly settled into trading photos — portraits, weddings — for food.

    “They would show up with sea lion and say, ‘Will you eat this?’ And I would be like, ‘I’m Japanese, I eat anything.’”

    His tempura moose became so popular, he was called in to prepare it whenever dignitaries visited the community.

    But surprised the community wasn’t eating the roe or heads of the fish they caught, he made a special request for the tongue.

    “They used to eat the whole animal, but had lost that tradition. I cooked up the tongues for them and let them try it,” he says. “After that, they didn’t give it to me anymore.”

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    (Relaxnews) - A wine-growing valley in Chile, walking paths in Tasmania and Ireland’s untamed, rugged coastline have been singled out as among some of the top spring destinations of 2014 by National Geographic Travel.

    Editors at the publication offer an interesting list of top 10 spring vacation ideas that focus on outdoor activities like hiking, walking or scenic drives.

    One of their suggestions includes a drive along Ireland’s recently launched ‘Wild Atlantic Way,’ the longest defined coastal drive in the world.

    For 2,400 km (1,491 miles), drivers are accompanied by rugged landscapes of dramatic cliff drops, crashing waves where land and ocean meet, and untamed wilderness.

    Editors suggest hitting the roads in spring, when Cork throws a St. Paddy’s day festival over a few days (March 15-17); the picturesque city of Galway throws a food festival (April 17-21); and Connemara throws a mussel festival (May 2-4).

    Just an hour’s drive away from Santiago lies the Casablanca Valley, one of Chile’s fastest-growing wine regions carpeted in vineyards and morning, coastal mist. While much of the harvest takes place in March which marks the tail end of their summer, the vines also begin to change colour in April and May for scenic rambles and wine tastings.

    And nature lovers and hikers may want to consider taking a leisurely stroll along Cornelian Bay in Tasmania, or a more challenging bushwalk in the remote Southwest National Park under blue skies.

    March and April are identified as the best period to undertake walking tours when fall foliage begins to change the landscape and temperatures are a comfortable 10C to 16C.

    Here are some of the other spring destinations recommended by National Geographic Travel:

    Grande Rivière, Trinidad
    grande rivière trinidad

    El Greco Year, Toledo, Spain
    el greco year spain

    Valletta, Malta
    valletta malta

    Kane County, Southwestern Utah
    kane county utah

    El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
    el nido philippines

    Patriots’ Day Weekend, Boston, Massachusetts
    patriots day boston

    Asheville, North Carolina
    asheville north carolina

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    A flight heading from Edmonton to Mexico with 181 passengers and six crew members aboard made an emergency medical landing Sunday in western Montana after encountering extreme turbulence that slightly injured two flight attendants.

    Sunwing Airlines spokeswoman Janine Chapman says the Boeing 737 landed around 7:30 a.m. Sunday at Helena Regional Airport, a small hub unaccustomed to dealing with international travellers. Flight 559's passengers waited in the aircraft for more than five hours before being told to stay in a cordoned-off area in the terminal as the company dispatched another plane to continue the journey. The passengers got on the second plane and took off for Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, around 6:25 p.m. MDT, airport officials said.

    Chapman said a medical team cleared a 27-year-old male flight attendant who received a cut on his head during the turbulence, but didn't need stitches. He was in an aisle serving passengers when the turbulence hit.

    As a precaution, responders also checked on a 27-year-old female flight attendant, who was also serving passengers and fell to the floor, Chapman said. The medical team prescribed over-the-counter pain medication.

    Chapman said the captain had the seat belt sign on, and no passengers were injured.

    Cathy Burden of Edmonton was among the mostly families and couples travelling from Edmonton to the Mexican resort town for vacation. She said the turbulence was "pretty scary."

    "The flight attendant was just bringing a tray of champagne, and she went up in the air and the champagne went everywhere," she told The Associated Press. "Nobody actually got a glass, but we all got champagne on us."

    She said she saw the flight attendant fall to the ground, but didn't see anyone on board with serious injuries. She said everyone was "a bit rattled."

    After landing in Helena, the state's capital, passengers waited for hours on the tarmac because a customs agent couldn't immediately get to the airport.

    Helena Regional Airport Director Ron Mercer said the airport has one agent who wasn't available Sunday, so another one made the 90-minute drive from Great Falls.

    He said the airport doesn't typically deal with international commercial flights, so the customs agent had to make sure international rules were followed before the passengers could get off the plane.

    They exited into a secure area of the terminal, where the passengers had access to food and restrooms but couldn't leave the area. Chapman said allowing them to wander the terminal would have caused problems when it came to resuming their journey because they're international travellers.

    Nonetheless, she said, ”I’m told they (the passengers) were in reasonably good spirits and happy to be on the ground.”

    Another aircraft was sent from the company's headquarters in Toronto to pick up the passengers so the initial plane could be examined for damage, Chapman said, a move she called customary after severe turbulence is encountered.

    The aircraft hit the rough patch northwest of Helena, somewhere over the Continental Divide, Mercer said.

    The second jet and a new crew arrived in Helena on Sunday evening, and the passengers took off for Mexico.

    "This winter that will not end," Chapman said. "They're attempting to escape it. Hopefully, we'll get them there soon."


    With files from The Canadian Press

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    It was a spectacular weekend of marine-life watching in B.C.'s South Coast.

    First, a pod of orca whales was spotted chasing dolphins through Blind Channel in Squamish on Saturday, and thanks to the quick work of some locals who caught the action on video and in photos, we can all revel in their majestic beauty.

    Julie Zoney captured the video above.

    Caleb Jamieson took these once-in-a-lifetime Instagram shots, commenting: "I've never been so blown away. Nor scared."

    orca whale squamish

    orca whale squamish

    orca whale squamish

    Leanne Wilson told CBC News that around 15 orca whales were clearly looking for a meal in chasing the 100 dolphins: "One whale would throw the dolphin and it would land and crash back into the ocean and then two whales would jump up and smash it as it's falling."

    Twitter user @vanezo snapped some particularly great pictures.

    Some videos of the scene were also uploaded to YouTube.

    Then on Sunday, pods of Pacific white-sided dolphins surprised people with a view of Vancouver's English Bay. The video below was taken by Greg Hoekstra.

    Last week, search and rescue volunteers out training in Howe Sound were surrounded by 200 dolphins.

    Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, head of the Vancouver Aquarium's cetacean research program, said dolphin sightings around the Georgia Strait are still rare, reported CBC News. He said the mammals seen over the weekend were likely eating local herring, which means harbour cleanup programs are working.

    Have you ever seen whales or dolphins up close like this?

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    (Relaxnews) - Between March 14 and 17, iconic monuments around the world will be bathed in green light in honour of the traditional Irish holiday.

    New monuments join the worldwide celebration each year. Among the sites that will turn green for St. Patrick's Day in 2014 are the Holmenkollen ski jump in Oslo, Norway and the archeological city of Petra in Jordan.

    The Giza Pyramids, the "Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas" sign, the Sydney Opera, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the London Eye and South Africa's Table Mountain are also among this year's participants.

    Originally dedicated to the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a more secular celebration of Irish heritage, including parades, festivals, and gatherings around the world.

    While the Irish capital of Dublin is home to an impressive celebration, many of the world's largest St. Patrick's Day parades take place in the US. According to the Irish Tourist Office, around 70 million people around the world consider themselves Irish or of Irish ancestry.

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