Category Archives: FEATURED ARTICLES (PREVIOUS EDITIONS)

Ooohhh yaaa!!!! Antigua anyone?

ClubWest

(To view our January/February 2018 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

By Lorraine Simpson

If snow shovelling is getting you down and the amount of time you’ve already spent looking for lost gloves has you fearing winter in Ontario, it may be time to plan a warm and sunny getaway.

Antigua is an island in the Caribbean which offers the perfect antidotes to the Ontario winter woes.

As a travel consultant, one of the perks is getting to visit some pretty spectacular places to experience them first hand so I can relate my experiences to clients.

When I visited Antigua it was love at first sight!

I was blown away by the translucent waters of turquoise and azure that look photoshopped, miles of soft white sand, and all the rum punches, daiquiris, and pina coladas you can drink.

Visitors get all this and more on Antigua, 108 square miles worth of tropical beauty located just over a four-and-a-half-hour flight from Toronto. There are 9 direct flights per week currently. They start as low as $420pp, so it is certainly accessible for most.

The Caribbean was slammed with several hurricanes in 2017 and Antigua narrowly avoided the worst. It has been left it in perfect shape to welcome visitors searching for Caribbean sunshine and vitamin SEA!.

This is not the kind of island where you have to fight for towel space with blitzed college students. For one thing, there are 365 beaches here, which means there are plenty of places to chill for everyone.

This beautiful isle specializes in laid-back luxury and honeymoon-worthy resorts, attracting travellers who like their tropical vacations to have a refined vibe.

To read the full article, click here for the January/February ClubWest online magazine.

‘At the going down of the sun we will remember them’

ClubWest

(To view our November/December 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

by Joanne McDonald

Standing on perpetually dedicated Canadian soil in a cemetery far from his West Niagara home, Retired Warrant Officer Second Class Christian Leonard wrapped his heart around the grave of a 15-year-old soldier who left his own home a century ago, and died in the freezing sleet and snow-swept battlefields of the First World War.

“You can’t fathom the sacrifice until you stand on that ground.”

The victory at Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for Canada.

Soldiers earned a reputation as formidable, effective troops. But it was a victory at a terrible cost with more than 10,000 killed and wounded.

Two weeks in August marked a second time that 17-year-old Christian, now retired from the 62 Grimsby Phantom Squadron Royal Canadian Air Cadets and attending university in a dual science and aviation program, travelled to Europe, first as a 12-year-old for the 95th anniversary of Vimy Ridge and most recently for the 100th anniversary.

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(For this complete article and to view our November/December 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

Drinking It In

ClubWest

(To view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online, click here.)

The sights, sounds & smells of Italy

By Lorraine Simpson

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The feature image with this article:
A gem in Tuscany, Potentino Castle.

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It’s incredibly difficult not to fall in love with Italy when there is so much incredible history to be explored, food to be savoured and wine to be tasted.

In Rome one can simply not go without visiting the Colosseum from inside or out, posing for a photo with a gladiator, or throwing coins in the trevi fountain…

Rome will inescapably grab you with its charm, history and character. We spent two jam-packed days here on our journey through Rome and Tuscany and would highly recommend getting the skip the line passes when you visit the sites you most want to see. Next we spent a morning in the town just outside of Rome called Frascati. This gem is one of several attractive historic hill-towns to the south-east of Rome known collectively as the Castelli Romani.

Every weekend these towns, and Frascati in particular, fill up with Romans looking for a change of pace, clean air, good food and wine. The wealthy built villas here, many of which are still standing although they’re not open to the public. The most impressive is the Villa Aldobrandini, designed by Giacomo Della Porta for the nephew of a pope. This palace dominates the town, hovering above the central piazza in faded splendour.

We were greeted by Alexander Minardi who is fifth generation winemaker at the Minardi Winery and he took us on a very interesting walking tour of his village before introducing us to some of the local delicacies such as the Porchetta on the wood fired focaccia bread which was to die for! Then we went to his family owned trattoria where we learned “hands on” how to make home made pasta and gnocci. This was such a fun experience in this authentic setting and our host was an Italian grandmother giving us her secrets to pasta making which felt all the more special. The pasta had to dry for an hour or so before eating so we went on a tour of the winery and tasted his wines before returning to eat a delicious antipasti platter followed by the pasta and gnocci we made ourselves with delicious sauces prepared by the chef.

The next day it was time to leave Rome and head for Tuscany.

When you close your eyes and imagine Tuscany, you’re likely to envision rolling, sun-kissed hills dotted with olive trees, grape vines and the occasional farmhouse or villa. It’s a place where time slows and you can savour the rustic, earthy foods and wines that prevail here. As with all regions in Italy, uniquely bold food traditions pervade the area, …

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(To read the full article, please click here to view our September/October 2017 issue of ClubWEST online.)