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A Taste for Travel

A behind-the-scenes look at life as a traveling writer

Win a pair of CityPASS ticket booklets

Posted by on Mar 23, 2014 in Canada, Travel Tips & Gear, USA | 69 comments

Win a pair of CityPASS ticket booklets

One of the perks of being a travel writer is being able to flash a Press pass and bypass most line-ups at main entrances to museums, events and attractions.  This is really handy if you want to visit several spots in one day or if you’re travelling with small children or people with mobility issues.  If you’re not a travel writer but hate waiting in line ups,  it’s worth considering a CityPASS  booklet of attraction tickets.  Not only will you save money but you can enjoy VIP access at many locations. Here’s your chance to win a pair of CityPASS booklets to...

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Cooking class in Guatemala: Ceremonial chicken

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in A Taste for Travel, Guatemala, Recipes | 16 comments

Cooking class in Guatemala: Ceremonial chicken

As far as grocery runs go, the  trip from Panajachel to Sololá, Guatemala is a stunner. With views of a cascading waterfall  out one window and a 2-mile high volcano out the other, it sure beat my usual trek to No Frills in Toronto. It was 9:00 am and I was riding in a Blue Bird “chicken bus” on a mission to scout out ingredients for pulique, a ceremonial dish popular among the Maya people in the midwestern highlands in Guatemala. Olga, my Spanish  teacher at Jardin de America Spanish School, who is Kaqchikel  indigenous Maya, had offered to substitute a cooking class...

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Day pass (bring the kids) to Dreams Huatulco

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in Destinations, Food and Drink, Huatulco, Mexico | 7 comments

Day pass (bring the kids) to Dreams Huatulco

Infinity pools, cocktails, gourmet dining — if you’d like to experience a day of luxury in Huatulco, Mexico then it’s worth considering a  day pass to Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa.  And if you don’t have time for a full day, Dreams is one of the few all-inclusive resorts in Oaxaca  that allows you to visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner and enjoy all the facilities. So if you’re headed to Puerto Escondido (110 kilometres west), Mazunte, Oaxaca City, Guatemala or the Huatulco airport, it’s a stop-over the whole family will enjoy. An extra bonus is...

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Quest for Mexico’s sacred sea snail

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Destinations, Huatulco, Mexico | 9 comments

Quest for Mexico’s sacred sea snail

I’m in a bikini, dangling from the edge of a granite cliff, holding my sarong out to a man in white shorts. It might sound as though I’m auditioning for a gig as an acrobat in Cirque de Soleil show but I’m actually in a secret cove near Huatulco on a mission to gather natural dye from a sacred sea snail. We’re accompanied by expert shell-dyer Habacuc Avendano, head of the Cooperativo de Tintoreros de Pinotepa Don Luis, the last people on earth permitted to harvest this legendary snail. History The dye, derived from the Purpura pansa marine snail, has been used to dye elite...

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A day pass to luxury in Panajachel, Guatemala

Posted by on Dec 29, 2013 in Destinations, Guatemala | 6 comments

A day pass to luxury in Panajachel, Guatemala

Although I’m here volunteering in Guatemala, sometimes a girl needs a break. My apartment in Panajachel, while cute and colourful, is, after all just one room. So, last week I set out to find a swanky spot to hang out for the day. My requirements were simple: a swimming pool and a lounger where I could read a paperback  and soak up the sun. If I could order a cocktail or two, all the better. After scouting around, I came across some gates that looked like they held a bounty of  luxe experiences behind their wrought iron railings. Indeed, I’d hit the jackpot. Hotel Porta del...

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Why I’m volunteering in Guatemala

Posted by on Dec 18, 2013 in Destinations, Guatemala, Responsible Travel | 22 comments

Why I’m volunteering in Guatemala

Most people know me as a travel writer, someone who spends her time flitting off to warm climes lounging poolside at luxury resorts. But, since I left the corporate world more than a decade ago, I’ve also worked for non-profit organizations in countries from Bolivia to Russia. It was my way of giving back to the world, a way to contribute something.  However, that wasn’t my plan when I arrived in Guatemala last month. I intended to focus on new corporate clients and my culinary travel memoir with a few jaunts to swanky destinations in between. 2014 was going to be a year much like...

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