A wise person once noted that the truly fortunate on this earth have twigged into the fact that it’s better to collect experiences than things. When you are sitting around with friends at the bar, or people you’ve just met at a party, no one wants to hear the tale of how you bought a 92-inch flatscreen plasma television on Boxing Day.

The story of how you spent 24 hours on the Mekong Delta wrangling snakes, hi-fiving barefoot kids on passing fishing boats, and drinking home-made rice whiskey with a dude who looked like Kill Bill’s Pai Mei, however? Gold, and not just because that experience will help you instantly connect with others who are also happiest when anywhere but home.

U.S. Airways has some probing to do after someone handling the airline's Twitter account posted a photo that shocked many of its followers.

The company quickly deleted the photo (depicting a toy airplane in woman's vagina), which was tweeted in response to a disgruntled customer, but not before it was screenshotted and the airline began trending for reasons that certainly aren't appreciated by its PR team.

If you'd like to ride the Sea to Sky Gondola all summer long, it'll cost you $99. Well, that's the adult price for a 2014 summer season pass for the Squamish sightseeing gondola, which is set to open on May 16.

Passes, now on sale, will be good for unlimited rides between opening day and October 13. The price is $249 for families (two adults and two kids), $69.95 for youths, and $39.95 for children. (Kids under six will get on for free.)

In late 2013, Sea to Sky Gondola sold a limited number of annual passes for the same prices.

If you're taking the Amtrak Cascades train down to Portland this month, you'll probably spend a good part of the trip looking outside at the scenery. But there is a bit of a fun theme going on inside, too. In the dining car, the seats are decked out in Pendleton Woolen Mills upholstery. When the train stops in Seattle and you stretch your legs, take a look at the outside of the car, which is covered in a Portland promotional wrap.


When visiting Portland, it's fun to get out of downtown and explore the city's many laidback neighbourhoods. On a recent trip, I poked around the Central Eastside industrial area. But while the Central Eastside is just starting to make a name for itself as a culinary hub, Southeast Division Street has long been known for its fabulous restaurants.

Pok Pok drew me to SE Division in 2012, but when returned to the area last month, I was surprised to see how much it has changed. Construction was everywhere on three-storey apartment blocks, and new restaurants abound. Here are a few don't-miss spots.

 

Drive an electric vehicle? A boutique hotel in downtown Vancouver is hoping you'll be their guest.

The St. Regis Hotel (602 Dunsmuir Street) has installed two high-speed electric-vehicle charging stations. According to a news release, hotel guests owning or renting electric vehicles get free charging and underground parking.

When you think of Pride parades, what do you usually think of?

Skis, snowboards, and snowgear probably aren't the first things to come to mind.

Yet that's what the case is for Whistler's WinterPride parade. The third annual rainbow-decorated march was held on January 31 during the ski resort's LGBT ski week (as officially proclaimed by Whistler's mayor the day before).

In 2013, Hyatt Regency Vancouver executive chef Thomas Heinrich was selected for a culinary tour of Taiwan. Heinrich and two other North American chefs—from Los Angeles and New York—were chosen by the Taiwan Tourism Bureau to experience the food and culture across the island.

The eight-day trip was recorded for a 30-minute documentary, Taste Taiwan, which will air on the Discovery Channel on February 15 in the U.S. (Canadian audiences will be able to watch the episode online at that time, and a link will be provided on Taste Taiwan’s Facebook page.)

Two Vancouver hotels have been awarded five-star ratings in an annual ranking of hotels, restaurants, and spas around the world. The Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and Rosewood Hotel Georgia were the only hotels in B.C. given five stars in the 56th annual Forbes Travel Guide Star Ratings.

The list includes properties across the U.S., Canada, China, and in Singapore and London, England. Of the 97 hotels given a five-star ranking, 15 were new to the list.

In Canada, only four hotels were given top honours, with the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto and the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto rounding out the list of five-star rankings.

Whenever a relatively distant part of B.C. gets highlighted in a huge American media outlet, it invariably increases people's curiosity. 

Such is the case with a New York Times piece this weekend celebrating Haida Gwaii, formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Written by Bruce Kirkby, it centres on a visit to the village of Hlk'yah, which is in an area of forested area of "storybook proportions".

Kirkby refers to "industrial-style logging" that has taken place in the past on Haida Gwaii. (In the 1990s, this was chronicled by B.C. writer Ben Parfitt in the Georgia Straight.)

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