Americas Masters Games in Vancouver is both an event of competitors and tourism

Elizabeth Coutlee, a 51-year-old from Merritt, B.C., has travelled extensively to play softball.

In 2009, she had fun with women from Vancouver on a group in Sydney, Australia, at the World Masters Games, a multisport Olympics-style occasion targeted at amateur competitors, age 30 and older. In 2013, Ms. Coutlee used an indigenous group called the North American Native Sis at the World Masters Games in Turin, Italy.

Today, Ms. Coutlee is playing softball closer to house, in Vancouver at the Americas Masters Games, which started on the weekend and continue through to next Sunday.

It is the first time the Masters Games have been staged as a local event in the Americas. Ms. Coutlee is among about 5,000 professional athletes sporting their custom design basketball uniforms amongst other sport uniforms, from more than 50 nations, taking part in 24 sports. The $3.5-million occasion has to do with competitors and camaraderie– but for Vancouver, such occasions are a chance to boost the city’s tourist industry.

The Americas Masters Games belong to the technique behind Sport Hosting Vancouver, a brand-new group that was assembled to draw more sporting occasions to the city. Sport Hosting Vancouver is a partnership in between the city, a hotels’ association, B.C. Pavilion Corp., Tourist Vancouver and the University of British Columbia– investing about $3-million over 2 years, with $1-million originating from the city. The objective is to parlay success hosting such occasions as the Unique Olympics Canada 2014 summer seasons Games and part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2015 into more occasions and additional financial activity.

“Sports are an effective method to do that,” stated Ty Speer, CEO of Tourism Vancouver.

Mr. Speer formerly worked as an executive for the London 2012 Olympics, as well as for the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 and in Glasgow in 2014. Mr. Speer stated Vancouver’s sports-tourism method has to do with little and manageable occasions.

“We’re not about overextending ourselves,” he stated.

The city and the province supplied about one-third of $3.5-million it costs to stage the Americas Masters Games. Roughly the exact same quantity is anticipated to come from entry costs: Individuals pay $215 to participate in a sport. Sport BC and numerous provincial sport companies are placing on the games.

Events occur all over the city. There is beach volleyball at Kitsilano Beach. Karate is happening at the convention centre downtown. Five-on-five basketball happens at gyms at UBC.

The City of Vancouver at first forecasted about 7,500 Masters Games individuals. Rob Newman, CEO of Sport BC, said the 5,000 athletes set to attend today is a strong number for an inaugural event and he expects it to recover cost. Half the guests are from outdoors B.C.

“It’s going to be really fun,” stated Mr. Newman. “It’s not just competitors. There’s the social side, too.”

The World Masters Games was founded in the mid-1990s and first staged in Toronto. Edmonton hosted the games in 2005 and drew about 20,000 people. Current hosts Sydney and Turin were former Olympics’ hosts, like Vancouver.

The Masters Games are backed by the International Masters Games Association, based in Lausanne, Switzerland, down the street from the head office of the International Olympic Committee. Former IOC member Kai Holm is president of the IMGA.

“It’s a celebration,” said Mr. Holm of the Masters Games, a time for everyone to come together in their favourite basketball team uniforms to support their teams.

The very first local occasion, the European Masters Games, was staged in Malmo, Sweden, in 2008. The IMGA approached the City of Vancouver about placing on the very first Americas Masters Games. (The 2nd Winter World Masters Games remained in Quebec City in early 2015 and drew 1,500.).

The average age of individuals is 49 and professional athletes typically travel with household, making it a holiday. There are differing levels of competition. Ms. Coutlee, the softball gamer, will play in the women’s leisure department, 40 and older. The Masters Games intends to supply an Olympics-like sheen: There are opening and closing events, and medal ceremonies, taking place in Vancouver at Jack Poole Plaza, adjacent to the convention centre.

When the occasion was revealed for Vancouver, in December, 2014, Mayor Gregor Robertson stated it “builds on Vancouver’s reputation as a terrific host city for significant sporting occasions”.

See more at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/americas-masters-games-in-vancouver-an-event-of-competition-and-tourism/article31589409/

Spend 2 ideal days in the Hunter Valley

Australia’s oldest wine region isn’t really simply home to award-winning Semillon and Shiraz, cellar-door tastings and stunning vineyard hotels. The fertile valley, simply a two-hour drive north of Sydney, offers a banquet of experiences, from store beer tracks to olive oil tasting, in your area made chocolate to limitless orchards.

Follow the beautiful lanes that weave through groves and vines and you will come across premium restaurant and winery options, local chefs using culinary classes utilizing local components and grocery store. See the vines from a various angle on a hot-air balloon ride, purchase fantastic arts and crafts at the galleries and counter a few of that overindulgence with horse riding and biking tours to take in the beautiful landscape designs.

Day 1

Sydney’s bread basket is the ideal place to invest a number of days after the enjoyment of touring the city. Go with a vehicle and head north on the freeway, watching by as the vine-striped landscapes unfold before you. The culture of cellar-door wine tasting suggests that you can appear at lots of wineries in the location merely to taste the produce and buy a couple of bottles. However it’s worth doing at least one tour for more information about the 160-year history of wine growing in the area.

Simply 15 miles north of Sydney, switch off for your very first vineyard stop. Krinklewood is an organic vineyard where you can find out everything about the procedure during a wine-tasting experience. A store winery in the French Provencal style, it is a lovely intro to the Semillon, Shiraz and chardonnay for which the area is renowned.

Another 65 miles north is the perfect stop for a wine trip and lunch. The Bimbadgen Estate is a sprawling vineyard offering a totally different environment to Krinklewood. You can enjoy a tasting at the cellar door, or head to Esca Bimbadgen dining establishment, which specialises in modern-day Australian food, utilizing local produce such as regional roasted lamb rump with goat’s cheese and courgette or the fish of the day served with tomato, chorizo and white beans.

The region provides numerous excellent lodging options consisting of the Hermitage Lodge. This store lodging is positioned in a vineyard as well as provides self-contained suites with Jacuzzis on the upstairs deck. Delight in a glass of wine as you view the sun sink behind the vines, then head to the lodge’s Il Cacciatore dining establishment for more indulgence– it has been voted the very best Italian dining establishment in the Hunter Valley for nine of the past 10 years.

Day 2

Go for an early morning the next day and go to Peterson Home Winery– just five minutes away– before dawn so that you can take pleasure in a sunrise hot-air balloon journey with Balloon Safaris. It is worth the morning start for the peaceful silence as you float over the vines. Rounding off with champagne from a gorgeous breakfast restaurant, it is the ideal way to begin your day.

If it’s not too early for another beverage, pop to the Lovedale Brewery, just down the road from Peterson Home, to find out more about the Hunter Valley’s less popular liquid produce. Wine might have made this area world-renowned, however its microbrewery movement has actually likewise been getting recognition recently.

Just seven miles away you can visit the Hunter Valley Horse Riding and Adventures website, where you can take pleasure in a 90-minute directed horse flight through the vines as you learn more about the region’s heritage and take in the countryside from another perspective. And once you have worked up an appetite, visit Restaurant Botanica, a 20-minute drive away. Set within the Spicers Vineyards Estate this is the perfect place to sample the very best produce from across the area. Tuck into soft-shell crab, roasted peanuts, green pawpaw and caramelised chilli followed by pistachio and cumin crusted lamb, white bean, lemon, asparagus and pomegranate.

It is the ideal event of the best the Hunter Valley needs to provide prior to the easy two-and-a-half-hour drive back to dynamic Sydney.

Tenerife with a Twist: Winter Season Sun, plus Wildlife and Wine

We are racing along the coast roadway, passing banana plantations, goat herders, little bars, and whitewashed houses. To our right the ocean crashes versus the black, rocky coast. The waves– huge and rolling– are the pale ice blue of a glacier. Yesterday we travelled through a prehistoric forest; tomorrow we will climb up a volcano. This place feels exotic and weird. I had actually constantly considered Tenerife as a beach location: bland chain hotels crouching on black sand. Two for one mixed drinks. Pizza and chips.

I didn’t have a hint. The island, the biggest of the Canaries, arches from the sea, divided by a spine of volcanic mountains. One would think frannas and such machinery wouldn’t be able to make such a visit on the landscape.  The sign of Tenerife is the dragon tree, and the island itself is like a dragon– full of fire and dotted with volcanoes, the largest of which is El Teide, an enormous 3,718 metres high. South of it are the resorts used by holidaying Brits. The landscape there is desert, all sandy rock and bleached-out cacti. However cross to the north of the island and a secret world is exposed. This is where the Spanish colonised Tenerife in the 15th century, constructing quite towns, and making the most of the more temperate climate to grow food and make exceptional wine. And it’s incredibly still under the traveler radar. Of the 1.5 million Brits who visited Tenerife in between January and September 2016, just around 75,000 remained in the north.

For winter sun, Tenerife does provide real warmth. It’s November when we check out and still hot enough for the beach most days. That does not indicate it never ever rains. A scheduled five-hour hike through Anaga nation park, an ancient cloud forest of unusual ferns and laurels, was reduced by an unusually monsoon-like rainstorm.

We take haven in a simple beachside dining establishment, Estrella del Mar in the capital, Santa Cruz. It was the equivalent of a greasy spoon, except here the greasy spoons do newly grilled seafood and great wine. A steaming bowl of Tenerife’s famous wrinkly potatoes, prepared in salt till they’re shrivelled and crispy, go down a treat dipped in mojo, the Canary Islands’ signature piquant salsa.

We head back to our hotel, the San Roque, a standard house with spaces around a central courtyard in Garachico, stopping off in Puerto de la Cruz to roam along the shore. As the sun starts to set, web surfers are capturing the last waves, while on the harbour old men are roasting chestnuts and drinking young red wine At the hotel, guests are eating by the pool: it’s still warm sufficient to stay outdoors drinking and chatting well into the night.

Garachico was the island’s primary port till a volcanic eruption in 1706 ruined the harbour. We wander out to delight in vermouths in the square by the old bandstand, followed by fresh fish and lots of red wine at La Perla. It’s the sort of dining establishment I dream of finding on holiday– brightly lit, with vinyl floorings, unbelievably reasonable costs and friendly hosts, Jesus and Ana.

From the observatory, we keep an eye out across the excellent crater of Teide national forest, a wild, barren, nearly Martian landscape. Or is it Utah? Rock developments rising like totem poles in the distance are solidified lava from the funnels of dead volcanoes, long since worn down by the wind.

As the sun drops, we aim to remain warm. Up here the temperature level drops below freezing on winter nights. Snow will start to fall soon, transforming the Martian landscape into an Arctic one. That night we meet a star guide and crane our heads to take a look at the night sky, not that an actual crane was needed for the process, delighting in the sound of the words: Perseid, Pleiades, Andromeda, Vega.

The next day pull back on the coast it’s hot and bright enough for a bit of sunbathing before we head home– sensation like we have actually been to 5 countries in 4 days.

See https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2016/dec/12/northern-tenerife-canary-islands-volcano-winter-sun-wine to find more insight.

Kitchen Confidential: Queensland Food Lover News

Colonial Cuisine

Need a location to rest and refuel after your next shopping safari to Bulimba? British Colonial Co, a smart casual all-day restaurant and lounge bar is due to unfurl next to the Hawthorne Cineplex in Brisbane’s east on Friday. It’s a fresh project for Angela Kennedy (who also has close-by popular 1930s-themed Bungalow 4171) and Kennedy’s partner and co-owner Mark. South African expat chef Darryn Bonhomme (formerly head chef at Cinco Restaurant, Camp Hill) will lead the cooking area at British Colonial Co, which draws motivation from a host of its previous nests, from Africa to the West Indies.

Bonhomme will likewise head British Colonial Co’s great restaurant, 66-seat sibling, The Residence, set to debut in mid-August in a heritage Queenslander on an upper floor of the same site. Bonhomme’s opening menu will take advantage of influences varying from South Africa to the Middle East, taking in British, Italian and French along the way. Breakfast meals, for example, include the indulgent orange bloom doughnuts with house-churned icecream; and a buttery lobster tail with sweet corn emulsion and poached egg, alongside lighter picks such as a fresh fruit salad with increased watermelon and dragon fruit, or house granola.

The focus at lunch and supper is strongly on share plates– anything from charcuterie boards and shared dessert plates to the likes of Sri Lankan chilli pork tummy with a lychee, apple and mint salad; or hickory-smoked in-house quail with tarragon white polenta and taro onion jam. The undercover 86-seater downstairs has rattan lounges, large white curtains and lots of function lumber. “It’s an advanced alfresco space with great deals of textures,” Kennedy says. “This is something residents have been asking for– for a long period of time– and it’s something they are worthy of. Upstairs will be best for quiet intimate dinners and long lunches. Downstairs is more open and relaxed, yet sophisticated.”

New Chef For Cinco

Cinco Restaurant owner-chef Peter Stubbs has actually replaced his outbound previous head chef Darryn Bonhomme, with Italian expat chef Andrea Leone. It’s Leone’s 2nd stint in the cooking areas at Camp Hill, even though catering hawthorn is a prominent area for such talent, and Stubbs states he’s delighted to have him back.

On the other hand, Stubbs has been silently spending the bulk of his time in Perseverance Valley managing his newest under-the-radar venture, Piccolo Coffee shop on Robertson St at the base of the Atrio Apartments. Stubbs already has Piccolo Pizza locations at Camp Hill, East Brisbane and Highgate Hill, and pizza likewise includes at the 35-seat Piccolo Cafe, however here there’s a broader menu on offer as well, since he’s providing room service to Atrio visitors. Month-to-month dinners prepared by Stubbs are also on the menu. “We have actually simply painted the walls today and the colours work actually well at night with fabrics and flatware. We have actually got a Night in Milan dinner prepared for July 17,” Stubbs states.

Aquitaine Dives Into Pacific

South Bank’s Aquitaine looks set to score itself an attractive new Gold Coast brother or sister prior to completion of August. Aquitaine Pacific is under construction in the new luxe resort precinct of the rapidly revamping Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, which is also the home of high-end sellers such as Tiffany, Givenchy, Gucci and Prada. Aquitaine’s owner Nick Spiro says the brand-new 100-seat Broadbeach sis place will continue the French theme, however likewise have a bit of a twist for customers that are not looking for meals to go hawthorn.

“We’re putting in a champagne and oyster bar,” Spiro states. “The pod real estate the cooking area and bar remains in a stunning blue stone and it opens out to a water function. There’s absolutely nothing like this in Australia. AMP (Pacific Fair developer AMP Capital) is doing an excellent task.” Architects Arkhefield are at deal with the design of Aquitaine Pacific and Spiro states he’s searching for a chef for the endeavor.

An as-yet- concealed Italian-themed dining establishment will likewise open alongside Aquitaine Pacific later on this year. Contrary to hospitality chatter, this won’t be the first Queensland venture for the Terzini Group, the power behind the likes of Sydney’s Icebergs Dining-room and Bar and The Dolphin Hotel and more.

See http://www.couriermail.com.au/lifestyle/food/qld-taste/kitchen-confidential-queensland-foodie-news/news-story/52209e2730eb8203d8d13da4ac127875 to learn more.

Holidaying In The Yarra Valley

Only have a few days for a holiday, which restricts you from going away somewhere exciting? Do you then end up sitting at home and doing house work on your time off because you don’t have long enough? Well you shouldn’t stay home, you should make the most of what little time you have. A quick getaway to the Yarra Valley is the ideal short holiday if you only have limited time.

Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, what’s there to do in the Yarra Valley to entertain me for a few days, but I have some advice for you on some great things to do! There are plenty of Yarra Valley day tours that you can do so you are still getting the excitement of being as adventurous as you would be on a bigger holiday.

Do you have young children that you need to entertain? Well some popular destinations with the kids are Healesville Sanctuary and the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery Healesville Sanctuary is home to not only native Australian Animals, but a lot of winged and furry friends as well. Perfect for entertaining the kids! Another winner with the young ones is the popular Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery in Yarra Glen. Indulging in loads of chocolate and ice cream and heaps of yummy food is enough to keep anyone of any age happy!

However, if you don’t have kids you have to satisfy and you are wanting to do more of a relaxing activity, then doing a Yarra Valley winery tour might just be the thing for you! Going from winery to winery, sampling various wines whilst enjoying some delicious food sounds like a winner to me!

Choosing where to stay is always one of the most difficult decisions for me to make. My advice is, that if you enjoy being amongst nature and to be in a more secluded area, then staying somewhere in the Dandenongs or out near Warburton would be great. On the other hand, there are heaps of cute little country towns you can stay at such as Healesville or Yarra Glen which are just as beautiful. There are so many options of accommodation in the Yarra Valley so you’ll find the perfect place for you.

The Yarra Valley is such a big place and so there are heaps and heaps of things you can do and in my opinion, it is the perfect place for a little getaway so make sure you go.

Exploring The Great Ocean Road – Torquay To Apollo Bay

down-under-03-04-2-1474560-1279x852The Great Ocean Road begins at Torquay. From Torquay the road heads inland-ish and winds through some stunning hills and valleys before landing into Anglesea. If you’ve begun fairly early you’ll most likely seek some lunch by this stage. Just as you head into town there’s a little strip of shops with loads of cafes to match all tastes and budgets and show shops with your favorite womens ankle boots, and if you wish to stay a little longer then the Big 4 Anglesea Holiday Park or the great ocean road accommodation are good locations to start.

 

Get back on the Great Ocean Road and head towards Lorne which is a stunning little town set right on the sea. Along the way the road runs right along the ocean offering travelers some definitely spectacular views; words don’t do this place any justice at all. Eastern View is about midway in between Anglesea and Lorne and is the spot where a statue celebrating the building of the Great Ocean Road has actually been erected. It’s a bronze statue of 2 Diggers, and for a photo opportunity, there’s a huge archway over the road with Great Ocean Road composed on it. And for a minor visual distraction, take a look at your home on a stilt jutting out of the hillside not far from the statue. It’s as bizarre-looking as it is cool.

 

Keep driving to Lorne, and this part of the drive is most likely a favorite, it’s simply what I anticipated the Great Ocean Road would be; the roadway essentially runs along the shore.

 

Lorne is among the bigger towns along the road. If you had more time it ‘d definitely be worth stopping in town for a number of days as there are loads to do; you can either stay in some great Lorne accommodation and play by the beach or head up into the hinterland and go horse riding or bush walking.

 

Pushed on to Apollo Bay where the road continues on clinging to the rocks as it twists and turns its method down along the coast. It’s simply remarkable, and if you had a sports car, well, it ‘d be among those one-in-a-million driving experiences.

 

Apollo Bay is a fantastic area for both food and shopping for your womens boots. With lots of cool coffee shops, pubs and a handful of caravan parks it’s a place well worth camping at for a number of days. At Apollo Bay, you might kid yourself you’re a million miles from anywhere. It’s a serene location unless you’re there throughout a show like we were then, as you ‘d anticipate, discovering a website will be difficult; the environment was excellent, though. We found a patch of ground, thanks to the vans small size, at the Apollo Bay Holiday Park. It’s only a little park and is filled primarily with cabins but we scored a good, non-powered grassy area to park the van among a bunch of tents next to the pool.

Three Road Tripping Roads That Are People Free

Road tripping is fun. However, sitting in traffic is not. Here are the 3 of the finest crowd-free roadways to take a trip.

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Eyre Peninsula, South Australia

It’s a reasonably long haul to get to the Eyre Peninsula when you stay in Lorne accommodation – from the Nullarbor to the west, and a long day’s drive east of Adelaide. Trace the eastern coastline south from Whyalla to Port Lincoln and after that back up the western side to Ceduna for sensational seaside surroundings, wildlife, and exceptional seafood – road tripping doesn’t get far better than this, and if you brought your womens boots you are set!.

Fantastic Inland Way, Queensland

Heading north to tropical Queensland? Head up Highway 1 and take the back way, also called Great Inland Way, through western NSW and Queensland– Sydney to Townsville via Dubbo, Lightning Ridge, Roma, Emerald, Carnarvon Gorge and Charters Towers. Don’t worry if you forgot to buy your shoes online, all you need out here are your two thongs!It’s sealed all the way and is a journey through beautiful small-town Australia– an Aussie version of America’s Route 66. How far? 2070km.

Beyond the Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Any tourist route as well-known as the Great Ocean Road is always going to bring in more than its reasonable share of slow-moving motorists who may be staying at Apollo Bay accommodation you cannot blame them, it’s a spectacular piece of roadway– that can turn it into a crawling conga-line of automobiles and caravans. However if you keep going, beyond the 12 Apostles, past the Bay of Islands, west of Warrnambool, you’ll leave the day-trippers and tour buses behind. Decrease when you get to Portland, where you can stroll to the edge of the greatest sea cliffs in Victoria to peer down at a large colony of about 650 fur seals then follow the curve of Discovery Bay to Nelson on the South Australian border and check out the back roads of the Limestone Coast. It’s just a half day’s drive, but will feel a million miles away. How far? 167km (Warrnambool to Nelson).

 

Prepare for your Australian trip with our practical tips

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Prepare for your Australian trip with our practical tips. Learn about our currency, how to call home, keep safe, shop responsibly and travel with a disability. Then you’re ready to go.

Money

Australia’s currency is Australian Dollars (AUD) and currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. The most commonly accepted credit cards are American Express, Bankcard, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa, JCB and their affiliates. Try this handy currency converter.

Goods and Services Tax

Australia has a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 10 per cent. You may be able to claim a refund of the GST paid on goods bought here if you have spent AUD$300 or more in one store, no more than 30 days before departing Australia. Tourist Refund Scheme facilities are located in the departure area of international terminals. For more detailed information see Australian government information on the Tourist Refund Scheme.

Shopping

You’ll find large department stores, arcades, malls, gift and souvenir shops across Australia. Trading hours vary across the country but shops in tourist and city areas are generally open until 6pm, with the exception of late night shopping on either Thursdays or Fridays in different states. In Australia you are covered by Australia’s consumer protection laws which require businesses to treat you fairly.

Tipping and bargaining

Hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill. In up market restaurants, it is usual to tip waiters up to ten per cent of the bill for good service. However, tipping is always your choice. It is not custom to bargain in Australia.

Emergency assistance

The emergency number for police, ambulance and or fire brigade is 000.

Surf and water safety

Australia’s popular beaches are usually patrolled by volunteer lifesavers from October to April and red and yellow flags mark the safest area for swimming. For information about marine stingers and crocodile safety read the Queensland Government website.

Language

Australia’s official language is English. However, being a multicultural nation with a significant migrant population, we also enjoy a tremendous diversity of languages and cultures.

Electrical power points

Our electrical current is 220 – 240 volts, AC 50Hz. The Australian three-pin power outlet is different from some other countries, so you may need an adaptor.

Communication

Australia’s country code is 61. Local calls from public pay phones are untimed and charged at AUD$.050. Mobile, long distance and overseas calls are usually timed.Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas. Internet access is widely available at internet cafes, accommodation and libraries.

Postal services

Post offices are usually open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday, with some city post offices open on Saturday morning. Travellers can arrange to collect mail at post offices throughout Australia.

Accessible Travel

If you have a disability and are planning to explore Australia, there is a host of services and special deals to meet your needs. Thorough preparation is essential to a successful trip, so speak to your travel agent about your specific requirements. For more information on accessible tourism in Australia go to NICAN or the AustraliaForAll  websites.

 

Article taken rom http://www.australia.com/en/planning/useful-tips.html