Most popular cities for celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving

Monday, known in the United States as the Columbus Day holiday, holds another name in Canada – Canadian Thanksgiving, which means that this is a three-day weekend throughout much of North America.

Thus, Hotwire has compiled the most popular cities for celebrating, based on both room nights booked and total price.

“While Thanksgiving means family time to many, others see this three day weekend as an opportunity to pack a few overnighters and take a short leisure trip to a big city,” said Clem Bason, President of the Hotwire Group. “With popular Canadian cities seeing a dip in business travel over the holiday and the Canadian dollar nearly on par with the US dollar, there are deals abound in both Canada and the US. Travelers should take advantage of the Thanksgiving weekend discounts, and it looks like many of them already are.”


Average Price on Hotwire


Toronto, Ontario, Canada



New York City, New York



Montreal, Quebec, Canada



Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada



Chicago, Illinois



Boston, Massachusetts



Las Vegas, Nevada



Minneapolis, Minnesota



Ottawa, Ontario, Canada



Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada


Sadly, these trends don’t extend to airfare – flying this weekend appears to be expensive!

Climb aboard one of Christopher Columbus’s ships

Whether or not one thinks that Christopher Columbus’s voyage across the Atlantic to the Americas is a day to celebrate, the 1492 journey of the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria was an amazing feat.

Although Columbus and his men made it to the Bahamas on October 12– more then 500 years ago, it’s still possible to see what it would have been like to travel on one of these ships during the 15th century.

These days, life-size replicas of the Santa Maria, the Niña and the Pinta serve as floating museums. Although the Santa Maria is permanently located on the Scioto River in downtown Columbus, Ohio, the Niña–and most recently the Pinta, travel to various ports.

The Niña, built to commemorate 500 years of Columbus’s voyage, has been to 425 ports since its beginning. The Pinta, larger than the original version, was built in 2006 and also serves as a dockside charter that can be rented out for parties whenever it is docked.

Both of those ships are owned by the Columbus Foundation in the British Virgin Islands.

Tomorrow is the last day that the Pinta and the Niña will be in Huntington, West Virginia. On the 16th to the 20th, they’ll be in Marietta, Ohio and will finish off October in Steubenville, another Ohio river town.

For the schedule that includes the rest of the year, click here. The two ships will finish off the 2009 season in Pensacola, Florida.

As a note: The Santa Maria will be open until October 25th when it will close until April 2010.

Obscure Holiday in the US is a Big Deal in Spain

Try to keep your excitement under control: Columbus Day is coming. While post office employees and history buffs have been waiting, this holiday will pass unnoticed for most people. That is, unless they try to go to the post office or local library, most of which will be closed in memory of Christopher Columbus, first white guy to set foot in the Americas (sorry Leif Ericson, but you didn’t write it down).

But the U.S. is not the only nation that celebrates Columbus Day. So does Spain. Only they don’t call it Columbus Day. It carries the grand title: Dia de la Hispanidad. The day features parades and celebrations of Spanish culture. The Spanish and Portuguese-speaking Americas and Spain’s Iberian kin Portugal get in on the party this year with a celebration of Iberian and American culture called VivAmérica. There are festivals of art and film, concerts and lectures, and little or no mention of the bloody history of the colonization of South and Central America. Most of the festivities will take place in Madrid. The events run until October 12th. Parades also take place in some US cities with large Spanish-speaking populations.


Word for the Travel Wise (10/09/06)

Today is Columbus Day and though we know Columbus was Italian born and he sailed under the flagship of Spain when he discovered the New World, to pay small tribute I leave you with this word from a neighboring country of the two. Why? Well no good reason really. Besides, I’m sure it’s closely related to the Italian and Spanish word, although I could be wrong.

Today’s word is a Portuguese word used in Portugal:

barco – (baar-koo) boat

Easy Portuguese online offers a small dictionary of useful words, useful phrases, and a couple of short lessons to get you started. Most have audio clips including our word for the day found here. Portuguese Language dot net has excellent historical info on the language and numerous tools to help you get motivated and be successful at learning the 6th most spoken language. For Portuguese heard in Portugal you can download mp3 audio from BBC, which I’m sure there are several similarities between the two countries. Those interested in classroom study abroad can click here for more info at Franco Americano.

Past Portuguese words: xixi, bronzeador, lanchonete, esquerda,
crianças, noite