Travel Temptations

Marathoner Package

The two night Magnolia Marathoner package (1-877-624-6654, www.magnoliahotel.com,from
$239 per night) is for those attending the 31st Annual Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon on
Oct. 10. It includes overnight accommodation, breakfast, parking, plus spa treatments for one (a
60-minute spa treatment plus either a pedicure or 30 minute massage).

Swiss apps
Switzerland Tourism ( www.myswitzerland.com)just added three new apps to its collection of free downloadable info. Guides to hiking, Lake Lucerne and the old town of Lausanne can now be downloaded to your mobile device at iTunes or go to www.myswitzerland.com/en/home/multimedia/mobile-iphone-podcast.htmlfor more details.

Picasso exhibit

The Renaissance Seattle Hotel ( www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/seasm-renaissance-seattle- hotel) is offering a Blue, Rose & Cubism Experience in celebration of the Seattle Art Museum’s Oct. 8 through Jan. 17 Picasso exhibition. Priced from $245 US, it includes overnight accommodation, Picasso inspired welcome amenities, overnight parking plus admission for two to the Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris exhibition.

Small ship

Cruise West (1-800-296-8307, www.cruisewest.com),specializing in small ship explorations, has a new five night Wild Alaska Seafari for 2011 that’s “designed to provide guests with the experience closest to a true explorer”. Save $700 per person by paying in full by Sept. 24 for June through August departures.

Rock at Rafflandia

The third Rifflandia Music Festival ( www.rifflandia.com)will take place in Victoria from Sept. 23 to 26. More than 50 artists are scheduled to take to the stage, including The Great Lake Swimmers, Melissa Auf Der Maur, and Gord Downie and The Country of Miracles. Performances will be at various venues throughout the city. Admittance wrist bands are priced from $65 and will give you access to all venues for the entire festival.

Boot camp

You can attend a Culinary Boot Camp at the Culinary Institute of America’s ( www.ciaelsueno.com)new 2,787 square metre campus in San Antonio, TX, ( www.visitsanantonio.com)after it opens in September. There are classes for cooks of all levels and last from one to five days.

Diamonds forever

Wow your sweetie while in Amsterdam with the Banks Mansion Romantic Diamond Package with Gassan Diamonds ( http://us.holland.com/e/72840).Priced from € 87.50 ($112) per person, it includes overnight accommodation with breakfast, a private driver taking you for an exclusive tour of the historical diamond cutting shop and more.

Korea’s Eats

The Korea Tourism Organization has a new website, ‘Korea Taste’ ( www.koreataste.org),for everything travellers want to know about food and restaurants. As well as a guide to those restaurants that are popular with visitors, the site has columns on food topics, events and festivals.

Free ride

OHANA Hotels & Resorts (1-877-654-0539, www.ohanahotels.com/freeride) is offering guests a free ride with the new Waikiki Room and Car Package. Rates start at $109 per room, per night and include a compact car. There is also free or 50 per cent off on parking, depending on the hotel.

Wine & Food Festival

The seventh annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival ( www.worldofwineevents.com,from
$45 US), Nov. 17 to 21, is the region’s largest wine and culinary event. Highlights include gourmet food, celebrity chefs, wine tastings and more.

All prices and availability are subject to change and restrictions apply

Barbara Braidwood and Rick Cropp ( RickandBarbara@telus.net) are Vancouver-based writers.