Ann Wallace

Ann and Nigel spent last winter sailing the Caribbean and Florida before settling into a comfy stay on the Thames in central London for seven months. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better the intrepid pair are heading for Europe.  Stay tuned.


Take the train
13 MAR 2014: You cannot be in England long, seeing family and friends, before the subject of Paris comes up. The Eurostar train from London to Paris via the Channel Tunnel has made trips there quick and easy. It may be faster to fly, but with all of today’s airport formalities that is debatable and, anyway, the Eurostar goes from city centre to city centre, St. Pancras in London and Gare du Nord in Paris. MORE

A different approach
03 JAN 2014: I was determined to see it first, so I positioned myself in the bow of our sailboat, binoculars in hand, as my husband concentrated on navigating us up the great river. We were on the Thames and eagerly searching the horizon for our first glimpse of the great city of London. To say that this was an exciting day for us would be an understatement. MORE

Living history
31 OCT 2013: As summer drew to a close we were ready to commence the next stage of our voyage - travelling from the Isle of Wight eastwards along the south coast of England, then north for a bit and then into the Thames Estuary. But we were in no hurry. The weather was lovely, there were a few safe harbours on our itinerary and lots to see and do. For those thinking of a vacation in England away from the capital, the south has much to offer, especially for history buffs or those with kids in tow who might love a real castle or two. MORE

The Isle of Wight
02 OCT 2013: As I closed my last travelogue column here a month or so ago, I mentioned our next destination: the Isle of Wight. It’s the island that shows up clearly just off the south coast of England. Henry the Eighth built fortifications here, and, in peaceful times, Queen Victoria made it popular by creating a summer home here for her large family. MORE

Boats and trains and cars
23 AUG 2013: Those of you who have been following our sailing travels may remember that we last ‘left’ you back in June in Southampton after our ‘Irish Interlude’. Since then we have been sailing and exploring the south coast of England and the counties of West Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset. What a delight it has all been. MORE

One at a time
08 AUG 2013: All adults, especially those of a certain age, realize that flying ain’t what it used to be. However, we’ve adjusted, some with more patience than others, as the stories here so often demonstrate. MORE

We should have visited sooner
19 JUL 2013: Savannah to Southampton. That was the journey our sailboat took without us, secured on the deck of a Dutch freighter. She was unloaded in Southampton Water into the hands of a professional captain in the dawn hours of a cold, wet and windy June day and taken to a berth in the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, which is where we found her a few hours later. The day was still cold, wet and windy and lots of hardy souls close by were preparing for a day of sailing on the Solent, wearing survival suits, hats, gloves and boots! They could have been going to ski in extreme conditions! If we felt a pang for Miami we did not admit it to each other! MORE

The next phase of the journey
13 JUN 2013: Those of you who have been following my occasional columns may remember that I last left you in Georgetown, the major town in the Exuma chain of the Bahamas. For small-craft sailors this is either the final destination in a Bahamian trip or the jumping off point for destinations farther afield. We met people planning and provisioning for such places as the Virgin Isles, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. But for us – and indeed for most of the boats – it is the return journey to the United States that is ‘on the cards’. If this sounds rather un-adventurous of us, we have news for you! But let’s not jump ahead. MORE

Revisiting old haunts
25 APR 2013: My last column ended a couple of months ago as we waited at anchor in West Bay, Providence Island, for the arrival of our guests, due to fly directly from Toronto to Nassau. Sure enough, at the appointed time, we saw the Air Canada flight overhead and soon The Daughter and The Boyfriend were waving from the nearby beach. As Daughter was soon to remark, it’s rather like a dream leaving a cold and snowy Toronto – where they had been worried if, indeed, they would “get out” – and finding oneself just a few hours later, in hot noonday sun, waiting to be picked up off a dazzling beach by Father in a Zodiac! MORE

Setting sail
21 FEB 2013: There is no travel experience quite like it - leaving the safety of a harbour in a small sail boat and setting out into the ocean or vast lake in the dark night hours. Even if one is with a companion the feeling of ‘aloneness’ is paramount. One has no cruise-ship captain, no airline pilot, no train engineer, not even headlights illuminating a road ahead, just the low glow of the vessel’s instruments and a dull red light illuminating the charts. My husband and I have done this many times in the boats we have owned, but it’s always with a mixture of excitement, anticipation and, yes, a little fear. MORE

Miami has lots to offer
31 JAN 2013: Well I don’t know - this retirement business sure keeps one busy! But no excuses; I now have time to catch up on our news since leaving Wilmington, North Carolina. Changes to our boat took far longer than anticipated, mainly due to bad weather. MORE

Wilmington and its environs
01 NOV 2012: Well, The Iceman Cometh not - for that, one has to go to the local store. But the battery man has been to install massive new batteries, the canvas man has been with his tape measure and the mechanic has been with all his tools to check our boat systems. In a couple of weeks, once the new canvas is installed, we’ll be ready to leave. MORE

Making choices
16 OCT 2012: This columnist has been quiet – but busy – for several months now. In a column in June this year I told you that my husband and I had had occasion to drive from Toronto to North Carolina several times over the preceding months. Now, if you care to bear with me, I will tell you why. MORE

Hastening your own demise
30 AUG 2012: Death by Photo. There couldn’t be a more apt heading for the disturbing story published here on Monday regarding the tourist killed by a bear. Unfortunately, although this was a ‘first’ for Denali, this sort of ‘accident’ happens far more often than we think. MORE

And a 40 million dollar makeover
25 JUL 2012: A getaway to Montreal is a delight in any season. Here we sit, snug and warm in an Old Town restaurant, anticipating the fine food and wine to come, while watching folks parade in the snowy streets is a great way to spend a winter’s evening. MORE

There is nothing like Australia
10 JUL 2012: Tourism types gathered in Toronto’s trendy Brasaii Restaurant recently to hear news from far away. “There’s Nothing Like Australia” was the catchword, as the gathering were shown a film and advertisements and heard news of new apps and an on-line video It was all part of Phase 2 of the campaign to promote Australia to that country’s most valuable tourism markets, of which Canada is one. MORE

Vacations are good for us
27 JUN 2012: The west-facing patio atop Toronto’s Spoke Club is a great place for a party and the early evening weather was perfect for the hosts and their guests, as they gathered recently to enjoy a Canada day celebration. MORE

Courtyard Marriotts are a good choice
14 JUN 2012: The recent column on the Marriott group of hotels prompted me to write this additional column - it’s actually something I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while. Over recent months, my husband and I have had occasion to drive to North Carolina several times. If this site’s editor allows me further space in the months ahead, the reason for these excursions will be made clear. (Ed. Note: Don’t know about you – but I’m intrigued.) But suffice to say, at the moment, that we’ve become pretty familiar with the route from Toronto to Wilmington, N.C. MORE

Should we go
11 APR 2012: Are you finding your bookings to Greece slow, or perhaps even non-existent? Do you know how to respond to your clients when they ask your advice about travelling to this normally-popular destination? Should we be hesitant about recommending a destination plagued by well-publicized riots and financial uncertainty? MORE

France has it all
08 MAR 2012: According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, France is the most visited country in the world in terms of international arrivals. The last figure available – 76.8 million in 2010 – was the same in 2009. Perhaps that’s because France is famous for offering its visitors almost everything they could desire. MORE

Nothing ho-hum about the Sheraton at YYZ
23 FEB 2011: I’ve had to stay in one. You’ve probably had to stay in one. And your clients have probably had to stay in one. I’m talking here about airport hotels. Those ‘cookie cutter’ properties that are nearly always ‘ho-hum’. They so often have ‘ho-hum’ facilities and ‘ho-hum’ chefs. They are often noisy and frequently have dismal views over ugly airport approach roads. MORE

Paradise beyond description
01 FEB 2012: “Captivating”, “Enlightening”, “Embracing”. The Maui, Moloka’i and Lana’i Visitors and Convention Bureau has been on a search for adjectives - adjectives that visitors thought best described these heavenly islands. And anyone who has ever been to one, two or all three of these islands is sure to agree: they captivate like nowhere else on earth, their rich and unique culture is enlightening, and all visitors are embraced by the warm people who call this paradise home. MORE

Places to go and plenty to see
30 JAN 2012: “Ahh, you’ve been in Mexico City. But isn’t it dangerous?” These questions, or something similar, were what invariably greeted us when we joined friends on the Riviera Maya for a wedding last December. MORE

Variety spices up Mexico
28 DEC 2011: For many travellers, it’s variety that makes a trip. Seven days at an all-inclusive in the sun (plus all that alcohol) may be what many dream of, but when it’s all over – well - that’s what it tends to seem like - just a blurry dream when every day was much like the one before it. MORE

There is something about Chicago
09 DEC 2011: “Canadians are very important to Chicago - and The Peninsula Hotel.” It was Marc Anderson, director of marketing, speaking, as he addressed a group of industry representatives in Toronto recently. Accompanied by Susan Ellefson, director of public relations, they had come to Canada to promote the winter offerings and specials at their luxurious property. MORE