This just in from @fairmont hotels via Twitter (and why YOU should be on Twitter too!):   Twitter Early Access (in advance of Travelzoo launch on 3/18/09) – $101 room rates at The Fairmont Empress –http://tinyurl.com/empress101
The Fairmont Empress on Victoria Harbour

The Fairmont Empress on Victoria Harbour

Victoria, BC‘s most-photographed hotel, the venerable Fairmont Empress, celebrates 101 years this year but in this economy she’s the one bearing the gifts: until March 24, you can book a room for any time up to December 23, 2009 for just $101 a night, INCLUDING a 15% discount on food, drink and indulgent Willowstream Spa treatments. It doesn’t get better that that–especially if you’re paying in Euros or US dollars.

 

If you’re tempted, don’t dither. This special package will hit TravelZoo on Wednesday…

Yesterday I attended a service at my sister’s church, St. Andrew’s-Wesley United in downtown Vancouver, where I was moved to tears by Rev. Gary Paterson’s sermon about the power of love–divine love, of course, but also the much more prosaic love of marital relationships. 

 

Get away to get closer

Get away to get closer

My husband Brad and I have been married for 28 years–not all of them exactly blissful. In fact we even separated briefly in our 17th year, but we didn’t divorce and today we’re happier and more solid than ever. (If you really want to know how we got through it, read “Staying Together,” the article I wrote for Canadian Living magazine on the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary in 2005.)

Anyway, I just read a TripAdvisor survey that suggests more people than ever are planning a romantic getaway in 2009–despite the lousy economy. And to that I say: recession be damned, let romance prevail!

Especially when your relationship is under stress, even 24 hours away from home can give you the time and space you need to see your situation more clearly. (Plus there’s something, um, stimulating about bathtubs that don’t need scrubbing and sheets that don’t need changing.) But don’t let the word “romantic” put you off–you don’t have to buy new underwear or spend a fortune on candlelit dinners (although the travel industry would love it if you did).

Book a room, pack along a bottle of wine, and spend a quiet evening with your best beloved away from kids, dogs and deadlines. Together time is not just essential for newlyweds. Us longlyweds need it perhaps even more…