Q: Winnipegers plan their winter getaways in advance. I wanted to book a trip to Cancun, Mexico, with WestJet (departing Feb. 1 and returning Feb 15). But the flight, which I have taken the past two years, is not listed at WestJet.com. Has it not been listed yet or are the non-stop flights from Winnipeg not being offered anymore? Any details are appreciated.
-- S. Groves, Winnipeg
A: February is definitely a hot time on the travel calendar for Canadians with sun destinations being huge sellers. I contacted WestJet and have some good news to report: Pack your swimsuit and get ready to head to Cancun.
"We will offer non-stop service four times weekly from Winnipeg to Cancun (YWG to CUN) next winter as we have in the past. If the reader is searching for a specific flight on specific dates and it is not there, it is because it has already sold out. Adjusting the dates will offer additional options," says Robert Palmer, PR manager with WestJet.
Q: We're travelling to Sligo, Ireland, in September to visit the hometown of my mom's grandparents. Do you know of anyone who could help us trace our roots?
-- R. Hall, Toronto
A: The Sligo Genealogy Society is a good place to start.
Tanya Warren of Tourism Ireland says Sligo resident Damien Brennan, who runs Yeats Sligo Ireland Tours, is also a fount of information.
"He's hugely familiar with Sligo, its cultural and literary background, and comes highly recommended. He often offers his services as a guide for those embarking on a genealogical search, in addition to offering his extensive insight into the heritage and Yeats history of the area," Warren says.
Another contact is Helen Kelly, who Warren describes as the resident "genealogy butler" at Dublin's Shelbourne Hotel.
The Emerald Isle's Gathering festivities continue throughout the year with events across Ireland. See thegatheringireland.com information on trip planning.
Q: When our kids were younger we used to take them to Blue Mountain in the winter. Now that they've left home, my wife and I wouldn't mind taking a drive there to explore the waterfront around Collingwood. Are there beaches in the area?
-- D. Wingress, Scarborough
A: Located outside of Collingwood, Blue Mountain Resort is not far from the many of the great white sand beaches along the shores of Georgian Bay.
The most famous is 14-km-long Wasaga Beach, the world's longest freshwater beach. It's divided into six areas: Five for families and the main part near the shopping area.
The closest beach to Blue Mountain is Northwinds in Craigleith. Others nearby are Christie Beach between Meaford and Thornbury; Little River Beach Park in Thornbury; and Sunset Point in Collingwood.