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Tastes & Treats at The Food Truck Wars

When I was younger, I prided myself on having a hollow leg and the ability to eat much more than the average man. However, last weekend at The Centennial Market's second annual Food Truck Wars, I finally met my match.

I've written about The Centennial Market a few times, and I've watched it grow in leaps and bounds the last few years. The market is inside the shell of the former Sears Outlet building, a building where I spent much of my childhood. Sears closed this outlet building in 2016 and shortly afterwards The Centennial Market opened in an attempt to save the shopping centre.

The market grew quickly, and the parking lot of the building has become a hub of events throughout the year. One of the biggest events is the annual Food Truck Wars.

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What HBO Got Wrong About Chernobyl

Those who attended my Chernobyl lecture at the Queen City Collective earlier in May would have heard me singing praises about HBO's new miniseries Chernobyl, and for good reason. HBO did a fantastic job on the miniseries by immersing the audience into mid-1980s Soviet Ukraine and by peeling back the layers of the disaster.

With that said, there were some liberties HBO took while making the show. As somebody who spent two days in the Exclusion Zone in 2016, I know a thing or two about how the events unfolded, and a few parts of the miniseries weren't accurate.

Chernobyl began by tackling a nearly impossible task. The miniseries had to break down one of the largest cover-ups in human history. They had to show the devastation of the world's deadliest nuclear disaster and also highlight the many countless heroes who stepped up to make a difference. It's natural to expect HBO to simplify this – and they only had five episodes to do it. I don't blame them for some of these mistakes, but I felt they should be pointed out.

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Meet Your 2019 Saskatchewanderer

Zane Buchanan is your typical run-of-the-mill Saskatchewanian. He was born in White City, just outside of Regina, and attended Greenall High School in Balgonie. He graduated in 2010.

After graduation he moved to Victoria, then Toronto, then Vancouver and then Toronto again. He took theatre and then shifted over to journalism. He started as a arts and cinema critc and then moved over into being a copywriter. Like anybody in their 20s, he was trying to find his place in the world.

Although he left Saskatchewan for schooling, Saskatchewan never left him. It didn't matter if he was in Vancouver or Toronto, he was always "the Prairie kid" or "that guy from Saskatchewan".

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110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan

I've known Jenn Smith Nelson for several years now, and I often look up to her for inspiration and guidance on how to grow with my blog. I remember hearing about her book over a year ago, and I've been holding my breath in anticipation ever since.

Smith Nelson teamed up with Doug O'Neill, another talented travel writer, to cover two Canadian provinces. Their new book, 110 Nature Hot Spots in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, is a part of a Firefly Books series that showcase Canada's diversity of nature.

 (Other books in the Firefly Books series include 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta, 100 Nature Hot Spots in British Columbia and 110 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario.)

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13 Churches to Visit Before You Die

The recent fire at Notre Dame Cathedral got me thinking about how lucky I was to see such an incredible building – and how lucky we all are that it's still standing. In honour of its survival, and the Easter Season (assuming I can get this out prior to Easter Sunday), I thought I would put together a list of some of the most beautiful churches I've seen in my travels – and hopefully inspire you to see them too.

This article only lists churches I've been to, but there are countless others that people should visit too. Are there any other churches you think people should visit? How about temples or mosques? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

St. Paul's Cathedral has been an iconic structure in London for over a millennium.  The current cathedral was constructed in 1697 after the previous (fourth) cathedral was lost to the Great Fire of London in 1666.

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5 Awesome Things to do in Malaga

Written by: Nicola Kennedy, Connect 2 Spain.

Steeped in history dating back to the Phoenicians, Malaga, Spain has always been a trading post for the countries of the Mediterranean Sea. Both the Greeks and Carthaginians settled the area, with the Romans finally creating the first municipality. Originally, Malaga thrived on the export of meat, salted fish, olive oil and raisins.

When the Roman Empire fell, the Visigoths arrived and ruled the city until the Moors established their Caliphate somewhere between 714AD and 716AD. They continued to use Malaga to not only export foodstuffs but also products from a burgeoning textile industry.

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Dog River After Corner Gas

Dog River, the fictional town of Corner Gas (2004 – 2009) is in Rouleau, Saskatchewan, about 40 minutes south of Regina. This town was once the home for over 100 episodes, a movie and now an animated series. During production, buildings were renamed, structures were built, and the streets were full of actors, comedians, politicians, filming equipment and tourists.

Corner Gas was popular in Canada, the United States and Europe, getting somewhat of a following like Anne of Green Gables has in Japan. Many European tourists came to Saskatchewan just to see the set, visit the locations from the show and experience small-town Saskatchewan life. The show was such a success that April 13 is even designated "Corner Gas Day" in Saskatchewan.

Once the show ended, many expected Dog River to become something like Avonlea in Prince Edward Island. It had the potential to be a thriving tourism centre, with live-action characters, running gags, scenes from the show, themed restaurants and Corner Gas merchandise.

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Moose Jaw's Medieval Château

It was fifty years ago that the Château Room was brought to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, but only a few people have ever heard of it.

If you've never heard of the Château Room, you aren't alone. There's no conspiracy to keep it hidden; in fact, people visit it every day. The reason few people ever talk about it is because it's only accessible to military personnel.

So, as a civilian, it took me months to arrange a finally get a tour, and when I saw it… Well, why don't we start from the beginning.

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Saskatoon's Escape Manor is the Place to Beat

About five years ago I tried my first escape room, and I've been a fan ever since. Solving puzzles is something the web developer in me absolutely loves, and I've lost count of the amount of escape rooms I've attempted. Each one I've done has been fun, challenging and rewarding, although often very frustrating – all of which keeps me going back for more.

Many escape rooms offer board games, food and drinks before the "big escape" but Escape Manor's new Saskatoon location brings entertainment to a whole new level. Along with drinks and delicious food from partnerships with a select group of restaurants downtown. They also have custom board games, axe-throwing and bocce ball. Axe-throwing is something I've seen before (and, yes, thank you everybody who messaged me on social media – I know there are axe-throwing places in Regina...) but I've never seen it offered in an escape room setting. After I saw it, I thought it fit in perfectly. The gleaming axes and splintered wood go along perfect with the lanterns, chains and distant screams of madness from down the hall.

Saskatoon's Escape Manor also has a pillory as opposed to the Regina's Escape Manor's electric chair. I'm not sure which one I like more, since both are very cool, and very uncomfortable, but it does give the location an iconic touch.

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Where to Embrace Nature in Alberta

After a long, dark, frigid winter, Canadians love the few months of summer we get every year. Once the snow melts and the mud dries, we are out hiking, picnicking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, climbing and exploring this wonderful country of ours.

Of all the provinces to explore, Alberta ranks at the top of many adventurers' list. From hoodoos to waterfalls, mountains to valleys, deserts to tundra and everything in-between, Alberta offers any outdoorsman the perfect place to embrace nature.

To stay a night & see a sight, here is help to live out your next #BucketlistAB adventure.

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What To Do in Historic Philadelphia

A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.

Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States. 

One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.

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Six Attractions You Must Visit in Southern Alberta

If you're visiting Alberta this summer, you probably have your heart set on visiting the mountains. After all, places like Lake Louise, Banff, Waterton and now Castle Provincial Park are some of the most beautiful sites in Canada, and they're always a hit on Instagram (if you're into that kind of thing). But, between Regina and the mountains is a whole province with plenty of sights to explore.

Last year I took more trips than I could count to southern Alberta, but most of them ended near Medicine Hat. Had I gone a bit further, I would have found myself in a myriad of attractions to see, from historical museums to sites of natural disasters and just about everything in-between.

For those looking to make a few stops on their way to the Rocky Mountains, or for those who are just looking for an Alberta road trip, here are six attractions you must visit while in southern Alberta.

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