Canadian money - Not just for Monopoly anymore

Ever made fun of that weird-colored Canadian money? If you have, Canadians may be getting the last laugh. Yesterday, the loonie was worth as much as a U.S. dollar.

What does this mean for you? Well, if you're Canadian, it means that U.S. stuff is a lot cheaper. If you're from the United States and want some Canadian swag, though, you might not be so happy. It might even mean that Big Macs in Canada won't seem as cheap anymore.

Still wondering why you should care about Canadian money? Why not check out some of these books on exchange rates and other numbers economists worry about? Of course, maybe you'd just rather plan your next Canadian vacation, even if the prices are a bit higher.

Travel Europe with Rick Steves

Rick Steves could be considered a travel guru. He publishes travel guides, hosts a travel show, and writes an online column about travel. He even runs a tour company! Benefit from his advice and check out the library’s collection of books and DVDs. In particular, look for the DVDs that collect his series from 2000-2007 on such regions as France, Austria, England, Eastern Europe, and more. So, whether you want to research your next overseas trip or experience the world vicariously, Rick Steves is entertaining and informative.

Tin Can Tourists - They're back

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It’s hard to believe that it’s once again time for the annual fall campout of the national RV club the Tin Can Tourists. It’s held in nearby Camp Dearborn just north of Ann Arbor in Milford Michigan. This year it’s Thursday, September 13th through Sunday 9-16-07. Open House and Flea Market is this Saturday 9-15-07, from 11 to 3 p.m. There’s a nominal park entrance fee $3?.

I can’t believe that I forgot to arrange to be off work on Saturday. Fortunately, I'll be able to go on Friday but I'll miss the Flea Market.

Itching for Iceland

Listening to Bjork's new album, Volta, and hearing her spine-tingling vocals over a variety of such charming music made me want to listen to more of the CDs I own by other Icelandic musicians. One of which is Sigur Ros. And listening to Sigur Ros reminded me of Iceland and its majestic landscapes, the midnight sun, the ocean, the magic in the air, and the smiling faces of the locals. Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands and The Rough Guide to Iceland are some great travel books on the land of fire and ice. If you haven't been to Iceland and don't plan on visiting, it's still worth a peek into some books (such as Iceland, Iceland- Enchantment of the Sea, Iceland- Cultures of the World) to experience the vast beauty the country has to offer. And there's always the beautiful Icelandic language which you can teach yourself.

Carnet De Voyage

Craig Thompson, Michigan born creator of Good-bye Chunky Rice and Blankets, has created a beautiful (but self-indulgent) account of his 2004 European publicity tour and side trip to Morocco. His drawings of trees are amazing! His opinion of his country of origin? Not so great. At one point while abroad he poses as a Canadian.

Why not create your own Carnet De Voyage? AADL has some great books to provide inspiration. Try Journeys and Journals: Five Centuries of Travel Writing and Claudia Nice's How to Keep a Sketchbook Journal.

1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die

Just when I thought I was making headway with Patricia Schultz's first bestseller, “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” (I have 982 places left to see), she releases a new book, “1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A & Canada Before You Die.”

This is a wonderfully written and well-organized book. Schultz does an excellent job balancing the well known with the unknown; the extravagant with the unextravgant; and the places that are easily accessible with those that are off the beaten path.

Even those who proclaim they know the U.S and Canada inside and out will have to add some “new” must-sees to their lists of “places to see”.

Pasty Update

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Despite our last pasty blog, we do not as yet have an official Michigan Pasty Day. Not to worry! The grand city of Calumet has come through with PastyFest 2007. Join fellow pasty lovers June 29 - July 1 for the pasty pull, the pasty bakeoff, the rutabaga shot put, pasty parade and the ever-popular pasty fitness walk. Toivo, the walking, talking pasty will be there so book your rooms early and say Ya to the U.P.

Help for Foreign Language Learners

The Library can help you brush up on your language skills while school’s out this summer - or get you started learning a brand new language - all from the comfort of home!

Library card holders can access the Online Language Learning Center (sometimes known as Rosetta Stone), which provides learners with writing, reading, listening, and speaking lessons in a number of languages from Arabic to Japanese to Welsh.

Connect online through the College, Careers, & Education section of our Research Page. Complete a one-time registration at the Online Language Learning Center site so you can save your work, and you’re ready to go!

Good luck, bonne chance, buena suerte....

Clearing the Way on Memorial Day

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You’ll see fewer orange barrels on Michigan roadways this weekend when MDOT suspends work on 153 of 172 road projects. That'll make it easier to get out and enjoy Michigan State Parks and travel destinations.

Planning a Memorial Day Weekend Trip?

According to AAA, 1.1 million Michigan residents are planning to travel on Memorial Day weekend. If your family is among them, you can find kid-friendly facts about your destination state in the CultureGrams database, located on the AADL's Research page. Check out the "States Edition" to read about the history, geography, and population of any state. You can even hear the songs of state birds!

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