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Thursday, May 04, 2006


Can I Have My Change in REAL Money, S'il Vous Plait?

Once a year I take my family on a week's vacation to Canada.

We go to Austin, Quebec, a small town just over the Vermont border. It's about a five hour drive. We rent a cottage on the shore of Lake Memphremagog...

...a large lake that straddles the border and stretches for miles north and south. Montreal is about an hour away. The St. Benoit du Lac Abbey is a mile down the road. It's a beautiful place, and one of the reasons I like it is that it's such a bargain. Or at least, it used to be a bargain.

Not anymore. The U.S. dollar has been taking such a beating on the international market, that my annual Quebec vacation is no longer the huge discount it used to be. In fact, the Canadian dollar will be at par with the U.S. greenback within 18 months, a Canadian bank boldly predicted as the loonie rose to a fresh 28-year high on Tuesday. I'll still be going to Quebec this summer, but I get the feeling fewer Americans will doing the same.

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