• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Platinum Pebble – Top 10 Things to do in Provincetown, Cape Cod, USA

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Vicki Tester


One of our favourite boutique inn’s Platinum Pebble based in Cape Cod USA has sent us their list of the top 10 things to do whilst visiting them which we would like to share with you:-


Provincetown is high energy, great people and people watching, and authentic Cape Cod.  While it is only an hour from the Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn it can feel worlds away at times!  Welcome to one of the best spots on Earth, Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod.


Cape Cod

Photos courtesy of Mike Sankey

Photo courtesy of Mike Sankey












Photo provided by The Canteen

Provincetown is known for being a foodie town.  A number of great chefs started their careers here probably due in part to P’town always having been on the edge.  Think Anthony Bourdain and most recently Michele Ragussis.  You are unlikely to go wrong on your journey for outstanding food in Provincetown with everything from treats and sweets to fine dining.  As you enjoy big views, great boutiques, people, and energy do so with something you can only find on Cape Cod in your hand.  That could be a malasadas from the Portuguese Bakery or a Lobster Roll like only The Canteen can do.  We hope you enjoy discovering one of the best things to do in Provincetown, eating your way through a bucket list vacation!  Stay tuned for some of our favorite foodie stops and a couple do not miss eateries.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Built when codes may have been a bit more lenient, the Provincelands Bike Trail is an incredible path through the dunes that surround the tip of Cape Cod.  Big hills, tunnels, shifting sand, and sharp turns make this an exhilarating way to see parts of Cape Cod most people miss.  Be careful, of course always wear a helmet, and slow down on turns to safely enjoy this amazing bike trail.  Experience at least 3 distinct ecosystems as you peddle your way around this 6 mile loop.   Take up to three different short spurs out to beaches and ponds and enjoy discovering part of what makes Cape Cod one of the best places on Earth.  Click here for more information on the Provinceland Bike Trails.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

If you are looking for things to do in Provincetown, you can’t miss Commercial Street.  It is the tiny two lane Main Street that runs down Provincetown’s shoreline.  Just off the water are some of the best boutique shops, eclectic art studios, tattoo parlors, foodie stops, and pure history.  There is no doubt that you will enjoy the creative, colorful, people that make P’town home.  Click to read more about a Day Trip to Provincetown | Candy for the Senses.



Photo from video footage taken by Captain Darren Saletta

This is a bucket list item for many and there is no better place to Whale Watch then right off Provincetown, on Cape Cod.  Multiple whale species make this their home for part of the year and almost every Whale Watch sees whales.  They are there and the captains know how to find them.  Experience the joy of these majestic giants, seemingly within arm’s reach.  If you are staying at the Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn, it is as easy as letting us know you are interested in a Whale Watch and we will have tickets waiting for you.  We are here to help you empty your bucket list one great experience at a time.  Click to read more about Cape Cod Whale Watching.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Tour the dunes of the Provincelands in comfort with Art’s Dune Tours.  Family owned and operated since the 1940s, this is a rare chance to drive through the dunes that make this area so special.  Add in a beach bake at sunset and you are living like a local on Cape Cod!  Affordable and worth the time, this is an experience that will stay with you.  See some of the dune shacks that were built and inhabited by everyone from shipwrecked sailors to artists.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

There are three lighthouses that surround the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown.  They are Long Point Light, Wood End Light, and Race Point Light.  Each one is a decent hike to get to but, not too difficult.  The shortest hike will take you to Wood End Light just across the Breakers.  The same architecture carries across Long Point and Wood End, with subtle differences.  Race Point Light is a pretty decent hike and is amazing in its isolation and the spectacular beauty of its surroundings.  Click for more information on Cape Cod Lighthouses.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

For one of the best views on Cape Cod, make the easy climb to the top of the Pilgrim Monument.  The whole Cape seems to stretch out underneath you and gives a much different perspective to this amazing spot.  See if you can spot Commercial Street, the Whale Watch boats, Art’s Dune tours, the three lighthouses that surround P’town, your new favorite beach, and the bike trail that winds through the dunes.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Enjoy relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth, in Provincetown.  Whether you choose to play on some of the more popular beaches like Herring Cove or Race Point or discover some of the more isolated and private beaches, you will be blown away by the natural beauty that surrounds you.   The further out you go past Race Point’s parking area, either East or West will take you to some pretty isolated areas.  Experience authentic Cape Cod on some of these amazing beaches in Provincetown.



Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Discover the Dune Shacks Trail and see more of real Cape Cod that will keep you coming back.  Easy access off Route 6 at the Old Snail Road junction will take you through a short stretch of woods and to a mighty sand hill that leads you up and out of the surrounding forest.  The sand stretches off into the distance, up and down rolling dunes, to the ocean about a mile or two away.  As you get closer to the coast you spot what look like little houses, you’ve discovered the dune shacks of the Provincelands.  These are the same dune shacks that were built from the wreckage of shipwrecks and have housed everyone from wrecked sailors to artists over the years.  Click to read more about the Dune Shacks of Provincetown.



If you would like more information on any of the above or to include Platinum Pebble part of you own bespoke tailor made holiday then please give us a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

New Flights to the USA

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Vicki Tester


Norwegian, the low cost carrier, has announced the following new destinations:

A service to Denver, which starts on September 16, will run year-round, operating twice-weekly (on Tuesdays and Saturdays) during the summer season but increasing to a three-times-weekly service in the winter, with an additional Thursday departure.

From September 17, the low-cost carrier will commence a year-round service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Four weekly flights will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Fares for both routes start from £199.

Both routes will be serviced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has up to 344 seats in two cabins – Economy and Premium.

Norwegian, which also flies from Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester Airports, flies to Boston, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, New York (JFK) and Oakland.

The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets of any airline, with an average age of 3.6 years, including Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 737-800s

This makes the USA more accessable and at very competative prices.

Denver Skyline

Picture courtesy of Visit Denver

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Don’t be a Fool to miss the Fall – Your 5 must do’s

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester


Fall is a fabulous time to visit the Capital Region USA. Throughout the already scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and the valleys below, the landscape morphs into a kaleidoscope of colour. The fall harvest begins at farms and vineyards across Maryland and Virginia and is celebrated at festivals and events throughout the region. And the cooler weather brings a variety of outdoor festivals where visitors can experience authentic American culture. Here are five top experiences you should seek out on your autumn holiday to America’s Capital Region.

Take a Scenic Drive

Rent a car and follow one of the region’s National Scenic Byways to view the spectacular fall foliage. Skyline Drive, part of Shenandoah National Park, runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and features numerous overlooks where you can pull over, take in the view and capture some stunning vacation photos. Once outside the park, the drive meets the Blue   Ridge Parkway which continues another 217 miles through the mountains of Virginia. Known as the “road that built a nation”, Maryland’s Historic National Road passes through the mountains of western Maryland, travelling through small towns and historic sites along the way. Discover more scenic fall drives in Virginia and Maryland.

Fall scenics along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Fall scenics along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org







Skyline Drive - Credited to Virginia Tourism Corporation

Skyline Drive – Credited to Virginia Tourism Corporation



Taste the Harvest

Celebrate the harvest at farms and wineries throughout the region. Virginia Wine Month is celebrated in October and features wine festivals and special events at wineries, restaurants and retailers throughout the state. Taste one of the region’s specialties in its peak season during the Urbanna Oyster Festival in Virginia or the St. Mary’s Oyster Festival in Maryland. Harvest celebrations include the Suffolk Peanut Festival. Washington DC hosts several food festivals in the fall including Capital Food Fight and Taste of DC.

Have Fun on the Farm

Enjoy the crisp autumn air while having some old fashion fun as farms throughout the region host fall festivals featuring corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides and more. Check out all of the corn mazes and pumpkin patches in Virginia and in Maryland, look to Bowles Farm, Butler’s Orchard, Cove Run, Forrest Hall and Warrington Farm for fall fun.

Charlottesville-Vineyards-Credit Charlottesville-Albemarle-Convention-Visitors-Bureau.jpg

Charlottesville-Vineyards-Credit Charlottesville-Albemarle-Convention-Visitors-Bureau.jpg

Cheer on Favourite Teams

Fall kicks off the season for many of America’s favourite sports – particularly football. Fans pack the stadiums and sports bars, cheering on their favourite teams. See the regional hometown teams in action at Fed Ex Field, home to the Washington Redskins or M&T Bank Stadium, home to the Baltimore Ravens. Head to the VerizonCenter in DC to catch a hockey game with the Washington Capitals or a basketball game with the Washington Wizards. Steeplechase races are also prevalent throughout the fall. Checkout the Montpelier Hunt Races or the International Gold Cup in Virginia and the Shawan Downs Legacy Chase and the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day in Maryland.  

Get Cultured

Enjoy the fall weather while experiencing the culture of the region at one of many outdoor festivals and events.  Explore DC’s diverse neighbourhoods during the H Street Festival or Walking Town DC, an event featuring more than 50 free, guided walking tours throughout the city. Hosted in the scenic waterfront town of Easton, Maryland, the Waterfowl Festival celebrates the wide variety of waterfowl species in the Chesapeake Bay region with retriever, birds of prey, and fly fishing demonstrations, miniature decoy paintings, calling contests and more. The Virginia State Fair features animals and agriculture exhibits along with live music, shows, arts and crafts, a midway filled with games and rides, and lots of traditional fair foods. 

Picture courtesy of CapitalRegionUSA.Org

Picture courtesy of CapitalRegionUSA.Org







Jefferson Memorial - Credit CapitalRegionUSA.Org

Jefferson Memorial – Credit CapitalRegionUSA.Org





To start planning you bespoke holiday to the USA to see the fall next year then please contact us so we can put your plans into actions and help make the most out of your holiday with our expert advice – Please call us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Visa Advice

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Vicki Tester


With entry into many a country requiring the application of a visa or visa waiver prior to travel please do contact us for advice on the best way to do this if you are in any way unsure.  We suggest that you go directly to the embassy or government website concerned where you will be directed to complete the relevant information, and only charged the fee required for the actual visa or visa waiver.  There are many companies set up online who will be eager to action this for you, and in the process will charge you a service fee for doing so – this could amount to you paying well over the odds for your visa/visa waiver. 

We are always happy to provide the website links to the official sites so please do get in touch for assistance.  An ESTA for the USA, an eTA for Canada, an electronic visa for India and also for Sri Lanka are just some (but not all) of the locations where this is necessary.

Please contact us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Little Gem’s in New England

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester


Little Gem's in New England

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn

As the stunning fall colour season of New England comes to an end for another year, now is a great time to start planning your visit next year. Combine the beautiful Maine Coast and the mountain backdrops of New Hampshire and Vermont – of course not forgetting a city stay in Boston and/or New York, a visit to Connecticut, the beautiful mansions of Rhode Island and a stay at Cape Cod.

Every now and then, a particularly outstanding property appears, Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn is one such property. Located in the village of Harwich, Cape Cod, Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn have recently been recognised by BedandBreakfast.com in their 2014 international award for “Top 10 Modern B&Bs”.

“Celebrating ten sleek and sophisticated bed and breakfasts known for their clean, minimalist aesthetic and modern design. These properties offer discerning travellers a unique boutique inn experience and state-of-the-art amenities in luxurious one-of-a-kind settings.”
The Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn is an 8 room upscale Bed & Breakfast located close to the beach in the picturesque harbour village of Harwich, Cape Cod. Luxuriously renovated, it boasts a unique contemporary interior design that stands it apart from other traditional Cape Cod inns. It offers style, elegance and luxury within an historic 1870’s sea captain’s house. All 8 rooms have large custom designed en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV/DVD players and iPod docking stations. Larger rooms have soaking tubs, fireplaces and separate outdoor space. The inn is set on a quiet wooded lot and has a large 20’ x 40’ swimming pool. Harwich is a mid-Cape town located on Nantucket Sound next to the town of Chatham. It has three harbours from one of which runs the high-speed ferry to Nantucket Island. Harwich was the original home of cranberry production in the US and prior to that was a leading shipping location and home to many of Cape Cod’s sea captains.
This is the perfect end to a busy New England itinerary and we offer our congratulations to Simon and Annabelle Hutton on this and their many other achievements
To plan your holiday now, contact us on 01323 446550 or emailinfo@experienceholidays.co.uk and we can give you expert advice on making the most of your bespoke tailor made holiday.

American Queen Steamboat Company

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester


American Queen Steamboat Company

Pictures courtesy of The American Steamboat Company

In March last year, on a self drive holiday to the deep south, I was lucky enough to step aboard the gorgeous and elegant American Queen Steamboat. An authentic paddlewheeler, American Queen plies the waters of the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers throughout the year.

Lower Mississippi River
The lower stretch of the Mississippi from carefree New Orleans, Louisiana to vibrant Memphis, Tennessee is the river of legends. Inhale the sweet fragrance of magnolia blossoms and watch the essence of the South unfold around you…

Upper Mississippi River
The upper reaches of the Mississippi River from dynamic St. Louis to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul reveals hidden gems around each bend and fuels your sense of discovery as you journey through the very best of America’s Heartland…

Ohio & Tennessee Rivers
Discover America’s cultural quilt in the cities and towns of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. From Civil War battlefields, forts and homesteads to quaint main streets and friendly smiles, this region will welcome you with open arms and enrich you with its storied past…

American Queen Steamboat Company 

 American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen Steamboat Company 

 American Queen Steamboat Company


Last year, a second vessel – American Empress – joined the fleet, cruising the waters of the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the US North West.

Columbia & Snake Rivers
Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than aboard the exquisite American Empress in the pristine Pacific Northwest. From Portland’s lovely International Rose Test Garden to the hallowed artifacts on the Nez Perce Reservation, the Pacific Northwest region comes to life…


American Queen Steamboat Company


What better way to explore the shores of ‘Ol’ Man River’ in the Deep South and other great American river systems.

If you would like to make this wonderful cruise part of your USA bespoke, tailor made holiday then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email  info@experienceholidays.co.uk

The Northern Lights in Yukon

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Vicki Tester


From Autumn to Spring, when darkness comes to Yukon skies, the Northern Lights come out. First you might see a hint of neon colour in the starry sky, then a jagged burst of green, and soon you’re transfixed by an ethereal display of shimmering aurora borealis. Depending on auroral activity and cloud conditions, you could spend hours watching with rapt attention as the magical show unfolds overhead. Whether you’re fascinated by the science or thrilled by the opportunity to photograph the aurora, the sight of dancing lights in the night sky nourishes all souls.

The best time to visit the Yukon for the dancing northern lights is between September and April. While tour operators can’t guarantee you’ll see the aurora borealis, they will do everything they can to make your visit here memorable. They can direct you to the best viewing spots, share aurora lore and culture, and make sure you stay warm.

Aurora forecasting technology also helps increase the odds and Tourism Yukon have developed a tool at: http://travelyukon.com/Plan/Travel-Info/Aurora-Forecast to help predict when you can see this amazing phenomenon. With scientific data collected from the Space Weather Predicition Center, we’re able to forecast the aurora every 15 minutes.
Just have a few days?
Spend your days visiting museums, sightseeing and sampling local cuisine in Whitehorse, and spend your nights watching for the Northern Lights.

Day 1 – Bright Lights, Northern City
Settle in to your hotel, cabin or B&B, then soak in Whitehorse’s bustling Main Street atmosphere. Enjoy dinner at one of our fine downtown restaurants. You might want to squeeze in a nap because this will be your first night watching for the northern lights. Join a scheduled aurora tour or explore our dark skies on your own.

Day 2 – Parade of Colour
Southern Yukon is awash in fall colour, so take a scenic day trip south to Carcross or west to Haines Junction. Try some gentle hiking, watch for wildlife and explore local visitor centres and museums. Get ready for another night of northern lights viewing

Day 3 – Discover Yukon Arts and Culture
Late nights are part of the aurora experience, so enjoy a slow start in a café. Wander through Whitehorse galleries, visit the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, and keep an eye out for a special piece of Yukon art to take home. Tonight you might even catch another glimpse of the aurora.

Did you know?
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are caused by huge explosions on the surface of the sun that send out streams of charged particles that interact with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. These reactions occur 60 to 80 miles above the Earth’s surface, so it doesn’t make any sense that they can be heard. Still, many people report hearing a crackling or rustling noise when they see the lights. It could be that the sound is created near the ground by electrical phenomena associated with the aurora. It could also be that watchers are being affected by psychological or physical processes that we don’t yet understand. Of course, seeing the aurora on a dark, silent night is so exciting it might just be the sound of blood rushing through veins that’s being mistaken for the sound of light!

Background on Yukon
Situated in the upper Northwest corner of Canada, next to Alaska, the Yukon is Canada’s most accessible northern destination. Home to Canada’s highest mountain (Mount Logan) and one of the largest non-polar icefields located in Kluane National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site – breathtaking doesn’t describe the vastness, or the beauty!
The Yukon is one of North America’s major wilderness attractions; close to 80 percent remains pristine wilderness with 5,000-metre peaks, forested valleys, unspoiled waters and untamed wildlife. Roughly the size of France at 483,000 square kilometers, The Yukon is home to more than 160,000 caribou, 70,000 moose, 22,000 mountain sheep, 7,000 grizzly bears, 10,000 black bears and 250 species of birds… and only 34,000 humans!
Experience Holidays offer a ‘Yukon in Winter’ package to view the Northern Lights. For more information contact 01323 446550 – info@experienceholidays.co.uk or visit www.experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Travmedia


Daiquiri Season launches in September!

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Vicki Tester


If you have booked to travel through New Orleans this September you will not be able to miss the fantastic and fun Daiquiri Festival.  cocktail-clip-art-9czMyRbcE

The New Orleans Daiquiri Festival was founded in 2011 as a two-day summer festival celebrating the daiquiri while also honouring the unique drinking culture and history of the city.  September was the month chosen as it was thought with the warm temperatures this would give cool relief and encourage people to visit the local bars and restaurants. 

For the month of September bartenders throughout New Orleans will be offering their own version of the unique Frozen Daiquiri at bars and restaurants with special tasting events.  We love a good cocktail here in Britain and what a great way to discover the history of the city and get to taste some of their local signature ingredients.  Here you can enjoy the 24hr licensing laws and join The New Orleans original cocktail tour which is a themed walking tour that visits the French Quarter’s best bars.  This tour lasts approx 2.5 hours and is fun and informative learning all about the history and drinking culture, whilst sampling some of the city’s original cocktails.

For more information please contact us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

Planning your holiday – It’s never too early (or late)

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Yvonne Dann


It’s never too early or too late to start planning your next holiday adventure.  With news from the USA that the Tioga Pass road, at Yosemite National Park, California, recently opened for the summer season following the annual closures for the winter, it is good to remember that some of the popular National and Provincial Parks in the USA and in Canada have quite a short summer season.  With more and more people looking to visit these beautiful areas, it is also wise idea to think about making your plans well in advance.  Others are of course open year round, and accommodation all round can become extremely busy during peak months.

Whether you are thinking of planning a wonderful last minute trip this year or a fantastic self drive trip for next year, we are here to help.  Stay in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, renowned for the diversity of plant and animal life.  Travel through the Grand Teton National Park and on to Yellowstone National park, with wildlife, geysers, hot springs and mudpots, and on to Glacier National Park – being sure to travel the length of the magnificent ‘Going to the Sun’ Road.  The National Parks of the Canyonlands feature towering peaks, incredible rock formations, giant lakes and deep canyons, and further west Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and then Yosemite.

Within Canada, think about visiting the famous Canadian Rocky Mountains, home to the National Parks of Jasper and Banff and further south, Waterton National Park – close to the border with the USA.  Kluane National Park in the Yukon, for somewhere a little more off the beaten path, Grasslands National Park and Prince Albert National Park are both found in Saskatchewan, and further east in Ontario is Algonquin Provincial Park where water adventures await you.  The Parc National de la Jacques Cartier is found in the province with French flare, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces bring you places such as stunning Gros Morne National park on Newfoundland, where the ancient landscape is a Unesco World Heritage site.

 These are just a few of the sights that you could visit for yourself – there is so much more to explore. 

 The same applies to the rest of the world – if you are thinking of Australia or New Zealand, Africa or South America contact us now to start planning your bespoke tailor made holiday. 

 Tel: 01323446550   email:  info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Yvonne Dann

Yvonne Dann


Yvonne Dann

Yvonne Dann

Book now for New England

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester


New England is perhaps most famous for the wonderful colours of its fall foliage; forests of maple trees don their autumn mantle of reds and gold in the transition from summer to the snows of the winter months.  However, a visit to the New England States of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut has far more to commend it than simply experiencing Mother Nature’s awesome autumn splendour.  Well known for its variety of accommodation from the small B&B’s, to Inns and larger luxury properties, as well as the sandy beaches of Cape Cod, the more rugged scenery of the Maine coastline dotted with colourful lighthouses and the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, there is something for everyone in New England.  We can help you tailor your plans to fit the time you have available, your expectations and budget.  We pride ourselves on helping you achieve your dreams, not simply selling you a holiday.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson


Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson










Click here for our itinerary ideas:- New England 

If you would like to see the amazing fall colours this year then you need to book soon or alternatively start thinking about making this part of your next years holiday.  Please contact us to help make your bespoke, tailor made holiday really special and one to remember – Tel: 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson


Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

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