You can leave your sombrero on

Brad and Rita asked us how we were awwwl enjoying The Strip (no, calm down, though it was Harrah’s Carnival Court Bar in Vegas).

No, Brad and Rita (not their real names, apart from the fact that it might be and I have no desire to protect their anonymity) were regulars at the party joint where the barman Duke lined up shots when the bell and whistles sounded, and the Whip Its lead singer wielded a paddle stick.

Brad and Duke looked unthreatening, Brad in his baseball cap, polo shirt and Chinos and Rita who looked like a dowdy Mid-west housewife.

But here’s the stinger, and my colleague Martin was busy nudging me as he cottoned on a lot quicker than me, their recommendation of a hotel they frequented in Mexico was, well let’s say a little too inclusive.

Better being safe than sorry, I say, and that’s why I’m pushing Escape2’s offer of all-inclusive Mexico holidays from €1,219

The 4-star Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa has swim-up pools, my favourite, and a range of top-quality restaurants and bars. Depart September, from €1,219pp.

Visit http://www.escape2.ie or call (01) 435 0096. Arriba, arriba!

Our father

Dads have changed… I blame David Beckham, but my own dear father would have had to have been taken kicking and screaming in for a pampering and a pedicure.

Me? I think my Old Man gave up years ago, in fact the day I got an earring as a student.

Father’s Day gifts then were jocks and socks, now spas are on the menu.

The Time for Him package at the Spa at The Kingsley, Cork, includes a thermal suite, heated pool, treatment rooms and an outdoor hydro pool.

They use a herbal blend of chamomile, marjoram and juniper to loosen up the knots don’t you know and ease tense shoulders and relieve those aches and pains.

And there’s more… luxury scalp massages or a lime body scrub.

The package costs €140pp. Make a night of its and book an overnight stay from €180 B&B. Call (021) 4800500 or email thespa@thekingsley.ie or visit http://www.thekingsley.ie.

I love you

No man is an island, opined John Donne (this blog really is an education). But a family can be.

The Isle of Ewe is inhabited by a single family, the Grants, but where it gets even more interesting is that it has become a favourite place for men to propose… I Love You (gerrit?)

I did the deed in Malta when I bent down to tie up my shoelace and the besotted Miss F yelled ‘Yes.’

The Maltese too have been having fun with the I Love concept and have billed their very popular musical festival Isle of MTV Malta. This year the festival at the Il-Fosos Square on Tuesday, July 9, will feature Martin Garrix and Bebe Rehxa, among others (I’ll ask the kids).

Budget Travel offers a week’s room at the 3-star Mavina Hotel & Apartments in Bugibba (where our pact was forged) for €479, flying from Dublin. Visit http://www.budgettravel.ie and http://www.maltaireland.com.

Forza Italia

I don’t like Lunedis… as Bob Geldof might sing if he was in Italia.

Lunedis was the giorno when I would spend time talking Italian with two brainiacs and our lovely tutor Donata, although in truth I did more listening. I hit a wall. No, not metaphorically, literally, in frustration at my lack of progress.

But it hasn’t dimmed my love for Il Bel Paese which Topflight, the Italian specialists share.

Topflight’s Italian Holiday Sale with flights from Dublin and Cork starts today with savings of up to 30%. It ends at midnight on Thursday.

A week’s half-board at the 4-star plus Hotel Bristol, Sorrento, flying from Dublin (June 9) and Cork (June 2) is under a grand (€999).

For an Escorted Tour, Lake Garda, Venice & Verona, staying at the 4-star park Hotel Casamiro, San Felice dei Benaco, Lake Garda, departing on June 8, the sale price is €849pps. Was €1299, save €450.

Call (01) 240 1700 or see http://www.topflight.ie.

Budget Bulgaria

The grandparents and their two granddaughters who we met in Bulgaria 22 years ago had come back for the second time in that year because they had saved so much money, and they could get two holidays for the price of one elsewhere.

We were lured too by that promise and you should be too.

We’d also got a discount because we worked for Thomson Newspapers, the media arm of the travel company who have gone on to become TUI, and because of that I have always kept a close interest in them.

TUI offers Dublin-Bulgaria on June 10, all-inclusive seven nights at the three-star Zornica Residence, Sunny Beach from €339pps. Or seven nights self-catering at the 3-star Silver Springs, Sunny Beach from €449pps. Visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie. Call 1850 45 35 45.

Why did California?

She phoned to say Hawaii.

Thanks Perry Como.

I’m off to California on Wednesday for the American Travel Fair IPW http://www.ipw.com. And I’ll bring you back the best coverage of what’s happening all across America with all the states being there.

There’s also the launch of Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s new Star Wars extravaganza, all things Universal, Hollywood, oh, and did I say the Beach Boys are playing just for us.

Everybody’s gone surfin’… but you’ll just have to hold on (as I will) to see if I hop the board.


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