America, Caribbean, Countries, Europe

Party in 2023

Thank you 2022, old friends and new so now let’s party in 2023.

As is tradition at this time of year it’s fun to look back on what we all did over the past 365 days.

Of course even the most travelled of us will spend most of our time at home.

And we’re blessed to live by the sea near one of the great cities, Edinburgh, which is why we have been fortunate to receive visitors from around the world.

Swish Swiss

Put them on a podium: With Fran and Myriam

Auld Reekie’s winds and bends have long captivated the most imaginative which is why it’s oft-used for film locations.

And that’s part of the fun of it all as even those who thought they knew Edinburgh’s streets found themself taking detours around building works.

Before alighting on the charming Ondine on George IV Bridge, in between St Giles’ Cathedral and the Camera Obscura.

Royal watchers, of course, would become acquainted with the historic Royal Mile and St Giles Cathedral.

With Queen Elizabeth taking up residence there in September (but more of that later).

Brigitte too far: With the inestimable Brigitte

We were around this locale earlier in the year to meet our amis from Switzerland.

To recall scary Swiss hoteliers, taking the highest train journey in Europe, the Jungfrau, up the Eiger.

And yodelling in the valleys with Brigitte, a supersonic septuagenarian.

And hearing about what Switzerland has in store for us for the coming year.

Which, of course, Switzerland’s most famous and knowledgeable man (my new amie Myriam I discovered is its most clued-up woman) Roger Federer will be happy to share with you.

We rounded off the afternoon warming ourselves with Scottish drink in the institution that is the Greyfriars Bobby pub which like Bobby we always come back to.

As we will Switzerland, and had, earlier in the year when we tarried as long as we could in Zurich airport and the Montreaux Jazz Cafe Geneva which does exactly what it says on the tin.

Ski and easy in Val D’Isere

Way to go Jo: In Val D’Isere

There was dancing in ski boots on the slopes of Val D’Isere too as skiing got back on the slopes after Covid.

It’s safe to say that I’m more comfortable at the apres than the ski as I raved at La Folie Douce.

And fell on the magic carpet up to the slopes.

With the help of my new amis I managed to stay upright on the mountains.

Although flat on my back in the ice pool.

Back in Barbados

Ri Ri and me me: At Rihanna’ childhood house

Now I think we’d all agree that five years is too long to stay away from the ultimate party island.

But I’m glad to say that they allowed me back, Crop Over high jinks aside, and this time they even put on a Scottish party for me.

The Barbados Celtic Festival is a celebration of all things Celtic but with a heavily tartan tinge.

All of which means dancing Gay Gordons, Eightsome Reels and Dashing White Sergeants on the baking-hot Boardwalk.

A big difference from cold church halls in the Heelans of Scotland.

Whisky was taken with well-versed Bajan pals and rum, of course.

We reversed that later in the summer with my buddy Shane, Barbados’s man on the ground in Scotland, and new travel trade pals here.

Wending our way down an Edinburgh canal on a rum-tasting tour before well-deserved nightcaps in the city’s Princes Street.

My cup of tea

Of course, it wasn’t all boozy days and nights (OK, it was) but there was more civilised libations taken… tea, and lots of it.

On my long-anticipated return to Boston, scene of my summer of love after university in 1987.

The one missing experience from those months in Beantown was the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum because it wasn’t there then.

But it was now and beckoning me on from my Envoy Hotel window.

As was a return to my old haunt, the Irish Black Rose pub and Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market.

And a trek on the tracks to other wonders of New England in arty Providence in Rhode Island and kooky Connecticut with its academia and culinary pizza and hamburger heritage.

More America

Don’t forget the Motor City: Detroit

I wasn’t finished with the Oo Es of Eh, and it hadn’t had it with me either, and while we weren’t dancing in the streets of Detroit we were singing its praises.

Albeit in Glasgow with old friends from the Motor City and the Great Lake State.

Detroit has long been the one that got away when I commissioned a colleague to enjoy its charms only for her to return with nary a tale.

Either of Stevie Wonder‘s sweetie machine and the dimes laid out for him to eat his favourite peanut candy.

Or the historical wonder of Ford’s museum and the JFK cavalcade from his assassination in Dallas, Texas.

The Lone Star State will hopefully be the next destination in 2023 when I hope to reconnect with the American travel fair, IPW. And also Michigan.

I might even get time to see Favourite Cousin in Washington DC in 2023.

And while I’m rhymin’ a happy new year to you all and let’s party in 2023.






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