America, Countries, Culture

A flight of fancy on Superman’s Day

And doesn’t he still look good for 87… it’s a flight of fancy on Superman’s Day.

This day in 1934 The Man of Steel burst into public consciousness in DC Comics’ Action Comics Series issue #1.

As we all know Kryptonite Kal-El exploded into the Mid-American wheat fields if Smallsville.

Only it wasn’t Kansas in the Oo Es of Eh but Beynon, near Calgary in Alberta in Canada.

A man can fly

Top man: Superman

The Beynon Canyon is pivotal in the Clark Kent story.

It is here that Martha and Clark bury his adopted father Jonathan and the young Kent decides to leave for Metropolis.

Another better-known canyon, the Grand Canyon, hoves into view when Superman saves the day.

And Daily Planet photographer Jimmie Olsen from the crumbling Hoover Dam. And trust me a good Press photographer is hard to find.

On the right track

The Rail Thing http://www.imdb.com

We all know too that Superman flew through the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

While Metropolis we all automatically associate with New York.

How could we not when Clark and Lois go for a night-time spin around the Statue of Liberty?

And we would be right to see NY as Supes’ town… in parts.

Dam impressive

The Hoover Dan set up. http://www.superman1978.com

The Daily Planet where Clark works can be found at the art deco News Building, 220 East 42nd Street.

Moved, though, from the Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street. Yes, La La Land.

Lex Luthor’s lair we are led to believe is below the Grand Central Station although whisper it it is Pinewood Studios, Berkshire in England.

Superman’s origins may lie somewhere entirely different, the Eiger in Switzerland and Friedrich Neitzsche’s imagination.

Man of Letters

Is it a Bird? No, it’s Bandanaman in Orlando

Of course we have all channeled our own Superman on the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal Orlando.

Before back to work as the pictures show.

And as then as now… of course Superman is a man of letters too, a journalist.

So I’ll continue to be inspired by The Man of Steel and enjoy a flight of fancy on Superman’s Day.

America, Countries, Culture, Flying

Klondike 125 years gold

There’s gold in them thar hills… it’s Klondike gold 125 years.

Or while we wait, golden nectar… Yukon beer to sip while we get brought up to speed with Yukon 125th year celebrations.

Golden nectar: Yukon Gold

Our frontiers have never seemed so out of reach or so seductive as they do in these Covid times.

I started looking when I was a kid

All of which the frontiersmen of old felt.

And which I have been learning about in the excellent bestseller Gold Diggers by Charlotte Gray which was also sent to me.

Tramp around Yukon

We know the Klondike in popular culture from Jack London and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush.

These days, of course you won’t have to endure the snow storm, rickety shack or having to eat the sole of your shoe.

If it’s good enough for Owen Wilson

Whisper it but Whitehorse is in the south of the province Yukon in Canada which borders Alaska.

Nor the weeks along desolate, dangerous tracks, and in canoes… you can fly from Frankfurt with Condor into Whitehorse.

And because you’re in this neck of the woods (and there are a lot of them) you can even drive up to the Arctic on the Dempster Highway.

Let’s hope they’ve eaten

You will, of course, be a novelty to the locals because there are ten times more moose, bears, wolves, caribou, goats and sheep than people.

Dawson craic

Dawson City is where you want to go to see what life was like in an authentic goldrush town.

Helpfully the good folk from Yukon have furnished us with some expeditions for our enjoyment.

Gold, always believe in your soul

On the Klondike Trail: So you follow the Trail of ‘98 which we’re reliably informed takes two-five days.

And you’ll get to enjoy national historic sites, museums and cultural centres.

Yukon come too: Dawson City

Discover Dawson City – ‘The Paris of the North’: And we’ve been promised that we’ll hear stories of riches made and lost.

While we’ll also get a tour of the goldfields.

Personally I have always fancied staying in one of those old saloons.

And that was only heightened by playing a game of poker with the locals at Knott’s Berry Park in Southern California.

They’re friendly… at a distance

But I hear the campsites out of town is the way to really take in Yukon’s Great Outdoors.

From all those who talked through the history,  Klondike gold 125 years.

Just watch the bears. It wouldn’t do to end up on an animal’s plate just as you’re about to cash in on your fortune.

 

MEET YOU AT THE GOLDRUSH

 

America, Canada, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Some mothers… travels with mine

I’ve got a husband, five brothers and three sons and James (my Sunday name) is the most selfish of them all.

Never mind that I’d driven her and her sister up from my home in Co. Wicklow to her homestead of Co. Donegal.

Or that I was standing just feet away from my cousin when she was giving out.

On this Mothering Weekend these are our travails.

God’s (and her) Own Country

La Famille: In Donegal

Ireland: And for my Dear Old Mum that’s Donegal where she grew up in a hotel in a rural hamlet, and holds court every time she goes back.

At Powerscourt Waterfalls in Co. Wicklow

Of course the Donegal natives go along with her Diva-like behaviour and indulge her.

Green, green Ireland

It gets us a free pot of tea every time we go back to the now renamed Ramblers Inn.

The Queen of Queens

New York attitude

There’s an advert which the Irish are all too familiar with where two old ones batter the heck out of each other because each wants to pay the bill.

It is quintissentially Irish and it annoys the Scottish half of me to boiling point.

Of course when my Dear Old Mum is with her own siblings and relatives her need to show her largesse goes off the scale.

And so when we went to my cousin’s wedding in Queens in New York she berated me in front of my extended familly and insisted that she pay for the pre-wedding meal.

Before bossing me around Manhattan. Well, I didn’t ask her to wear high heels.

A wee break in Scotland

The Royal Wave

And I can’t even get that.

Anyone who has been to a major golf tournament (2000! Open, St Andrews) will tell you that the queue for the Portaloos is long.

And that when you eventually get in then you will make the most of it.

Of course, too long for my Dear Old Mum, who sent a random spectator to knock on the door and ask how long I was going to be.

She obviously wanted to see Tiger.

But of course I got my own back and outran her, and jumped the Swilcen Burn with the crowd to see him lift the trophy.

Piping up: In Glasgow

One of my favourite trips was when I took her into her adopted city and my homestead of Glasgow to see the World Bagpipes Championships.

Another particular quirk of the Irish is to be dumbfounded that you could ever by hosted by anyone else. She, of course, wanted to pay!

And one that got away

King of the wild frontier. Go West.

My brother, that is who emigrated to Canada after meeting a Torontonian.

I broke the habit of a lifetime by being responsible and putting my studies before a few days in Canada to see my brother get married.

But my Dear Old Mum didn’t forget me then and brought me back a Davy Crockett type hat which became my signature look from then on in my student town of Aberdeen.

 

America, Canada, Countries, Culture, Food & Wine

Canada D’eh for Thousand Islands Dressing!

Isn’t it great when someone throws open their doors to an unexpected visitor… and that someone is Canada?

On this Canada Day I’m reminded of the good people of Ontario (and, of course the other nine provinces and three territories).

It’s just that the Ontarians gave home and hospitality to my Grandfather, uncle and brother at various times over the last 100 years… www.mytravelanimal.com.

All of which gained me entrance to their annual bash in Dublin which they were holding downstairs from the Adams & Butler Luxury Travel https:// www.adamsandbutler.com do.

Would you Adams and Eve it: Out of Africa at the Adams & Butler event

Liquor had emboldened me to ask entry.

And before I knew it I was telling my story to the Ontarians and taking part in a table quiz.

Most of the answers I’ve already forgotten.

But I do now know that Thousand Islands Dressing comes from the 1,864 islands.

They run up the St Lawrence along that 50 mile stretch of the Canadian and American border.

Legend has it that our favourite dressing was invented for George Boldt.

George, you’ll know as the Waldorf-Astoria https://waldorfastoria3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/waldorf-astoria-new-york-NYCWAWA/index.html owner.

And the multi-millionaire happened to be out on a cruise.

With his wife off the coast of Boldt Castle which was the centrepiece of their heart-shaped island.

You wouldn’t want to be the chef then who forgot to bring dressing on board for the greens for the menu.

Luckily for him though he was inventive and whipped up a dressing from what was lying about…

Mayonnaise, ketchup, pickle relish, Worcestershire sauce and a hard-boiled egg.

Forget the mayo

The Canadian and New York link, the latter which was important too with the plethora of New York relatives which I have, wasn’t mentioned in Chez Murty when I was growing up.

Probably because it wasn’t known.

It was on the table because it was particularly popular in the Eighties.

We were broadening our tastes you see from Salad Cream and Mayonnaise.

So if you find yourself in a tizzy on your yacht or private cruise ship (although of course you’ll have people who stress out for you) here is how you put together a quick Thousand Island Dressing.

Of course this being Canada Day I trust too that you’ll have pancakes and maple syrup, catch of the day and salad, pecan pie and a Labatt Blue or Molson beer to ten to wash it all down.

Visit https://www.ontariotravel.net/en/home https://www.canada.travelCanadian high.

And check out American Holidays www.americanholidays.com and Tour America www.touramerica.com for the best deals.

So a Happy Canada Day and I’ll be delighted to hear again their favourite’eh’ refrain.

A case of Happy Canada D’eh, if you will.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
    (http://www.simplyrecipes.com)