America, Countries, Flying

Aer Lingus oh-high-oh to Cleveland

An old ‘un but a good ‘un, what’s hi in the middle and the same on either side, a riddle that came to mind as Ireland’s national airline announced Aer Lingus oh-high-oh to Cleveland.

Yes Cleveland on Lake Erie, and another word jumble here…

Rearrange the letters and you’ll get Eire.

It was meant to be then that Ireland and Cleveland should come together.

And Aer Lingus make the port its 13th direct American route and 15th North American stop.

So if you judge a city by its most famous citizens then Cleveland (population 383,331) punches way above its weight.

Cleveland roll call

Cleveland of the free: Ohio’s finest

Try this for a roll call of just some of its luminaries…

Paul Newman, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, LeBron James, Joel Grey (the MC in Cabaret), Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West), Debra Winger and Boz Scaggs among others.

Very rock’n’roll which is not surprising when you consider that Cleveland DJ Alan Freed popularised rock’n’roll in the early 50s which is why Ohio claims to be its birthplace.

King James: LeBron James

And, of course, you can’t visit without checking out their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame which is 40 years old next year.

And you know that that’s when life begins…

So it will too for those that are added to the 351 inductees from A-Z (Abba to ZZ Top). The Killers anyone?

Hall of Fame

The King and I: In Sun Studio, Memphis

Cleveland was chosen as the permanent home for the Hall of Fame three years later.

Leaving that great music city of the South Memphis smarting.

Although as home to the King they soon got over it.

Generally, the number of inductees each year ranges from about a half-dozen to a dozen.

Aer guitars

Berry good: Initial inductee Chuck Berry

The first inductees were:

Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Fats Domino, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers.

While you’ll need to leave time too.

For the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Orchestra and Playhouse Square.

Of course doubling back on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame again.

It’s informative to see that Joan Jett and Jefferson Airplane are both in it.

Aer Lingus oh-high-oh to Cleveland… they’re right at home.

 

 

 

 

Countries

Tomato catch-up in Nashville

They’d been waiting through Covid to finally have their tomato catch-up in Nashville last year.

You see it takes a lot to ground the Tennesseans, particularly on August 12 and 13 when it’s all about tomatoes.

And so if you like Warhol Campbell’s soup tins, or let’s hope a food fight, then The Tomato Art Fest is for you.

 

Take it as red: Tomatoes

And this is not just any old Tomato Fest.

They only hold the record for the highest number of tomato-dressed costumes.

You could say they crushed it.

Tammaty Wynette

It’s justified: Tammaty Wynette

And that you’d expect to hear Tammaty Wynette blaring out.

And maybe some tunes from adopted Tennessean Sheryl Crow, or Cherry Crowmato as she’s known on Toms weekend.

You can see Sheryl too first weekend of September for Americanafest.

That’s Labor Weekend which starts, of course, on a Friday.

She’s come a long way since hanging with Bill-Buddy and watching the sun come up over Santa Monica Boulevard.

And Cherry Crowmato

I’m winking about you: Sheryl Crow

Now she has her own ranch in Tennessee, complete with its own chapel, and has reinvented herself as a Country Gal.

Sheryl is the headline act for the Live on the Green free music festival.

And Coin, Moon Taxi, Yola (we’re listening) and more.

In truth, the music never stops in Nashville with the city boasting more music museums than anywhere else in the world.

You see it’s not only Country, though we wouldn’t mind if it was.

Music City

Nashville to your door: In Dublin

Most recently, the National Museum of African American Music opened its doors last year.

It claims to integrate history and interactive technology to tell the story of more than 50 genres and sub-genres inspired by African-American musicians.

Nearby is the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, while you can even get a studio tour at Historic RCA Studio B.

Breakthrough band: Nashville style

The storied Ryman Auditorium doubles during the day as a museum preserving the legacy of the iconic Mother Church and all the music performed there.

The Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum‘s exhibits take visitors on a tour of cities that greatly influenced music culture, featuring an interactive Grammy Museum Gallery.

The legends

Here’s Johnny: Johnny Cash

Of course, Nashville never forgets its legends and you can see them all at The Johnny Cash Museum and the Patsy Cline Museum as well as the Glen Campbell Museum.

Where naturally, in a nod to my old stomping ground in Greystones, Co. Wicklow, we’d sing Like a Greystones Cowboy.

While when you’re in The Gallery of Iconic Guitars at Belmont you’d naturally want to check out rare string instruments, and play some.

We have, down the road at Sun Studio in Memphis where we channelled our inner Elvis.

Nashville is a treat that awaits me, the good people of the city having wined, dined, entertained me in Dublin.

Before inviting me to a Nashville weekend in The Fair City’s O2 Arena.

And then a ticket to Music City which alas I was unable to take up… just reminding y’all.

And if I have to take a red fruit for my troubles, well I would.

So, here’s looking forward to a tomato catch-up in Nashville.

 
America, Countries, Music

Caught in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe

Can you just help me leaving… I’m caught in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe?

Anybody who has been to Graceland (and you should) will know that you can get lost.

In the warehouses that stock his jumpsuits and his planes, bikes and cars.

Or was that just me? And I must admit I had a suspicious mind about my party leaving me there on my own to get lost.

Movie masterpiece 

Jump to it: Late Elvis

We get glimpses of Graceland in the epic Baz Luhrmann biopic of Elvis which we sang all the way through at the cinema.

But what you can’t appreciate until you actually get there is just how homely and remarkably unremarkable it is.

Sure, we’ve heard of the Jungle Room, but it’s really just a man cave with some Seventies wildlife furnishings.

Scary stuff: The Jungle Room

While the dining room is a presentable front room where a family and their friends would feel comfortable.

It is here that Lisa Marie would say that Elvis would hold court in his hearty Deep South droll and they would all eat soul food.

The upstairs are roped off as that’s Priscilla, Lisa Marie’s and their family’s quarters.

Lisa Marie’s memories 

Seventies chic: Graceland

But Elvis’s only child leaves us with a lasting image of the King in an audio reveal in the house.

When she explains that they would hear Elvis before they saw him come down the stairs.

On account of his clinking jewellery.

  1. Butterfly collector: Elvis on stage

Elvis the icon, the superstar, of those jumpsuits and cars and planes, and guitars, pianos and platinum discs we already know.

But only in visiting Graceland and Memphis will you get an insight into Elvis’s home life and downtime.

Elvis’s Memphis

I’ll have what Elvis is having: Memphis diner

In the diner where he would come to eat his banana and peanut butter sandwiches.

And where he would leave his golf buggy outside.

There is still staff there who will say they met him and that they would exchange good wishes to each others’ families.

Where it began: In Sun Studio

You can visit to landmarks in Elvis’s life… Sun Studio where he cut That’s Alright Mamma, and Lansky Bros on Beale Street.

And they proudly proclaim they are Clothier to the King.

All of which you’ll see in its glory in the jumpsuit warehouse I’m happy to be stuck in.

Elvis’s legacy

We all will be received: In Graceland

Elvis Presley continues to bring colour to our lives 45 years after he died, aged only 42.

And you get stuck in a trap in Elvis’s wardrobe.

I’ll take that, particularly if his music is on a reel, and I’m in great Graceland in magical Memphis.

 

America, Asia, Australasia, Canada, Caribbean, Countries, Europe, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

The ten homes of whisky

It’s the golden seal every country strives for, to be the home of something… so where are the ten homes of whisky?

You’d probably not to be surprised at the top five.

And so it’s more of a case of shuffling that pack to see who is tops.

The next five though is a bit more surprising.

So on this World Whisky Day join me for a distillery tour.

But do me a favour please, don’t ask about distilling or the mashing process.

It just holds us up on our way to the sampling.

Scotch Wahey

Fergie’s dram: Sir Alex’s bottle in his cabinet near Aberdeen

Scotland: And the reach of Scotch (just whisky in Scotland) became clear when the distillers held a whisky-tasting in Barbados.

Now we can blind you with science and stats… 44 bottles of whisky are exported from Scotland every year.

There are five designated whisky regions… Cambeltown, Highland, Lowland, Speyside and my own fave Islay.

They’re all heavenly and 

But my No.1 is Laphroaig. It’s so peaty, just like a bowl of water in an ashtray but stick with me here.

After all you have tried haggis.

United Nips of America

Mark of a whiskey drinker: Kentuckian Mark, Cath and Mum

USA: And, of course, when the Scots left home they took their whisky and its secrets with them.

And adapted it to the new world of America and went on to produce nectar such as Kentucky’s Woodford Reserve bourbon.

But US whiskey isn’t restricted to the Deep South… branch out to Oregon.

Where Westward Whiskey have released a reimagined single malt for World Whisky Day.

Green, malt and gold

The oul’ sod: The oldest distillery in the world

Ireland: And Teeling only made it into our Barbados tastings.

While Bushmills lays claim to being the oldest distillery in the world, established in 1608.

They were also responsible for the extra ‘e’, well the Irish are the masters of using two words when one will do, and more letters too.

Land of the Rising Suntory

Made in Japan: Suntory

Japan: Now this is a love story that drams are made of.

And is the result of a relationship between a Japanese chemistry student at Glasgow University Masataka Takaretsu and Jessie Roberta Cowan.

Masataka had been dispatched by the Settsu Shuzi liquor company.

A love Suntory if you will.

Maple leaf

We’re in the Club: Canadian Club

Canada: Right, we’re told that Canadian whisky has its origins not in its big Scottish diaspora.

But because the natives, the First Nations, got a taste for what they called the traders’ firewater.

It was a meld of rum and ‘high wine’ which developed into Canadian whisky, of which Canadian Club is the most recognised.

Sikh beatha

Basket of goods: Indians love their whisky

India: Or Sikh of life, my twist on the uisce beatha which is Gaelic for water of life and is what Scots call their favourite drink.

And long may the Indians keep up their love affair with whisky which they have been producing since 1948 since Amrut entered the market.

More than half of all whisky drinkers in the world come from India. 

Wizards of booze

Bonzer: Aussie whiskey

Australia: And we should have come to expect this with our ne’er-do-wells sent over there as convicts.

Specifically Tasmania is whisky haven with the best Aussie whiskies Sullivans Cove, the best Single Malt at the world awards, and Lark based there. 

A Swede whisky

That way, Sweden

Sweden: Now here’s something you don’t get at your local Ikea with your meatballs but should.

Mackmyra was Sweden‘s first distillery and the Swedes got it right first time, winning the First Edition Gold Award in 2013.

The Isle of Tai

Gold standard: Taiwanese whiskey

Taiwan: You see what we’ve done there. Yes, Taiwan‘s connections with the West probably plays its part here.

Kavalan whiskey won the World’s Best Single Malt at the awards in 2015 and the island’s distillery produces 9 million bottles a year. 

Ja beauty

Dram busters: Germans on the whisky

Germany: Now some of us have ripped it up in Germany at the Oktoberfest where it’s lager obviously but also schnapps chasers.

The Germans though are open to everything and they have around 250 distilleries and around 130 of them are focused just on whisky production.

So, on this World Whisky Day a big Slainte to the ten homes of whisky.

 

 

 

 

Africa, Countries

Ghana this day

And the lesson is self-determination… Ghana this day.

Father Bobi, a proud Ghanain, is big about family as he preaches his message at the pulpit in North Berwick, east of Edinburgh.

And he begins March 6 with a shout-out to his West African country and his sister who shares her birthday with the national day.

This day in 1957 the British colony Gold Coast became Ghana (strong warrior king), the first sub-Saharan state to break free.

We’re naturally drawn here to countries asserting their own self-determination.

And celebrating with carnivals and parades.

In Ghana that’ll be from the capital of Accra on the scenic coastline of the Gulf of Guinea to the northern heritage-rich city of Tamale.

Local foods, such as the Ghanaian joll of rice (a spicy rice dish with meat and vegetables), serve as centrepieces in many homes.

The Ghanaian diaspora

Pride of Ghana: Father Bobi

Ghanaians have increasingly enriched our lives across the world.

From pulpits in Scottish seaside to metropolises London and Paris to the Caribbean.

Where the descendants of slaves have progressed their culture.

African tourism has, of course, expanded in the last thirty years.

With intrepid travellers seeking out still authentic parts of the world.

And for us students of history we will always explore the history and culture of a country.

Which in Ghana means seeking out the slave castles dotted along the coast.

Slavery history

Pioneers: With Issy and ‘George Washington’ in DC

Slavery history is not mawkish and we are in fact encouraged to keep their history alive.

It is our history too whether in Scotland where the tobacco lords became rich and the triangular traffic from Bristol and Liverpool.

Or in Tobago and Barbados, the only foreign outpost George Washington visited.

And in the city he gave his name to and the Great Liberator Frederick Douglass and his house looking down on the city.

And the inspiring African-American Smithsonian Museum in DC.

Then there is the Slave Haven Underground Railroad in Memphis Tennessee in the Deep South.

West Africa

The real Ghanaians: And a cat too

A trip to West Africa has long been on the radar to square the circle.

And reflect on the Original Sin shame of slavery.

One Ghanaian in particular will be flying his flag high today in my new town of North Berwick here in Scotland.

While millions there and around the world will join him too.

Should you be an intrepid traveller too you’ll naturally levitate towards the holiday firm of that name.

Intrepid will provide tailor-made trips.

From the horse’s mouth

Palm trees anyone? Ghana beaches

Often our interest in a country or region is piqued by word of mouth, from friends and family.

I can’t say I know Rick from Intrepid’s site.

But I am persuaded by his review of Benin, Togo and Ghana from 2020.

‘Usually I travel independently, but for destinations in which infrastructure challenges make solo travel prohibitively inefficient.

‘Intrepid is worth every penny for combining easy of travel with the very best of cultural educational opportunity.

‘Superb pre-trip information, guides, and selection of destinations.’

Thanks Rick, and I’ll also be having a word in Father Bobi’s ear.

My cup of tea

Stamp of approval: Independence Day

Over tea and biscuits which he has restored to the church hall.

Two years after he had to pull that post-Mass experience because of Covid.

Happy Ghana Day Father Bobi and all the Ghanaians.

Ghana this day.

 

 

 

Countries, Ireland, UK

Random Quacked Of Kindness Day

Where these things come from Heaven knows but where we’re going with this is a shout out to my old pal Julie Hastings who has reimagined it as a Random Quacked of Kindness Day.

And yes, you can have that one Julie.

Hastings Hotels supremo Julie and me share a very important interest…

We’re both quackers about rubber ducks.

And she was good enough both to host me at the group’s flagship Belfast hotels the Grand Central and the Europa.

But also to send me on some from her collection (I’ll come to the many names for a group of ducks in a minute, and it’s not that) after I’d suggested names for her latest novelty ducks.

The Duckess of Cornwall

Lor’, love a duck: Duck and Duchess of Cornwall

 

When Camilla was visiting… and I came up with the Duckess of Cornwall!

Now Julie rarely misses an opportunity to get her rubber ducks in a row.

And so has been gifting them at the company’s head Offices today at their offices at the side of Stormont Hotel.

It’s a great quacked of kindness in what has been deigned by someone somewhere Random Act of Kindness Day.

There have, of course, been too many to count across my Travels from our holiday providers, our dream makers.

Five friends

Hit the road Zach: My pal Zach from Mississippi

There has been the wonderful gesture from Zach at Visit Mississippi.

He only had a courier bring the mobile phone I had left in a hotel 100kms back, to Jackson, on the MLK50 odyssey in the Deep South.

The hotelier who sent up two bottles of wine and a fruit basket to my room on my Greek odyssey.

After I had bust in on an aged couple post-coitus in the Intercontinental Athenaeum in Athens after I had been given the wrong door pass at reception.

The whole town of Monaghan in Ireland who rearranged their weekends to accommodate us.

When we turned up a week early (I give The Scary One one job to do, one job to do!).

Monaghan mates: And Sherry got us a table

Bertha at reception in Switzerland (it’s a recurring theme) who waived my carelessness in leaving the shower running.

In my rush to join my group and catch the train in Interlaken.

All of which meant water dripped from the ceiling into the breakfast room.

And Julie, of course, who I have never admitted to but it is true.

That I was caught short and was sick on the carpet of her beloved Grand Central Hotel.

After one of her famous hospitable nights watching Van Morrison at the Europa and then following it up with a nightcap (or three) in the Crown Bar.

What’s a group of ducks then?

My ducks in a row: Murty Castles

Now I doubt whether I’ll ever reach the numbers in Julie’s rubber duck fleet, flock, company, diving, paddle, skein or wabbling.

And note to self, enough wabbling.

And on behalf of all of us, well done again Julie for your generosity on Random Quacked of Kindness Day.

Alas, every day cannot be so if you want to get your hands on one of the famous Hastings Ducks then you will have to book a room.

The duck will be free but the rest will be on the bill.

 

 

America, Countries, Sport

Walking in Vegas and Memphis

And WC Handy will still look down on him… Rainy Days and Songdays celebrates Tyson Fury as he goes Walking in Vegas and Memphis.

The Gypsy King has become as big a headliner in Vegas as Celine Dion, Elton John and The Osmonds (yes, really).

The World Heavyweight champion brought the house down when he adapted another American classic in the ring after defeating Deontay Wilder, who really ought to have had the home fans in the palm of his destructive hands.

Memphis history

That’s Handy: In Memphis

Now we’ll forgive Tyson for being disorientated.

And not quite knowing his surroundings after Wilder put him on the seat of his pants during the fight.

Because WC Handy was an Alabaman, who made his name in Memphis, Tennessee, as the Father of the Blues.

A couple of feet: Off of Beale

Tyson would be a thousand miles away though if he had touched down in the land of the Delta Blues.

The Delta being the juncture in the Mississippi.

Although we will give him his Beale (Avenue) in Las Vegas which we stumbled upon in Neon City.

Although the Beale which Marc Cohen was referring to was Beale Street in Memphis.

On the Strip

VIP: With the Rat Trap

Mind you Vegas can recreate anywhere in the world in their own image.

Head down the Strip and you will almost think you have been transported to Paris or ancient Egypt.

And an anecdote here to prove my point.

Jetlagged on my arrival in Vegas I laid down on my triple bed in The Palazzo in the afternoon.

And against my better judgment I fell asleep.

Only to be woken up by a call from our host Tryphavana to say the party was sitting down for dinner at the Venetian.

The Grand Canal

The one in.., Vegas

Wiping my eyes, still in sleepy mode, I passed by gondolas on the Grand Canal.

And walked through to the restaurant and an Italian feast.

Looking up I saw a fresco of the Creation of Adam.

Sure, Vegas can recreate the world in their own image.

So go ahead, me and Tyson Fury love Walking in Vegas and Memphis.

America, Countries, Culture, Music

The Deep South have a lot to sing and write about

‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy… that’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’ And doesn’t Harper Lee’s state Alabama and the Deep South have a lot to sing and write about.

That great novel, To Kill A Mockingbird was 60 years old last year.

And it is regularly listed as one of the public’s favourite books and Harper Lee is rightly celebrated in the Deep South state.

So much so that the good residents of her own Monroeville homestead live the story every year.

With the locals actually becoming part of the cast alongside Jem, Scout, Boo Ridley, Atticus Finch and Tom Robinson.

Part of the cast

Every April and May, a version of Mockingbird  is put on by people from the community.

And you’ll see the jury preside over Tom Robinson’s trial is selected from the audience before each performance.

While just a short drive away lies Montgomery where Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived from 1931-32 and where Scott worked on Tender is the Night.

You can visit the Jazz Age couple’s Felder Avenue home is now the site of the F. Scott & Zelda Fitzgerald Museum.

And a two-bedroom apartment that can be booked by literary lovers on Airbnb.

The Sound of the South

With Rosa Parks in Jackson, Mississippi

It is no coincidence that Hollywood mines the Deep South for epic movies.

William Faulkner, the Poet Laureate of the South says it better than ya’ll could.. certainly this scribbler.

Faulkner is the author of the classic The Sound and the Fury.

And he opined: ‘I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it.’

And you can learn much more about Faulkner and other alumni from the Magnolia State including Richard Wright and Eurdora Welty on The Mississippi Writers Trail.

All of which is a good bookend to the Mississippi Blues Trail which of course is richly infused through the Civil Rights Struggle.

While Faulkner will forever be linked to the Deep South, that too is the case for Tennessee Williams. Well, how could it not as he carried it around the state in his name?

Good ole Southern Boys

Graceland: And a reason to believe

Like many famous Tennessee legends, like BB King and Elvis Presley he is in fact a Mississippian.

The Deep South includes AlabamaKentuckyLouisianaMississippi & Tennessee.

And to immerse yourself in the region is to step right into the pages of these great storytellers.

Yes, truly, the Deep South have a lot to sing and write about.

 

America, Countries, Culture

Freedom Ride through Civil Rights history

The Greyhound is more of an adventure than a coach trip but 60 years ago it was a Freedom ride through Civil Rights history.

The first group of Freedom Riders set out from Washington DC in 1961 to integrate interstate buses.

That buses were the frontline in a social revolution is hard to believe but the Civil Rights Movement saw them as a vehicle for change.

Ever since Rosa Parks refused to vacate her seat for a white passenger back in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama, and thus challenged segregation.

All of which I witnessed myself on an unforgettable odyssey.

Through the Deep South taking in the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis which incorporates the Lorraine Motel room where Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated.

And the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum in Jackson.

King’s heirs

Iconic: Dr Martin Luther King

Civil Rights, is of course, a journey which still alas is anywhere near completion.

As Dr King himself, and his followers predicted.

And which is evidenced in the unfinished statue to the Father of the Movement in DC.

We can though track the history of the Civil Rights Movement throughout the South by visiting 120 landmarks across 14 states.

Not that you have to worry about working any of it out for yourself as our friends from Alabama have only pointed us.

In the direction of an invaluable companion book.

And when we say our friends we only mean Dr Bernice King, Dr King’s youngest.

Stuff of history

Action: The Civil Rights Movement

More on the book:

The 128-page hardcover book showcases former Southern Living photographer Art Meripol’s pictures.

The historic photos, paired with more than 200 images of the landmarks today, underscore the transformative experience of the trail and its endured relevance. 

‘The Civil Rights Trail is a one-of-a-kind cultural travel experience that everyone should visit.

‘To renew their perspective and gain a deeper appreciation for those who fought before us,” said Dr. Bernice King.

‘Each landmark across the trail serves as a reminder.

‘Of where my father and many other brave activists fought tirelessly for our fundamental freedoms so that future generations of Black Americans could enjoy a better life.’

The heroes and heroines

Legacy: With Myrlie Evers

Travellers can draw inspiration from the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

And follow the harrowing stories of 14-year-old Emmett Till.

And Mississippi leader Medgar Evers, whose indomitable widow Myrlie I met in Jackson at the opening of the Mississippi museums.

Also take in the story of the Birmingham Sunday School attendees.

And the Selma voting-rights marchers and Nashville Freedom Riders.

While reading their stories and retracing their footsteps at sites along the trail. 

The magic bus

Legend: With Rosa Parks

The Greyhound is of course a misnomer as your journey goes at snail’s pace. 

But ever since I took my first one from New York to Boston with my fellow pale-faced Scots.

And mingled with Native Americans, blacks and a melting pot of nationalities.

I have sought out the bus as my preferred mode of transport in the US.

And enjoy the bus the way it should.

And consider too its place in American culture with the Freedom Ride through Civil Rights history.

The book also underscores the movement’s present-day relevance by featuring historic destinations such as the Smithsonian National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, D.C., alongside new memorial sites including the Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. 

How to stay informed

The story: Civil Rights Trail

For more information about the book or to plan your journey on the trail, visit civilrightstrail.com.

Consumers can purchase the book from Amazon.com (will ship to the UK) or at This is Alabama.

 

America, Countries, Culture

Native American signs point the way

I’d advise anyone who is thinking about taking a summer out before work to spend it in ‘At or about the great hill’. Or Massachusetts to you and me!

You see, we all know more Native American language than we thought.

Always in the big tent

But imagine if somebody came to your country and changed all the names of the places which the settlers did.

AIANTA, the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association, have got us on board for their initiative Mapping Indigenous Place Names.

Where is..?

Do you know the way to?

Now as the United States took shape and they formed new settlements they went for names from the Old World and then just put New in front of them.

Some though were more inventive and took Native American names.

So, let’s play a game of what does that American state mean?

Rivers run through it

All kinds of everythng with Carol Dana, language master for Penobscot Nation

Starting with A, of course, and Alaska is from the Aleut word alexsxaq, meaning ‘the object towards which the action of the sea is directed’.

K is for Kentucky, a hallowed place in American Country music, is Iroquoian for ‘at the meadow’ or ‘on the prairie’.

While Michigan who we met up again with this week at MTM21 and are close to welcoming us all back, nods to the Ottawa mishigami, ‘large water.’

Dressed to thrill

Our magical Mississippi, whose old man river just keeps rolling, is derived from the Algonquian language Ojibwe. meaning ‘big river’…

And yes, there’s a theme here.

Utah, another we caught up with at MTM21 and where we’ll visit after the American Travel Fair, IPW, means ‘high up’. Naturally!

Follow the trail

They were here first

When we all get travelling again we should definitely add Native American experiences to our lengthening list.

Helpfully AIANTA has done the heavy lifting for us and pointed these information packs our way.

That bbbbbuckin’ Bronco

Top Ten Experiences: https://www.aianta.org/ten-native-american-tourism-experiences/

Pre-Columbian Sites:  https://www.aianta.org/pre-columbian-sites-in-the-us/

Native American Tours: https://www.aianta.org/native-american-tours/.

Must fly, I’m being called back to ‘the Place Where The Scary One Breathes Fire’, sometimes called ‘Home’.