America, Countries, Ireland

Denver the Aer High City

Things are looking up, as they always do when our old friends at Aer Lingus announce a new North American route… it’s Denver the Aer High City.

Denver, in the apron of the Rockies, has one of the most spectacular vistas anywhere to fly into.

Bear with me: Denver’s Blue Bear

You could even be tempted to tarry awhile in the airport were they not an artsy party city awaiting for you.

The oft-told joke the locals will tell you about their city is that because of the altitude, with being a mile high, it’s a cheap date.

And the thin air means you only have to drink half as much to get twice as drunk.

The Milk High City

Dish of the day: Foodie Denver

The Mile High City is indeed a mind-altering experience and that’s even if you do decide to body swerve the local weed.

Nothing is as it seems when the Denver Milk Market, the cornerstone of the historic Dairy Block, is a beverage and culinary magnet.

The downtown Denver LoDo Wazee Street institution bills itself as a 16-venue space with the whole panoply of culinary delights.

This being Denver craft beer capital of America, of course you’ll never be far away from a bar.

And the Milk Market boasts Moo Bar, the Stranded Pilgrim and the Cellar.

Sign of the times: Colorful Colorado

When we visited for American Travel Fair brunch we had an Otterbox stainless steel thermal tumbler thrust into our hands.

With Welcome to Colorful Colorado branding.

And were invited to fill up the booze stations.

I wear, of course, my white Milk Market band to this day to promise myself that I’ll return.

A high old time

Fits the Bill: Buffalo Bill’s graveyard

And when I do I’ll make fun again jumping on and off the city’s free shuttle bus on the 16th Street Mall.

And take in the LoDo Historic District and the ornate Denver Union Station and maybe take in a game in this sports-mad city.

You will be on a high right through your stay.

A la carte: In Colorado

While Colorado is indeed colorful as Otterbox promised us with an array of must-see attractions out of town.

From wild west pilgrimage at Buffalo Bill’s graveyard to the natural Red Rocks auditorium.

Jocky Mountain High: With my Scots buddy Neil at Red Rocks

And then out to Golden, home of Coors beer, Steamboat Springs and its open steam baths.

To Boulder, home of Mork and Mindy and its great outdoors at Open Space and Mountain Parks.

While if you’ve the stomach for it why not ride the rapids?

Just the ticket

Cheerleaders: For the Bandanaman

You’ll truly not want to leave and have an airport that boasts an art gallery and roof putting course.

But don’t take it to my lengths where you mistime your connections.

And find yourself on an eight-hour lay-off and then miss your London link to Dublin through misreading your ticket.

No problem there with your new Dublin to Denver route, commencing on May 17 next year and operating four times weekly.

Fly the flag: For Colorado

All of which means with the reboot of Minneapolis/St Paul that’s 19 transatlantic routes on April 29.

Initially operating four times per week, before increasing to a daily service from October next year.

Why not set yourself the challenge then of getting around all the destinations starting with Denver the Aer High City.



America, Countries, Europe, Music, UK

Five concerts to escape the Platinum Jubilee

And continuing our series, and because we’re not all pliant subjects, here are five music concerts to escape the Platinum Jubilee.

Queen’s domain

Ready, Freddie go: Freddie Mercury

Live Aid, 1985: And the generational music festival from Wembley, London, for the Ethiopian Famine Relief when Freddie Mercury and Queen stole the show.

From the moment Status Quo kicked off we were rockin’ all over the world.

While Prince, Lionel Ritchie, Madonna et al put Philadelphia on the pop mark.

Stardust in Woodstock

Hippy shake: Woodstock

Woodstock, 1969: Before all that Yasgur’s Farm in upstate New York broke the mould for music fests and climaxed the Sixties.

Joni Mitchell famously had to miss Woodstock because of the NY traffic but bequeathed her song for Matthews Southern Comfort.

You don’t have to… you can drown out the God Save the Queen’s with Jimi Hendrix’s electric version of the Stars and Stripes.

Up Pompeii

In the Pink: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd at Pompeii: And the kings of stadium rock would never play at the local ground when Classical sites would do.

The ambient super group set the pattern at Pompeii for the rest, one we fully endorse.

Well, in best Travel fashion, we wish you were here.

Rocks in the Rockies

And Red Rocks hasn’t escaped the notice of rock’n’roll royalty.

With everyone from The Beatles through U2 to OneRepublic (in front of yours truly and a private audience) playing there in Denver.

Glasto blasto

Hello from me: Adele

Glastonbury: Now there have been many claimants to the crown of Queen of Glastonbury.

Beyoncé, the Queen Bey herself, Dolly Parton and the diva of divas Shirley Bassey.

Better then, sit back and watch these five… concerts to escape the Platinum Jubilee.

And like London buses there will be another couple of lists along over the next few days.


America, Countries, Culture

Pride and joy

The Tarts and Tramps was always a rite of passage for Aberdeen University Freshers students in the Eighties, and I dare say it’s their Pride and joy still.

Quite whether students get a chance to glam and glum it up in a meaningful Freshers week in September remains to be seen.

Hugs around the world

But encouragingly Pride events will be held around the world this month.

Changed from last year when we all rallied together to make the most of it all digitally.

My attention was drawn by one of Las Vegas’s finest music acts, Imagine Dragons, championing Pride.

Flagging up Pride

It just so happens that I’m at my campest in the Oo-Es-of-EH and the 

Cariqueen and it’s that love of a good pun which makes me fit right in.

By rights we who travel for a living would have been boogieing it up in Party City.

That is of course Las Vegas, where I should be now at the US Travel Fair.

My beardie matches: In California

Their Pride party is legendary as is their entertainment.

With the Beach Boys and Snoop Dogg entertaining us last time up in Anaheim.

And OneRepublic rocking Red Rocks in Denver the year before.

Red Rocks in Denver

We’ll hopefully do the American Travel Fair all over again in the Fall.

Where, yes, Pride will be behind us.

But I know someone from my last Vegas trip, Cami from Utah.

My Pride and joy, who I might just still be married to!



America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, Music, UK

Rainy Days and Signdays

You might not expect to be moved at a Cliff Richard concert unless Old Maura lifts your wife’s hand in Dublin so she can sway too.

Thank you to all my friends: Cliff Richard

But the sight of a section of deaf fans signing at one of Cliff’s Christian concerts at Wembley had me transfixed.

You’ve got to own it: Eminem

As an Eminem signer goes viral for her animated renditions at his concerts a celebration and selection of other captivating signing songs.

Toast of the Grammies

Hello Halo: Beyoncé

Beyonce: Of course her position as Queen Bey is unchallenged.

Although I do think that OneRepublic’s Halo which they thrilled us with in Red Rocks tops her (I know treason).

And here’s someone who also tried to steal some limelight from Grammys multi-award winner Beyoncé at one of her gigs.

And I know how hard it is to get into Grammy folklore.

Take a bow the signer at Atlanta Pride who rocked it.

Where is the Love?

There is the love: The Peaa

Black Eyed Peas: And we have a visual signpost straight off with the question mark cards we all remember.

But this from the LA formed Black Eyed Peas classic, the best-selling single in the UK in 2003, is filled with imagery.

Now full disclosure here.

I have no sign language here other than knowing flapping your arm against your side means Scottish, as in bagpipes.

And just randomly recalling the lyrics I imagine that KKK is either a very rude sign or pulling a hood over your head.

Thrashing around

Rock gods: Slayer

Slayer: We probably know more sign language than we think.

And we are certainly all capable of describing a musical instrument.

For many a spotty teenage boy, and greasy-haired men too, being able to play the air guitar is vital at a heavy metal concert.

And this signer certainly knows her Slayer although I’d like to see her slide along the floor too.

Marlee’s movements

Deaf and loud: Sean Forbes

Marlee Matlin is probably the best-known deaf performer in the world, recognised for her craft.

She famously won an Oscar for Best Actress for Children of a Lesser God in 1986.

But Sean has not come across my radar. He is for all you who don’t know which is probably very few a Detroit hip-hop artist.

And this is the magic that happens when Sean and Marlee get together.

Sean Forbes Ft Marlee Matlin

Katy’s Fireworks

Perry good: Katy Perry

Her detractors will say that Katy Perry is on point but then why is that a bad thing.

The green-eyed monster of jealousy is of course rearing its ugly head here while our heroine is rearing her gorgeous head.

No less a figure than Joe Biden had her perform at his inauguration party.

And she brought the house down with her rendition of Fireworks in Washington DC.

All of which was signed and which cut the night air.