And I did get offered a chance this week to talk to VIPs who were wired to the moon this famous day 50 years ago.
And the special event is being held at the very minute too 50 years ago when President Nixon made his historic phone call to Neil Armstrong.
Unfortunately I couldn’t hotfoot it over to the Richard Nixon Library in California for the exclusive event this evening with such short notice.
But we are friends from our meeting at IPW, the American Travel Fair in Anaheim, and I’ll get there next time.
Amid the great outpouring of national joy at America beating the Soviets to the moon some thought that Richard Nixon was being rewarded for what was John F. Kennedy’s great vision.
But that’s where the Nixon Library will put you right… the Nixons and the Kennedys despite standing against each other in the 1960 election became great friends.
Dick and John were both Cold War warriors, genuinely liked each other and Pat invited Jackie and the kids back to the White House when they moved in.
It is a myth that America is short on history – well, I would say that being an American History graduate.
And the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, 37 miles south-east of Downtown LA is where to go. Visit http://www.nixonfoundation.org to learn everything you need to know about the only Californian-born President.
And http://www.visitnasa.com for everything NASA related… there are 14 Visitor Center and space shuttle locations to complete your passport.
No, I’m not going all German on you though there would be no harm in that.
It’s just that the Morgan Hotel celebrated its first birthday since its reopening with a gala night and I awoke giddy of head and ready to share with all I met.
Alas this time breakfast wasn’t in the hotel, as it was back in February, but back home here in Greystones where The Scary One was scaring up some poached eggs on toast to soak up the FIVE cocktails from the previous evening.
If you want a reviving breakfast after a night on the town then The Morgan is ideal. It is a positive oasis from Temple Bar.
You’ll sleep like Rip Van Winkle with nary a sound from outside and the staff are super-friendly even remembering us from our visit in February.
The Morgan is continuing in real birthday mood with a sale with rooms for €149 per night. Book by July 31. Visit http://www.themorgan.com.
And watch out too for my review from earlier this year of The Morgan Hotel which I’ll get to work on soon. Well, it is the weekend!
The Travel Bible
It’s the definitive Book of Irish Travel.
Travelbiz.ie and its The Irish Travel Directory & Diary 2019.
If you’re not in it you’re not in Irish Travel and there I am – and I swear it was the first page I opened to.
Close your eyes and pick
Do you do the same?
Close your eyes in the departure lounge in the airport and when you open them fix them on the first destination you see on the board and decide to go there.
I’ll tell you what… I cheat too and look for the American destinations.
American Holidays has bumper family holidays for next Easter.
You’ll build memories that last a lifetime and myself and Daddy’s Little Girl will always have our ice skating experience at the Rockefeller Centre in New York.
American Holidays has New York Family Easter Break from €909pp with flights from Dublin to New York, five nights at the Sheraton New York Times Square, travelling April 2020. Based on two adults and two children sharing.
I dare say La-La went to a good home but the Son and Heir was beside himself in Donegal when he was a toddler and the Yellow One went walkabouts.
As dutiful parents we did, of course, return to where we thought he’d dropped it but it was late and so it was a case of Good Night Teletubby.
It has seemed like it’s been Good Night Teletubbies too for today’s toddlers with Peppa Pig moving in on their manor.
But that’s probably premature. The Teletubbies ARE alive and kicking at Alton Towers Resort and CBeebies Land just two and a half hours from Holyhead, and Irish Ferries will get you there and give you this great offer.
So that’s a return car ferry, two-day park passes to Alton Towers Resort & CBeebies Land and a three-night stay in the Tillington Hall Hotel. From €595 for a family of 4.
You’ve got 12 themed areas that contain 40 different rides of attractions. CBeebies Land is located within Alton Towers and has 14 rides and attractions including the Teletubbies Big Band Live Show and the Peter Rabbit Hippity Hop ride.
Well, if Majorca’s good enough for Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones.
Don’t be put off by the Magaluf of this world, Majorca is a varied and beautiful island, full of unspoiled beaches, great culinary delights, olde world towns and stunning mountains.
TUI has seven nights Dublin to Majorca, staying at the 3* Protur Bahia Azul Apartments in Cala Bona from €489pps for August 27. To book visit http://www.tuiholidays.ie or call 1850 45 35 45.
And the Champion Golfer is…
I’m up in Royal Portrush for the weekend for The Open. And staying in the Clayton Hotel in Belfast tonight ahead of tomorrow’s final round.
With bumper crowds over these four days of competition it will be a reminder to those of us who already love the north and an introduction to those who don’t of all it has to offer.
Portrush itself is a gorgeous town and it’s worth going even when the golf isn’t on so that you can get a chance to check out Portrush Whiterocks Beach, Barry’s Amusements, Dunluce Castle and the Causeway Coastal Route.
I’ll share with you the tips I give to the winner when I return.
It’s a couples’ dream… cruising. The lingering glances over dinner, the dancing, the spectacular shows, the moonlight walk on the top deck.
Of course, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t occasionally disagree. I find the best advice is the one She gives: ‘When I want your opinion I’ll give it to you.’
So cruising has the advantage too of being big and varied and entertaining enough to give you both enough space to calm down if you get tetchy with each other. Best not have a quarrel on the top deck though, it can get slippy up there sometimes!
I owe Her a trip to the Bahamas after having had a spin around there last December and Sunway and Princess Cruises have the very thing.
They are offering a seven-night Bahamas & Virgin Islands Cruise on board the Regal Princess on February 29…. and you know what that means – Leap Year and all you loved-up ladies can propose to your gentlemen.
You’ll get all-inclusive drinks – Ocean Medallion (I’ll tell you more about that when I get on a Princess Cruises ship in Dublin later this month), wifi, gratuities and $200 onboard spend.
Price is €1599pp and includes return flights from Dublin, one night pre- cruise hotel stay, plus seven night cruise based on two sharing an interior stateroom, all taxes and fees. Transfers are extra. Visit http://www.sunway.ie/cruise-holidays or call (01) 231 1868. Visit http://www.princess.com.
Sand and sea
Cruising always leaves you wanting more.
We had a choice last autumn of MSC cruises – the beautiful fjords or dazzling Dubai and the Emirates. We don’t regret catching the fjords, of course, but as the mist and rain drew in I did give a thought to how sunny Dubai would have been. And I settled on doing both.
Temperatures in Dubai hover between 23 and 33 degrees in December which is when you’ll go with Abbey Travel and MSC.
Leaving on Wednesday, December 11 and paying €589.00, you’ll get:
11 nights cruise on board MSC Lirica in an interior cabin.
Free tea, water and coffee package and Wi-Fi Social Package.
As I famously said when I visited Hamburg last year at the end of that fjords trip.
Hamburg is a city that was very much to my taste and I’m sure you’ll be the same.
Royal Caribbean International is offering a seven nights’ Dutch and French Adventure on Explorer of the Seas, departing October 18 from Southampton, taking in Hamburg, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Paris/Normandy and Le Havre.
From €649 per person based on two people sharing. €1,298 for two guests. Sailing on October 18. Flight required.
And, of course, you’ll get the chance to walk on water with FlowRider which I road tested (again) on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas recently in Barcelona and which I’ll tell you more about real soon. And much, much more. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.
It’s an oasis when you’re dehydrated from hitting the wall of humidity after a long-haul flight… that bottle of Fiji water in your hotel bedroom.
But it comes at a price… around $10 if memory serves me right. And like all things tempting, to touch is to claim ownership and you will be billed because American hotel owners will deem that you have taken the water and replaced it with an inferior product.
Not that you’ll need to worry about such matters with Captain Cook Cruises where we were reliably informed at last night’s Tourism Fiji presentation at the Morrison Hotel in Dublin that water, tea and coffee are free… you will though need to pay for your booze. Visit http://www.fijitravel.
Captain Cook Cruises has a special offer running right now – book early and save 20% with the early booking saver fare (for sale and travel to 31 March 2020). Visit http://www.captaincookcruisesfiji.com. (061) 2 9126 8160.
So that’s three nights from AUD$1516pp twin share on a C Ocean Stateroom (approximately €946).
How to get there… well as the good people from Cathay Pacific reminded us it’s just a couple of sleeps and four movies or 32h 10mins (my idea of a good night in) and you’ll be there. Cathay flies via Hong Kong. Visit http://www.cathaypacific.com.
You’ll be glad you did. Fijians have been voted the happiest people on earth.
And judging by the welcome they gave us last night …
Here I am with High Commissioner Mr T (they have unpronouncable names) and his good lady, and Rosie (a little easier there) and her group of musicians and dancers who are attached to the British Army up north. Happiest people on Earth… it’s no idle boast.
State of Independence
Round and round we go, not getting anywhere… it’s how I live my life and I guess I won’t change now. Spare a thought then for The Scary One.
I joined the party ship Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas for a saunter around the English Channel and cared not a jot for anything going on between Britain and Europe…. I believe they’ve fallen out.
If you want to break up your trip though with some great on-shore itineraries then I’d recommend Indy’s 11-nights Canaries Adventure, departing October 8 from Southampton and taking in La Coruna, Madeira, Tenerife,, Gran Canaria, Lisbon and Vigo. From €1109pp (interior) based on two sharing. €2218 for two guests. Ocean view +€120pp, Balcony +€390pp, Suite €1310pp. Visit http://www.royalcaribbean.ie.
Frice! It’s four times and I’ve just invented the word, but that was about the number of times I did the loop of Biscayne Bay when I stopped off in Miami after attending the launch of Celebrity Edge.
I went in search of South Beach only to be told it was across a never-ending bridge, miles and miles away. I doubled back and focused on finding Little Havana. After passing my hotel, the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay, and many other by now all too familiar buildings I reckoned I’d found my destination.
Only to be told that Little Havana was more than just one Mexican shack!
You’ll get more time to investigate Miami with a ten-night Miami Stay & Eastern Caribbean cruise from American Holidays from €2,058pp including flights from Dublin. So that’s three nights at the National Hotel South Beach and seven nights cruise on-board Adventure of the Seas. Travelling April 2020. Based on two adults sharing. Call American Holidays on (01) 673 3804 or visit http://www.americanholidays.com.