America, Countries, Culture

Father’s Day alert, y’all

It’s the one place where Daddys still hold their place at the pinnacle of the family…. Nashville.

From Dolly Parton looking up doey-eyed at her kind-faced Daddy.

To Kenny Rogers fishing and hunting and getting some home-spun philosophy from his.

With Johhny Cash, biting and spitting and brawling with his before hugging it out.

The new Nashville duo

Country Music has always been a safe, homely, old-fashioned throwback.

Where Dancing Dads go to lune-dance and wrap themselves up in fuzzy warm nostalgia.

You’ll see here that I want to get out to Nashville… and so to my hint for Father’s Day for Sunday, June 21.

I should already have been to Nashville already, last year.

But as seems to be the story of my life I was double booked.

Have boots, will travel

I was out instead in South Africa What’s new pussycat? when I could have been visiting Keith Urban in the Home of Country

Thankfully the folks from Nashville who took us to see Keith The Country To Country Weekend in Dublin last year haven’t forgotten us.

And they’re giving us the next big thing to being out there – vouchers for when we can get to Nashville.

Hitting all the right notes

Purchase a travel gift card for either $100, $250 or $500.

And you’ll get personalised service from a Nashville Visitor Specialist.

Travel funds can apply to lodging, attraction tickets or bundled hotel packages.

Power couple: Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman

And if you already have a trip planned, check out the Visitor Coupons & Special Offers.

Or check out the Music City Shop to gift authentic Nashville gear.

Pick out a Nashville t-shirt, koozie (stubbie-holder to you and me), hat or a Music City campfire mug.

Imagine yourself in that

Visit imogene + willie (I’m not making this up) for the perfect pair of local jeans.

While I’m reliably informed that you should check outHaymakers & Co. for the perfect button down and more.

Elvis and me: At his breakfast bar in Memphis

And what shouts Country more than a button-down shirt.

Personally I browsed Lansky Bros, the tailors to the King on Beale Street, Memphis for mine.

Don’t ask me why: Before the Keith Urban gig in Dublin

On my Tennessee and Mississippi odyssey… and The Promised Land, The story of the Blues and The King of Kings.

Book your room in Nashville by visiting hotel websites for special deals and offers.

The Grand Ole Oprey

Such as: Dream Nashville,Noelle, Omni Nashville, Union Station,The Russell, Fairlane HotelThe Hermitage Hotel, .

Or purchase a Vacation Package through Visit Music City. Visit And see 

Who needs a hat? On Issy in Colorado

And for more Cowboy action then here’s my Wild West journey http://Go West. And and The New Frontiersmen. And Like a Greystones cowboy… in Texas.


Wake up, smell the flour – baking

If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake… or is that just me getting my Great British Bake Off vibe on?

It used to be the case that all we wanted from a holiday was sun, sea and sand.

But these days there are more of us seeking out learning holidays.

It’s not enough to sample the beautiful and varied foods we are introduced to around the world.

The expert: Jen of Ginger And Baker in Fort Collins, Colorado

Now we have to learn how to make them ourselves.

I love baking… I’ll gladly watch The Scary One and Daddy’s Little Daughter, although more likely I smell the wafts.

I’m usually in the next room watching the sport on the TV.

But I surprised myself when I did bake me a cake in Colorado… or an apple pie, at least.

Can I have a job?

I probably wouldn’t have got past the dough stage without the help of chef Jen at Ginger And Baker and

While Paul and Pru would deffo put me last in the list.

No Star Baker me compared with the Furies rolling, patting, preening and preparing their pies next to me.

So you want to get flour on your hands and sun on your back.

These are the guys for you…

Mr Apple Pie… my creation

They are offering five days Sourdough and Artisan Baking in Saleres in Grenada, Spain from €465.

Four days accommodation with all meals included. The vacation is available all year round except July and August.

And here is my baking adventure in Colorado…

I can testify to the Irish love of food and there is a kitchenful of top chefs ready and willing to bake you beautiful things.

Catherine the Great

Why not learn from the best? Catherine Fulvio’s Ballyknocken House & Cookery School in my own county of Wicklow.

Of course they do baking courses but the one I’m flagging up here is what they are pitching as What’s the Dill for September 14.

A celebration of the herb, it’s €50pp.

You’ll get tea, lemon balm scones and blueberry and lavender jam on arrival.

Then it’s aprons on for some baking.

There’s a light lunch and some herb and edible flower butter to take home.