America, Caribbean, Countries, Cruising, Culture, Food, Food & Wine

Cocktail Hour around the world

It’s Cocktail Hour all day today (not just 6pm) because it’s World Cocktail Day, and I’ve been swallowing up the hours.

And while holidaymakers may like to mark their territory with their towel, I like to claim a coaster at the bar.

For my fave Strawberry Daiquiri cocktail.

Which I have savoured… from the Maldives to the Caribbean My kiss with Rihanna and Turtle recall and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/17/ready-steady-goat-racing-in-tobago/. And http://www.visitbarbados.org and http://www.visittobago.gov.tt

Now if we can’t get out there to our exotic locations we can at least conjure up the taste of the Tropics at home.

With these cocktails:

Something for Buffalo Bill

The Colorado Bulldog, Colorado:

Colorado-Bulldog-1

Ingredients: Vodka, coffee liqueur, cream or milk and coca-cola.

A White Russian with a fizz… and this would put even more whiskers on Tsar Alexander’s bushy beard.

How to: In a shaker mix vodka Kahlua, cream/milk. Pour into a glass with ice and add Coke.

Visit www.colorado.com and take in Beertown Denver www.denver.org and Go West and The New Frontiersmen.

Take it as red

The Redhead in Bed, 25 Degrees, Huntington Beach, California:

Cocktails and food at 25 Degrees - Huntington Beach

Ingredients: Ketel One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, sparkling wine.

I’ve yet to have a Redhead in Bed anywhere (honestly) but if I did it would be in Huntington Beach.

How to: Mix One Citroen vodka, strawberries, lemon juice, and sparkling wine for an added kick.

For those who like to drink their dessert, 25 Degrees offers four spiked shakes, mixing vanilla ice cream and your choice of Guinness, Maker’s Mark, Kraken Black Spiced Rum, or Kahlua among other sweet milkshake additions.

Visit www.surfcityusa.com and My weekend with Marilyn and Stair Wars.

Turning Japanese

Shochu Mojito, Japanshochu-mojito_002

Ingredients: Mint, shochu, sugar, lime, fizzy water

If you had been planning to get out to Japan this year for the Olympics then you have our sympathies but here’s a multi-discipline event you can do from the safety of your own home.

This is a Japanese twist on a classic mojito which swaps the rum usually found in a Mojito with shochu, a Japanese liquor typically made from buckwheat, sweet potatoes or barley.

This is an easy cocktail to whip up once your guests arrive (two minutes prep time) and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser.

How to: Add the lime, mint and sugar to a tall glass and bruise with a muddler. To this, add the shochu and fizzy water and stir. Serve over ice with mint to garnish. www.japan.travel/en/uk/

And, of course, you all know by now that all your favourite Scottish bartender needs is a cocktail brolly, a maraschino cherry and a shaker and we’re talking Jocktail Hour… Jocktails… the Strawberry DaiquiriJocktails – Whisky Sour, Hungry and Thursday – sangria and La SagradaJocktails: The Bajan Monkey, 

Jocktails – the Hurricane  Jocktails – Mimosas Jocktails – the Sazerac.

And a host of others.

America, Countries, Culture, UK

Carry on glamping

Amanda invited herself into my tent. Happy Days… until her boyfriend turned up.

And told us that we should leave town first thing in the morning… or else.

Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland’s south-west (https://www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/castle-douglas-p244361) was my first experience of camping and it didn’t put me off.

And we took off for Saint-Raphael https://www.francethisway.com/places/saint-raphael.php on the French Riviera the following summer after school.

Where there were no such dilemmas about having someone in my tent.

Cramped and sweaty

Once all our rucksacks were in the tent there was only room for one of us to sleep in it. Oh, and I struck out too.

These days I go higher style… The Boat D’Azur and https://www.google.com/amp/s/about-france.com/mobi/index-amp.htm.

And higher style means camping now too… or glamping as it’s come to be known.

So where’s best to go?

With staycations the order of the day now, here are thoughts on how to liven up your experience in the UK and US.

But just don’t muscle in on the wannabe local gangster’s moll.

Rocky mountain high

This is the right way up

Camping at height – Estes Park, Colorado: And a particular highlight. Get this… adrenaline junkies are suspended more than 100ft up a sheer rock face.

Where you will be strapped in for a night under the stars.

Kent Mountain Adventure Center https://kmaconline.com/directory/cliff-camping-colorado/ offers a vertical grill and views of the Rocky Mountain National Park.

And you’ll be able just to roll out and start climbing those Rockies… just tell Brad or Dexter I’m coming.

Visit www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

Gone fishing

Get the rod out

Yosemite slam: This is Big Country and you’ll want to reveal your hunter-gatherer.

Lake McClure at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is where to pitch tent.

And get out and fish the lake and get your heart pumping at the Exchequer Mountain Bike Park.

Before heading to Yosemite to take in the giant Sequoias.

Camping spaces can be hard to get in Yosemite National Park and that’s where Indian Flat Campground near the gates comes in.

You’ll strike gold too at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds just a mile from the Gold Rush town. See www.mariposa.com.

Norfolk Broads

Let’s cosy up in the tent

Hickling Campsite, Hickling, Norfolk (https://www.hicklingcampsite.co.uk): Of course for many of us there’s nothing better than snuggling up next to your loved one.

And here’s one we prepared earlier from Norfolk in England’s East Anglia.

You’ll get to stay in a self-contained hut.

The Norfolk Broads are one of England’s natural delights while further afield you can explore secluded beach walks and boat trips.

And check out the best that East Anglia has to offer with https://www.visiteastofengland.com/ and www.visitengland.com.

MEET YOU IN THE CAMPSITE

America, Australasia, Countries, Culture, Ireland, UK

Mind the Gap Year in Australia

It’s the right of passage for English students which is denied their neighbouring Scots – the Gap Year.

Immortalised in The Inbetweeners 2, the Gap Year is when English school-leavers take a year out before starting University.

And it is expected that it will be even more popular next term instead of sitting at home and studying digitally.

Home and away

The other Perth… Western Australia

I spent a year of my own studies with the bold Australians, only these Aussies were refugees from Munich’s Oktoberfest.

Who turned up unannounced on my doorstep in Aberdeen www.abdn.com Aberdeen – a light in the north asking to stay for the weekend and leaving a year later.

They did, of course, give me an open invitation to go out and see them.

But I imagine looking for a Peter Smith or Steve Brown in Perth, Western Australia, might be difficult.

See you Down Under

Bridge not too far: The iconic Sydney Bridge

Recent changes to the Working Holiday Maker Visa means British and Irish travellers can stay for up to three years.

While you can get yourself lost deliberately in this huge country in your campervan.

You never stop learning so it might be time for that Gap Year I never got.

Smutley and Brownie… you have been warned. Visit www.australia.com.

Turn on, tune in, drop out

Oh I wish I was a Wild West hero

Of course those of us left disenfranchised by the lockdown can do what dreamers have been doing for decades, lose themselves in America’s Wild West.

And here’s me getting on ma hoss and riding away into the Plains www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

Colorado’s is Big Country and free and the best way to see it is at your own pace…

Spa partners

Everything in the Garden is rosy

Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs is gratis as are some of the natural spas.

Such as Conundrum Hot Springs. Which reminds me of a fall-out I had with an Aussie in our group.

You know the type who claim that people are trying to take their photo of the Rockies.

Seems you can’t escape them anywhere.

America, Culture, Europe

Virtual Pride in America

Say it loud and say it Pride, I may have been late in arriving but I love an LGBTQ+ party.

Which is why I’ll be rifling through the wife’s closet this year before coming out of it for Virtual Pride.

Queen Bey and Queen Jay

My first Pride was three years ago in Washington DC http://www.washington.org Easy DC where I had a Capitol time, darlings.

I am, of course, self-censoring here and won’t be bringing you pictures of myself sticking dollar bills into the male dancer’s trunks on the podiums.

Frockie and Jocky in the Rockies

But I like the girls:With the Bandanettes at Denver’s Mile High Stadium

I climbed on to the pedestal myself when they were off on my break but with my body… all I got were nickels and dimes.

I was back for more in Denver http://www.denver.org http://Go West where myself and the multi award-winning and shots-drinking Isabel Conway and Portland’s finest Laura Guilmond formed the rock trio to beat all trios.

With rubber mics and guitars. And a warning here… there was sax too.

Marilyn and Murty

Some like it hot

This time last year and it was West Hollywood http://www.visitwesthollywood.com and My Weekend With Marilyn where they had rainbow up the zebra crossing.

And then Anaheim where at last my man has come along… the jazz and old standards singer in the side bar to the main dance floor.

Lying with Mari

And I also managed to fit in a European Pride too in Barcelona before I went cruising… Steady I was a guest of Royal Caribbean and hopped on their ship for a bit of surfing.

That’s why it’s called the Strip

With Cami in Vegas

Now my friends in America where I should be now, Las Vegas to be more precise http://www.lvcva.com Strip… the light fantastic and already have Florida from just after the lockdown under my belt have been in touch.

And they have put more flesh on the bones of Virtual Pride from these great American cities.

Dogs in Drag, you say

Denver PrideFest, June 20-21 – Colorado: It is recognised as one of the top ten Pride events in the US, and I can believe that of Denver PrideFest.

It is a free, two-day festival that (usually) takes place in Denver’s Civic Center Park with the pick-out the Dogs in Drag Parade.

While there is also a Gay Pride Parade and a Big Gay 5K.

This year’s virtual event will include digital versions of the parade, 5Ks, concerts, dance parties and more. www.colorado.com

Say it big

Frothy Seattle

Flag day

2020 Seattle Pride Parade and Trans Pride Celebrations, 26-28 June – Washington: Seattle Pride is working with PrideFest and Trans Pride to put on the best show they can in late summer. Keep up-to-date here for the June Virtual spectacular. www.visitseattle.org

Man Diego

The bras and stripes

San Diego Pride, 11-18 Juy – California: And this way your Pride fun can go on and on.

San Diego Pride runs across a week in July with a burst of activities. Using the #TogetherWeRise, She Fest launches it all off recognising the talents and contributions of women, followed by Light Up the Cathedral with a ceremonial rainbow lighting.

There’s a Spirit of Stonewall Rally and a a 5K too. sdpride.org. www.sandiego.org 

West Jollywood

Sailors in port? West Hollywood

50th Anniversary Celebrations to Kick Off via Digital Platforms, West Hollywood: And I’ve saved my best for last.

This is the 50th Anniversary of LA Pride.

And nothing will be underplayed.

Rainbow Letter Day

As CSW Executive Director Madonna Cacciatore said: ‘Pride is not just about a specific month or weekend in June. Los Angeles’ LGBTQ+ community lives and breathes Pride every day’ and therefore, celebrations will span through to 2021. www.visitwesthollywood.com

So Vogue… let your body move to the music.

America, Countries, Culture

Give us this Day – Native Americans and pandemics

Rather than the White Man civilising the Red Indian he all but obliterated him… and not at the point of a gun but through disease.

From 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, the indigenous peoples of the land mass we now know as America have had to endure…

The importation of smallpox, bubonic plague, chicken pox, measles, cholera and malaria among others.

Bandanaman and his cheerleaders at Denver Broncos’ Mile High Stadium

All of which they had no immunity to, whereas the Europeans had built up a resistance to many diseases.

Shamans

Smallpox was particularly rampant with the Lakota people calling the outbreak of 1518 ‘the running face disease’.

And their belief in shamanism proved unsatisfactory in confronting this assailant.

On the range… in Colorado

Today’s Native American and Alaska Native is more likely too to contract our latest pandemic because of their poorer socio-economic status.

Their struggles though drew them instinctively to others in trouble.

An Irishman’s friend

And the Choctaw Indians who suffered in the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma donated money to the Irish in the Great Famine of 1847.

Buffalo Bill’s grave in Colorado

The Irish, of course, have never forgotten and are now contributing to a fund for Navajo and Hopi communities hit by Covid-19.

An act which the Native Americans call iyyikowa.

Just the job

We can learn more about the First Nation from visiting their reservations, their association’s website www.aianta.org where they have a vacancy just for me.

Tee-hee, tepee… at the Mile High Stadium

And the best Smithsonian in Washington DC, the American Indian Museum https://americanindian.si.edu and Easy DC.

I knew I was in the America of my childhood Saturday movies when I walked through Denver Airport and was met by Freckled Face and Eats No Meat… Go West.

And went on to see the Native Americans at dance at Mile High Stadium http://www.denver.org and https://www.denverbroncos.com/stadium/.

And me as a Bronco

Before paying tribute to the Native Americans’ favourite White Man (before me) Buffalo Bill… http://www.buffalobill.org.

And rode off on the Plains www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

MEET YOU ON THE OTHER SIDE

Africa, America, Asia, Countries, Culture, Europe

Murty’s further adventures of Tintin (or Jim Jim)

So what do I have in common with Boris Johnson? The art of scribbling, of course, but also Hergé’s The Further Adventures of Tintin.

It transpires that the most famous ginger boy journalist in history has been keeping the convalescing British prime minister’s spirits up.

Because rather than poring over government papers and that pesky bug the premier has been gorging on Tintin adventures.

Encore Tintin

In French obviously!

More Tintin… this time in English

Maybe though he’s looking for inspiration on how to beat the bug because this coronavirus really could be a script out of a Tintin book.

Un pour Boris

One for Boris

Tintin and the Curse of COVID-19

The one where Tintin and Snowy head for Wuhan and the white fox terrier is captured by wet market traders who want to sell him for food.

And he also exposes a laboratory which is harvesting viruses.

We all need a scientist

All the gang come out, or are there already…

Thomson and Thompson are on a lecher tour, while Bianca Castafiore is performing to adoring Chinese ausiences.

And ‘blistering barnacles’ Captain Haddock is getting into all kinds of scrapes while Professor Calculus is researching a cure.

My journalist hero (no, not Boris)

Of course Tintin has been a hero for Fiftysomething journalists all over the world.

With the BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardiner even retracing Tintin’s steps for a TV special.

Hergé, interestingly, never left Belgium and his grasp of the world came from a photographer friend.

A joke in every line

Which means that the settings were somewhat stylised and his characters stereotyped.

But the adventures were, and still are captivating, and inspired a love of travel in all of us.

His adventures

The first of his 24 books was Tintin In The Land Of The Soviets which he wrote in the Twenties and where Frank revisited. Which you should do… https://www.visitrussia.org.uk.

While Hergé, like many young men in the Twenties was transfixed by America.

Tintin in America saw the Wee Man ride off into the Wild West. Sure you have to… www.colorado.com and The New Frontiersmen.

While he also took on the gamgsters of the Prohibition era.

And you can learn all about the real ones at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas https://themobmuseum.org. Also visit www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic

Tintin in the Far East

And he rocks a kilt

Tintin does travel out to China https://www.chinadiscovery.com in The Blue Lotus and other exotic destinations Cigars of the Pharaoh and The Crab with the Golden Claws in Northern Africa.

I got a glimpse of Egypt which just stirred my passion to get out there (I had passed up on Sharm el-Sheikh a couple of years ago) from the Jordan side of the Red Sea.

See www.visitjordan.com, www.gadventures.co.uk and http://www.egypt.travel.

Hergé Museum

And I had the type of misadventure that Hergé couldn’t even make up, and which I might even reprise when I stir up some courage again… https://www.visitmorocco.com/en.

The best place to see Hergé, of course, is in his homeland, the Hergé Museum in Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve outside Brussels https://www.museeherge.com/en.

These days we are all confined to barracks and in the case of Boris Johnson bed-ridden by COVID-19.

So why not, do like Boris and let Tintin take you around the world.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

America, Caribbean, Countries, Culture

Who was that masked man? A bandanaman’s guide to COVID-19

I was right to stockpile bandanas, then.

Because the bandana will be your friend throughout this COVID-19 crisis.

Drop it down from your head onto your nose and mouth – or if you like keep it on your pate and use another one over your face.

And if you want to go the whole hog use a third around your neck as a kerchief.

What do you mean you don’t have three bandanas?

We’ve both got our headware

Now everyone has their own bandana heroes.

Yours might be Bruce Springsteen, another might favour Axl Rose.

While women have rocked the look from Brigitte Bardot through Lady Gaga to Rihanna… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/culture/rihanna-in-barbados/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/culture/my-kiss-with-rihanna/

And Martha Washington. Yes, that Marsha Washington, the mother of the Modern Bandana.

By George.. John Hewson’s tribute to Mr Washington

Martha had been inspired by printmaker John Hewson who defied the British ban on textile printing at the time.

And wore the bandana in support of George’s many achievements… I’m still waiting for my First Lady to do the same.

The bandana has remained a political garment in American life and was used by Dwight Eisenhower supporters to promote their man in the Fifties.

For more insights into the life of an American President and much, much more visit https://washington.org and Easy DC.

Cowboys on the range

Our favourite square of cotton has been used variously over the years for any number of messages.

To promote the war effort, and women’s role on their home front, in the US.

As a marker of your loyalty to a sports team, along with baseball caps.

And through John Wayne as a part of the cowboy outfit although your own Bandanaman put his own marker on it in Colorado.

Beer o’clock

Riding out on the rangeThe New Frontiersmenwww.colorado.com And https://www.heddels.com/2017/05/the-history-of-the-bandana/

While the hip Denveronians wear the bandanas as part of their outdoorsy schtick., https://www.denver.org and Go West.

Be careful where you put your bandana when you’re not wearing it…

Anyone who has seen the Al Pacino film Cruising will know that which back pocket you put your bandana in will mar out your sexual preference.

But while we ponder all such matters as we walk the aisles of our supermarkets or take our daily walks.

And all the time shield our noses and mouths here’s a thought.

Bandanas are fun and the most fun time I’ve had, among many a party, has been in the Caribbean… www.visitbarbados.org and www.visittobago.gov.tt.

And here’s the evidence… Let’s rumba in Barbados and My kiss with Rihanna and Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago.

With my Bandanettes Bladhana and Dee

And here’s to the woman who first showed me how to tie my own bandana.

And a couple more shoots of your Bandanaman in his favourite headgear.

Dressed to kill:The Wild West

Swimming in Tobago

And back in Dublin for Christmas

They used to say that if you want to get ahead then wear a hat, so what’s your favourite headware.

Let me know and I’ll share.

America, Countries, Culture

Rainy days and songdays – stop and stare in Denver

Because they cannot lock down our memories… the songs that transport us back to a favourite place in time.

All the greats have played here, The Beatles, The Boss, U2 and… Denver’s own, OneRepublic

Listen to how Ryan Tedder feels about the venue which is hewn from rock and has a disc-shaped large tiled surface behind the stage.

Rock it

And that’s what gives it its unrivalled acoustics.

Standing 6,450ft above sea level, you and the 9,525 other revellers will already be feeling light-headed before you get into your hot dogs and beer.

And a bit of advice from the locals… because of the thin air you’ll only need half as much booze to get merry.

Take it as red

With the brilliant pink red hue highlighted by the lighting on the stage then it’s a light show you’ll never forger.

Of course this being Red Rocks they make sure that you’re very much included in the experience.

And so when we went we were given hand bands that light up in the dark.

You can learn all about the history of Red Rocks which was bought by the City of Denver in 1927.

And turned into an amphitheatre in 1936 and opened in 1941.

Learn how Nature itself, John Brisben Walker and the Ute tribe shaped Red Rocks over 200 million years.

Of course the Rolling Stones have been around just as long but strangely they’ve never played there.

Crossroads: Denver Union Station

The legends

Ray Charles wowed the crowds in 1962, two years before The Beatles.

While John Denver’s performance in 1970 and The Beach Boys in 1979 were other highs.

While though it took Bob Dylan until 2011 to play Red Rocks bis name among all the other legends is writ large in Red Rocks.

Red Jocks: Bandanam and fellow Jock Neil

As is your very own Bandanaman.

And get there in the afternoon to see local bands rehearse and Coloradans practise their yoga.

Cowboy Jimmy

Tell me your favourite venues.

Check out Denver https://www.denver.org Go West and https://www.colorado.com. And http://www.redrocksonline.com

And for a glimpse into how Ryan and OneRepublic rick it like no other Get your Rocks off.

Adventure, Africa, America, Countries, Culture, Europe

The Old World – a salute to Seventysomethings

I’ve always hung on the words of the old because they’ve got more, not less, life than the rest of us, and that is even more so abroad.

Where the elderly retain more respect than we give our senior citizens in the Ooo K.

And so as the UK wrestles with what to do with its Seventysomethings – and locking them away at home is being proposed…

Here are some of the older people who this energetic 54-year-old struggles to keep up with.

The Tobago touche

Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth: Tobagonians have more uncles and aunties than the rest of us on account that everyone who is old is… it’s a form of respect.

Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth run the Blue Crab in Robinson, Scarborough where Ali wiggles her bum-bum and Uncle Kenneth (and me) make the chicken curry.

For more on Tobago see www.visittobagogov.tt and here’s my take on it Ready, steady GOAT… racing in Tobago.

The Barbados walkers

Geraldine and Betsy; The American sitcom King of Queens has Carrie’s pal Holly walk Arthur… for us it at Club Barbados it was Angela around the Platinum Coast.

That’s me and Betsy from the Virginia Ski Club of America.

An education on Virginia and Barbados and Angela even went the extra mile when she burnt a soca CD for me. See www.visitbarbados.org and My kiss with Rihanna.

Swiss seniors

Brigitte the yodeller, Switzerland: It was a stroll in the park on our summer walking trip around Interlaken.

Where 72-year-young Brigitte put us through our paces, stopping only to let us skim our stones and for her to yodel (no, honestly!)

Visit https://www.myswitzerland.com/en-gb/ and Swhisskey on the rocks.

Prague pensioners

Czech your stride, Prague: I’m just getting feeling back in my legs after My guide had walked the bones off me and my colleague Elise in Prague.

She also had a typically Americanised and underplayed way of describing those who had left a trail of destruction through her city… Stalin, for example, was a ‘bad guy’.

See www.czechtourism.com. And Hope springs eternal.

Over the hill in Austria

Ehrwald Presley: And they’re off… the walking groups from Ireland I trekked with in Austria, bombing ahead up the hills as I was just limbering up.

Before settling down at night for some oompah music with Austria’s answer to Elvis Presley.

See https://topflightforschools.ie.

Vegas neon

Liberace’s pal: Well, it wouldn’t be Vegas without the bling.

And Beverley didn’t disappoint, sporting the jewels given to her when she worked at Li’s gaffe while also telling her lots of tales of Neon City.

See www.lvcva.com and https://www.neonmuseum.org and Strip… the light fantastic.

Dresden’s fraulein

A walk through history, Dresden: Schoolchildren wanting to know about history, and Dresden, would do better to talk to Greta.

Than dig out a history book… because Ingrid and her family straddle the Nazis and the Communists.

Visit https://www.dresden.de/en/tourism/tourism.php and Dresden’s renaissance.

Pioneering pensioners

Colorado: There’s a message on a blackboard at the white-water rafting centre near Boulder, Colorado which flags up a nonagenarian

Barbara was in already to go without that challenge… alas, in the churning rapids. And broke her ribs.

Visit www.colorado.com and here’s my ride through the Wild West… The New Frontiersmen.

Even African dictators

South Africa: And in Africa too where no matter who you are you deserve respect when you are an elder statesman, or woman.

Even when that elder statesman is Robert Mugabe.

Which was our big game drive ranger in South Africa Hewurt’s reasoning for why Robert Mugabe still held power.

While it is always worth stopping people in the course of their work, to ask them about themselves.

Like the charming old hotel worker Amos in Cradock in the Eastern Cape who had fought with the resistance and Nelson Mandela.

Visit https://www.southafrica.net/uk/en/ and here’s a nod to those South Africans who really do respect their elderly…. What’s new pussycat?

America, Countries, Europe, Ireland, UK

Bring us your tempest-tost to America

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,I lift my lamp beside the golden door

Emma Lazarus, The New Colossus, 1883

And earlier in the poem dedicated for the new Statue of Liberty which would sit on the Hudson Bay, a gift from America’s old allies France…

‘Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand. Glows worldwide welcome.’

Today those same French must wait at least 30 days along with the rest of the European Union, or those in the Shengen free-travel zone.

Before they can re-enter America.

The UK, now out of the European Union, is exempt.

While Ireland is a special case.

Which will allow me (for now) to visit the Florida Keys in a week and a half… https://fla-keys.com.

But what will be when the American Travel fair, IPW, throws open its doors in Las Vegas I’ll just have to wait and see.

And hope that my friends who I meet up with every year in an American city will be there.

Swede Agnetha, who I first met in the Czech Republic www.visitczechrepublic.com and was the first journalist I met in Washington Easy DC and have seen every year since.

There was the coachload in Colorado The New Frontiersmen and https://www.colorado.com.

Of Chinese, German, Jordanian and a very annoying Australian Alpha Male although in the spirit of the New Colossus I’d let him back in

While I always look forward to seeing Dutch Martin, my Blues-loving pal from our Deep South odyssey… The Promised Land, The story of the Blues, The King of Kings.

Who I met in Los Angeles https://www.discoverlosangeles.com and www.visitcalifornia.com last year.

I know Lady Liberty has her arms outstretched for us all and let’s hope the 30-day suspension achieves its aim.

And that this tempest-tost traveller, and those like me, will all be toasting our favourite country with our favourite people…

In Vegas https://www.lvcva.com and Strip… the light fantastic, in June.