America, Countries, Culture, Deals, Ireland, UK

COVID-day Snaps – Testy times in Montana

Yes, it was the Cojonasvirus that did for the Testicle Featival in Clinton, Montana.

It’s what I miss most from my travels, not the sun (tick) or the drink (tick) but what’s different… that I can’t find at home.

Testicle festivals (and yes, we’re talking bulls here) are more commonplace than you might think.

Because after all they’re what’s being sized up at farm shows.

In fact a cows’ udders contest was one of the first journalist duties I was given at the Newbury Show in southern England.

Did Woodward and Bernstein start like this? Well possibly if they began their careers at the Clinton Daily News

Visit And here’s a further take on the West in Colorado Go West and The New Frontiersmen and and

Get on your bike in Northern Ireland

And a big shout-out to nine-year-old James Cunningham who has raised €2,800 for homeless charity The Peter McVerry Trust.

James has only been on a virtual cycling ride, 280kms over two days (that’s 12 hours).

Clontarf’s James, the next Stephen Roche, is a legend in his own right which isn’t surprising as he’s got good genes.

Mum Fiona is the award-winning Tourism NI ROI Market Manager.

Now Northern Ireland is perfect terrain for bikes and I’m flagging up one of its jewels, Rathlin Island.

The isle, off the coast of Antrim, is reputedly where King of Scotland Robert the Bruce met his spider in a cave and tried, tried, tried again.

Which was why we sailed across some choppy waters for a cycle.

Despite our best advice the Son and Heir and Daddy’s Little Girl gorged on chocolate bars and fizzy drinks.

Which meant our cycle up to the lighthouse took a little longer than it should.

Unless you are James Cunningham! See and.

And here’s a sample of the great North… Belfast Chilled and Belfast’s rich tapestry.


And by the power of Zoom we hooked up with our friends from Portugal to fly the green and red country.

The plan was to dye the old beardie in national red and green colours but lockdown lethargy kicked in.

And Daddy’s Little Girl was still in bed when I needed my makeover.

So you’ll just have to make do with this photo from the Portuguese Christmas lunch in Dublin from a couple of years ago.

The good news is that Portugal is ahead of the curve and making it safe to travel again, and I’ll tell you just when.

You may well want to get away from people and out to nature.

Where you’ll see birds with Ibis fliers with beaks like spoons…

Or check out Lagoa Dos Salgados in the Algarve.

Prestigious clifftop resort VILA VITA Parc can arrange a guided tour (€65pp).

Rates: Doubles start from €330 per night.

Package: Stay three nights B&B from £1835pps with Elegant Records, economy class flights from Luton with EasyJet including private airport transfers.

Call Elegant Resorts on (01) 244897000 or visit




Star Wars – Far, Far and Away the best rooms

Didn’t I Star Wars get… and I almost killed a friendship just before it started.

A friend of mine back in the day was nicknamed Yoda which I inadvertently called them to their face.

My excuse that I didn’t know who Yoda was didn’t sail with my pals. Thankfully it wasn’t held against me and I have gone on to enjoy a lasting friendship with them.

I still haven’t watched a single Star Wars film so it hardly seems fair that I was chosen to attend the opening weekend launch of Galaxy’s Edge Smugglers’ Run in Disneyland Resort, Anaheim in May. Still, I wasn’t complaining.

The next big thing in Star Wars is the opening of Star Wars Rise of the Resistance on December 5 at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando. It will then go onto open in Disneyland in Anaheim on January 17.

So you want to bunk down in a Star Wars themed apartment so that you can stay in part for all the time you’re there?

Of course you do. Which is what Elegant Resorts and Kisssimmee, Florida, have in mind for you too.

Sleep on a TIE fighter, play video games in Tatooine and watch a movie on the Death Star as well as a number of other Star Wars related activities.

There are 11 rooms and it sleeps up to 22 guests.

Elegant Resorts has seven nights’ accommodation in the 11-room villa (W263) and return economy flights with British Airways from London Gatwick departing on September 1. Based on eight passengers. From £1,480pp..

Vist Kissimmee is known as the Holiday Home Capital of the World. Visit

And, of course, Walt Disney World…