Savannah.. Meanwhile back in Perry Lane

Perry Lane is in my ears and in my eyes

There beneath the blue Savannah skies

With apologies to Lennon and McCartney, but I’ll always pitch an idea when I’ve got an audience and a cool destination.

And I had just that with Pritpal and the Perry Lane Hotel http://www.perrylanehotel.com and http://www.westinsavannah.com.

And to be fair the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort & Spa although the Beatles didn’t almost write a song about them.

Still Paul McCartney may yet do so!

A delegation from Savannah wined and dined us at the Alex Hotel http://www.thealexhotel.ie on their way back from Wexford.

It was welcome refuge from the traffic around Boris Johnson’s visit…

And we were looking behind us to see whether he’d snuck in.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

Our Savannah friends had linked up with the Slanyesiders.

To spread the word about the links between Wexford and Savannah and the Dunbrody Famine Ship initiative http://www.dunbrody.com.

In the 1840s Wexford decamped pretty much on mass from The Famine to Georgia.

And once they’d got settled they built up its prosperity into the charming town it is today.

Voted in the top ten world cities by Conde Nast Traveler.

The fun way to travel

Now Savannah you’ll know from the movies.

I’m chocolate

And particularly Forrest Gump and his bench…. and this city really does have a soft centre with the sweetest people.

Flicking through their festival of events for this year I’m noticing that this month has (or had), I’m not sure which Bacon Fest.

I love a bit of American history

While next month there is Oktoberfest (and I’m banned from much of Munich’s) and Tybee Island Pirate Festival.

And why? Because they aaaaaar.

Going into next year there are two other things particularly close to my heart .

And a paddle steamer

St Patrick’s Day which is said to be the second oldest in the States. As a prequel there’s a Savannah Irish Festival in February.

The other big draw for me is the Scottish Games Festival in May.

Check out http://www.visitsavannah.com. And remember I like a cherry fondant choccie.

If you want to dip your toe into the Deep South, try my series https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/

And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/elvispresley-the-king-of-kings/


Surf City U(Who)SA?

This is right up there with Dublin and Cork, Glasgow and Edinburgh, Madrid and Barcelona, Melbourne and Sydney. It’s the battle of the Surf Cities USA, Santa Cruz and Huntington Beach in Southern California.

And it was reignited this week when I met the delegates for Santa Cruz at the Visit California Roadshow at The Alex hotel in Dublin. Visit http://www.thealexhotel.ie. And http://www.visitcalifornia.com.

Catch a wave: Santa Cruz. Photo by Daniel on Pexels.com

They are very protective about Santa Cruz being the birthplace of surfing… it’s probably still raw that the courts ruled that Huntington Beach was granted the title of Surf City USA.

Santa Cruz though point to the history books and three Hawaiian princes washing up on their shores in 1885. The trio persuaded a local lumber mill to make surfboards from redwood logs and then proceeded to teach the locals how to surf in Monterey Bay.

It was to Santa Cruz too that surf legend Jack O’Neill (we’re claiming surf royalty here in Ireland then) made Santa Cruz his home and introduced the wetsuit which makes surfing a year-long activity.

Me surfing: On the FlowRider on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas

The Santa Cruz Surfing Museum at the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum is where you can find out all about the history of surfing. Visit http://www.cityofsantacruz.com.

It may not have done Santa Cruz any favours when Hillary Clinton endorsed it as ‘the real Surf City’ and went on to say that ‘only real surfers surf in Santa Cruz.’

Time for a paddle: Dog surfing in Huntington Beach. Photo by gdtography

Huntington Beach though has the mantle by jurisdiction of the American courts and that is in part down to the efforts of Dean Torrence, one half of the Jan and Dean singing duo who recorded the co-written Brian Wilson song Surf City. Dean moved to HB and campaigned for HB to be known as Surf City.

HB has its own surf museum and I’m a little anxious about mentioning that their website is http://www.surfcityusa.com or that I’ve been to HB and bogeyed with Snoop Dog.

Huntington Beach fan: Snoop Dogg

They also have a dog surfing competition which drums up a lot of interest from the pupperazzi.

I’m not making this up, the good burghers of HB told me this when they came to town and that the star dog is a German labrador called Bono although they wouldn’t confirm that he wore sunglasses all the time.

Just to funk it all up should I mention too that North Carolina and New Jersey both claim a Surf City? Visit http://www.surfcitync.gov and http://www.welcometolbi.com.