America, Culture, Deals, Ireland

Chicago-go-go-go

Gameshow legend Jim Bowen would famously draw back the curtain and tell contestants… ‘let’s look at what you could have won.’

It’s how I feel about Chicago.

Two years ago I was invited to the Windy City but had to respectfully turn it down…

Because my Dear Old Mum decided to turn 90 then!

A dose of the Blues

Chicago chic

The pictures of one colleague up on the stage singing the Blues, the group drinking Chicago craft beer and pizza and watching baseball at Wrigley Field didn’t help.

So what do you do when Plan A is taken off the table.

Move onto Plan B.

Which was to go this year, particularly as it’s the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act, the start of Prohibition.

Until COVID-19 intervened.

Back with a bang

That’s St Patrick’s Day for you

So, onto Plan C and thanks to our friends American Holidays I can see a door squeezing open again.

AH, who think of everything know too that having missed our St Patrick’s Day celebrations, may want an even bigger hooley next year.

And there are few better places than Chicago where they literally turn the river green.

It’s all part of a pitch by AH to remind us that America WILL reopen and when it does he will be first in the queue.

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with the family in Chicago with American Holidays from €659pp.

Visit www.choosechicago.com.

California calling

Santa Monica Boulevard

Of course it doesn’t help when you get constant reminders of Chicago wherever you go.

Such as last year in Santa Monica https://www.santamonica.com/visit-santa-monica/ when I visited the landmark signpost marking the end of Route 66.

All great https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/03/19/my-weekend-with-marilyn-2/amp/ but of course Route 66 starts off from Chicago so I’m still waiting to get my kicks there.

I got plenty though in Santa Monica and Venice Beach https://www.visitveniceca.com.

The West Coast

And the Golden Gate obviously

And I’m getting the small fiddle out here… I was set too for San Francisco www.sftravel.com and www.visitcalifornia.com this month.

You may too have been looking forward to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, explore Fisherman’s Wharf or ride the cable car up the hilly city.

Where’s Frasier?

Space age… in Seattle

I’ve been bingeing on Seattle’s favourite son Frasier in lockdown. Heck, I do even in normal times.

And Seattle will be on your American Holidays bespoke trip.

Again, one that got away here, the inaugural Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com mission to Seattle www.visitseattle.org.

Which I was invited on only for me to be in the air going to Denver at the time www.denver.org and Go West and The New Frontiersmen.

Seattle is unfinished business, particularly getting up that Space Needle which I see on the skyline at the start of every show.

The west coast adventure next Spring is from €1699pp.

And back in Boston

pexels-photo

Where we first met the great psychiatrist.

And where I spent a much-storied summer working in Faneuil Hall.

While me flatmate Neily sold Cheers merchandise from a cart on the Common.

I worked 30 days flat without taking a break as others went on day breaks to Cape Cod, another destination that got away.

Boston http://www.boston.gov/visiting-boston has been dangled tantalisingly in front of my years this year too.

With a walk along Fenway Park’s Green Wall, a highlight of the itinerary which had been planned for me.

But I will be back and when I do I’ll be full of beans.

Boston and Cape Cod with American Holidays from €1450pp. See http://www.americanholidays.com

Uncategorized

The faces of 2019 – Marilyn, Natasha and Donald

The stars aligned in 2019 and I got me the walk-on I deserve.

When Natasha Bedingfield, fresh from wowing us at the American Travel Fair http://www.ipw.com, with a particularly stirring version of Prince’s Purple Rain, introduced me.

She pointed out my purple beard from the stage in the plaza in Anaheim http://www.visitanaheim.org.

You see I got purpled up in Huntingdon Beach http://www.surfcityusa.com the previous night when we had been entertained by Snoop Dogg https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/18/snoop-and-me-acting-the-goat-in-california/.

Well this is Southern California where the stars come out to shine.

We starspotted from the off in West Hollywood where we dined in Lisa Vanderpump’s PUMP Restaurant Lodge http://www.pumprestaurant.com and http://www.weho.org.

And Lisa herself graced us with her presence.

Walk of Fame

Sometimes, of course, you just want to be on your own and she was good enough not to come autograph-hunting.

Greta Garbo, of course, made a name for herself for ‘vanting to be alone’.

But, alas, she has to share the Walk of Fame with hundreds of other Hollywood stars.

There’s Donald Duck too and a host of Asian picture clickers have gathered around Michael Jackson’s star.

But it is Marilyn Monroe’s tribute that I’m here to see… we’ve been inseparable the last couple of days https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/.

In Venice Beach http://www.venicebeach.com, at her last resting place and now here in Hollywood.

This being Southern California the Beach Boys obviously wanted to turf up and surf up.

And here they are at lunch during the American Travel Fair. And I made Mike Love’s day by holding out my hand to touch him.

Jason Derulo also swayed his stuff while the best of Broadway also trod the boards for us.

So what could possibly bring down the curtain on such a show. We’d had Harry Potter and a light show at Universal http://www.universalhollywoodstudios.com.

While Jimmy Fallon on an audio gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the sets.

And we were also enthralled at the special effects show with stunt actors setting each other on fire.

But it was the Happiest Place on Earth for the finale… with Mickey in Da House with his Disney pals… http://www.disneyland.disney.go.com.

Oh, I’m the king of swingers… I don’t want this party ever to stop.