Adventure, Africa, America, Countries, Europe

My Sporting Weekend – Records

Talk Sport Radio has been a Godsend these past few months.

And my ears pricked up that little bit more with the latest cricket Test match.

Between England and South Africa coming from my old stomping ground of Port Elizabeth.

And they love their rugby in SA too

Now I’m not putting myself on the same level as Shoaib Akhtar or Brett Lee.

The pace aces bowled over 100mph there in the World Cup.

It’s just that the less-vaunted PE in South Africa is a city I fell in love with last year… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/homemyoffice/whats-new-pussycat/.

It got me thinking too about other destinations that have become tied in with world records.

You want a 401… call on Murty

Brian Lara, 400 not out, St John’s, Caribbean, 2004:

Any excuse to showcase the Caribbean I hear you say but there is a tale here about Lara and me.

My old university pal Jevan had taken me to Foreday Morning on my first visit to Barbados.

And introduced me to his old Trinidadian pal Brian.

I’m a Bajan: I don’t give a damn

He told me he was over for the cricket and I naively asked if he played.

I didn’t expect the greatest modern-day batsman would ever wear anything other than cricket whites or one-day burgundy!

Olympic champions

Stefan Kraft, Vikerssundbakken, Norway:

Now there are some sports we all do and those that are just death wishes.

Where’s the peloton?

Me, the Tour de France, 2019: Yes, here I am atop the 6,939ft Col du Tourmalet, the Tour de France’s most used climb.

And I’m not even out of breath. No wonder I needed some magic muscle-soothing water.

Climbing mountains is in the genes for Scots… I give you King of the Mountains Robert Millar.

Where’s the next record?

Me, white water rafting, Colorado:

The record for staying in the water tub long enough on the Poudre River… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q7Z0dkvzUc&feature=youtu.be.

Of course British Columbian Hazel Amos puts me to shame as the oldest rafter in the world at 96.

And yes, it’s another from the Wild West, but hey, I was born to be a cowboy.

Waltzing to the next title

Samuel Groth, world’s fastest serve, Busan Open, 163.7mph:

No, nor me, but this is it… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uKeL-W7xft0.

Of course my on serve after being coached by Judy Murray at The Campus, Quinto da Lago wasn’t chronicled.

That’ll be then.

Michael Austin, world’s longest drive: At 515 yards that’s some power.

Mike gripped it and ripped it at the Winterwood Golf Course in Las Vegas in 1974.

Blasting it 65 yards past the flag on the par-four 5th hole.

Vegas, baby: And Murty hits it into the next state

Me, I drunk it and sunk it… that’s my pitcher of beer at Topgolf in Las Vegas https://topgolf.com/us/las-vegas/.

On my Vegas trip a couple of years ago… Strip… the light fantastic.

While I also showed them how to do it in Quinto…

And hopefully I’ll be back to break my own record at the American Travel Fair www.ipw.com.

MEET YOU ON THE PODIUM

America, Countries, Cruising, Europe, Food, Food & Wine, Ireland, UK

Hungry and Thursday – funny food

Food should be fun and taken out of the hands of foodies… and chefs.

I’m writing this while eating my Swedish ‘vacuum cleaners’ or dammsugare for fika. These are named after the tube-shaped vacuum cleaners of the Fifties.

I had been given them in my godispase, or goody bag.

Clean sweep

The godispase had come courtesy of the Stena Estrid, Swedish ferry cruise company‘s http://www.stenaline.ie and www.stenaline.co.uk maiden journey between Holyhead and Dublin.

It is, in truth, the closest I will get to a vacuum cleaner but it shows the Swedes’ sense of fun.

The Swedish dammsugare

To name this sweet after a common household gadget.

And it’s good to see that the world has been watching because it’s not for nothing that Jim Henson looked to Scandinavia for his madcap Swedish Chef.

You like your marzipan?

Music is the food of life

Now if that gives you a taste for Swedish food why not visit http://www.swedishfood.com/swedish-food-recipes-biscuits-cakes/376-arrack-rolls-or-vacuum-cleaners-punschrullar-eller-dammsugare?

The dammsugare got me thinking about other funny food you can pick up around the world.

Every city with a well-known red light district obvs like Amsterdam Pictures of Amsterdam and George Clooney and Amal’s Amsterdam hotel.

Where they also have Middle Eastern food skewered on an actual scimitar in Bazaar, a remodelled old mosque in fashionable De Pijp http://www.hotelbazar.nl/en/restaurant-bazar-amsterdam/ And www.iamsterdam.com.

Get a grip

But also unexpectedly in Portugal Centro Secret Portugal and www.visitportugal.com where I found a shop selling chocolate penises.

While this mug gives a new spin on your hot chocolate.

Get a handle on this

What else is out there I hear you ask.

And where are the sweetie cigarette, cigars and pipes we used to have as children?

Probably replaced with chocolate joints.

And, of course, any excuse to plug this fun for food fixture from my trip on Celebrity Edge around the Bahamas… www.celebritycruises.ie.

With I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out To Here.

The Germans are funny… full stop. Which gives a lie to the myth that they have no sense of humour.

And there is no elegant way to eat a hamburger… ich bin ein Hamurger Hamburgers and ships and www.hamburg-tourism.de.

While the Norwegians have a playful relationship with their trolls… The call of the fjords and www.visitnorway.com.

 

Fjord fiesta

With my very own Scary One… and MSC Cruises www.msccruises.ie.

While I love the taste of the sea too and few do it better than my own wee country Scotland and my adopted one Ireland, north and south…

 

Slurp it up

That’s www.visitscotland.com, www.discovernorthernireland.com and www.tourismireland.com.

With a tasting menu of the best of Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

 

With Catherine Fulvio at Ballyknocken

America http://www.visitusa.ie and http://visitflorida.com and is the country who put fun and funk into dysfunction and my safari food out with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge http://www.disneyworld.disney.go.com in Florida brought me this nature feast below… it’s all natural.

 

And seeing we’re talking food then let’s finish on the country that leads the way on food… Italy.

With Italy specialists Top Flight www.topflight.ie and Catherine Fulvio at her cookery school in Ballyknocken, Co. Wicklow www.ballyknocken.ie

And some amateur cuoco…

 

Pasta master

OK, OK… mes amis in France http://www.atoutfrance.fr will disagree. And I don’t know what I was eating here but I was smokin’…

 

Send in your Fun With Food, what’s amusing to eat and where.

MEET YOU AROUND THE TABLE

Safari in Florida
The big smoke: In the French Embassy in Dublin
Canada, Countries

Flyday Friday – Canada, eh?

We’ve been here before, flagging up Toronto and Canada and celebrating their favourite catchphrase. Eh!

I can’t say my brother returned from living for eight years in Toronto saying ‘Eh’ at the end of his sentences.

But he did talk about going for ‘errands’ and the ‘sidewalk’.

The great raconteur Peter Ustinov referred to Toronto https://www.seetorontonow.com and https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada.html as ‘New York run by the Swiss’.

And, yes, Toronto doesn’t have the raw edge of NY, or graffiti, but it works for them and is still cool.

It’s a great sports city too.

And it has made its mark with two relatively new franchises in baseball and basketball.

We went to the ball park to watch the Blue Jays during the summer I worked in Boston in the Eighties.

And you could see that the Torontonians were taking to their new team.

Who went on to win back-to-back World Series, beating the best from across the border which went down quite well.

Star of the team was Dominican (he hailed from the Dominican Republic rather than being a monk) George Bell.

With the fans ringing a bell every time he stepped up to bat.

While this year the Raptors shocked everyone, and perhaps even themselves.

By beating the stellar Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry et al, to lift the NBA Championships.

All of the hoo-ha that greeted each victory Downtown Toronto I’m reliably informed is but a whisper.

Compared with how the ice-hockey daft Torontonians are when the Maple Leafs are on a run.

I’m just saying but I have game.

All of which is my usual tangental way of flagging up a Flyday Friday deal.

This time courtesy of Air Transat http://www.airtransat.com which has a St Stephen’s Day sale on.

With a round-trip from Dublin from €318 (April 14-20).

Montreal, Toronto’s great rival, with its Canadiens hockey team, is from €329 (April 14-20). Tres bien! Visit https://www.mtl.org/en and https://www.tourismvancouver.com

And Vancouver, who boast the Canucks, from €363 (April 28-May 17).

Book by December 31. No flights available from this month to March .

Three million New Year cheers

I’m up early for every deal (on your behalf).

And so are Aer Lingus who have a January sale just released at a minute past midnight earlier today.

Ireland’s national airline carrier has three million seats on sale.

With up to 30% off European travel and North America from €189 each way.

Valid for travel from March 1 to June 15.

While flights to North America are from just €189 each way, Travel valid between April 1 and June 15.

You know this is the blog to come to for America… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/obama-washington-dc/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/philadelphia-freedom/

While also try https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/

And all points in between.

Book by midnight, January 21. Visit http://www.aerlingus.com and http://www.visitusa.ie.

Januairy sales with Ryanair

Where Aer Lingus goes Ryanair follows although of course, they prefer to be out in front.

And the no-frills low-fares airline has up to 30% off too on return flights.

With 1 million seats to fit for travel between April and August.

Nice is from €24.99, Ibiza €28.99, Alicante €28.99, Faro €28.99, Malta €34.99 and Thessaloniki from €34.99.

Now let’s have a look at a couple of those from my visits there…

The French Riviera https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-boat-dazur/, Faro and the Algarve https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/12/sportugal/ and Greece https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/21/acropolis-later/.

And, yes, I know that that last post is on Athens but it’s just a teaser.

And on that trip to Athens, Kythera and the Attica region my colleague Dutch Bas flagged up what he thought was Greece’s best city, Thessaloniniki.

He obviously knows his stuff… it’s just I like to check these things out for myself.

Lauda and louder

I didn’t always turn the telly over when the Grand Prix came on… in the days of Nikki Lauda and James Hunt I did follow them around the chicanes (whatever the heck that is).

While, of course, the film Rush with Chris Hemsworth, also reminded us of the fantastic story of their rivalry and ultimate friendship.

I’m reliably informed by my female friends that Chris Hemsworth in a film greatly increases the enjoyment levels.

Nikki Lauda, who we lost this year remained a huge figure in Formula 1, broke into airplanes (and by that I mean launched his own livery rather than cracked the lock).

Ryanair’s fully owned Austria subsidiary Laudamotion is to increase frequency on its Vienna to Dublin route from daily to eleven times weekly from March 29-October 25.

And here’s a reminder of what Austria http://www.austria.info has to offer both in winter and in the spring, summer, autumn…

That’ll be https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/soll-mates/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/01/austrian-toilet-humour/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/03/__trashed/.

And seeing we’ve just put one election to bed in the UK and are preparing for an Irish election over here while the Americans also have it all to do next year too..,

How about? https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/11/25/moanday-morning-electioneering/

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

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Jet Black Friday

See what we did there… the deals are flying in and we’re off and running with this Icelandair www.icelandair.com/en-ie/flights/special-offer/ cracker.

Now, having spent Thanksgiving Evening in the company of the Americans from Visit USA www.visitusa.ie.

Icelandair are a popular choice for fliers who savour going through Reykjavik.

Which one is Bandanaman? At the Trinity City Hotel, Dublin

Icelandair gives passengers 18 gateways in North America.

Including: Anchorage, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Edmonton, Minneapolis, Montreal, New York (JFK and Newark), Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, San Fransisco, Seattle, Tampa, Toronto, Vancouver and Washington DC.

And to celebrate Black Friday this is a sample of what they have:

Cash in on Boston deals

Dublin to Boston: From €285 Economy and from €1095 Saga, Icelandair’s Business Class. And Boston’s Bustin’… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/10/29/boston-is-bustin-for-paddys-day/

Dublin to Denver: From €305 Economy and from €1395 Saga. And here’s a glimpse… http://Go West.

I’m in charge: At the ‘White House’

Dublin to Washington: From €285 Economy and from €1095 Saga class. And it’s capital… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/obama-washington-dc/

For Travel period January 9-May 20.

You can obviously make Iceland your whole trip… from €135 Economy and €499 Class for the Travel period January 9-May 20.

Ryanair’s 1 million seats

Glasgow is piping hot

I’ve been looking to get back to my home city, the Dear Green Place, Glasgow all year but things have been getting in the way.

Ryanair give the best prices: Glasgow from €9.99. And I belong to Glasgow… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/04/15/sportstraveltraveltravel/

Now the River Clyde probably doesn’t have the same romanticism about it as say the Venice lagoon. Which they have from €14.99. And you can dip in and out if you want to save… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/09/15/padova-city-of-frescoes/

Old Amsterdam with a modern touch at the Dylan Hotel.

They have the City of Light Paris from €14.99 and Amsterdam https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/pictures-of-amsterdam/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/george-and-amal-hotel/.

For Travel December-March.

Take to the Aer

Aer Lingus http://www.aerlingus.com were all over Visit USA’s Thanksgiving night at Trinity City Hotel http://www.trinitycityhotel.com last night.

And I never tire of flagging up their 11 American destinations and the most American of Canadian cities, Toronto.

By the wonder of modern technology myself and my American family are in constant touch through WhatsApp.

Proud New Yorkers, this is us. And this is my take on a different NY… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/21/old-new-york-hamilton/

Aer Lingus has €100 off flights to North America for the Travel period of January 6-March 2020, each way as part of a return trip.

MEET YOU IN THE SKIES

And remember that Black Friday sales don’t finish when Friday finishes.

I’ll be back with Holiday Snaps and more great deals.

MEET YOU ON THE ROAD

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Black Friday feeling

Everyday I write the book. as Elvis Costello once wrote, but his was all about love, ours is about what we love… holidays.

Every day I bring you something special… Give us this Day on Sunday, Cruiseday Tuesday, Hungry and Thursday.

And usually Flyday Friday, but this week I can’t and wouldn’t want to ignore Black Friday.

So here are a few offers doing the rounds:

In the air

America is where it all started so this will probably put you in the mood to go Stateside.

And luckily for us Ireland’s national airline carrier Aer Lingus www.aerlingus.com are offering €100 off return flights to North America.

To any of their 12 destinations. Offer ends midnight, December 3.

But it’s sun you’re after… and Emirates www.emirates.com has plenty of that to offer with return flights from Dublin.

With my old favourite the Maldives https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/ just one of the destinations with mouthwatering discounts.

They have seven nights all-inclusive at the 5* You & Me Cocoon Maldives from €2149pp.

You’ll get a saving of up to €875 on your stay.

And a complimentary room upgrade from Manta Villa to Dolphin Villa.

Valid for Travel on 2-4 and 9-11 June. Book by 4 December.

Hit the beaches

Photo by Suraphat Nuea-on on Pexels.com

Our friends at TUI www.tuihoilidays.ie have all our bases covered

They have a range of holidays from long to short and family.

Fancy Thailand? Seven nights B&B at the 3*+ Chanalai Garden Resort, Kata Beach from €1309pps for March 30.

Or our old faithful Lanzarote, seven nights S/C at the 3*+ Cinco Plaza, Puerto del Carmen, for a family 2+1 from €1469. For mid-term, February 17.

Photo by Emils Plinte on Pexels.com

For a taste of the Canaries visit https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/tenerife-walk/.

TUI also has savings with its Black Friday codes: €100 off when you spend €1000 code name BF100.

Or €125 off when you spend €2000 with code name BF125. And €150 when you spend €3000 with code name BF150.

Hit the seas

Look after your princess with Princess Cruises www.princess.com.

Which comes with the magic key, the OceanMedallion https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/30/cruiseday-tuesday-the-princesss-medallion-man/ on either Crown Princess or Regal Princess.

Try the bumper 17-night Mediterranean and Greek Isles cruise on Crown.

It calls at Seville (Cadiz), Valletta (and you know what I think about Malta…), Mykonos, Kusadasi, Santorini and Cartagena.

Photo by ines bahr on Pexels.com

Prices from €1399 for two sharing an inside stateroom and €219pp for third and fourth guests. Departs November 6.

Among nine round-trip voyages, out of Southampton, across Northern Europe and the Med.

There are six Regal cruises, 12-night round-Britain sailings, out of Southampton, Fares start at €1209pp.

Hit the slopes

From Austria to Andorra and other letters in the alphabet too with Crystal Ski www.crystalski.ie.

They are offering €50pp off if you book before December 3.

And seeing we mentioned Austria: a wee Christmas trip, seven nights in the 2* Manzano Apartments, Pas de la Casa s/c, €279pp (four sharing).

Austria is a treat… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/soll-mates/

And Andorra, January 26, B&B stay in the 3* Haus Edelweiss, Zell Am See for seven nights from €685pp.

The offer runs until Tuesday, December 3.

I’ll catch breath and bring you more offers but it’s Thanksgiving tonight with the Americans at www.visitusa.ie in Dublin.

BLACK IS BACK

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Moanday Morning – supermarkets

Or Supermarches as they like to call them in France, though, in truth, it’s not really the French grocery stores that I’m targeting today.

In general they’re pretty well marked and their booze is of course far more competitively priced.

Which is why there are so many booze cruises from England to Normandy to fill up cars with drink.

No, it’s the supermarkets here where I live in Ireland that have my head doing a Klunk (from Stop the Pigeon).

Photo by Ash Valiente on Pexels.com

They’re probably not much different in Scotland, England, Wales or Northern Ireland… all of which I’ve worked in.

It’s just that now I’ve taken time out from being a wage slave I’ve started to notice how confusing supermarkets can be.

And so I bring you my native Tesco.

Where I reckon I waste about half a day every week trying to find such awkward items as milk, bread, eggs and baked beans.

Photo by edwin josé vega ramos on Pexels.com

There are others too – I’m not on a Student’s Diet! Any more.

My dander was up when I went looking for milk and traversed aisle after aisle before realising it was in the Yogurt & Milk aisle.

Now since when did M come after Y in the alphabet or in importance. No wonder I got blindsided.

Perhaps if they spent less time putting Irish translations on stuff. Which they did on a train I was on recently without the English version.

Photo by Jeremias Oliveira on Pexels.com

I mean how many people even speak it as a first language here, and you’ll not meet anyone here who won’t moan about having to learn it in school.

Maybe try and get the baked beans then, I thought.

Who thinks up these things but by sheer accident I found them in the home baking section…

So, what are they saying. Do they expect me to make my own?

And then there is the traffic. Why can’t people take care of their kids and put them in the front of the shopping trolleys.

Photo by Nirmal Rajendharkumar on Pexels.com

I don’t care if they are teenagers… I’ll shoehorn them in.

And once you actually get to the till then there’s always someone ignoring the five items or less sign.

Supermarkets, of course, want us to do it ourselves.

Which is the modern way of it.

And they point us in the directions of scanners…

Again I refer you to an earlier Moanday Morning… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/11/11/moanday-morning-self-service/.

Photo by Sunbae Legacy on Pexels.com

So where does this leave us in how they do it elsewhere.

Well, nobody serves you better than the Americans and for all you need to know about the Oo Es of A then http://www.visitusa.ie.

I’m in the fortunate position of usually having a host when I’m abroad, or the hostess with the mostest, the one I report to.

But when I have had to make my own way with http://CaminoWays.com and http://Francigenaways.com.

On these journeys… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/camino-a-pilgrims-prayer/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/small-roads-lead-to-rome/ I have found it easy peasy.

While I’m a big fan of German shopping (maybe it’s the sausages, maybe it’s the big Berthas on the counter)…. https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/hamburgers-and-ships/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/dresdens-renaissance-martin-luther/ https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/01/hungry-and-thursday-the-munich-beerfest/

MEET YOU IN THE AISLES

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Thanksgiving – In America and Ireland

There’s a lot to give thanks for.

Celtic are top of the league, I’m off to Tobago next month, The Scary One, of course. And, best of all, did I mention that Celtic are top of the league?

Thanksgiving is one of the world’s great festivals, mainly because it’s completely inclusive.

There are no religious barriers with Thanksgiving being a celebration of family and friends. And we all have them, good or bad.

Dig in. Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

I got talking Thanksgiving with my friends from Massachusetts https://www.visit-massachusetts.com/state/, Bradley Airport, Connecticut https://bradleyairport.com and VisitUSA http://www.visitusa.ie this week in Dublin.

Where I was reminded that 2021 is the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving Harvest celebration.

Between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

I’ll carve then. Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Massachusetts has always been close to my heart from spending a summer working in Boston after University.

Although I didn’t venture further afield bar one day in Manchester, New Hampshire.

So this pilgrim is looking to Plymouth Ho. Get the turkey on.

Southern Hospitality

Around this time of year, I found myself in the Deep South where they were full of Christmas cheer and unseasonal snow.

I think that might have had something to do with our charming host who sang Let It Snow and other festive favourites…

Mr Happy

Here’s my American Trilogy… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/. And https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/04/the-king-of-kings-jim-murtys-traveltraveltravel/

Of course Ireland and America being such good buddies we have embraced Thanksgiving too.

And I will be celebrating the last Thursday of this months with my American buddies.

Warm welcome at Ashford

You can get into the spirit of it all down at the Lodge at Ashford Castle.

Now earlier this year I won a prize draw for a night for two at Ashford and was told to get in touch when I was ready.

But life got in the way and I haven’t yet which poses the question is it too late? I’m almost too embarrassed to ask. ALMOST.

Let’s dance

Anyhoos. You’ll gather in the Harbour Room at The Lodge at Ashford Castle for a festive three-course meal.

Jonathan Keane will serve you up a warming pumpkin soup, roast turkey and sweet and sticky pecan pie.

And what’s a get-together without a jig? Carmel Dempsey, Brenda Curtin Diviney, lead fiddle player with Lord of the Dance, and Mike Stewart will get you in the mood. 

The welcome mat

The festivities begin at 6:30pm with a welcome reception and enjoy a festive ‘Fall Cider Cocktail’ or ‘Spiced Pumpkin Eggnog’ by the peat fires at The Lodge. Dinner at 7pm.

Thanksgiving Dinner at The Lodge at Ashford Castle costs €70pp.

An overnight stay at The Lodge including Thanksgiving Dinner and breakfast the following morning overlooking Lough Corrib from €259 based on two people sharing. Visit http://www.thelodgeac.com.

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Moanday Morning – Self-service

And we’ve been had. I don’t know when and I don’t know where but it turns out that Modern Man has to serve ourselves.

But isn’t the whole point of serving that somebody else does it for you?

And that brings me to the other great con of our age, Do It Yourself.

You do it yourself, I want you to do it for me, that’s what I’m paying you for.

Photo by Naim Benjelloun on Pexels.com

I have absolutely no interest either in spending my free time following a diagram only a nuclear scientist can work out.

To inevitably find that there is a piece missing and that we have to shoot across town for a replacement.

It starts when you book your holiday…. on the net which inevitably has its own challenges.

You’re at your screen and the family is bending your ear all around you, so there’s the danger that you might book the wrong time or pay too much.

Photo by mentatdgt on Pexels.com

And then when you get to the airport and you have to go to one of those baggage scanning machines.

I don’t know about you but I just end up asking for help (from a human).

I mean, I’m always happier when I see somebody else puts hands on my luggage and sends it on its merry way.

You get to the ticket scanner and you’ve got to remember which way to place your ticket.

I would have heart palpitations if I trusted in the barcode on my phone particularly as the memory on my phone would be down to 1%.

Travel colleague Issy Conway, George Washington and his Vice-President

And there would be no plug sockets in the airport.

After all that you want to refuel and go to the shop where there is another scanner…

And you just end up asking an assistant who is too busy taking to her pal to help,

Now when it comes to service Americans do it better than anywhere… http://www.visitusa.ie.

Although it comes with a premium… and tipping. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away!

But while I’m in an American mood having got together with American Holidays last week http://www.americanholidays.com I’ll give you a few of my Stateside jaunts.

Minnie-break

A charming reception at Kimpton Hotels in Dupont Circle http://kimptonwashington.guestreservations.com/27185/booking?gclid=CjwKCAiAqqTuBRBAEiwA7B66hXNBLV3iZn4bCp-HGxyKpRmWYVppUlmlZbkva-XdL-bGPk5rEZMtgRoCeIgQAvD_BwE and my review http://Easy DC.

Through the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World in Florida… https://www.fourseasons.com.

They even bring Mickey, Minnie and Goofy out to join you for breakfast although The Donald is harder to get hold of… https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/disney-why-i-love-the-donald/

My pal: The Donald

Now I think of it, it’s the service and help that I’ve had while I’ve been away which have stayed with me long after I’ve returned.

And looking forward to returning to the Caribbean, this time Tobabo, how can I forget the hospitality at the Club Barbados Resort & Spa https://www.theclubbarbados.com?

With Tropical Sky http://www.tropicalsky.ie… and check out their deals there and across the world. Their discounts will knock your sandals off.

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Holiday Snaps… It’s Georgia, the love getaway

I’m headin’ down the Atlanta Highway

Lookin’ for the love getaway

Headed for the love getaway, love getaway

I got me a car, it’s as big as a whale

And we’re headin’ on down to the Love Shack

The B-52s

Where you might just find your favourite Travel buddy.

I caught one of Georgia’s finest, The B-52s, last year at the American Travel Fair http://www.ipw.com.

Now they are more like The B-152s by now but they still had us rocking in the aisles.

Georgia, being in the Deep South, is infused with music and heritage.

Athens is home to angst kings REM, while James Brown, the Godfather of Soul is from Augusta.

Which just goes to prove that it’s there are some natty dressers there and it’s not all just v-necked golf jerseys.

Otis Redding also famously left his home in Georgia headings for the Frisco Bay only to sit on its deck.

Otis, methinks, was wasting’ time though. He’d have been better off staying put in Georgia though.

So why am I telling you all this? Because of the launch of the Macon Music Trail.

Now I like an oul’ Deep South Music Trail and the Blues Trail in Mississippi is one you shouldn’t miss http://msbluestrail.org.

And its accompanying review from a certain someone https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/.

Photo by Diane Webb on Pexels.com

Macon lies in the centre of Georgia which is why I guess it is called ‘the heart of Georgia.’

It is 85kms from Atlanta which is a hub airport and hence well served from these islands. Visit http://www.google.com/flights.

To learn more about the Macon Music Trail and explore, visit www.maconmusictrail.com

For more information the latest news, developments and events in Georgia, visit www.exploregeorgia.org.

And for all things America visit http://www.visitusa..ie.

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This Sporting Weekend – Internationals

I first learned about the world through watching sport – World Cups, Olympics, the golf.

The planet always gets a little bit smaller when your country is facing Kazakhstan in the footie.

Or your rugby team tries for the umpteenth time to beat New Zealand.

While the cricketers are ducking out of the way of a West Indian fast bowler or having their blood twisted by a Sri Lankan spinner.

Or your runners are trying to chase down a Kenyan or an Ethiopian.

It, of course, prompts an interest in those countries particularly if you then talk to the fans who have been there.

Or the pre-competition build-up shows you the sites.

Football and cricket: In the Maldives

International sport follows a calendar as predictable as the sun and moon.

And thank the heavens it does, and we often choose to settle our differences on the field of play rather than on the battlefield.

This weekend on the calendar has been international week in European football where our nations aim to qualify for the European Championships.

And Scotland lose. This time to Russia.

The contact came prior to the match, just as it always does from the Son and Heir.

I guess he still wants to make sure I’ll keep my promise of taking him to a major championship when Scotland qualify.

Irie: It’s rum time and cricket in Barbados

Of course at 23 he is too young for that ever having been a consideration.

And so I have found my sport where I could find it. Playing football and cricket with the Sri Lankan staff in the Maldives https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/08/12/atoll-tale-the-maldives/.

Or watching the cricket in Barbados https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/my-kiss-with-rihanna/. Of course, it’s always better when you’ve got a rum in your hands.

Play and pray

I’ve always believed the best way to find out about a country and its people is by going to where the play and pray.

But seeing this is the day that God made for sport and tomorrow is the Sabbath let’s stick with the sport for now.

Slam dunk: In Memphis

America has its Big Four, baseball, basketball, ice hockey and American Football and I love to clue in on them when I’m in the good ole’ US of A.

Here I am above in Memphis where the Grizzlies play https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-promised-land-martin-luther-king/, https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/the-story-of-the-blues/.

Taking the Mickey: With the Angels in Anaheim

And outside the California Angels baseball park in Anaheim with their most famous local https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/06/22/my-weekend-with-marilyn/ and https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2019/07/03/stair-wars-3/.

Alas the Angels did not play their part in the bargain by losing to Oakland when I went to see them.

They could have done with this fella, who honed his skills in the Washington Capitals’ stadium https://jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/home/easy-dc-2/.

A swing and a hit: At Washington’s ground

Anaheim boasts the team with the best name of all, the Ducks. Though don’t for one minute call him Donald.

He’s Wild Wing, and believe me he has a wild look in is eye. Needed for that sport.

Duck: Me and Wild Wing in Anaheim

So whatever sport you follow, it’s the taking part, not the winning, that matters.

And if you believe that then you need to get out and watch more sport.

Now I’m away to book my tickets for the World Cup in Qatar in 2022. And I will check out the country beforehand http://www.visitqatar.qa and its airline carrier which I know and recommend http://www.qatarairways.com.

The European Championships… yes, I’ll watch them and follow my second favourite team. The one that is playing England!