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Beyond the Pale - A 'pale' is a fencepost. The English Pale was a boundary in Ireland marking out the part of Ireland under direct English rule circa 1450 (which included Dublin and environs). Those that lived 'beyond the pale', outside of English rule, were considered out of control and uncivilised. You decide...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Puerto Rico - San Juan

Caribbean Sunburst  
LIVIN' LA VIDA LOCA

As I look out the window of my San Francisco apartment at the apocalyptic torrents of rain, looking after my pneumonia ridden toddler. I am reminded that this time last year we were teetering down the gangway of our cruise ship as it dropped anchor in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Not a care (or nebulizer) in the world.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Turks & Caicos - Grand Turk


Rainbow in paradise

SEA, SAND AND PIRATES

Reach back in time, stretch, a little bit more, take a left at the Famine, flex your fingers, Bingo! There he is on his boat! We all have a seafaring ancestor swimming around our gene pool, from humble fisherman to swashbuckling pirate to sea sick passenger on the ferry to France.



Monday, December 28, 2015

Florida - Fort Lauderdale

SHARK ATTACK!

FLOW-RIDER!


My love affair with America began many moons ago, when I was a mere 4 years old. I owe thanks to my Dad who loved visiting different places, never the same spot twice. After some intense lobbying from my older brothers (cheers Lochlann and Colm), coupled with years of vacationing in the beautiful Emerald Isle, my Mum packed up the ole reliable tan leather suitcases and we touched down in Florida for 2 weeks of white beaches, Disney, alligators, space center, sharks, roadtrip madness… now, you see where I get it from!



Thursday, November 26, 2015

Santa Barbara - Cali-friggin-fornia

Pacific Coast WOW Highway

THANK GOD FOR ROADTRIPS!

It was Thanksgiving weekend, if you’re American this means family, turkey, football, thanks. If you’re not American this means extra days off work. And if you’re us, that means, roadtrip time!


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kansas - There's no place like home

Home is where the heart is



SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW

You say the word ‘Kansas’ to someone, the reflex response is “there’s no place like home” (generally speaking, however there will be some who ignore your proclamation, mutter ‘weirdo’ under their breath and resume their place in the queue for the bus). Thanks, perhaps in part to the dawn of Technicolor and some catchy ditties, the 1930s movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’ planted Kansas in all our psyches for eternity. The place where tornadoes threw houses into parallel universes, witches were good and bad and had a penchant for bicycles and monkeys, and little dogs named Toto saved the day.



Saturday, August 29, 2015

Nebraska - and the Great Plains

Lost in a sea of flowers


MODERN DAY PIONEERS
As we tumbled from South Dakota into Nebraska on our Great Plains roadtrip, I felt a burgeoning kinship with the early pioneers. Men, women and children encouraged to “Go West” for a better life.To steal a quote from the time...

“The Cowards never started. The weak died on the way. Only the strong survived, they were the Pioneers.”



Thursday, August 27, 2015

South Dakota - Great Faces Great Places

Presidents rock!

"TAKE ME BACK TO THE BLACK HILLS OF DAKOTA"

While driving from North Dakota to South Dakota we noticed a curious thing - the Dakotas span two time zones! Back in the day the railroad magnates engineered this time conundrum, it appears to have no rhyme or reason as we flipped back and forth from Mountain time to Central time. After a while, I stopped looking at my watch and started searching for a tardis.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

North Dakota - Bismarck

Right out of Huckleberry Finn


IT ALL STARTED IN THE GREAT PLAINS

When it comes to carbon footprints, whether you’re leaving a dinosaur stomp or a newborn bootie print, you have to admit, America is designed for the motorcar. Back in August we decided to revisit our plan to see America’s Great Plains. First stop, the Dakotas…



Thursday, June 11, 2015

Idaho - Boise


As one sign read... "Boise, birth place of United Airlines" C'mon tourist board, you can do better than that

MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO

Library! Surprise!

Idaho may conjures up images of potatoes, Josh Ritter songs, and an old River Phoenix movie. But I urge you to scrap your fanciful bucket list of far flung places, toss your potato peeler in the bin, turn low ‘Hello Starling’ and tear down that poster of Keanu Reeves in your mind. Boise Idaho is the best kept secret in the Pacific Northwest. Would I live there? You bet your sweet yams I would!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Alaska - Anchorage and Seward

Choooo Choooo
ANCHORED DOWN IN ANCHORAGE

When you mention the word ‘Alaska’ to people a wistful look crosses their face, they lean in a little closer, hoping in earnest that an invitation is about to fall from your mouth, and they quietly whisper “Go on…”



Friday, April 24, 2015

Colorado - Boulder & Denver

Rocky Raccoon

SHHHHAZBOT!

If Colorado was a person, she’d be a rock climbing bass guitarist cowboy, and don’t call her square, it is one of the only two rectangular states in the union (Wyoming is the other).