Travels with Charley and the family!

I was rooting through some books that I Haven’t finished because of my travels and I came across the very wonderful Travels with Charley by none other than the brilliant John Steinbeck. I bought my copy while I was at the authors family home, pictured above, in the town of Salinas, California. My children posed patiently while I ranted and and raved my way around the house where Steinbeck spent his most formative years. The lovely local people of Salinas have turned this house into a restaurant with homemade food and it’s pretty much packed out all year round. In the basement is a treasure trove of books and memorabilia for fans to purchase and take home while the Steinbeck foundation continues to flourish on its proceeds.

Travels with Charley is about a road trip that the author took around the United States with his pet poodle Charley for company in a small camper van – which is on display in the Steinbeck museum in downtown Salinas. The museum boasts authentic artefacts from the authors life and is well worth a visit if you are in the San Francisco area this summer.

But back to the book and Steinbeck writes beautifully about the characters he meets as he traverses the states and different habits and cultural ways of the people who live there. In his journey across Illinois he meets up with his wife again and while he tells of his time on Lake Michagin I’m reminded of the lovely people that I met at the Travel Media award from the Great Lakes. I haven’t explored this part of the Midwest and it’s my intention to do something about it on my next trip to the states. I had a great chat with Bill from visit Detroit and I’m curious to hear more about his city which seems to be the comeback kid at the moment after a horrible few years with the collapse of the motor industry and city bankruptcy!

Travel Media awards at the Westbury Hotel 20th May 2016

The Travel Media awards are an annual event where the irish media vote for thier favourite travel brands and operators and this year there were three new peer awards. The Novel Traveller was nominated in the category best new Irish Travel blog and came runner up on the day. I was in the lovely company of two other runners up at Stena Line and Tourism Northern Ireland.

The Lovely Diane Poole from Stena Line was great company
and I look forward to travelling on one of her ships soon.

I look forward to travelling on Stena in a few weeks time when I’ll be hoping to find my epic in Wales. The lovely people at visit Wales are promoting lots of adventure attractions this year, so I may well be hanging from a zip line or worse in June!

Laurence Duffy from Duffy Rafferty was there to represent Tourism Northern Ireland
while the rest of them were all at the golf in the K Club!

I was in the company of the Fabulous flamboyant people from the Spanish Tourist Board on Thursday when I, along with a host of media and tour operators, was entertained by flamenco music and opera while we ate dinner in the Dining Hall of Trinity College. I was chatting to representatives of the Andalucian region and particularly taken by the Almeria region which provided the setting for the great film maker Sergio Leone when he made the Clint Eastwood classics The Good the Bad and the Ugly and other spaghetti westerns. This region and the beautiful city of Seville are on my list for this year.

The man of the day at the Travel Media awards was Jim Murty, editor of the Irish Daily Mail
who picked up the award for being a pleasure to deal with.
I can vouch for that as he published my feature on Florida!

Finally my travel feature about the Wild side of Florida was published on 21st May in the Irish Daily Mail. I will be putting it up on my blog soon!
Happy travels and reading
Michelle X

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