I've been around the world and almost met Mick Jagger but Blackpool will always have my heart / Sue Plunkett

Camping out under the stars in sunny Silverdale got me thinking about all the different places I have travelled to in my life.. and all the wonderful memories I have.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 12:30 pm
Holiday memories and adventures are the topic for Sue Plunkett this week

America is one of my favourite destinations, especially New York, a city I have been lucky enough to visit three times. The first time was in the mid 1990s when the Manhattan was teeming with little family run cafes, bistros and bars.

Most of them were gone when I returned with my daughter Jenny in 2017, her 18th birthday present, which took me about three years to pay for on my credit card which is now out of service!

But it was worth every penny because it was one of the best trips of my life. We were winging it half the time but we carefully planned where we wanted to go and managed to fit in a trip to the Empire State building, the 911 memorial and museum and boat tour around the vast harbour, in just three days.

New York is just like it it is in the movies, it doesn't disappoint. Our hotel was quite close to the Empire State building and not too expensive, although we couldn't afford to eat in the fancy dining room.

Every night we would sneak past the head waiter with snacks and drinks secreted in our bags to munch on while we watched America's Most Wanted on the TV in the room!

One of the funny highlights, for me anyway, was when I greeted a young hotel worker with the question 'How you doin?'in my best New York, Joey from Friends accent. He smiled and said : "Ma'am that was very good'

Jenny was not amused. We did all the touristy things but also went off the beaten track, searching out a couple of bars frequented by New Yorkers who were fascinated by our Lancashire accents.

The trip reminded me of the time I went to Nice with my mum when I was 16. She booked us a week in a hotel that cost around £300 each, a lot of money going back to the early 80s. We only realised when we checked in that did not include food!

And to show how exclusive it was Mick Jagger had booked out the entire top floor!! We did try to catch a glimpse of him by cheekily stepping into the elevator to the penthouse only to be greeted by an armed security guard who bid us 'au revoir' in no uncertain terms.

We may not have met the original Rolling Stone but we met some fabulous people from all over the world including a young American couple who took us on a sightseeing tour of stunning Nice, a second home to them.

My first visit to Las Vegas, another of my favourite destinations, was when I was just 14. My mum booked a two week coach trip taking in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vegas. The iconic Vegas Strip was nothing like it is today with just a couple of hotels, most of them now demolished.

Frank Sinatra was playing at The Sands but I was too young to go and my mum missed the chance of a lifetime to see him because she wouldn't leave me in the hotel we were staying in in downtown Vegas!

You could be forgiven for thinking my holiday album is packed with photos of trips to far flung places, but, in recent years I have discovered the beauty of places like Cornwall and Devon with the occasional jaunt to Benidorm thrown in!

And growing up our annual holiday was a week in Blackpool There is nowhere on earth like Blackpool and, with St Anne's, it remains one of my favourite destinations. Blackpool is loud, brash, colourful and fun and I love it.

I have so many fond memories of just being there, playing in Stanley Park, trips to the zoo and the model village and of course, the iconic piers and Blackpool Tower.

As soon as I see the 'welcome to Blackpool' all that childhood excitement comes flooding back. It's 30 miles up the road yet I could be anywhere in the world.