Friday 17 November 2017

The Global Village: Helen Mirren heads to Los Angeles

Elegant: Helen Mirren at Los Angeles Airport.
Elegant: Helen Mirren at Los Angeles Airport.

Helen Mirren looked elegant in a green dress when she arrived recently at Los Angeles airport. The 70-year-old Oscar-winner looked set for a glamorous time while hanging out in the home of the Walk of Fame.

So what's to do in Los Angeles? You can see Vincent van Gogh's painting Irises, one of the most expensive paintings in history and which is currently on view at the Getty Center in Brentwood.

For film fans, the ultimate experience is often a behind-the-scenes studio tour at Universal Studios Hollywood.

From Malibu to the South Bay, Los Angeles is home to some of the best beaches in Southern California.

For a quintessential endless summer experience, a visit to the two-mile-long Santa Monica Beach is a must.

For the ultimate window shopping, take a stroll on world-famous Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the epitome of luxury and style.

Keeping your skin safe in the sun

Sometimes when we head off on a winter break, the urge is to spend every minute outdoors enjoying the sunshine. Heck, who knows when we'll see the yellow ball in the sky again?

The benefits of a winter break include stocking up on Vitamin D, which is associated with lowering blood pressure. And the sun creates beta-endorphins, which are credited with making us feel better.

Yet there are risks associated with spending too much time in the sun - sunburn, ageing, dehydration and skin cancer.

UVA+B SunFriend is a customisable, waterproof activity monitor for UV exposure. Just set your skin colour or sensitivity, and LEDs will flash up when you have reached your optimal amount of sun. It has NASA-inspired sensors. Costs approx €45.

Aer Lingus is putting families first

Aer Lingus's Family First aims to give even greater value to families by offering half-price on checked baggage and advance seat selection for children aged 2 to 11 years travelling on short-haul flights.

The benefits include: L All check-in options are free and if families forget to print off their boarding cards in the excitement of it all, there will be no additional charges.

Special baby-changing facilities on board.

Baby buggies are checked in and are delivered and ready for pick-up as families disembark.

Evening-before check-in is available in Dublin and Cork airports - ideal if families are overnighting before their trip.

Babies' bottle and food warming facilities on board.

Things not to bring on holidays has come up with some things you should never bring on holidays. Toiletries - unless decanted into small bottles, otherwise you're lugging unnecessary weight around.

Salad cream - bring some tea bags if you really can't survive without a decent cup of tea, but otherwise embrace the local cuisine.

Hair straighteners - you're on holidays, be bold and learn to love bed/beach hair.

Guidebooks - photocopy the relevant pages or get them on your e-reader.

Clothes you've just bought - go for tried and tested favourites, as no one in Corfu will know if it's the 236th time it's been worn.

Valuables - leave objects of economic or sentimental importance at home.

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