Martina Reilly, author
What was your best holiday?Florida, when the kids were eight and 12, so it was the right time to go. We decided we were going to make it a holiday to remember and spent two weeks doing all of the parks and wearing ourselves out. I normally don’t do rollercoasters but I did everything. The kids still talk about it now!
Then came my favourite part: a week at a hotel in Tampa Bay on the beach, with white sands and bright blue sea. It was almost decadent: the hotel had a cinema screen where you could watch films at night while sitting in the pool. The sea was just gorgeously warm but we subsequently discovered that a hurricane was coming across the bay and the water heats up before this!
What was your worst holiday?We went to Cambrils, Spain which is lovely – but my son wanted to see the new FC Barcelona stadium (Camp Nou) for his birthday. We booked tickets for it and took the train to Barcelona. We were totally ill-prepared, we had no map and did not know where we were. An hour later we found a map and walked for two hours in the 36 degree heat to get to the stadium outside the city. When we arrived we were exhausted and dehydrated.
After visiting the stadium we saw an air- conditioned bus passing by, which would take us where we wanted to go, and got on. But it was a Barcelona hop-on-hop off bus and cost us €80! Then there were no seats on the train back.
My husband and I went to Barcelona a year later (with maps) and discovered what fantastic value the metro there is!
If budget or work were not a restriction, what would be your dream holiday?I think I would like to go to the moon as everywhere on Earth has been explored. You’d have no airport security to go through, I’d be a sixth of my normal body weight so could eat as much as I’d like and the sight of the Earth would be amazing.
Who would you bring on holiday with you if you had your pick?My son, daughter and husband.
What’s your favourite place in Ireland?Kerry is the most beautiful place I have been to in Ireland, from Dingle to Inch beach and the Ring of Kerry. I love the colours of the sea, the way the mountains go blue in the distance and the holiday smell of food and sea in Dingle.
Your recommended holiday reading?Anne Tyler’s The Beginner’s Goodbye, Sue Townsend’s The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year and Tana French’s Broken Harbour.
Where will you go to next?I’m going to bring my daughter and a couple of her friends to the Diamond Coast Hotel, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, for the weekend and do my bit for the economy.
In conversation with Genevieve Carbery
Author Martina Reilly’s latest novel Even Better than the Real Thing is published by Hachette Ireland (€12.99)