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Senior Memories: When It’s Springtime in Hawaii PDF Print E-mail


Visiting Editor BBL, Seattle WA: How can you tell it's springtime in Hawaii? The weather is so warm and beautiful all year long. My first visit was love at first sight with the picturesque islands. It was in February 1945.

I was a 19-year-old sailor, and our troop ship eased into a cove near a beach area on the big island of Hawaii, and stood offshore. Then the quiet beauty was shattered by a very noisy interruption.

Cool tropical breezes were blowing. The surf was gentle. The palm trees were swaying. There were big, fluffy clouds in the sky, and Marine aircraft were bombing the hell out of the beach. The squawk box blared, "Land the landing force!"

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Ex-Navy Logs In: How I Became Cruise Enthused PDF Print E-mail


Senior Travel Guru AJS, Phoenix AZ: I morphed into a senior cruiser despite my original very negative thoughts about it. I retired at age 65.5, and instead just settling down right away, my spouse and I decided to travel. I wanted to experience the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Monument Valley and other dry-land destinations.

A local travel agent suggested we take a cruise from Los Angeles along the Pacific coast of Mexico. My reaction: A cruise! Who the hell wants to go on a cruise? When I cruised the Pacific with the Navy during the Vietnam War, a lot of angry guys tried to kill me! I absolutely insisted I'd never, never, never again go on a cruise!

A week later we were at the pier to board our cruise ship. Griping and moaning, I went up the gangway and to our cabin. I had to admit it was a bit more comfy than Navy crew compartments, and found that the cruise ship had better chow halls. I enjoyed onboard activities, entertainment and visits to Baja ports. Since then, we've sailed on many cruises throughout the world.

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Sitka, Alaska: Visit To Formerly Russian Island PDF Print E-mail


Senior correspondent PJM, Bremerton WA: Our cruise ship stopped at isolated Baranov Island in Southeast Alaska, facing the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately it was a relatively comfortable day, because Sitka gets over 80 inches of snow per year plus 40 inches of rain.

Alaska was purchased by the U.S. from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million, quite a bargain at the time and since. It’s the largest state, composed of more than 660,000 square miles, larger than California and Texas.

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St Petersburg: Visit to Russia’s Most Beautiful City PDF Print E-mail


Guest Senior Trave Writer PMO, Jersey City NJ: We sailed on a two-week Scandinavian cruise out of Dover, England. Port visits included Copenhagen, Denmark; Helsinki, Finland; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden; and St. Petersburg, Russia.

It was a very enjoyable journey, and we had some memorable experiences. The most unusual and impressive moments were during the two days we spent in early springtime St. Petersburg. We knew the history of the city and were anxious to see as much as possible.

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Las Vegas NV: Helicopter Tour To Grand Canyon PDF Print E-mail


Senior travel writer, JPB, Ann Arbor MI: What more thrilling way to celebrate our 40th anniversary than to fly a whirlybird from Las Vegas to one of the world’s greatest natural wonders? When I first heard about it, I wasn’t too enthusiastic.

We were having a grand time on the ground in Vegas when my spouse suggested we should see the thrilling sights from above. Decades ago I had many rides in Navy and Marine choppers, and wasn’t too thrilled about climbing into one again. However, after we were aboard and the pilot assured me that no one would be shooting at us, I relented.

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