Memoirs: My first trip to a foreign country, 1945 PDF Print E-mail

Senior memoirs: My first ocean cruise PDF Print E-mail

It wasn’t a Royal Caribbean, Princess, Holland American, Disney nor Norwegian cruise. Uncle Sam paid for my first ocean voyage. When, in wartime 1943, my local draft board was dragging as many 18-year-olds as they could grab into the Army, I decided sea air was much healthier than foxhole mud. I enlisted in the Navy.

Fortunately for my ego and reputation among my shipmates, I wasn't seasick as we sailed through the choppy waters of San Francisco Bay and headed out to the Pacific. However, it seemed every one of the 2,800 young Marines aboard were. As one of the lowest-ranking members of the crew, my first Navy job was to help clean up the grossly messy passenger bunking areas, chow (cafeteria) compartments and heads (toilets).

Can Seniors & Kids Get Along on Travel Tours? PDF Print E-mail


Senior March Memory: Attempt on President Reagan's Life PDF Print E-mail

I was on a business trip on March 30, 1981, to Washington, D.C. I took along my then 13-year-old son. While we were in an upper floor of an office building next to the Capital Hilton Hotel, we suddenly heard all kinds of clangs and whistles outside. We looked out the window and down onto the street far below and saw many police cars and ambulances rushing around the hotel area.

Someone in the office who had turned on a radio told us that President Reagan had been wounded in an attempted assassination! About 20 minutes later, when we tried to drive away from the area, and as we were passing the Hilton, we were stopped by police and Secret Service agents. We were ordered out, frisked and my car was thoroughly searched. We were then sent on our way with a warning not to stop anywhere nearby. My son said we had been witnesses to a moment of history, but I was just scared as hell until we found out the attempt was made by just one gunman.

Although severely wounded, President Reagan later fully recovered. While in the hospital, he joked to his wife, “Nancy, I forgot to duck.”

Ex-President Ronald Reagan

Better vacation choice: All-inclusive or roam free? PDF Print E-mail

Sometimes we prefer the all-inclusive vacation, because most of our travels lately have been aboard cruises, and all were very enjoyable. We’ve had our roaming free fun. When we first retired, still in our vigorous 60s, and it was great to fly to a foreign destination, hitch up our backpacks and rent cheap hotel rooms, Then, on our own independent non-schedule, we made our own way around France, Belgium and Holland to find food, sights and entertainment.

We did it dozens of times, including leisurely hikes and bus trips through the British Isles. With a well-thumbed guidebook and absolutely no idea where we’d venture the next day, we stopped at bed'n'breakfasts, ate in small, out-of-the-way cafes and did whatever we chose at the moment. For two people doing such free roaming at age 65 and 70, it may seem an impossible feat to younger travelers, but we had a blast, and still have great memories of our wanderings.


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