October 20, 1992|
Once again our life style changed. We had parked the car and trailer at Ed Jr.'s and planned to use it as our summer home. Also during this decade we planned to renew our travels abroad. Our memoirs from now on read like a travel log. It seems that unusual events in our life are related to our travel to various remote areas. Even our trips to the West coast are becoming routine.
We started the year with a motor trip South to see old friends and to renew our feelings about Florida. Mary Liz did a little on the Cornwell genealogy and we visited her old friend Jeanett Thornton. We stayed with Dan and Virginia Clayton in Deerfield; and visited the Don Walkers in Ft. Meyers, and Peg Rasmussen in St. Petersburg.
Once again it was June and on the 17th. we took off for Seattle, WA. This time we were going to visit Alaska before we went to Orcas. I had made all of the arrangements myself and everything went off without a hitch.
We boarded a large boat for a five day trip North via the Inside Passage. It was most interesting. The boat actually was a large ferry and was a major means of transportation to Alaska. It carried all kinds of motor vehicles and some people camped out on the stern in pup tents and on camp chairs. There was a good cafeteria and a nice lounge for viewing the scenery. We had a small stateroom and bath but spent little time sleeping.
The boat was the M.V.Matanuska and it made many stops on the way; such as, Wrangell, Sitka, etc., and finally at Skagway. Most times there was plenty of time to go ashore and to tour the small quaint towns. It was particularly interesting to watch the boat travel the narrow waterway. At night the red and green navigation lights looked like a christmas tree.
Skagway was a charming pioneer town with wooden sidewalks, dirt streets, and an interesting museum. We took the narrow gauge railway over the mountain to Whitehorse, Y.T. It followed the route taken by the 49 er's. About half way to Whitehorse we stopped and had a great lunch.
Our return was by air. We stopped and stayed in Juneau before flying over to Glacier Bay to board a small cruise ship. We cruised through the bay, looking at the glaciers, eagles, seals, etc. and finally spent the night anchored very close to one glacier which was calving small ice flows which banged against the hull. Also there were many seals floating on the ice.
We were impressed by the long days. We took pictures almost around the clock.
Our boat was perfect for this trip. It was small enough to go right up to the glaciers and a naturalist pointed out the points of interest. We did this at one point and left the boat to walk on the ice. It was a beautiful ice blue color.
The trip was completed by a return to Juneau and a flight back to Seattle. In recent years we have been getting from Seattle to Orcas by taking a low flying small commuter plane. A very interesting flight over the San Juan Islands.
Orcas was a repeat of previous years. We renewed friendships, enjoyed the Sunday brunches at Rosario's, and Bilbo's Mexican dinners. We had become interest in Dixieland during the 70's and 80's and added the Island City Jazz Band in Friday Harbor to Jim Cullem's Band in San Antonio, the Upper Dallas Jazz Band in Dallas, and the various stomps put on by the New Jersey Jazz Society to our Dixieland entertainment. While on Orcas we always tried to spend a Sunday afternoon listening to the Island City Jazz Band.
We flew home on the 13th of August and bought our new Buick on the 18th.
This year in January we drove South through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and stayed a couple of days with Les and Jean Schults. On the way south, we made a genealogical stop in Atlanta to see W. D. Cornwell.
On our way home we visited Plains GA. to check on President Carter's home base. We made a mistake and signed up at a motel and found that it was partial to Blacks. It took a little tact to bow out graciously. Visits to Asheville and Lynchburg added to the list of Civil War Battlefields we have seen.
The Winsells came East in their trailer and spent a few days at our home and we were their tour guides.
The junket to the West this year was extended to Hawaii. I made all of the arrangements and reservations again from home without a travel agent. Our plansincluded staying on Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauaii; flying between the islands, and a rental car on each. We found that just about everyone was making the same circuit. As a result there was always a line checking in or out of someplace. We solved it by Mary Liz waiting for the bags while I was first in line for the car. Then I'd zip by picking her up and headed for our lodging. We were all checked in and on our way out before the crowd arrived.
Our accommodations on each island were good and we enjoyed being able to drive to the various points of interest on our own. We enjoyed the restaurants and eating the Hawaiian breakfasts. In some the birds came right up to our table for a few crumbs.
Orcas was the same. We always enjoyed the company of the grandsons and we both worked with them. Teaching them to swim, ride a bike, repair the car, drive the car and all of the little things that meant a lot to us and brought us closer together.
As usual we arrived home in August on the 12th.
March 20th. we once again were in Florida. This time we were in the Hutchinson Island and John's Island area and stayed with the Lipman's in Stuart.
Just as we arrived the Buick transmission failed and I had to have it rebuilt at the local AAMCO shop. It was a GM problem and we recouped most of the cost after some effort.
Another flight to Orcas in June. This time we took a side trip to see the Mount St. Helens after the eruption. It was a disaster. The trees, buildings, vegetation, were all gone and ash covered everything.
Home again on August 16th. and off again a month later on our Ireland trip.
This time we used Thomas Travel to make the arrangements but followed our usual practice of not making reservations for lodging. We did reserve the cars and purchased coupons for lodgings on the farm house tour in Wales and England. Most of the time we stayed in Bed and Breakfast lodgings.
We arranged the trip to include the Northern part of Ireland, then Wales and England, and finally the Southern part of Ireland.
The roads were very twisty and narrow. There were no shoulders and they were lined with stone walls which made one feel confined. The Northern area was much more rocky than we expected. There were many flocks of sheep and many were being herded on the roads.
We landed late at the Shannon Airport and had to wait a whole day for our bags. We picked up our car and drove around Shannon to kill time. I had the airline reimburse me for the inconvenience.
Our route took us north through Gort, Sligo, and Letterkenny on the way to Northern Ireland. On the way North we stopped at the Cliffs of Moher. I slipped and landed flat in the mud. After a quick change in the near by men's room we were on our way again. The British military were heavily armed at the border into Northern Ireland but they waved us through after only a brief stop. We went up to the most Northern point, to Malin Head. It was only 14 miles from Scotland and it was blowing a gale.
Our next stop was at the Giant's Causeway near Balleycastle. We then proceeded to Dublin without stopping in Belfast. We had been advised to avoid Belfast because there had been some trouble recently. We did see signs of the struggle. Some roads were blocked by crossing gates and police stations were protected from explosives and incendiaries by being covered with wire mesh.
On one of our lunch stops we heard about their experiences of being bombed several times.
Mary Liz and her Genealogy led us to a Diamond connection. We visited his factory and got a lead on a Jack Diamond in Slidell, LA.
At one of the Bed and Breakfast stops the proprietress couldn't understand why Americans took so many baths. In another the complaint was that we use too much toilet paper. Mary Liz has a good story about this.
The rooms were cold and heat was provided by an electric space heater or by gas logs. Regardless, the arrangements were very satisfactory and the contact with the people very rewarding.
We dropped off the car at the ferry and crossed the North Sea to Wales. It was push and shove with the masses using the ferry. The passage was very rough and many were sick. Finally we landed in Holyhead, picked up another car and headed into Wales.
We used our Farm House Tour package and stayed at typical old English farm houses. There were no reservations so I had to phone ahead each night when we were near one of the places. There were a limited number so it took a bit of planning and searching. They were located out in the country and a little hard to locate. There were many interesting experiences but it would be too much to include here.
Our travels took us through Wales to Bristol England. We saw the Baths in Bath, visited Plymouth where the Pilgrims left for America, headed for Lands End but it got too windy so we headed across the Moors and back to Bristol. We then went into England visiting the Stonehenge, London and Windsor. London was crowded and we didn't do much. We couldn't do much in Windsor either because the "Royals" were at the castle. From Windsor we headed back to Holyhead. Our last stop on the Farm House Tour was fantastic. A beautiful home in Glouchestershire on the Severn River and with very gracious hosts. We were treated like one of the family. Otto, the host, had been a German soldier and was taken prisoner in Italy and held in Vancouver for which he was very appreciative.
The trip back over the North Sea was even worse than before. People and their packages were everywhere. There was little concern for safety on the boat or on the stairs of the terminal.
This time we got our car and headed South. We did a little shopping but the Waterford factory was closed when we were in the area. We stopped in Blarney, near Cork, to kiss the Blarney Stone at the top of Blarney Castle. One had to lean back over the wall to reach it.
Our trip continued around the coast line on the Ring of Kerry. In spite of rather poor weather we enjoyed the country side on the drive through Killarney, Dingle, Limerick, Tipperary and Cashel. In Cashel we explored and enjoyed the 12th century Cathedral and other ruins. Our trip ended with the flight home from Shannon on October 7th.
This year we made a trip South to visit the Jack Diamond that we heard about on our trip to Ireland. Mary Liz had done some research and found his address. He was delighted to hear from her and they arranged for our visit.
We stayed a few days with Dr. Jack Diamond in Slidell. He was a great host, a character, and very interested in genealogy. While we were there we took a side trip to New Orleans and hated it because it had changed so much since our first visit. We enjoyed a visit to the Super Dome but found that the old charm of the town had disappeared.
On the way South we stopped in Laurel Miss. to visit Louis Harter, a first cousin of Mary Liz's. They were gracious but odd by our standards. They were big on the 700 Club and his wife gave M.E. lectures on the bible.
Our way home was saddened by a stop in Knoxville to see Ann Pyle. She was very ill and in the hospital. She died shortly thereafter.
June 16th was the day we left this year on UAL for about seven weeks on Orcas Island. There was nothing unusual this year and we returned home on August 2nd.
Jack Diamond paid us a return visit and we were the tour directors to show him Philadelphia and Bucks County. He had driven North in a very nice Van.
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