October 20, 1992|
PORTUGAL & MAREIRA
We had planned to go to Portugal but called it off when the Gulf War started. This year we took off for Lisbon on February 2nd. for a week in each of Cascais, Algarve, and Madeira. This Grand Circle tour included only the transportation and hotels. There were several optional tours and we took most of them. We were free to explore on our own and to arrange for our own meals. Again it was a well run tour with good guides, excellent hotel accommodations, and good meals with lots of wine.
In addition to the usual get acquainted with the area tours we took several others. The trip to Fatima and the Batalha Monestary was especially interesting to Mary Liz. She lit candles and attended a mass in the little chapel. It was very impressive and covered a large area. We could browse around without trouble but it was obvious that it would be a "zoo" in season.
Another day we crossed "The April 25th. Bridge" and explored the wine making and fishing villages. We stopped in the quaint fishing village of Sesimbra and then over the Arrabida Mts. to see the manufacture of hand painted tiles and pottery. Finally we visited the 150 year old winery, Jose Maria da Fonesca. Our final tour in this area took us to Obidos, Nazare, and Alcobaca, It was a tour through the impressive countryside and along the rugged coastline to quaint villages and monasteries.
Another most pleasant and unusual experience was in Cascais. We wanted to buy some wine and I don't know one from the other. I saw a very nice looking woman, Ylva Wingardh, in the large supermarket and asked her for assistance. She was most gracious and we wound up having a nice conversation and being invited to her house for cocktails, which we enjoyed very much. As a result she invited us to her birthday party the next evening. We resisted but she insisted. It turned out to be a very rewarding experience. Wonderful friends, lots of champaign, great dinner, and good conversation.
At first we didn't like the Algarve but it finally turned out to be OK. Our first tour took us through the mountains of Monchique, we had a drink of water that "added 10 years to our lives", and then on to the most western point "The End of the World" with an interesting view and nice lighthouse. We explored the fortress where Prince Henry the Navigator had his first school of navigation.
Another tour took us exploring the life and culture of the people, We visited a cork factory, a marble processing plant, a bakery, and the making of a famous local sweet, Marzipans. The tour ended with a visit to a pottery center and to, Silves, the picturesque 12th century medieval capital of the Algarve, and to the quaint town of Alte.
We rented a car with a couple, the Mitchells from near Seattle, to make a trip on our own. We visited the Faro area and drove to the Spanish border and took the ferry across to Spain.
Madeira was much different than I expected. It was very mountainous; there wasn't a level piece of ground anywhere. Even the cows were kept in sheds because they couldn't graze on the slopes. There is a very elaborate system of trenches to distribute water for irrigation almost everywhere. Ever square inch seems to be cultivated. It's amazing how they farm little strips terraced on the steep slopes. There are plantings of trees for small bananas everywhere.
One tour took us to the East side over the top of Pico do Ariero, 5430 ft., through the agricultural area to see a trout farm and to visit a factory to see wicker craftsmen at work. Another tour took us to the West to the highest sea cliff in the world and to cross the mountain pass of Encumenada. The views on each of these tours would have been fantastic but we had poor weather conditions.
One unfortunate memorable happening was on Madeira. We were walking in the park and Mary Liz missed a flight of three steps and was badly bruised and pained by her fall. Her ankle was swollen and painful, she had a couple of lumps on her cheek and over her eye, and a cut on her leg. She was one big bruise. They had her examined in the socialistic hospital and fortunately found nothing serious. She was checked again when we arrived home and in time became almost normal. She didn't miss a drink or a meal.
I had planned to quit working at Rohm and Haas when I left on the trip. However, they wanted to keep me on tap and as it turned out I am still working an infrequent day or two at a time.
Ed Jr. and Carol visited us from Orcas the week of March 13th. They borrowed the car and took off for the Amish country, Valley Forge, New York, and Historic Philadelphia. We all had a good time.
Another close friend and one of my first girl friends, Bunnie Vogt, died April 30th.
Dick Kania visited his brother in New York and on May 31 we drove up to see him. The main reason for the trip was to give him some money to help out Marie and Milos in Czechoslovakia. There new found freedom is making amny problems for them. They also have a great interest in the National Geographic magazines. We gave Dick several issues to give to Milos.
Mary Liz found evidence of a deer tick bite and after antibiotics she avoided any Lyme disease problems.
On September 25th. we took off on a short visit to Seattle. It had been a long time since we saw the Grandsons. We made reservations for three nights at the Wyndham Gardens near the airport and which is about midway between Chris and Scott. It was a very well run Hotel and we decided to stay another two nights at the end of our trip. We were able to see the boys quite often during our visit.
The grandsons were at the hotel to welcome us much to our delight. We had the opportunity to be with the boys quite a lot and to eat with them quite often.
The traffic in the Seattle area is worse than here. The boys each have motorcycles to make it easier to get around. Naturally this gives us great concern.
While in the Seattle area we drove about 1300 miles and renewed our visits to Mt. Ranier, Snowqualimie Falls, and to the Wenatchee area. Much to our disappointment, the Bill Suttons were in Boston. They insisted that we use their home when we visited Leavenworth. While we were there, we visited their daughter, Cathy and her new husband Tim, in Wenatchee. We were able to entertain them at a good Mexican restaurant in Leavenworth.
We renewed our visit to the Rocky Ridge dam, the museum, and to a salmon fish hatchery. Very interesting visits.
While in the Seattle area we stayed with the Hendricksons and had a nice visit.
Finally on Thursday we got to Orcas to see Ed Jr. They had made reservations for us at the Kangaroo House which was a very nice bed and breakfast. We had to fit our visit into Ed's schedule and naturally we would have liked to have more time with him. We were able to join Ed and Carol for several meals and took them and our friends, the Winsells, to Rosario's for Sunday Brunch.
The trip ended with a couple of days in Seattle with the boys and then home on October 6th.
After the Portugal trip we agreed that it was foolsh to consider any more trips abroad. The airplanes and airports are crowded and the people are "Bus People" or "Clamperts" to use the term used by the attendants. Also everything is getting too Americanized and expensive. We have made seven trips abroad, plus Alaska and Hawaii, and several trips to Bermuda. I'm glad that we made the trips when we did but I have no interest in making the effort anymore.
The trailer days were great and it gave us a good opportunity and reason for many trips around the country. We have been in every state in the union and most provinces of Canada. We have seen most of the important Civil War landmarks, many homes of the Presidents, the sources of several rivers, and most of the National Parks and highlights of the country.
Our recent travels have been by air and we have crossed the country over 25 times plus trips to Bermuda and Texas. I guess we should be tired of airports.
Although we have a deposit at Normandy Farms, at this point we don't ever expect to use it. We have discussed it several times and would prefer to stay here and pay to have any service we require. If one of us needed help, the other would want to provide the necessary care as long as possible.
At present we have a nice young fellow to help me periodically and Mary Liz has Hilda.
I have tried to record the various travels and unusual events during our married life. This record wouldn't be complete without some mention of more routine matters. Fortunately we have both been healthy which I attribute to good genes and not smoking. We both had Mothers that saw that we had nutritious meals and Mary Liz has carried on for our family during our married years.
I have been an itch all during my life. I've never been afraid to try anything and always hated to pay anyone to do something I thought I could do. As a result the house has always been full of tools, materials, and things that I salvage. There is always a list of things that I want to do and many things that are not quite finished. Mary Liz always kids me by saying that whenever she wants something, I say "I'll build it for you". I don't know how she has been able to stand all of this confusion all of these years.
I mentioned the work I contributed to the Glendale house and the remodeling of Carolyn's kitchen and her Mercedes. At the shore house I added a bath room, remodelled the kitchen, and added central heating. In addition, until recently, I always did all of the maintenance and repairs to our houses and equipment including refinishing furniture and some reupholstering.
About two years ago Mary Liz suggested that I should write a little about my life so that, in later years, our grandchildren would know something of the family history.
I took the suggestion and wrote informally and briefly about my life and our married years. Mary Liz finally got interested and added the section on her life.
With much surprise we turned out passable memoirs and in November 1992 experienced the thrill of having Chris, our grandson, turn our script into a nice little book plus several copies which he gave us for a wonderful Christmas present.
It is now Christmas of 1994 and fortunately we still have our health and we have been active enough that our memoirs should be brought up to date. I guess this will always be true and this probably will be a never ending project. In the future there will be less to write about, since we are not as enthusiastic about traveling.
I feel that our initial effort was a little too sketchy. This time I will continue the format of the previous effort to bring our Memoirs up to the present.
Our social life continued with lunches and get togethers with our old friends. I continued working a little at Rohm and Haas and made some progress on house maintenance with the assistance of Sean, a nice young fellow that has been working with me a couple of days a month.
I was saddened by the death of an old friend, Bill McGinly, that worked for and with me for many years. Dick Lanning and I had gone to the Rohm and Haas Long Service Banquet a short time before and Bill looked very bad that night. It will be very difficult for Ann, his wife, since she is practically blind.
Since Father Schmeer took over St. Martins, Mary Liz has become more interested in the church. Father Schmeer has put some life in the congregation. We have gone to various dinners and other functions and Mary Liz has taken on little chores to help out.
Christmas was a quiet day in Glendale with Carolyn and the year ended with the usual party at the Garrigues'.
next: The Nineties (1993)