Oahu – Day 7

Today we did something simple — we drove up H-1 on the west coast of Oahu, almost to the very end of the road. Actually, H-1 doesn’t go that far. It turns in to Highway 93 at Kapolei. All that means is we go from 4 lanes to 2 and the villages get smaller. But, it’s a nice drive up the coast.

One detracting aspect of the drive is all of the homeless camps along the west side of the road. That means all the homeless camps are pretty much on the beach. There are a lot of tents along Highway 93 but they avoid the villages and resort grounds. One of the resorts in the area is Aulani Disneyland Resort a little north of Kapolei. We drove in toward the property and the landscaping rapidly changed from homeless camps to incredibly elegant surroundings.

From this…

To this …

… and the Disney Resort …

Our purpose for taking this trip was to visit Wai’anae. There’s an Army recreational center there that consists of about 40 cabins, right on the beach. In the early 80’s Diane met me here when my ship, the USS Cleveland, was on the way home from a WESTPAC Cruise. I was granted leave to spend some time on the island with Diane while the ship made the 7 day transit to San Diego without me. We flew home together, to San Diego, which is a much better was to end a 6-month cruise.

If you look close at the above photo you can see about 20 people surfing.

We were happy to discover that the center is still in operation and the cabins have been upgraded considerably. They’ve all been raised about 4 feet off the ground to apparently avoid high surf. We didn’t get to go inside a unit to reminisce but that’s OK. We got to see the place, and walk along the beach where we spent a very memorable week. The only thing missing was my casette of Air Supply songs. We may go back there one day.

We took our time on the trip back to Honolulu, right lane all the way. It’s getting to be a familiar drive and we’re learning shortcuts.

The bellmen here at the Grand Waikikian are getting to know us and are giving us more leeway for leaving our car at the front entrance. Normally people can’t leave their vehicles out front for more than a few minutes, but we’ve graduated to 30 minutes. That gives us time to haul our treasures up to our room. The alternative is for Diane to ‘hire’ a bellman to carry our bags to the room, or I just go park the car and hurk them back myself. It’s only about 1/4 of a mile, and not a bad workout for this old man. But we both prefer the easy way of just taking stuff to our room then I can walk back empty handed after parking the car.

Our daughter, Jennifer, shared a photo of an injury she sustained when she was attacked by BB8 while working in one of her children’s rooms. She said it fell off a chest of drawers, but I think it jumped. I have permission to share the result. She really got thumped.

The reason BB8 was on a dresser was because she’s been super busy fixing up the bedrooms, vacated by their adult children, for the two small guys she and Daniel are adopting. The are Jasper 2, and Siah 1. Quite an adventure they have tackled, but they both love their new babies, as do the grown up kids, Cedric, Lydia, and Jeran. We’re pretty proud of them all and enjoy our new grand babies. They are pretty special.

OK. that’s it for #7.


Oahu – Day 6

Another lazy start to another beautiful day. Every time I check the temperature, it’s 82. Makes me wonder if my temperature taker is faulty. Doesn’t really matter. Whatever the temperature may really be, it was a beautiful day.

Our primary destination was the MWR (Military Welfare and Recreation) office at the NEX (Navy Exchange). We got there around noonish and decided before we did anything else, we’d eat something. So, we went upstairs to the food court and visited Taco Bell. “Really,” you may say, “Taco Bell?” Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Well, we go where our stomach tells us to go. No reason to go elsewhere. I had a Crunchwap and Diane had two Chicken Chalupas. When we opened the bag we discovered that each of those orders included one crunchy taco. I, of course, had to eat the unexpected extras.

Then we went shopping for shirts and stuff for all the people we left behind to make this trip.

Diane is the expert shopper and does way better when I’m in a different part of the store because she thinks I’m hovering, trying to speed things up. That’s not true. I just want to be near the love of my life. But, to make her more comfortable by spending my time in the electronics section looking at TV’s, and laptops.

When Diane was finished it was after 4:00 pm and we hadn’t located the MWR office yet. So, I took my tired feet around the corner from the NEX main entrance and found the office. The door was open so I went in and was promptly told they were closed. They close at 4pm. I thanked the young lady behind the desk and said, “Thanks, I’ll see you tomorrow.” As I exited I heard her say, “We’re closed tomorrow” which drew me back inside. She said they are only open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Great! I thought. Then she said there was an annex office on the main Navy Base that will be open tomorrow, 9am-4pm. She even gave me direction which was very confusing to me. In her effort to clarify, she asked if I knew where Willamette Street was. When I heard that name I perked up because it’s a NW name we know well. She mispronounced it, however, like a visitor. You know what I mean – she said it like Will-uh-mette with emphasis on all the wrong syllables. Like a foreigner. Being who I am, I had to explain that I’m very familiar with that name and told her how to pronounce it properly. She took it well.

So now we must go back to the Pearl Harbor Naval Base tomorrow on our way to Waianae. We’re actually finally going to the beach. Been here six days and haven’t even got our feet wet.

But, we’ve been busy.

Now for some random stuff …

First, here’s a photo of the front of our hotel. Our room is up there somewhere.

A sign Diane wants after we get the new floor in the Cricket House.

Here’s a fun sign we’ve seen a few times while traveling the freeways.

Simple advice, right? Well, let me tell you that drivers here pretty scary. It’s pretty much guaranteed that after a light turns red, at least one car is going to run it. Sometimes more. Not joking.

Where we currently live.

Now it’s time to quit.

Oahu – Day 5

Today we relaxed in the morning, like all of the morning, then put on our walking shoes so we could go fetch the car without ruining our socks. I actually have a pair of slippahs but they are only for the beach and short walks so I need my shoes. Diane wears her slippahs all da time.

But, first, we had to have lunch because we relaxed so much that we kinda lost track of time. But, lunch was easy because when we went to the commissary the other day Diane tossed a large can of tuna in the cart. She also got relish and mayo so I made tuna sandwiches. They were really good. She let me get a small jar of sweet baby pickles, too, so I was able to get the little added kick that she doesn’t like. It was all good.

Oh! I just discovered that I kinda fibbed a little when I reported previously that I only had two photos of us walking around the Village. Turns out I did take more so here they are …

This is what I call the Hilton Lagoon. They call it something else. But, it’s located in front of the Hilton Rainbow tower so I renamed it.

Here’s Waikiki Beach and a sea of umbrellas that you can rent for $49.95 a day. Want a chair? That’s $35 a day. That’s Diamond Head in the back ground.

Diane found a new friend … and see! She’s got her slippahs on just like I said.

There are ponds throughout the village with lots of fish and this turtle doing some stretching exercises. He must of got a cramp chasing the fish.

Here’s some of the fish. I think many of them are destined for a trip to one of the many kitchens surround the area. That’s a guess, of course.

Diane bought me a new hat, too, but she won’t let me wear it in public.

Oh! And here’s another one from when I stabbed myself in the thumb while cooking.

Once we got ourselves prepared we jogged over to the Hale Koa parking garage, got the car, and drove to Aloha Stadium for the Swap Meet. Sadly, I failed to take a photo of all the vendors. I did, however, get one shot of a typical vendor setup on the way out.

Most of the vendors sell clothing, but there are an amazing array of different items. Look HERE to see more.

After leaving the stadium we mosied over to Pearlridge where our family was sequestered while waiting for base housing in 1986. Obviously it’s changed a bit over the years and, like most of the island, is filled with places to shop for anything you might want.

One of the reasons we went to the swap meet was to get towels and an umbrella for the beach. Found the towels, but no umbrella, so I searched for a nearby Walmart or Target to see if they had something. Target was closer so that’s where we went. We actually found a beach ‘thing’ you sit under that folds up small enough to fit in a suitcase. We’ll be happy to show it to you if they let us bring it home.

Back at the condo I cooked steak for supper. Didn’t want to get the new oven all messy so I just fried it in a pan with some onion and a lot of garlic salt.

While eating, we watched the end of the Dalles/49ers football game. I think that’s the one we watched. The 49ers won which we know made Jeannie very happy. I just did that to see if she’s watching. Jeannie is the organist for our church.

After the football game was over, Diane fiddled with the remote and discovered that “Hobbs & Shaw” had just started. We saw it a long time ago but couldn’t remember enough of it to keep us from watching it again. It’s a fun movie.

Then I gook a shower and we went to bed.

Diane shower’s, too, but only in the mornings.

Oahu – Day 4

Today we spent all morning in our room. I got up early, like normal, cooked a Jimmy Dean breakfast for myself, made a pot of coffee and just settled down for a bit until Diane woke up. We both slept well, finally. I was skeptical of how well I slept because my bed was pretty much destroyed this morning.

After Diane woke up we retired to the front porch to just watch the world go by for a while. We just weren’t in a hurry to go anywhere right away. We drank our coffee, watched the traffic, and read stuff. I also worked on the Day 3 post. I do them a day after the event because at the end of a day I’m not capable of doing more than making an outline of events. Seems to work best. You needed to know all that.

Today is an exception to that new rule. Our plan is to watch the remainder of the Chiefs and Jaguars game then we’re going to tour the local area to see what we can see. The reason, Diane said, is to save our energy for tomorrow when we’ll be walking all over Aloha Stadium at the swap meet.

I made salad for lunch. Stabbed my thumb and severed an artery. Almost bled out before Diane got it wrapped with a couple of bandaids. It hurt a little bit.

After the game we went down stairs and walked all over Hilton Hawaiian Village just looking at stuff and greeting to people. Many things were interesting but Diane didn’t want to buy anything before seeing what the swap meet has for us tomorrow. We suspect things will be a little less expensive.

We stopped at the ice cream store and got one scoop each. Only cost $14. While sitting on convenient wall we greeted to passersby and engaged in some interesting conversations. The most interesting was a gentleman who noticed my Navy hat and stopped to talk. He had a Navy hat, also, but his was from the Naval Academy. Here’s what I learned from our conversation:

He lives in Issaquah, Washington, his is last name is Haslet, and he graduated from the academy in 1963. I think he said he quit the Navy in 1969. I failed to get his first name, but his daughter’s name is Adrianne Haslet-Davis. If you read the link you’ll learn that Adrianne is a professional ballroom dancer who lost a foot in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2015. She recovered, and she still dances, and she ran the Boston Marathon. Mr. Haslet told me that she ran two Boston Marathons since the article was written in 2016. A joy to talk with is Mr. Haslet, and our meeting is proof that we really do live in a small world. I wish I had taken a photo with Mr. Haslet, but I didn’t.

We did, however, manage to get a selfie near a big and complex Banyan Tree that resides in the middle of the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

That’s pretty much it for today.

Oahu – Day 3

Today we slept late, a planned event for the duration of our stay. It works for Diane but I still wake up early. That’s OK.

After a bite to eat we took a trip to the North Shore to visit Waimea Bay Beach Park. Perhaps some of you already know that’s where the Eddie Aikau Invitational (a BIG Wave tournament) is being held Saturday & Sunday. Eddie was a famous, fearless life guard at Waimea back in the day (he was Diane’s age). The tricky weathermen over here apparently can predict when and where to find the big waves. Depending on which news broadcast you watch, the waves are expected to be anywhere from 30-60 feet high. Even at the lowest, it should be fun to watch.

On the way up Nimitz Highway we saw this building on fire. Turns out 911 got the call about 10 minutes before we drove by. Sadly there were three fatalities – 1 elderly man and 2 dogs.

Once past this sad event, we departed H-1 west and took H-2 north to Wahiawa. That’s where we lived from 1986 to 1989 during our last tour in the navy. My initial duty station was at NAVCAMS Eastpac located near this village, and Diane worked for Dr. Corboy at the Hawaiian Eye Center in the town. After two years I was moved to CINCPACFLT Headquarters at Pearl Harbor.

Wahiawa is where many of the Dole pineapples that you eat grow up.

Without incident, we made it to Waimea Bay Beach Park where we just sat around for a while at a picnic table. The parking at the park is limited to only about 20 vehicles. But, if you have a handicap pass you get an extra chance. Thankfully, Diane thought to bring ours with so we generally don’t have any problem finding a place to park, even in small lots. That pass, however, doesn’t help with the incredible amount of traffic traversing the two lane road that connects all the villages on the north shore. It really didn’t bother me at all because I wasn’t driving. Diane, though, had a few choice words for the way some Hawaiians drive. That didn’t bother me, either. I just sat in my seat minding my own business for the duration of the trip.

Although the big waves weren’t here, yet, the surf was pretty stunning by Oregon standards.

Same is true for some of the beach-goers.

On the wasy “home” we stopped at Zippy’s in Wahiawa where we had some Saimin (fancy Ramen). I knew what Saimin was, but asked the waitress if it was like Ramen anyway. She said, “Yes, like Ramen but way bettah”. She was right. Diane did half of her bowl and I ate the rest, including mine. Quite tasty.

After Zippy’s we drove in to Mililani Town where Jeff attended High School. Mililani it the next village down the hill from Wahiawa as you head back to Honolulu.

This is H-1 East on our way back to Honolulu. Notice the people heading West. They’re going to the North Shore, all of them, and this is just a sampling of what the weekend will be like for all roads leading north.

Thought you might like to see the fancy toilet we have in our condo. Once I figured out what all the buttons are for, I found myself going to the bathroom more frequently.

Ala Moana Blvd from our porch. This is one of the busiest roads on the island as it’s right in the heart of the Waikiki area. A number of years ago we stayed in a nearby condo where we survived a tsunami caused by an earthquake in Chile. At that time, there was not a car on this blvd and no one was allowed on the beaches. It was quite interesting. Diane bought me a Tsunami Survivor T-shirt. It’s brown.

Sunset with a friendly bird. Notice he’s standing on one leg. He just came up and landed a couple feet away from us while we were watching the sunset. He didn’t leave until we did.

When staying in tall buildings, I use our assigned balcony railing to ensure neighboring buildings are straight up and down. This one looks to be pretty plumb to me.

Having verified that it was OK, I was able to relax.

Oahu – Day 2

Jerrie got up and made coffee in a pot just like the one we had in Las Vegas the last time we visited there. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure it was the very same coffee cooker, transported to Hawaii so I would have something familiar to work with. Yeah. I’m sure that’s true. Either that, or Hilton buys in bulk, populating all of their properties (of which there are many) with same furnishings and equipment world-wide so the only way you can tell you’re in a different time zone is to look out the window. Yup. It’s really that simple. Kinda like time travel.

When I look out the window here I see this to the north …

… and this to the north east …

I’d show you the view west, but that would require me to get closer to the railing. We’re on the 31st floor and it’s a little freaky getting near the edge. We have a partial ocean view but partial is plenty. We’ve seen the ocean before so it’s not a big deal. It’s more fun to watch the traffic on Ala Moana Blvd below us …

We ate some breakfast, rested a bit, then gathered ourselves for the long trip to get the car. Diane braved the trip, not making me go get the car and come back for her. My GPS indicates that the car is only 700 feet away, but it doesn’t count all the corners one must traverse to avoid buildings and such. But, walking to the front of the property from our room isn’t much less than that. Distances are deceiving. Walking together was the better choice.

Our destination was the Navy Commissary at Pearl Harbor so we could load up on food for the duration. More better than buying food in town. Here’s where we went …

We took Exit 15A , in case you were wondering.

Diane found a spot pretty close to the facility. There were lots of special slots closer to the front door, like Expectant Mother (she refused to park there) and lots of other spots for Flag Officers, CO Afloat, stuff like that, but nothing for Honorably Retired Senior Chiefs. So, we had to go searching. It was actually OK.

Once inside we went directly to the food court on the 2nd level. Diane got a turkey avacado sandwich and I got a very large bacon cheese burger. I didn’t get a picture of mine, but I had to catch Diane in the act of discovering how enormous her sandwich was …

She only managed to eat half of it, saving the other half for dinner (without bread).

After lunch we wandered around the Navy Exchange, remembering how it used to be when we lived here. Things have changed considerably. Things just aren’t as cheap as they used to be. We did buy a few things, however, then made our exit to the commissary right next door. That was a better shopping experience and we got enough food to keep us going for a while.

The trip back to the hotel was familiar because we stayed on Nimitz Drive most of the way. Really familiar territory even though it’s been 34 years since we left. Most of the changes are vertical, not horizontal. They don’t have a lot of choice about direction.

Diane pulled up in front of the main entrance and I commissioned a bellman to get all our food to our room. He got a couple of plastic bins and a luggage cart to make the trip while I took the car back to the parking lot. I took my time getting back to the room because I knew I’d just be in the way. My timing was pretty good. Even though I could have made it sooner Diane still commented “That was quick!”

For dinner Diane ate the rest of her sandwich as planned and I got to eat the rest of the rigatoni she didn’t eat for dinner on Day 1. It was really good. We had planned to go take a walk on the beach to end the day but it got dark quickly so we just stayed in and watched “Gnomeo & Juliet” on Disney Channel. Cute movie. No one died.

About 2030 we headed for bed.

It was another good day.

Oahu – Day 1

Got up at 0500 to go wait for the airport shuttle.

We were dropped near the middle of the terminal which left us with a very long walk, to the right, to the Hawaiian Air Lines checkin area. None of the kiosks worked which required everyone heading to Hawaii to get in a Conga Line so we could check our bags. Some folks were bummed about having to get in such a long line but they didn’t consider that even had the kiosks worked, they would have still been required to join the line to check their bags. Surprisingly, the line moved along quickly. To dispel the growing feeling of being left behind, an HAL agent spent a lot of time walking up and down the line assuring everyone that the plane would not leave without us. I’m thinking, “Really! Pretty much everyone in line constituted the entire passenger list for FLIGHT 25 so, of course, they were going to wait.”

I was a bit concerned about the weight of our two big bags because Diane insisted on packing them. We were both surprised that both were accepted as being on or under the limit so we didn’t have to pay the $200 I was expecting. One came in at 52.5 lbs, the other was 49.2. Yippee! I think we both said that out loud causing the ticket agent to wonder what kind of people she was letting on the plane.

We got to the gate just in time to board. Diane got us seats just behind the kitchen and toilet section that separated common folks from 1st class folks. Since there were no seats directly in front of us we had about 4 feet of leg room. Plus, the toilet was right in front of us, next to the section that contained our food, How handy is that?

It was a 5.5 hour flight crossing two time zones. Since I forgot to get our iPads from the front pocket of a checked suitcase, we had to use our phones to read our books. It worked OK. We read a little and actually nodded off a couple of times. Since Diane wore her mask the entire time we were on the plane she was equipped with a perfect sleep aid:

We landed safely at 11:16 am local in Honolulu. As it was with Portland, where we had to walk 1-2 miles to get to the departure gate, in Honolulu it was easily that far, or further, to the baggage claim. We walked, rested, walked, rested, walked, etc., until we finally arrived at carousel 7 and noticed right away that it wasn’t running. After all that travel, and resting, we beat our luggage to the carousel. Then we waited a while. And a little longer. It was the typical “wait for your luggage” moment. Whoever flies knows this.

Our suitcases finally made it around the last corner (I was at the end of the conveyor belt where it disappeared into the wall). Had I not snagged them in time it would have been another aggravating 5 minutes until they reappeared. With them in tow, we shuffled off out of the terminal, across a street, to a shuttle bus that looked suspiciously like one headed for some sort of rental car place. Luckily, it was. Turn out that Honolulu, like Las Vegas, and maybe many other airports, have a garage facility dedicated totally to rental car folks.

Diane had already reserved a vehicle so all we had to do was find the Budget Car folks. We did and walked right up to an agent and was issued keys to a new Chevy Malibu after agreeing to pay for an incredible amount of money for insurance. It’s Hawaii so it’s OK. I suppose we could have not rented a car and paid for an Uber every time we wanted to go somewhere but that would never have worked. We plan to go everywhere on this island. We lived here from 1986 to 1989, and have had short visits since, but we’ve got 2 weeks to see it all.

We drove to the Grand Waikikiian in the Hilton Hawaiian Village, where Waikiki resides. We parked out front while checking in to our room. When the lady checking us in discovered we had a car her eyes got big as she exclaimed, “Do you know how much it costs to park here?” I said, “No” because I didn’t. She said, “$65 a day for a total of over $900 for your two weeks!” I said, “No one told us” and she said “did anyone ask?” I said “Let me go get the boss” and went to get Diane involved. I was all ready to pull that chain but clearer heads prevailed when she said parking at the Hale Koa lot was more reasonable and the walk wasn’t much further. So, we decided to do that.

I left Diane at the hotel while I arranged for parking the car. I got a lot of walking in getting this all done. Something like 4 miles. But, I got a pass for 30 days for only $120. That’s like stealing for parking only a couple blocks from Waikiki.

Then we went to dinner at Fresco, a nearby Italian restaurant. The food was great, we had a terrific view of the Hilton Lagoon, and we could hear the music from a luau going on in the park.

Fortunately I didn’t spill anything. Diane, however, spilled her water. It was OK. Our waiter had a mop.

We walked back to our hotel, took a shower called it a night. It wasn’t even 8 pm, but our bodies tell us it’s 10 pm so went to bed.

Jerrie Fell Down and went BOOM!

I’ve been missing in action for just a little less than one month. To me, in my old age, it was just mere minutes. But, in my defense, I’ve been pretty busy during those missing hours. Looking back, however, there’s lots of evidence supporting Diane’s firm belief that I’m a victim of dementia. I know that’s her belief because she points it out every time she quizzes me about something I was apparently supposed to remember. Regarding that, while in the midst of living through those events, and/or discussions it wasn’t made clear to me that it would be necessary to provide accurate answers about details.

Since I’m not much of a detail person I had to struggle through many awkward moments in an attempt to live up to expectations with accurate data. Because of that I did my best to fill my blanks with the best stuff I could make up in a hurry. I’ve done that so often that my reality is blurred with a lot of fake information. The longer I pretend, the more real it becomes.

Considering all that I think perhaps that living in a fantasy world might not be all that bad. I’m so good at it that I’m seriously considering a run for Congress in 2024. Maybe I’ll go for President. There’s considerable proof that anyone can run for, and win, political office without understanding anything about what’s expected. Credentials? Who needs real ones when you can just make up what sounds good at the time. Education? Same thing. All you need is money. Lots of it.

Something that may, or may not, influences voters is that I’m not aligning with a particular party. I mean, c’mon. Why are they called parties, anyway? Doing that kind of defines the kind of activity one might expect of those who affiliate with them. Instead, I’m not affiliating with any organization that is defined as a party. I’m just running for office. There’s another thing that causes me to go “hmmm.” Why do candidates “run” for office? Why don’t they just calmly walk for an office at a brisk pace? How about “vying” for office? Or “competing”?

If anyone wants to help with my campaign all you need to do is write my name in for any position of any ballot anywhere. Don’t send money. I don’t want to feel like I’m obligated to do something for somebody.

This morning was pretty exciting at our house when I tripped over the dog and crashed into the door on Diane’s shoe closet. If I hadn’t been carrying a glass of water and my iPad I could have probably protected myself a little better but being burdened as I was I had to stop my forward momentum with my face and right shoulder. Doing that wasn’t a conscious act as it happened faster than little brain could considered an alternate outcome. So, from about 3 feet from the door I began my descent into the door.

The first contact with the door was made with the outer corner of my right eyebrow, then the frame of my glasses, then my right shoulder. The noise was loud enough to wake up everyone in the house, even in the basement. It was quite astounding.

The door stopped my forward progress making a descent to the floor inevitable. The first thing that happened was gravity took over and I dropped vertically to my knees while my face slid down the door. Then I automatically tipped back and to my right causing my right hand to hit the floor first, then my left, and I rolled onto my back, still holding half a glass of water.

There was a lot of scurrying and exclamation as people tried to discover what all the racket was. Gilligan arrived first, then Diane, then Jeff. Someone took the glass of water from my hands but I don’t know who wound up with the iPad. Then I just laid there waiting to discover what was going to hurt the most. Oddly, there was very little pain involved and nothing broke. After a short period of fending off attempts to get me off the floor, I was able to attain a vertical position on my own. Then we went to Diane’s other house so Jeff and I could work on installing a new garage door opener. I was allowed to participate with the understanding that I would not be allowed on a ladder.

As the day progressed pains in my shoulder, wrists, and knees manifested as a reminder that I probably should have turned on the light before venturing into the dark end where the dog waited.

Now I must limp to my bed and prepare for tomorrow’s chores. We have to finish the garage door opener, then Diane and I have to pack our suitcases. We’re going on a trip.

Season Greetings and Happy Birthday Diane

It’s been two months since my last post so I feel compelled to report that any any information you’ve seen about my demise is incorrect. I was going to say “it’s a lie” but that just sounded a bit harsh in my head. I’m actually fine. Diane isn’t totally sure about that but I think I’m OK.

I’m currently sitting next to my favorite wife, staring through a double pane, rain-splattered window at the stormy Pacific Ocean. Sounds a bit dreary, doesn’t it, but it’s really not. The ocean is Diane’s Happy Place, rain or shine. And, since today is her last day of her 75th year here on earth, she gets to do whatever she wants. Yes, today is her birthday, but it isn’t official until 8:08 pm so she’s going to lounge peacefully in the waning hours of #75. She’ll probably be amazed that I remember the minute she was born because she’s pretty sure I’m losing my mind. But, 8:08 was the hull number of the first ship I was assigned to – USS Dennis J. Buckley DD-808.

Next on the today’s list is lunch at Norma’s in downtown Seaside. We’re staying at the Tides, an airbnb studio condo. We’ve passed by it many times on our trips to the ocean so it wasn’t a surprise find. It’s been here a long time. Yesterday when we arrived it was revealed to us that although it’s evident many upgrades have been done to our unit, none of them included the addition of a refrigerator large enough to hold enough food for multiple days. It’s a tiny little thing suitable for a dorm room and it doesn’t have a freezer. Also, when we could not get any hot water from the taps we learned from the office that it was “luck of the draw” (his words) about who got the hot water first. We were told that the folks in the room next to us got it first by filling their tub for the ir child to play in. Made me go “hmmmm” a couple of times. After waiting an hour or so, and running the hot water tap for about 5 minutes, we had hot water.

When we first took our seats in front of our assigned windows there were quite a few folks out walking their dogs. All of them were chasing balls thrown by their humans. It was fun to watch. By “quite a few” I really mean 7 or 8 and none of them were close to each other, avoiding the chance of someone picking up the wrong ball..

Also on the beach, some with dogs, were joggers. I’ve never been one of those so I find it hard to relate to the joy of running. I’m OK being a slug, just sitting here watching them trot up and down the beach in the rain. We’ll enjoy part of that thrill when we leave our room and face the rain on our walk to the car. Diane was happy to learn that I brought my raincoat without being reminded.

The past couple of months have been eventful which is part of the reason why I’ve been idle. The other part is because I couldn’t seem to conjure up enough motivation to sit down and do this.

I know there is a lot to share, but none of it is readily available at this moment, so I’m quitting and will do some studying before starting a new post.

Cheers to you all.

Red Rock Canyon & Donny

Just a little bit west of Las Vegas is a place everyone should visit if you’re ever in the area. This National Conservatory (not a park) is beautiful and can be accessed with your Old Age National Park Pass (OANPP) and a couple of bucks. But, you need to make a reservation because they monitor the number of vehicles allowed every hour. It’s a busy place and the road is one way all the way. it’s probably 13 miles long. I know that’s true because I looked on the map they gave us.. There are stops all along the route to view things.

Here’s a little bit of what we saw …

We also saw Donny Osmond. He put on an exceptional 90 minute show that we both loved.