Tag Archives: reunion

Reunion 2018

This month have been an exciting month, to to say the least, I will make this short by hitting the highlights. For those that read my blog, which is written every other week, I did not write one the week before last. My wife and I was in Orlando, Florida for the family reunion that is every two years at a different location with a different theme each time. This was the fifth family reunion and it was a lot of fun, games and food.

There is a lot to see and do in Orlando with not enough time to do either. It is great to see and talk to members of the family that haven’t been seen nor talked to in the past two years. To acquaint oneself with the going on and happenings with the other, out of state, members of the family and to just have fun to boot was great. After seeing helicopter tours all over the place I decided to take a couple of the younger male members on their first flight in a helicopter, they loved it. We flew over Disney World, the surrounding areas and back. Well worth my money to see the area from the air and the smiles on their faces.

The welcoming event, picnic and costume banquet was great, as always. I believe we outdid the last one which was in Lancaster, Pa. For the welcoming event, the first day, we all wore the last reunion tee shirts and, of course, for the picnic we wore this year’s tee shirt with the extended family names on the back. For the banquet each branch of the family wore a Disney character costume with prizes given for whoever was considered the best. My wife wore Tinker Bell and I wore Peter Pan but we didn’t win.

Many families rented houses (two or three families to a house) to stay in for the reunion, with members of the family coming together to cook, eat and party well into the wee-hours of the morning just to start the day over again. Life is beautiful and filled with fun. As always, all good things must come to an end. We were with children, grand children, great grand children, cousins and very close friends. It was really great to see all of them and make plans for year 2020.

Upon returning to Richmond, we stayed overnight with my wife’s sister before returning to Virginia Beach. It was nice to be back in the Capitol City again and I made a last doctor’s appointment while there. Coming back to Virginia Beach, I finally made the transfer to the Veteran’s Hospital in Hampton. Now I can concentrate on making plans for the Hahn AB, Germany reunion that will be held in California next year. My wife have never been to California but I was stationed at a base in the state in the 60’s. It will be great to see old friends that I used to supervise and those that have supervised me. We also have two or three more trips for the remainder of this year, I can hardly wait. A lot to look forward to.

Who say senior’s are too old to travel and have fun? All it take is a willingness to want to do it and go out and do it. Life is too short to let time and things pass by. Like the commercial say “Just Do It”.

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Vacation Cruise

We have returned (my wife and I) to land after nine days at sea, on the Grandeur of the Seas, with stops in Bermuda, Nassau (Bahamas) and Coco Cay (Bahamas), over twenty four hundred nautical miles, round trip. I loved it but I did not love what we returned to, the aftermath of a terrible storm. Trees down, roads blocked because trees were across the roads and power lines and no electrical power anywhere. I have been through and seen worst but that is something a person can’t get used to. It’s an inconvenience, to say the least, but I’ll get to that later.

First let me write about the cruise. We traveled from Imperial Plaza by bus with twenty six other people and checking in/boarding was a breeze. It was better than what I anticipated plus the weather was perfect. In fact, the only day we ran into rain was at the last stop, Coco Cay, Bahamas, and that was an off and on rain. In fact, when I took the picture of the sailboat with the lightning strike behind it, it was a sunny morning. When the off and on rain hit, I was reclining in a beach chair on the beach, letting the warm rain wash over me along with a gentle, warm breeze. What a relaxing day.

The first stop was at Heritage Wharf in Bermuda. We took a tour of the entire island with frequent stops included. That night we cruised the waters in a glass bottom boat, looking at the fish and the old ship wreck that was sticking out of the water which have been there a couple hundred years. This is proof that Bermuda is surrounded by a reef and there are only two ways past the reef. It was quite warm but a nice breeze gave relief from the humidity. Lovely place but it would be expensive to live there. Michael Douglas and a couple other stars have property there but they can afford it. While we were on the tour, we stopped in the capitol, Hamilton, and did a short tour downtown. We also did the same thing at the far end of the island, St. Georges.

The next stop was Nassau, Bahamas and it was a little hotter (I don’t mean that in a bad way. I love the heat.). We toured a cigar making factory, a chocolate factory and the Natural History Museum. Of course I had to get some nice, fresh, hand rolled cigars. Love a good cigar (I know smoking is bad for you but to each his own, I say). From what I could see, Nassau is small and densely populated. My wife and I concluded that the reason people there moved and worked slowly was because of the heat, humidity and the closeness of everything. The more (faster) you moved, the hotter you become.

The last stop was Coco Cay, Bahamas (owned by Royal Caribbean). As we were entering the port I took the picture of the sailboat and never saw a lightning strike. Later that night, when I reviewed my pictures, I was startled to see the lightning in the photo. Now it is one of my favorite photos. It was sunny as we were coming into port but it later turned into on and off showers. The weather was warm with a nice breeze. I lazed under an umbrella and, as the showers came and went, I only got wet from the knees down but was never cold. The cruise line had nice food (hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ, fruit, and beverages). Then the seagulls started flying all around us and occasionally stole food. They were very aggressive and would get as close as a couple feet (can anyone say aggressively hungry?).

On board the ship was fantastic. I could write a book about the things that went on, the fine service, the wonderful shows and, of course, the duty free shopping. The food was greater than great and there was a different menu each day. The on-board casino kept me and my wife occupied (she won the slot machine contest. I came in thirteen out of the many people that entered) and the drinks flowed freely (not free). I love being retired and on a constant vacation. It was so wonderful that we signed up for a cruise in December 2017, but all good things must come to an end and it did.

Getting back to Imperial Plaza, via Imperial Plaza’s bus, was easy, especially with the traffic (only a couple slow downs). Then the bottom fell out. We knew there was a wind storm but we didn’t expect the power outage or the destruction the wind caused. Trees were down everywhere and electricity was out. Oh well, can’t fight Mother Nature, just cope with it. We returned on Saturday afternoon and Imperial Plaza’s power came back at four thirty Sunday afternoon and then the fun began. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel and returned Sunday afternoon. Then, forgoing unpacking, we began emptying the chest freezer and refrigerator/freezer plus cleaning both. Now we will restock with the insurance payout. The company we are with is making a fast payout for the lost food.

Monday, we walked the area taking pictures of all the devastation and carnage that had occurred. It looked like a war zone with so many trees down, broken trees, trees on cars, trees on houses, and traffic lights not working. There were many vehicle accidents because where the traffic lights were out vehicles had to come to a stop. Some didn’t and, of course, there was an accident (one death that I am aware of). There was even damage to one of the buildings of Imperial Plaza. The wind was a “straight line” wind, not a tornado, as I’ve heard some people saying.

Well, I’ll close this and say “stay tuned because it’s not over yet”. This year’s traveling is not over yet. This weekend we’ll go to Maryland Live (casino) for my wife’s birthday, then the following weekend is to Colorado for my grandson’s wedding. Then to Pa. for a family reunion and I don’t remember the rest. I’m retired and I love this traveling. I’ve worked many years to have and enjoy this time in my life. You all should do the same. I wish all a good summer and safe travels. Enjoy life!

Lightning Strike

Lightning Strike

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Coco Cay, Bahamas

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

Grandeur of the Seas showtime

A resident of Coco Cay

A resident of Coco Cay

A small piece of the wind damage

A small piece of the wind damage

I’m Back And Here To Stay

It has been a long time since I last wrote in this blog and I know I am well overdue. A lot have happened, since I last wrote and I will attempt to highlight a few things before I continue the normal weekly activities. It is not difficult to get off track and not get back to writing but I must in order to dig deep into the book I am writing.

I have hooked up with a buddy that I have not seen in thirty years (in fact we were together in the military in Germany and in North Dakota) and he and his wife have been getting together with me and my wife, over a meal or two, several times since we reunited. He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia which isn’t that far away. And, to my surprise, he is now a minister (I would have never thought he would become one from the way we used to drink and party).

My wife and I also went to Tennessee for a week long family reunion that was great. We were in Dolly Parton territory and, of course, I had to go by the corn whiskey distillery for the booze. To tell the truth, that booze is not as strong as that which is gotten from the back woods. The family have gotten much larger and family members came from every state up and down the east coast.

Imperial Plaza have been keeping my wife and I busy, not only with the trips but also with the other activities. Coming here has been one of the best moves I have ever made. My wife run the twice weekly WII bowling, the Saturday Pokeno games and work part-time. I am part of the Bellevue Community Neighborhood Patrol and I have a part-time job as well. Now that it is pro-football season..(enough said).

When I add in going to the McGuire Veterans Hospital, fighting with them for my due benefits (it seems to be a hopeless case), most of my time is shot. There is an old saying….”If you can’t say anything good about someone, don’t say anything at all”. I won’t say anything more, I’ll leave it alone except to say that the law suits and investigations into the Federal Health Care System is long, long overdue.

My time (space) is up and I’ll try to stay on track. Until next time…

New Developments

Things have really changed since my last writing.  For those that do not know my background I will say this…..it was colorful and varied and I really enjoyed all of it.  I am retired from the air force and have had many careers since then with another retirement included.

I decided to apply for a part-time job, that was seen in the papers, to have a little extra spending change and to take up the rest of my free time (I know I am crazy).  I have been training all week and will be on my own next weekend.  The job will have me working midnight shifts Friday and Saturday nights, every other weekend.  That’s not bad and it will give me a little change in my pocket and it won’t take up all my time or all my weekends.

The second thing that happened is the message I received from one of my EX-air force comrades.  I had no idea anyone was looking for me and I did not know there will be a reunion of the guys I worked with in Germany.  These were great guys although they were not K-9 (smile).  I worked with these guys as their security supervisor and, if I may say so, we had a great time.  There was always something happening (I should write a book about the things that happened).  There were a few guys that came to North Dakota where I became the First Sergeant.  Again we had some good times together although not as much.  I was invited to the reunion but I cannot go to Chicago because of other commitments during that time frame.

Needless to say, I haven’t had time to ride my bike but I will tomorrow.  The weather will be good and I shouldn’t have anything to do.  RICHMOND AND HENRICO LOOK OUT BECAUSE HERE I COME!!  The temperature should be low (around 75’) and it will have a light wind from the north.  That will be great for riding and Richmond is becoming safer for us on bicycle.  I am glad to be here, in a city and county that is bike friendly and will be more so as time go by.

Not forgetting Imperial Plaza, tomorrow is WII day in the White Squirrel and Wednesday is a trip to the Eastern Shore.  TAKE CARE!!!!  Don’t forget to click “like” and/or “follow”.  BYE-BYE!!!