FC: Bob and Terry See the World Remembering Our Parents Through the Trips They Took
1: To Our Family
3: This is a book of memories, a book of words and pictures left by our parents, Bob and Terry Stroh. Mom and Dad loved to travel, and they loved to travel together. They were their own best travel companions. They loved to see new places, to try new foods, to capture their experiences in pictures, and words, and mementos. They loved to bring home souvenirs of their adventures -- gifts for the children, prints for the walls, books, brochures, and guidebooks. Dad would trace their journeys on carefully folded maps, methodically calculate exchange rates, take picture after picture of what they saw. Mom would wear her loveliest clothes, soak in the sights and sounds, treasure the memories and recount favorite stories long afterwards. Paris, Rome, Scotland, England, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, Vancouver -- not to mention trips to Sanibel, the Outer Banks, Chicago, New York City, Las Vegas, Seattle, and more.
4: This book transcribes the travel diaries Dad wrote on five of their trips: -- Rome in 1972 -- Hawaii in 1975 -- Jamaica in 1976 -- A cruise to the Caribbean in 1980 -- Cancun in 1995 It sets out pictures from those trips, and pictures from other trips for which I've found no diary, including one of their earliest trips, Paris in 1974. Four of the diaries were written in small travel diary notebooks, and one, the 1980 cruise, was written on lined paper. All but one, the 1995 Cancun trip, seem to have been glued at one time into those large scrapbooks that Dad especially enjoyed capturing his memories in.
5: As I've transcribed Dad's travel diaries, I've wondered, who was the audience he was writing for? Was it himself? The two of them? Or did he have some sense he was writing for family as well? I like to think Dad would have loved to see family vicariously enjoying their adventures through what he wrote and the pictures he and Mom took. The beauty of their lives and their love, for each other, for their family, and for the world and its many splendors shines through in the memories and pictures they left us.
7: Travel Diary Start -- Saturday October 28, 1972 Our Trip to Rome VRMA TWA | 10/28 From Ch'ville, VA to Rome, Italy Left Ch'ville 2:00 pm Ate in Warrenton Arrived Dulles 5:30 Went through gate at 9:45 pm On board 10:20 Took off 11:10 pm (Waited in Dulles "traveling lounge" for 20 minutes) 174 passengers on TWA 707 Bus to Florence Tues 10/31 Bus to Pompeii & Naples & Sorrento by Amalfi Drive Thurs 11/2 | Rome 1972
8: At 1:15 am the steward announced that the passengers could reset their watches to 6:15 am Rome time (since we left behind Daylight Savings Time. At "6:45 am" the pilot announced that we were passing over St. John's Newfoundland and that we would enter Europe at France. Had Scotch & Water. TWA served dinner about 60 minutes out. MENU - 12 midnight- King Crab - steak - potatoes - french pastry At "9:30 am" coffee and a sweet roll was served Movie shown was "CULPPER CATTLE COMPANY" At 10:45 am the piilot announced we were over France and that we would land at the Rome airport in 1 1/2 hrs i.e. 12:15. The tour ticket says 1:30. At 10:55 am a man said "land" and I looked down at France !!! | 10/28 Cloudy - raining Left home at 2:00 pm Drove to Dulles Airport, arrived Dulles 5:30, had a drink. Group starting shaping up about 7:00 pm - Gate sign went up about 7:15. - 1st call 9:40 pm into Dulles waiting room bus TWA jet took off at 11:15 pm EDST | Landed at Rome's Ciampino's Airport (not main airport) Got in bus - landed in incredible traffic jam - reached hotel at 2:00 pm EST 8:00 am 4:30 Terry and I went for a walk - Santa Maria Magiorre basilica - Kept walking - Came on the Coliseum at dusk ! Breathtaking! Dinner with group 8:00 pm To bed
9: MONDAY 10/30/72 Slept till noon! Lunch in room Terry and I went for a walk to Terminal then Gallery of Grand Continental Hotel facing the Square in front of the terminal - Bought just a few things. 2:30 Bus tour of Rome- Monument to King Victor Emmanuel Janiculum Hill (highest in Rome) Via Veneto Trevi Fountain Borghese Gardens Park etc Back to hotel 6:15 6:30 Terry and I went shopping Back to book stalls on the Square facing the Terminal Toy store Dinner at 8:00 pm Phone call went through to kids at 10:20 pm (EST 2:20 pm?) To bed | TUESDAY 0/31/72 Call at 6:00 am Down to breakfast (roll & coffee) at 7:00 am Bus left for Florence at 7:30 Very heavy traffic leaving Rome at 8:00 am - on to 4 lane turnpike Rest stop at 10:00 am for 15 minutes Arrived Florence 12:00 noon (about 190 miles from Rome) Went to Michelangelo Square above city - Then to lunch across from the railway Station Cavalli D’Oro Toured Academy of Fine Arts Saw Michelangelo’s DAVID The Signorini Plaza Pal Logo Vechio Uffizi Gallery The Cathedral Baptistry The day in Florence was so crowded it’s hard to sort out the memories Ended by shopping on the Ponte Vechio Bus to Rome at 6:30 Dinner en route back at monastery near Orvieto - LOVELY Arrived in Rome 12:00 midnight Sorted out packages till 1:00 am To bed
10: WEDNESDAY 11/1/72 Sunny & warmish Woke up at 8:00 am Breakfast in room Taxi to St. Peter’s Square (Plazzo St. Pietro) 10.40 L 480 plus tip Into St. Peter’s - Mass going on in extreme front of Church Went to roof THRILLING Back to Square. We were in the Square at noon - Pope came to window - spoke - blessed crowd - and us. Back into Basilica - saw bronze statue of St. Peter’s - We sat under dome - Went into souvenir stores | Had lunch at Tratotoria Marchello - L 5100 + L 1000 service charge - plus tip Bargained with horse drawn carriage from L 10,000 to L 5000 for trip from St. Peter’s Square to Spanish steps. Tip L 1000 (driver said he only had L 4000) Bought water color from “Barbara Gordon” starving girl artist. Taxi to hotel 3:30 pm Nap etc. - I went out and bought a new tie at the Terminal - Dinner at 8:30 at “Do Neo Patoccii” Delightful strolling musicians Girl sang “Un Bel Di” for us - a beautiful operatic voice Taxi to hotel - Cappucino in bar To bed
13: THURSDAY 11/2/72 Bus to Naples - left 7:30 (foggy & cool) Day turned out beautiful & sunny and not too warm Stopped on Auto Strada - Then to Pompeii after picking guide at intersection on the outskirts of Naples (But first stopped at Cameo factory outside Naples) 1:15 pm Entered Pompeii after lunch in restaurant Spent about 2 hours in Pompeii - Not nearly enough - Would need 3 days at least. Entered by Porta del Marina Basilica - Forum - House of the Vetti I walked on streets 2000 years old. So much to see | Then on to Sorrento by way of the Amalfi Drive - The highway hangs in the air 700 feet above the Bay of Naples - Sorrento - Super 10 cent store Bought a chess table which may or may not be sent to me - $29.00 including $6.00 shipping. Got dark - Drove back up the Amalfi Drive - Damn it - That’s one scary road Stopped at MOTTA - the Howard Johnson’s of Italy - on way back to Rome Hotel at 10:30 pm Looked at packages Entered diary To bed
14: FRIDAY 11/3/72 Last day in Rome. And the more use this diary - the more I want to write Up at 7:00 am - breakfast in room On the bus at 8:30 am to Vatican Museum 10,000 visitors a day the guide says, visit the Vatican Museum We left the group in the Sistine Chapel. There must have been at least 500 people in the Chapel - perhaps more. Terry and I sat down in the Sistine - first against one wall - then against the other. It is too much to see - too much to take in - too much to appreciate. The din is terrible. German - French - Italian - English - at least - and perhaps more. Our group leaves - we stay. It’s too much - Terry’s neck aches and so does mine. The library - Views from the open windows into the papal gardens - The Rotunda - The Belvedere Apollo - the Laocoon statues - hallways - columns We left the museums at 12 noon or so - we had spent 2 hours there. | We walked on the V. Veneto - Had lunch on tat ourdoor “Café de Paris’ (very elegant) (all under glass) Then we walked down V. Veneto thru Pincus Gate into Villa Borghese Park - Then we walked to zoo - Then out into streets - Finally caught a cab - Back to hotel Out again to shop It’s 7:15 pm and we’re dressing for final dinner in Rome Dinner with entire group at 8:00 pm (Sort of missed the cocktail party) (“Dutch” everybody brought his own drinks) Dinner was melon with ham - excellent pasta (?) - then mashed potatoes & a meat - Cake for dessert with coffee. After a trip to the room Terry and I went to (10:15 pm) Piazza Navone and “vis a vis” piano Bars - lovely room - very little business - Back to hotel at midnight To bed
15: SATURDAY 11/4/72 (WOW. I wrote that line last night and I was tired.) It’s 12:53 pm Rome time Terry and I are sitting in the Ciampino Airport Terminal bldg. This airport is much larger and busier than I thought last Saturday. Two 747’s are here - we came in the side of the bldg (Sat 10/28) Today the airport is full. It’s Nov. 4th Italian Memorial Day We are leaving Rome - the weather (again) is perfect. Actually I stopped here because it was time to board the plane TWA 707 jet - I think that this plane is a bit more roomy inside. The sun is shining! Beautiful! | Took out at 1:30 pm Rome time - land at Shannon airport in a foggy rain (I think at 4:00 to 4:30 pm) We shopped in the “Shannon International Airport” - Huge plush department store like part of the terminal Really well done - excellent shop girls with Irish brogue accents Snack (no liquor) from Rome to Shannon. Bought dolls - sweaters Took off in foggy rain at 5:45 Rome time Fine meal - salad, steak, potatoes etc. Lots of drinks. Movie shown was “FUZZ” with Burt Reynolds My watch is still set on Rome time - my watch says 10:45 pm - EST time is 6 hours less 4:45 pm Weather turned beautiful as soon as we left Shannon The stewardess is passing out custom declarations Our trip to Rome is almost over - Pilot just gave mileage in statue miles Rome to Shannon 1320 Shannon to Washington 3370 Total 4690
20: Souvenirs Pinocchio doll L 2000 Clock dog and angel 400 1 plastic purse 2000 1 handkerchief and scarf and napkin rings 8000 1 box of candy 1700 4 tryptychs 12,000 1 framed picture 2000 6 pictures 3000 3 dolls 8500 Books 9000 2 pictures1000 Earrings16000 Street vendor necklace 1000 Dolls 2000 Basket 1000 2 scarves 1000 1 tablecloth 5500 1 baby gift 5500 2 wooden boxes 4000 1 chess box 2500 1 jewelry box musical 6500 1 leather coin purse and rosary 1000 6 bouquets 3000 1 small bronze statue 2000 | 2 lava rocks and (?) 2500 1 book 4000 1 sweater shirt4 000 2 tiny dolls 3000 3 balloons 900 2 dolls1 000 2 dolls 1000 Vatican City 2 dolls @ $2.60 1 ring $40.00 1 statue $17.00 1 set slides $2.00 1 Cross $4.50 1 set stamps $1.00 Shannon Airport 1 Chanel $15.50 2 sweaters @ 15.50 $31.00 1 sweater $17.95 1 scarf $6.45 1 doll $2.35 2 dolls @ 3.80 $7.60 4 horse cart dolls, 2 @ 3.25, 2 @ 4.00 $14.50
23: Bermuda 1973 | June 12 to June 17, 1973 VA Association of Broadcasters Convention On the Queen Anna Maria
31: Paris 1974
39: ' | Hawaii 1975 | Note on time: There is 3 hours difference between Ch’ville and Los Angeles plus an additional 3 hours between Los Angeles and Hawaii (which has kept Standard Time year round.) So time in Hawaii is 6 hours earlier than in Ch’ville. The flying distance from Dulles to Los Angeles Intl Airport is 2640 miles. The distance from Los Angeles to Honolulu Intl Airport is almost the same. In all we flew a little over 5200 miles each way - 10,500 miles approximately in whole trip. | 4/2 Charlottesville Virginia to Dulles Airport Dulles to Los Angeles Int. Airport Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii Int. Airport 4/2 to 4/6 OutRigger Hotel on Waikiki 4/6 Hawaiian Air Lines from Honolulu to Lihue Air Port on Kauai Island 4/6 to 4/9 Coco Palms on the island of Kauai 4/9 Kauai to Oahu 4/9 Honolulu to Los Angeles Los Angeles to Dulles Dulles to Charlottesville And home
40: Wed April 2 - Fair and Cool We left the house at 7:45 am. Kids were all up to see us off - no breakfast (as usual food doesn’t sit well with the excitement of leaving home.) I scraped a thin coating of frost off the windshield. Sunny - cold - 39 degrees - Jimmy and Mary carried our luggage out to the car. (I am writing this at 2:00 pm Wed 4/2 on board TWA Flight 99 - 2 hours out of Dulles) We drove to Warrenton. Stopped at “regular” Howard Johnson’s for breakfast. Terry ate an English muffin. I had a bowl of Special K with a strawberry fruit topping. I unloaded all luggage at TWA gate - no porter in sight - we checked our luggage straight on thru to Honolulu Bought newspaper - waited - took a picture of Terry at Gate 4 Got into Dulles traveling “bus-gate” at 11:20 | Beautiful weather - clear blue sky - Why couldn’t all flights (I’m thinking of Bob and Helen) be as smooth as this! 35,000 feet We’ve just had lunch - Terry had chicken - I had Beef Wellington (has horseradish in sauce - white sauce - mild - delicious) - new TWA menu It’s now 2:15 - I have not reset my watch - we will land (if on time) at 5:00 pm EDST (2:00 pm Los Angeles time) Hostess just handed out tiny pieces of chocolate candy We are on our way to Hawaii!!
41: We landed at the Los Angeles International Airport - almost on the Pacific ocean at a few minutes after 5:00. I reset my watch to Pacific Daylight Savings Time (2:00 pm) We flew over the Grand Canyon - which, when seen from an altitude of 35,000 feet is still quite impressive. We saw Lake Mead in the distance - but the Colorado river was almost too small to notice. LA Intl is another Kennedy - UGGH - which is to say sprawling - crowded - hard to get around. We had lunch in the “Theme Building” which is attractive and futuristic - sandwich and a drink $7.00 Local people call the Theme Building at LA Intl THE SPIDER Went to Western Airlines waiting room at 4:00 pm PDST - plane took off at 6:15. Another Boeing 707. | Plane is almost at capacity - maybe 10 empty seats (about 120 people says the stewardess on board) I’ve reset my watch to Hawaiian Standard Time which is 6 hours earlier than Eastern Daylight Savings time. Stewardesses wear very short purple flowered dresses with matching tiny pants. Made out our guesses on Captain’s “Half Way Time Contest.” Had a scotch and water - Terry a diet drink. It’s now 4:35 pm Hawaiian Standard time. We are due to land at 9:00 pm. (It’s 10:35 in Charlottesville Wed night.) Our day will be 30 hours long today. I’m getting tired. Terry is playing Solitaire with a deck of cards she bought at the LA airport. 4 more hours of flying left.
42: We landed at Honolulu Intl Airport about 9:15 Hawaiian time. (We didn’t win way contest.) Airport is beautiful! Has gardens, shops, etc. Lovely Polynesian girl was waiting at airport with flower lei and kiss. It turned out there were 9 people in tour. Girl guide oversaw luggage - airport type cab (10 passengers) was waiting. Got to Outrigger Hotel about 10:00 pm after dropping off 5 of the 9 in the tour. One other couple (from Boston) came to Outrigger. We unpacked and went to bed. It’s now 6:00 am Thurs morning and we are both awake. Terry is looking at tourist information and I’m writing this. Western Airlines did an outstanding job in serving food, drinks, etc. Free champagne with dinner etc. | The airport with its gardens etc is in the middle of the industrial section of Honolulu. Stretch cab drove from hotel thru industrial section - past Chinatown - past Harbor with big cruise ships moored, past small boat harbor. - down Kalakua Ave which is combination of 5th Ave and Times Square to hotel.
43: Hawaii! Well it’s 5:00 pm Thursday afternoon - We’ve spent a full day sightseeing. I got up at 6:30 - showered & shaved, walked around Waikiki from 7 - 8 am - bought tickets to “Water Show - Polynesian Spectacle” at Sheraton Waikiki tonight and Luau & show tomorrow night here at the Outrigger. Back to hotel. We had breakfast in room at 8:00 am - then started walking. Terry & I explored Royal Hawaiian Hotel & Sheraton Waikiki Hotel - Had a second breakfast at Royal Hawaiian beach front patio coffee shop - lovely. | Then walking again thru Intl shopping place across the street - then down Kalakua Ave to Moana Hotel and a drink in the hotel court yard under huge banyan tree - the same tree Robert Louis Stevenson wrote under - then bus ride almost to the foot of Diamond Head - then down to Oceania floating restaurant for lunch - gorgeous restaurant - then tour of “Falls of Clyde” 4 masted sailing ship then bus back to hotel. At 6 pm we are due at Sheraton Waikiki for dinner and water show.
44: Buffet dinner at Sheraton Waikiki - good food. Water show just ok. Really not very exciting nor very Polynesian. Souvenirs - Glass Pineapple for Bob and Helen Holoku doll for Kathy Grass skirt doll for Sherry “Boys Day” flag for Jimmy Japanese print for Gary Box for me from Oceania It’s 9:30 and early-to-bed time Thursday night. We called the kids at 11:30 HST - 5:30 in Ch’ville - talked to Mary and Kathy. Mary went to round up the rest but Terry thought the bill might reach $10.00 before the first one arrived. | It’s 1:00 am Friday night - actually Saturday morning. Friday has been beautiful. Up at 6:00 am - showered and shaved and walked on the beach from the Outrigger to Fort de Russey 7 - 8 am. Terry was ready for breakfast at 8:00 - we ate on the patio by the pool here at the hotel. Terry went shopping this morning and I sort of sat on the beach. Lunch same patio - same pool - same hotel. We were supposed to take a day tour of Honolulu today - but . Saw Bing Crosby’s “slide movie show” called “THE HAWAII EXPERIENCE” - excellent - lasts about 45 mins. We were going to take the guided bus tour of Oahu but it was a mob scene - well, just too many people - so we went bcck to the hotel - put on shorts and walked up the beach to KAPIOLANI PARK. Got back to room - changed - went to luau.
45: THE LUAU: We agreed that being put up on a higher level - we couldn’t see entertainment very well and I learned that poi, raw fish, salad, chicken with soy sauce, pork with soy sauce, gooey pudding - is not my favorite meal. That was the luau !!!!!! Later tonight we went to the Don Ho Show at his Polynesian Palace. Ho is very good - very fine entertainer. Big nightclub. As I write it’s one am and, as usual, I’m sleepy. (And, as I can see 5 days later, my handwriting gets illegible.)
46: Saturday morning April 5th 10:35 am Sunny, warm, beautiful Up at 8:00 - Showered, shaved - out to breakfast at cafeteria called Cock’s Roost Got material at Tahiti Imports Picked up slides of Terry and me at luau last night - Slides look like more fun than reality of luau. Bought tickets for Windjammer Cruise We are going to rent a car and drive across the island to the Polynesian Cultural Center this afternoon. | Wow. What a beautiful day we’ve had. The car rental (Avis) worked out fine. Maroon & white 2-door Ford. Drove the lovely scenic highway which runs right along the coast below Diamond Head - stopped at tiny light house - continued past enormous mountains and cliffs. Missed Highway 83 to Polynesian Cultural Center - crossed over Pali on 61 - back into Honolulu - got directions back to 83 via Highway 63- drove to Polynesian Cultural Center - operated by Mormon Church While the Cultural Center isn’t the most impressive thing we’ve ever seen (Williamsburg has spoiled us) the drive around and over the island was great.
48: Wow. What a beautiful day we’ve had. The car rental (Avis) worked out fine. Maroon & white 2-door Ford. Drove the lovely scenic highway which runs right along the coast below Diamond Head - stopped at tiny light house - continued past enormous mountains and cliffs. Missed Highway 83 to Polynesian Cultural Center - crossed over Pali on 61 - back into Honolulu - got directions back to 83 via Highway 63- drove to Polynesian Cultural Center - operated by Mormon Church While the Cultural Center isn’t the most impressive thing we’ve ever seen (Williamsburg has spoiled us) the drive around and over the island was great.
49: Sunday 6:00 pm At Coco Palms Resort on the “Garden Island” KAUAI - which rhymes with HAWAII KAH-WHY-EE KAUAI HAW-VY-EE HAWAII Coco Palms may be the most beautiful spot on the face of God’s Green Earth!! Our room is beautiful - all aqua and white - overlooking the lagoon. | We flew here via Hawaiian Air Lines - 20 minute flight - and landed at LIHUE (I’ll never get that name straight (LEE-HOO-EE is close) Picked up with one other couple by stretch-cab. Danish Hawaiian driver - about a 15 minute drive to Coco Palms resort Lunch in Lagoon Room - reservations for dinner & show tonight Time to get dressed for 7:00 pm reservation.
50: It’s 7:15 am Monday morning April 7th. We had dinner last night in the Lagoon Room and stayed on at our table for a small program of Hawaiian singing and dancing by a Hawaiian family - father, mother, son, and 2 daughters with 2 additional girls added as dancers from another band here at the feast. The show dignified and very nice - a delightful contrast to the Waikiki shows. At 7:30 the “Torch Light Ceremony” was held - An outrigger canoe glides down the lagoon - a long wait then an extremely dignified and melodious woman’s voice recites the story of these lagoons - and how the ancient Hawaiians didn’t count time in days but in nights - how they never began a feast in the daytime but at night - the voice continued with chant like melody “Come. The torches are lighted. The food is made ready. The food is waiting. Come. Come to the feast.” (As best I remember) | A young man comes forward and blows on a conch shell - the voice tells how the conch shell was a signal that royalty was coming - like a herald announcing a king’s decree - The conch is sounded to the sea - to the mountains - to each side - and then 3 or 4 runners clad like the conch shell blower run down the lagoon and thru the trees lighting low torches set on the ground - they swing the torch they carry in a circle from the ground up - the timing is perfect as they run - Touch ground - touch torch - touch ground - touch torch
51: If this description is hard to follow - and my handwriting difficult to read - why come to Coco Palms yourself and see the ceremony first hand. The whole thing is corny and delightful - perhaps only a showy thing for the tourists but nicely done. We got back to the room about 10:00 and went to bed.
52: MONDAY April 7th [sic] turned out to be a full day. We took a tour bus to Waimea Canyon - the contrast between this great dry canyon and the green lush coast is fantastic. The bus tour ended at 1:00 pm. We got off at a shopping center called “The Coconut Plantation” mile past our hotel - eat lunch - went shopping - walked back to Coco Palms with couple named Sharon & Charlie GUEBERT of Redbud, Illinois - a beer truck driver - nice folks. (Same couple we arrived with on flight in cab etc.) Went to the beach at 3:30 - beautiful but windy - then to hotel pool (one of two) with little waterfall. Dinner at the Seashell Restaurant on the beach To bed at 10:00 pm. Wow, this is the "earliest to bed" vacation we have ever had. | I caught a slight cold Saturday. Sunday I was sneezing and my throat was sore - by Monday noon it was gone. Perhaps this has made me extra sleepy at night - or maybe I’m getting old - or maybe there is nothing to do at night. But this has been - and is - a lovely vacation. Today is Tuesday, April 8th. We slept late - breakfast in room at 9:15 - I’m writing this at 10:15 Tuesday morning. Terry is in shower. We’re going to take a boat ride up the Wailua River to the Fern Grotto about noon. WAILUA WAH-AH-LOO-AH. (My handwriting is noticeably better when I write in the morning or at a table instead of writing in bed asleep as I usually do.)
53: A note on the weather: It has been warm - in the 70’s - almost every day - with strong gusty winds. HONOLULU OAHU CULTURAL CENTER KAUAI COCO PALMS Every day sees clouds - sunshine - wind Walking back from shopping center Monday was hottest, summer day yet. There is a fine sensation of being near the sea always - I love it
54: It’s 2:30 Tuesday afternoon. The boat ride up the Wailua River was nice - quite short - perhaps 30 minutes - the boat goes up to a “Fern Grotto” - a very shallow cave with water dripping down in front of the mouth of the cave. A group of singers performs The Hawaiian Wedding Song in Hawaiian - very nice - then back to the boat for the ride back to the start of the tour. It seems a family called SMITH owns the boats, mans them, operates the tours, performs the entertainment - 40 members of the family in all. Not a bad way to make a living. I wonder who gives the orders? Lunch in the Lagoon Room at Coco Palms- the sparrows and doves beg for food and eat from the plates left on the tables when the diners leave. We go home tomorrow.
59: It’s Wednesday, April 9th - Terry and I are on board Hawaiian Airlines flight 404 from KAUAI to HONOLULU. The time is 5:45 Hawaiian Standard time (11:45 pm in Ch’ville). We are on the way home. Terry had her hair done this morning - I went to C.P. [something]. After lunch yesterday we took a nap - sat in the Coco Palms lagoon cocktail lounge and drank Mai Tai’s (pronounced “MY-TIES”) until the torch lighting ceremony - went back to room - changed into something elegant and had dinner at the Coconut Palace on the grounds of the resort. Excellent Chinese dinner - one of the best we’ve ever had - several courses - another Mai Tai. Damn, why do we have to go home. Hawaii has finally reached me!!
60: Plane has taken off now. We’re in the air flying - it’s only a 20 minute trip - back to Oahu and Honolulu International Airport. It’s 10:05 pm now and we’ve just been seated on Western’s Flt 560 to Los Angeles. We should land at 6:05 am Los Angeles time - a 2 hour wait - and then TWA at 8:15 to Dulles landing about 4:30 pm. We landed in Los Angeles at 6:30 am(Thurs 4/10), walked to TWA and learned that Flight 74 to Dulles leaves at 11:00 am not 8:15 am. Weather is 51 degrees - cool for Los Angeles. We got on board TWA Boeing 707 at 10:45 - should take off in a few minutes. | This business of traveling across two days is a pain in the neck - and elsewhere. We left Coco Palms at 4:30 pm Weds (7:30 pm Los Angeles Time) it’s now 11:00 am Thursday morning. The flight from Hawaii was absolutely uneventful. A snack of salad, open face sandwich, dessert, and Champagne (free Champagne on all Western flights [to adults] is part of the airline’s advertising). Then Terry and I slept - fitfully during the flight.
61: I want to write my impressions of Hawaii before I get sleepy on this flight back home. First of all I’m tickled we went. I can’t sum up what traveling means to me in a few words but part of the thrill of traveling is simply “going”, “being there”, “traveling for the sake of traveling”, “enhancing reality”! Rome, Florence, Italy was superb because it was our first trip - and a trip to two of the great European and cultural and religious centers - to see Eternal Rome, the Coliseum, St. Peter’s, Florence, Michelangelo’s “David”. France, Paris, Chartres was a continuation of this same kind of traveling - with the addition of excellent food and marvelous night life. Bermuda was our first cruise. And now westward to the Pacific - to Hawaii - to the tropics | Hawaii - parts of Hawaii are among the most beautiful places on Earth. I think some of the highlights are: Our first flight west - Crossing the Pacific - Seeing Waikiki Beach - The Windjammer Cruise - Driving around Oahu - Seeing the mountains on Oahu - Coco Palms Resort (really Coco Palms is so beautiful many other parts of the trip pale by comparison) And, let’s face it, I’m getting so old and senile that shopping for presents for the kids has gotten to be fun. Damn! Shopping fun ? ? ? NEVER ! I’ll fight it.
62: People: The Chinese Hawaiian lady - 60 years old or so - who was hostess and guide in the Coconut Palace Museum and she spoke - of her pride in her Hawaiian ancestry . How the Hawaiian never had “his hands up - always down”- never begging - always working. How Charlie Gilbert lost his upper plate in the Pacific when a wave kno cked him over Of that incredible woman’s voice reciting the story of the torch lighting ceremony at Coco Palms - she turned out to be the woman who built the resort - “Mrs. G.” - we never saw her or met her - Don Ho the entertainer - | The faces we saw - The Beauty we saw - The mountains on Oahu as we drove around the island - The fantastic lushness of Coco Palms resort - The flowers and trees - And some of the songs, like ALOHA OE and the Hawaiian Wedding Song sung in Hawaiian- The beaches and Diamond Head as seen from the Windjammer - The islands as seen from the air. Beautiful Hawaii
63: Our own souvenirs Muumuu for Terry Teak wood box with brass fittings for Bob Books: “Hawaii” by James Siers “The Hawaiians’ Goodman etc. 3 paper-covered pictures books Hawaiian dictionary Small Hawaiian pineapple bowl LIGHT WOOD Hawaiian shirt for Bob Hawaiian perfumes for Terry WICKED WAHENE A box of papayas for the family | Sherry: Orange muumuu and doll with grass skirt Suzy: Blue muumuu and necklace Jimmy: Boy’s Day flag, sun visor hat, ukelele Chrissy: Orange and red and purple Chinese dress, puka shell bracelet Mary: Puka shell necklace and special Gauguin material and pattern for dress Kathy: Long purple and green knitted summer dress and doll Dan: Sending Hawaiian fruit Bob and Helen: Shirt, blouse (matching), cologne, and glass pineapple Karen, Gary and Alexander: Dress (blue), liquor (?) lei, Japanese print, T shirt, toy boat Vascotts: Hawaiian pineapple bowl Sims: Hawaiian pineapple bowl Dot Dobson: Hawaiian pineapple bowl
67: Jamaica 1976
68: Jamaica May 10th thru May 18th 1976 Note: Jamaican dollar is exchanged here in Jamaica to the advantage of this country: Rate is 88 cents Jamaican for $1.00 U.S. or put another way the Jamaican dollar is worth $1.14 in U.S. currency. We left home at 3:15 pm Monday May 10th 1976. Said goodbye to Dan who will leave for England Saturday, May 15th. Actually I think he leaves Friday to hitchhike to NYC and Kennedy Airport to take an Icelandic Airline plane to Luxemburg and then back to England and to meet Professor Beresford. Saying goodbye to him was more difficult than saying goodbye to the other children since we will see them next Tuesday or very early Wednesday morning but not see Dan for 1 year. | I had gone to work Monday - Signed some checks, cleaned up my desk and was home by 2:00 pm. Terry was finished packing by the time I got home. We left for the Baltimore Friendship airport. The airport is being enlarged and the normal construction and confusion is going on. Our waiting room for Gate B2 turned out to be a wide hallway with rigid plastic chairs. Neither Terry nor I wanted any breakfast. We boarded Eastern Flight 995 at 8:50 and took off at 9:20 am. The flight was very nice. Only 40 people on board (plane holds 108 according to stewardess.) Breakfast was served at 10:00 am. French toast and small sausages. Fresh fruit. Coffee. Rolls. The trip to Montego Bay takes 3 hours. I was surprised when the pilot announced that we were flying over Cuba. I had assumed we would have to fly around it.
69: We flew from Baltimore passing over Richmond, VA, Wilmington, NC, the Grand Bahamas, Cuba, then right on to Montego Bay airport on the Northwestern edge of Jamaica. The Montego Bay International Airport is small and tropical looking. We had to go thru Immigration Check In and Customs. The first is just a man who stamps your visitor card (and tells you to keep it to present when leaving the country.) Customs was a tall beautiful black woman who carried her six feet with immense dignity and authority. She appeared to be about 30. Very short cropped hair. Good figure. A Asked a few questions: How long will you stay in Jamaica? Where? Are you carrying any drugs? Please open this bag - pointing to my small gray one. No: She didn’t say “please.” | It seemed to me she pointedly ignored the word. And after I had opened my bag she cursorily looked into it, marked a “3” on it with a small piece of light green chalk she carried and walked away without a word. It must have taken a lot of practice to appear so calm and arrogant. We had the porter take us to the limousine service. cruffy looking. I paid $18.50 Jamaican only to that 30 feet or so from this first booth awas larger, cleaner one marked “Martin’s” Bus Service. Everybody else was going to this counter. I went too. The service we had paid our money to said they had to wait for another plane to land before we could leave. The other service was leaving right away.
70: I went to our service and asked for my money back so I could buy a Martin ticket. The girl said no. I protested that we were tired and wanted to get to our hotel. An older man walked over, listened, said something to the girl, to me, to another man and suddenly we were being loaded into the Martin bus. I hadn’t really thought it would work! The small bus (very much like the new buses in Charlottesville) took 2 hours to reach the Jamaica Hilton at Ocho Rios. The Coastal road is very poor in places being worked on continuously it appears. We drove on the left, English fashion. Right hand drive on the bus. The Coastal road we took passes through several small towns: St. Anne’s, Falmouth, etc. The Hilton is to the West of Dunn’s River Falls and Ocho Rios, perhaps 5 miles from the town itself. | By the way. It is Thurs 10:30 am 5/13. I am writing this entire part of the journal sitting under a thatched roof beach shelter on the beach of the Hilton. The Caribbean is perhaps 40 feet away - lapping gently on the sand. People around us (Terry and me) are lying in the sun, playing shuffle board, swimming. Ladies on the beach stage (they are tourists in straw hats) are learning how to weave - raffia I think. Two girls in bikinis just crossed in front of me. The water is turquoise blue (must check spelling) this side of the reef several hundred feet offshore and dark blue beyond. To resume the narrative: We got to the hotel about 3:30 pm, looked at 2 different rooms and took the ocean front on the 5th floor of the Arawak Building. ($46.00 instead of $36.00 for the Lanai Room on the 2nd floor of the low rise wing on the east.)
71: (A small sail boat is passing in front of me. Tiny one man “sail fish” type boat.) We had a sandwich at the Terrace Café and went to bed at 8:30 pm. Had breakfast on our balcony Weds morning and again this morning. (Come to think of it, it rained Weds morning and we ate inside. We were on the balcony this morning.) Beautiful! The hotel has a Jamaican policeman on the beach from 6 am to 6 pm - and I’m sure from 6 pm to 6 am also. The natives come strolling down the beach peddling things: Straw hats, coral, necklaces, and affection (?) for those lovely ladies who look interested. I think without the patrolman the peddlers would be a very great nuisance. (Note 5/15. The peddlers are a great nuisance.) | Wednesday we took the shuttle bus into the town of Ocho Rios to shopping centers called the “Coconut Place Shopping Center” and the “Pineapple Place Shopping Center” and to “Shopping Center on the Beach.” Terry bought several things - I bought two books. One the books is “Jamaica - with an introduction by Ian Fleming.” Excellent. Terry bought me a large map of Jamaica. (Note. It’s 4:30 pm Thursday. I am writing this on the balcony of our room overlooking the pool bar, terrace etc. - 5th floor - room 507 - ocean front. A combo is playing Calypso music at the bar and the sound comes up to me along with the sounds of conversation and the call of the tropical birds. If Omar Khayyam had lived in Jamaica he would not have settled for a loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and a girl.)
72: Back to the narrative: After our shopping expedition (Wednesday from 10:00 am to 12:30) we had lunch at The Terrace, loafed on the beach, dinner in the huge Arawak Room (the Hilton’s Main Dining Room - just like any other main dining room that’s circular, has a stage, seats 350 people, and has dark lighting.) (I just realized that the aqua blue painted bottom of the pool and the color of the ocean are the same in the tropics.) Sat in the lounge (Jippa Joppa Room) - combo, tiny fashion show to push hotel’s clothing concessionaire and then listened to a Jamaican Folk singer named Keith Stewart. Really fine! The singer, that is. And to bed at midnight. | Up at 8:00 am for breakfast on our balcony (as I have already written) then to the beach. Lunch at The Terrace and then a very short boat ride in a kind of deep sea fishing boat - not very large - 10 people or so - to Dunn’s River Falls. The ticket seller suggested wearing bathing suits. Excellent advice! The falls are not very impressive from the ocean side but they grow larger as you walk alongside them (or walk up the falls themselves.) We docked and learned that the falls have been made into a public park - lots of people - Terry stayed on the beach and went under the falls - very shallow and safe - lots of falling water. I walked up the concrete stairs passing dozens of people and souvenir sellers. Very crowded. I had thought from pictures I had seen that the falls were away from civilization. Quite the contrary.
73: At one point the main coastal highway passes right over the falls rather like the road passes on top of Virginia’s Natural Bridge. But here the art is all man-made (the art of the bridge, that is. The Falls are Nature’s handiwork.) (Note: Ian Fleming wrote all of the James Bond books in Jamaica but he had to draw the blinds to keep out the sun and the sea. I am sitting here realizing what a paradise this island is. The sound of the surf, gleaming cobalt and turquoise blue water, birds calling, the rhythmic sounds of the unique Calypso gourds filled with chattering seeds (that’s a hard sentence to put together properly), the beat of the RUMBA BOX. (It’s marvelous. The rumba box - not this sentence.) Back to the hotel by boat - Showered and now on the balcony writing. Tonight a buffet in the hotel’s outdoor terrace (not to be confused with the Terrace Café.) | 5:00 pm. I must rest! All this writing is too much like work. 4:25 pm Saturday afternoon. I was going to resume the narrative but it’s time to got to Church. 5:00 Mass in Ocho Rios at Our Lady of Fatima. McKenzie is waiting. McKenzie was not waiting. We took a bus (hotel type small bus) to Ocho Rios. More later. To resume. Thursday night we ate outdoors on the hotel’s patio. A buffet dinner. I rated it only fair. After dinner we had two drinks at the hotel’s big outdoor bar next to the ocean and waited for a floor show to start on the “Beach Stage” on the ocean at 10:30 pm. While we waited from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm we sat and watched our fellow guests bet on Crab Races.
74: That’s right! 5 crabs painted different colors are placed in the middle of a circle. Bets of $1.00 Jamaican are placed - the net holding the crabs is lifted and the first crab out of the circle wins. (The rest eaten. [That’s a joke].) The winning crab paid $1.60. That’s not very good odds. Anyway lots of people placed bets. All this was on the beach. By 10:20 Terry and I were so sleepy we went up to our room. Missed the whole show. We’ll never know if it was any good. Up at 9:30 am Friday. Breakfast this morning in The Terrace Café. Because we slept so late we skipped lunch. Went shopping at 2:00 pm. Took the shuttle bus to the Pineapple Place Shopping Center (remember we went to Coconut Place Shopping Center Wednesday.) Terry finished buying souvenirs. | Back to hotel at 4:30. Took a cab to the Buccaneers Cascades for dinner. Lobster 8:30 pm. Lovely spot but almost no business. We had hired a cab and a driver named McKenzie for the evening - 15.00 flat rate including waiting time. We thought there would be a floor show at the Cascades but McKenzie (small Black man, heavy Jamaican accent) came over at 10:00 o’clock and said the owner had told him there would be no show that night. This seemed sensible since there was a total of 5 people in the restaurant. The Buccaneers Cascade is almost all outdoors. It sits next a waterfall and it’s lovely. But apparently, not very popular. McKenzie suggested we go to “The Little Pub.” We did.
75: The Little Pub is an outdoor restaurant in the middle of the little town of Ocho Rios (pop. 9000.) It was one half full of people. Great band. We had a drink. Proprietor came over and said “There is no show tonight.” Then the band leader said “We’ll be back after a short break so don’t go away.” | Everybody in the place got up and left. I know that sounds strange but that’s the way it was Friday, May 14th in Ocho Rios, Jamaica W.I. Needless to say Terry and I left too. We had McKenzie drive us back to the hotel - got here about 11:30. So much for night clubbing in Jamaica. Actually we realize that the Hilton is located on a less populated side of the North Shore - ie to the West of the town of Ocho Rios. To the east of he town lies about 12 hotels including a Playboy Club. It’s about 12 miles from the Hilton to the Playboy.
76: I really can’t say enough about the Jamaica Hilton. There are two main large buildings including 2 restaurants and 2 bars: The “Arawak Room” (main dining room) and the “Terrace Café” (all hours restaurant with outdoor seating.) The “Jippa Joppa Lounge” and the “Limbo Room”. On the Eastern side are 2 low buildings with 56 rooms plus 3 tennis courts right on the ocean. The resort has about 500 or 600 feet of beautiful ocean front beach plus a very large swimming pool - these enclose perhaps 2 acres of paved terraces and patios and stages. Perhaps 250 to 300 rooms in all. And everything is kept up beautifully. The resort is about 1000 feet from the Main Coastal Road and the land from hotel to road has a small golf course, gardens, and more tennis courts - plus homes for the executives of the hotel. | Our Lady of Fatima is in the heart of the little town and sits on a low cliff overlooking the ocean. Perched right on the edge of the cliff, I might add. Lovely, beautiful new modern church. (1 year old we’re told.)
77: The church is an eight sided box (an octagon?) with alternating glass and stone walls. | It’s 5:00 pm Sunday and I’m back on our balcony dressed and ready for dinner at 7:30. The first thing I’m going to do is read what I have written to this date. (Just finished reading the journal to date.) After Church Saturday we had dinner in the main dining room and sat on the hotel’s terrace overlooking the ocean. Went to bed at 10:30. Up at 9:00 am Sunday for our usual breakfast on our balcony and then to the beach for a busy morning of sun bathing, lunch at the Terrace Café and tonight a buffet dinner is being served out doors next to the pool. I can see the help putting up tables and chairs. Bingo tonight at 9:00 pm on the Beach Stage. Mom will be there.
78: Mustn’t forget the peacocks. The Jamaican Hilton is the house of a flock (a “pride”), (a “display”), of peacocks and every afternoon about 5:00 or 6:00 pmone of the male birds displays his feathered fan for the lady birds - and all the tourists who happen to be nearby. GORGEOUS. The people on the next balcony are watching one of the birds strutting right now. I am not blasé about this. Until now I had never seen a peacock open his tail feathers into that incredible fan display. I thinmkk I used up half a roll of film I was so impressed. I am not yet used to the Jamaican money. 1.00 U.S. is worth 88 cents Jamaican or conversely $1.00 Jamaican is worth $1.14 U.S. When I exchange $100.00 worth of travelers checks for Jamaican dollars I get $88.00 Jamaican less 25 cents for the courtesy of making the exchange - $87.75 to be exact. | And prices for clothing seem very high to me. I have no idea what the help here at the hotel is paid but God help them buy food. We knew that Jamaica had been an English possession since the middle of the 17th Century. Columbus discovered the island of Jamaica in 1494. In 1510 his son Diego Columbus took the island as his personal possession. In 1538 the Spanish founded Villa de La Vega (City on the Plain.) It’s called Spanish Town today. In 1655 an English army of 9000 men conquered the island. In 1692 the Capitol City, Port Royal, sank into the sea in an earthquake and the new Capitol Kingston (King’s Town) was founded on the other side of the bay.
79: We didn’t realize when we came to the island that while Jamaicans do indeed speak English, the King’s English, they also speak a native tongue made up of Old English and African words spoken with a Scots-Welsh-Irish accent. Our bus driver speaks excellent English with a fairly thick Scotch-Irish brogue. He is quite dark, has a small beard, and appears to be at least 25% East Indian . The mixture of East Indian and West Indian in Jamaica seems well established. The consequences of all this is that it is often quite difficult to understand what a salesclerk or maid is saying and, should they be talking to each other in the native tongue - absolutely impossible. | There is no doubt that this trip to Jamaica has indeed been to a foreign country with a language, culture, currency, and history as foreign - more foreign, than Hawaii. From the little reading I had done about Jamaica I thought it was simply a larger version of Bermuda. I was very wrong. This has been a Jamaican Holiday in the Caribbean - comparable to nothing Terry and I had done before.
80: Monday, May 17th 6:05 pm. Waiting for Terry to finish dressing to go down to a “Manager’s Cocktail Party.” I presume the entire hotel is invited. An invitation was slipped under the door this afternoon. Nice touch. It’s being held on the Almond Terrace which is the name the hotel has given to the first big terrace - patio directly next to the Jippa Joppa Lounge. Then dinner. Crab Races. (WOW!) Bed. Home tomorrow. I love going away. I love even more coming home to all the family. | I forgot to write that Sunday night the Kingston Constabulary (Police) Band played at poolside for those guests who were eating at the outdoor buffet - as Terry and I were. For a moment, as the band played a waltz called “Evening Breeze,” dressed in their white jackets, the waiter hovering solicitously nearly, the food delicious, the breeze from the nearby Caribbean blowing gently - for that one moment it seemed that our Jamaican Holiday had reached a perfect point. For a moment the world that England had created, a world of White Rule, a colonialism which ruled the world, a world of White Privilege, preferment and firm custom was real and present. And then vanished as quickly as a burst soap bubble. It was a cruel world. A bad world. A world where 10% lived in comfort and elegance and 90% sweated and starved. I’m glad I saw it and felt it for an instant. I’m glad it’s gone.
81: 8:35 Tuesday night. On board Eastern Flight 994 from Montego Bay to Baltimore. What an eventful takeoff. An Air Jamaica B-727 the same kind of plane we’re flying was tilted by a sudden wind while waiting to take off at Montego Bay airport. The plane’s left wing touched the ground and cracked. The plane taxied back to the terminal building. This all happened in a sudden rainstorm which began just as the Eastern plane we were waiting for came in for a landing. The Eastern pilot aborted the landing and roared up into the air. No one was hurt. No damage done. The Air Jamaica came back to the terminal. The Eastern plane made a second and normal landing. All was well. The rain came down in buckets. As a matter of fact we all waited in the terminal (all the passengers, that is) for an extra 20 minutes and when the rain did not stop we all got the loan of an Eastern umbrella and walked to the plane in the rain. | We had packed Tuesday morning, took that damn 2 hour bus ride to Montego Bay but this time we were departing passengers and not arriving so we saw a different, and much larger and nicer, part of the Montego Bay airport. There were some shops, a bar, etc. We bought 6 bottles of 151 proof Jamaican Rum at $4.10 U.S. a bottle. We know we will have some duty to pay but we have never had any such strong liquor in the house. We’ll give a bottle to Bruno & Jenny, Karen & Gary, Bob & Helen, the Simms. we’ll keep the last 2 bottles for ourselves.
82: [Tuesday, May 25th] We landed in Baltimore Tuesday night, May 18th, about 9:00 o’clock. We went through Immigration and Customs (paid over 6.00 tax on the six bottles of Jamaican rum. The temperature was 49 degrees - cold and rainy. We found the car and left the airport about 10:00 - stopped in Warrenton at the Howard Johnson’s (now open 24 hours a day) and we were home at 1:30 am. | The plane trip home was another nice flight (after a rather unusual wait - see page 29.) The flight crew was about the most cheerful group we have ever had. Played quiz games on the intercom. Pictures turned out fine. I’m peeling now and so is Terry. Lovely trip. R W Stroh
85: The M/S SKYWARD to Cap Haitien, Haiti; San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands (in particular Charlotte Amalie); and Puerto Plata in the Dominion Republic. The ship will leave Miami on Saturday, Feb 23 and return Saturday, March 1st. This is a leap year and Friday is March 29 [sic]. Saturday, Feb 23 Terry and I got up at 4:00 am. Suzy was up even earlier since she and her friend Jeff are going to drive with us to Washington, D.C. where we will get aboard a National Airlines jet at 9:00 am to Miami. Suzy drove over and picked up Jeff at 4:30 am and we four began our drive to Washington at 5:00 am. | The morning was extremely foggy and I was extremely sleepy. I can’t remember a more exasperating trip to National Airport. We stopped at Warrenton at a familiar Howard Johnson’s for breakfast. It was 6:40 am and just getting light. We got to National at 8:15 (I had trouble finding the front entrance of the North Terminal Building.) Suzy and Jeff drove away immediately after letting us out since there was [sic] no convenient parking spots. We checked in and were on the plane in 30 minutes. The flight to Miami was quick and quiet. Breakfast on board tasted better than the food at “good ole Howard Johnson’s.” | Caribbean Cruise February 23 - March 1, 1980
86: At the Miami we claimed our bags and took the Red Top bus to Port Miami, Pier One per instructions in our package of tickets. The bus took us to the M/S SKYWARD. The ship is 575 feet long, 74 feet wide and weighs 16,200 tons. It compares most favorably with the Queen Anna Maria on which we sailed to Bermuda several years ago. The Skyward holds 750 passengers and a crew of 300. The Anna Maria (I think it’s called the Carnivale, now) holds about 1200 passengers (weighs 34,000 tons.) But the public rooms, the restaurants, bars, theatre, night club, etc. on the SKYWARD seem much more attractive and spacious. There seems to be more open deck space, too. I like this ship. | The food. The food is good and plentiful on the Skyward but is not as elaborate on the Anna Maria [sic] -- 4 or 5 choices of entrees vs. 8 or 9; the midnight buffet is not a “drop dead” affair with dozens of dishes, etc. But in general the Skyward is spiffier, more modern, cleaner, too. The entertainment. Pretty good when Cruise Director Donn Lewis is not doing it. Sunday night a magician named Fiddler put on a very nice show. Monday night C. D. Lewis was the “star” of a surprise show. Not very good. But all in all the ship, the weather, everything, has been great.
87: Sunday Feb 24 We got up late, went to Mass (in the movie theatre. Very old, very shaky priest, seemed quite nervous) then explored ship and lay in lounge chairs on sun deck waiting for lunch. (We missed breakfast -- we even missed sweet rolls at 10:30.) Before lunch, I went to the maitre d' and asked for a table change. The couple at the adjoining table at our first meal Saturday night (Vic and Jean “I’m self-employed” from Chicago, “we’re all Polacks or Americans in Chicago”, “start smoking when you sit down, keep lighted cigarette during entire meal”) Oien at his cocktail party, then to show in night club The magician, etc., quite nice. And to bed. P.S. The Dining Room was decorated with balloons and streamers for dinner. Very nice. Also Laverne McCauley of Murphy Travel had sent us a bottle of champagne. | Monday Feb 25 Monday the Skyward reached Cap Haitien in Haiti. We were asleep when the ship docked but the ship maneuvers so smoothly with its twin reversible screws and the “thruster” mounted in a tunnel in the bow that docking and leaving a dock are so smooth and unexciting they’re taken for granted. Cap Haitien was a new experience for Terry and me. Haiti appears to be desperately poor. When we were leaving the ship and walking on the dock toward the town (it’s right at the dock) a returning passenger stopped us and said we would need a “guide.” Well, we could see the town was less than 1000 feet straight ahead.
88: There was no way we would need a guide. Not so! The peddlars, beggars, and would be “guides” are so thick you hire one ot keep the rest away. A young black man named Johnson was the most persistent and spoke English well enough that we hired him for $5.00. With Johnson’s help we explored the six or eight square blocks in the center of Cap Haitien. The town is colorful, full of picturesque old buildings, many of which seem in terrible repair or even abandoned. There appears to be no sewage except troughs in the middle of narrow streets. And the streets are narrow - perhaps 10 ft to 12 ft wide from curb to curb. We walked past the tiny tourist shops to the cathedral which was rebuilt in 1943 from ruins which date back to the early 1800’s. | [It’s obvious Colonialism meant slavery, oppression, and prosperity for those at the top. Freedom in the Caribbean means a general level of poverty all over.] We saw some children in school uniforms - very clean. A child here and there looked clean and cared for. Johnson carried our few purchases and steered us around from square to square. We stopped in a few shops and, at the dock shops I bought a painting. I also bought a Haitian wood carving for Bruno for $1.50. I saw the same carving in St. Thomas for $4.95. This observation to me says St. Thomas’ prices are not the lowest in the Caribbean. (But St. Thomas is the loveliest town yet.) We got back on ship for lunch and about 3 pm we sailed for San Juan.
89: Oh yes, Tuesday night was the “Surprise Show” and it turned out to be 1 hours of Cruise Director Donn Lewis. Maybe I could like him if he didn’t spell his name with 2 “N’s”. And so to bed. Our weather, each day, Saturday, Sunday and Monday has been perfect. Tuesday Feb 26 We docked in San Juan at 12:30 pm sailing right by El Morro, the 16th Century fortress which guarded the harbor for 300 years - and longer. The dock in San Juan is a marvel of cleanliness and efficiency, including escalators down to street level. We had decided to explore and shop in the afternoon and then go to a big hotel for dinner and a show at night. And we did. | San Juan has two parts for the tourist: Old San Juan immediately next to docks and New San Juan which is a modern city of 500,000 people or more. The most striking thing to a tourist fresh from Cap Haitien is the contrast. San Juan is picturesque but is typically American in its streets, shops, etc. But Old San Juan is being made over into a tourist attraction. Signs, stores, museums, etc. are all being made over into one of the great tourist attractions in the Caribbean. There are no fake guides, no peddlers. We walked from the ship up the rising and narrow streets to the old Cathedral, then to the museum of Puerto Rican art, then to the great fortress of El Morro. The old fort fascinated me. It is very large. It would take 2 days to properly explore it.
90: Terry and I walked along the ramparts which rise 140 feet above the sea. We retraced our steps back toward the shops near the ship. We stopped in a few stores but the shops did not attract us. Terry and I are not “simpatico” when it comes to Puerto Rico and I’m not sure I know the reason. There is no lack of courtesy - no rudeness - no threatening gestures or words from local people. It’s just - no simpatico! We returned to the ship, rested, then dressed for the evening (long dress for Terry, suit and tie for me.) We had telephoned from a pay station and made reservations for dinner at 8 pm at the El San Juan hotel located in the Isla Verde section of New San Juan. | The El San Juan is a large resort hotel with gambling casino and a big night club show room. We got to the hotel about 6:45, walked around, played the slot machines; then dinner & show and back to the ship. A lovely day. And so to bed. Wednesday Feb 27 The Skyward left San Juan at 1:45 am on its way to St. Thomas 74 nautical miles away. The ship berthed in St. Thomas at 8:00 am. St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and the town of Charlotte Amalie. Beautiful!! This has been our favorite stop. The town is beautiful - everyone seems very friendly. The shops, however nice they are, are very very crowded.
91: Terry and I walked from the ship into town, perhaps 1 miles. We walked along the waterfront street - on sidewalks - from the dock to the middle of Charlotte Amalie. The harbor is very beautiful. After some shopping we took a cab up to Bluebeard’s Castle, a hotel and restaurant set on a high hill overlooking the harbor. Lunch and drinks in the Rogues’ Gallery. I took pictures of the ship at dock. And I fell in love with the Virgin Islands -- with St. Thomas -- with the town of Charlotte Amalie. I hope Terry and I can return to this lovely, lovely place. [I am excluding the crowded shopping area in the center of town - but that is fun, too. The shops are so clean and there is no trace of grab and shout.] Beautiful St. Thomas. | The ship sailed at about 5 pm. Dinner, Bingo, live show -- and so to bed. Thursday Feb. 28 We sailed to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The ship docked at 12:30 and Terry & I took a cab - and a “guide” - shades of Haiti again - to the Amber Market. Bought some gifts then took the cab to the old fort at the entrance to the harbor - Fort Philippe - then around town a bit and back to the ship. We sailed for Miami at 5:00 pm. Puerto Plata is much cleaner and nicer than Cap Haitien but it is still annoying that one has to hire a completely unnecessary “guide” when only a cab is needed.
92: Terry and I are determined to be optimistic and it’s nice thinking that we are helping to support some families in the West Indies: “Johnson” in Cap Haitien, “Garcia” in Puerto Plata - but it smacks of exploitations of the tourists. But I suppose the exploitation of the tourists is fair turn about for 400 years of exploitation by outsiders of the islands. Cap Haitien - San Juan - St.Thomas - Puerto Plata - but only St. Thomas calls us back. Friday, Feb 29 Ship board life! We love it. Cruising is the ultimate vacation for the lazy man - or woman. Each day the ship’s cruise director has laid out activities including bingo, horse races, dancing, live shows, shopping, drinking, etc. | The Daily Cruise News is all that’s needed to learn the day’s activities. But most of all the ship will leave you alone if you prefer. It’s great to first find a sunny lounge chair by the pool or on the sun deck - or a shady chair on the open deck or at he Tropicana [“covered but open to the air”] deck - have a Pina Colada - and relax. The great white fleet of the Caribbean. There must be dozens of cruise ships sailing the Caribbean there are certainly enough ports and the ships are all painted white. I suppose at any one time thousands of people are pleasure sailing on the blue waters of this tropic sea. I thought I’d be full of vivid impressions of the cruise but the overwhelming feeling I have is relaxation. I wish we could keep on sailing for at least another week.
93: No duties, no work, just a twinge of worry now and then about the family at home and the restaurant. This cruise was a perfect thing to do at a perfect time. I bought a N.Y. Times in St. Thomas (for $1.15) and read that Albemarle County, Virginia had gotten 8” of snow on Tuesday. The weather in St. Thomas was 80 degrees and sunny. Terry and I wanted to see the ship’s kitchens and Maitre d’ John arranged for us to visit the gallery on Thursday at 3 pm. The Assistant Food Manager Daniel (not sure if that is his first name or 2nd) from the Canary Islands showed us through the gallery. Interesting. I’m not sure if I learned anything but now that we are in the food business a visit to the ship’s gallery seemed appropriate. | Color Colors at the sea take on marvelous brightness and intensity. The white of the ship’s hull and dies - the white painted outside cabin walls - blue trim everywhere, dark blue and light blue. The teak deck a glistening, shiny light brown, splotches of yellow and green. The green painted steel deck. And around all, the deep blue of the sea always moving, always alive. And the feel of the air at the front of the ship. At the stern there is always the smell of smoke and cooking around the pool and on the stern lido sun deck. Bu tnear the front of the ship - or even midway - the air is clear and good smelling.
94: It’s interesting to see the constant painting that goes on as the crew maintains the ship’s sparkling white appearance. The painting and varnishing never stops. NCL must spend a fortune on paint. Today, Friday, the ship is sailing back to Miami, and the day seems especially lazy. Last night passengers were encouraged to make costumes & funny hats for a masquerade party - and many did. Today there were horse races. Tonight passengers are urged to wear coat & tie or long dress to dinner. Tips will be given to waiters and stewards and tomorrow we dock. And back to reality. Too short - to short - oh, cruise to the islands in the sun.
96: Now our concern is the safety of the kids driving to Washington to pick us up. I know if the weather is too bad we will check into a Washington motel rather than drive 100 miles in the snow. The weather is really very dark and rainy now. Terry and I talk about how lucky we were to have 7 beautiful sunny days including last Saturday when we came into Miami. We were in the sun from the moment we landed. By 2:30 or 3:00 pm we were on the ship, had lunch, and we were lying in the tropical sun on the lido deck. Passengers getting on board the Skyward today will not be so lucky. When we landed in Washington, D.C. at 3:15 pm we came down in the start of a blizzard. Gary and Mary were there to pick us up and drive us back to Charlottesville - but it would take 20 hours to do so. | Saturday March 1st It’s 12:20 pm and Terry and I are sitting at Gate F-5 in the Miami International Airport waiting for our plane to arrive. There has been a delay. The weather has turned quite dark and overcast and our flight, due to leave at 12:30 pm will obviously be delayed quite awhile. We slept late this morning, went to breakfast at 7:45 and then watched fellow passengers waiting to debark. The Skyward had gotten into Port Miami about 7:00 am. Our cruise was over. And now we’re on our way home. Aw shucks!! We hear voices in the airport lounge saying “Snow in Washington, Snow in Washington.” If so, we certainly did plan our Caribbean cruise at a great time.
97: As soon as we were on the Washington Beltway the snow began falling much harder and by the time we reached Warrenton there was over 5 inches on the ground and falling faster. We decided to check into the Warrenton Howard Johnson and wait until tomorrow (Sunday) morning for the rest of the drive. And so to bed. We got up Sunday morning and left Warrenton at 10:00 am. Home by 12:15. 15 inches of snow on the ground. Gary did all the driving. Terry and I are glad to be home safe. My diary
99: Friday 30 June Because our flight to Cancun left at 7:00 am from Dulles Airport - and the airline was insisting on a 5:00 am check-in - Terry and I decided to spend Friday night, June 30, at the Marriott Hotel at Dulles! We left home about 10:30 am Friday. Highway 29 North was closed at the Rapidan River, so we droe I 64 to I 81 then to I 66. This added more than an hour to th enormal 2 hour trip. Had lunch in Harrisonburg at a Wendy’s. Got to the Marriott at 3:00 pm. Dinner was awful! We complained to the waiter that our prime rib was not fit to eat. The manager agreed and said the meal was on the house. Fair enough. | Saturday 1 July Up at 4:00 am. Saturday morning July 1. Courtesy bus to the airport terminal at 5:00 am. We each checked one piece of luggage and one carryon. Some passengers appeared to have three or four pieces of luggage?! There was a considerable number of people already in line at the TWA counter. Apple Tours had arranged a charter flight with Viscount Air Service. A 737 Boeing plane was full. Bathrooms in the back of the plane smelled. Breakfast was good, free Mimosas to start. Takeoff 7:00 am. | Cancun, Mexico July 1995
100: Mexico does not observe Daylight Savings Time so the time in Cancun is 2 hours earlier than EDST. The 3 hour flight landed at 8:30 am Cancun time. Mexican Customs uses a Red Light/Green Light GO / NO GO system. You walk up to the Custom counter, push a button. If the light turns green you go through. If the light turns red, you stop, open all your luggage, etc. etc. We went through Mexican Immigration - then Customs - then out to Apple Tours bus. The bus drops off tourists beginning at the south end of Cancun Island (which is where the airport is.) | Our hotel, the Camino Real, being on the North end of the island, was one of the best hotels. Of course, we did get to ride up the entire 12 miles of hotels on the beach. We wondered if our hotel would measure up to the magnificent piles we passed. It did. And more. The Camino Real is more a resort than a hotel. 381 rooms with beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and on the Caribbean. Our room #4234 was all white stucco walls with white marble floor, one wall painted hot pink, white furniture, turquoise blue accents. Our room had a private balcony which looked down directly on to the Caribbean. The water was spectacular. Clean, clear, light green, turquoise, deep blue. Because our room faced east, the balcony was in shade beginning at 10:30 am. Wonderful breezes. In a word, our room was perfect.
101: Bell hop “Oscar” was real charmer. Spoke accented English - described area - Parrott fish, etc. Room has inside safe deposit box with strange “KEY.” Hard to describe but very efficient. Looked like solid block of stainless steel about 1 inch square cube. | We got into our room at noon. We had a breakfast/lunch in the Amazon Restaurant in the hotel. 94 NP. (US $1 = 6 New Pesos.) Drinks in the hotel bar after lunch. Terry had a “Margarita” - I had a “Dos Equis”. Called home. Hotel charged me 24 NP to make a call!! (That’s 4 bucks!) Went to the Apple Tours meeting at 4:30. Bought tickets for the tour to Chichen Itza on Monday and the Ballet Folklorico Winner Show at the Convention Center on Wednesday. Trip to Chichen Itza $5O each US. Ballet Folkloric $40 each US. Dinner in the beach front restaurant in the hotel at 7:00 pm. Terry wore a very pretty dress. Red snapper. Very good. To bed.
102: Sunday 2 July Room service breakfast in our room.Went to Mass at 11:00 am in the hotel ballroom. 500 people at least. Mass was in Spanish. No music at all. Lunch in another of the hotel’s outdoor restaurants. Then walked to the Plaza Caracol Shopping Mall. Changed $100 into 600 New Pesos. Taxi back to hotel. Dinner in our room. During the day we had explored the hotel. The Camino Real is a real delight. Of course our room makes a real difference since we enjoy it so much. But the hotel has extensive grounds and the beach is excellent. To bed. | Monday 3 July Chichen Itza!! We bought a tour to Chichen Itza from Apple Tours for $50 US per person. The bus tour gathered at “Pat O’Brien’s,” a Cancun bar, at 7:30 am for the 2 hr ride to Chichen. Lunch would be served in the famous Mayaland Hotel. Admission to the ruins was included in the tour along with lunch. It’s difficult to describe how pleased I was to see the Mayan ruins. First of all, the greatest building, the Temple of Kukulcan or El Castillo is not a ruin at all. The pyramid has been reconstructed and stands over 90 feet high.
103: Terry and I followed the guide Gilberto from the bus, past the Mayaland Hotel into the archaeological site. The day was overcast (later we would have a slight shower), but very hot and humid. I was so thrilled to see the buildings - to be actually in the Chichen Itza. I had read about for perhaps 25 to 30 years - or longer - I could only stare and hold Terry’s hand. The photographs we took and the books we bought fully show the Mayan buildings. They are all very impressive. I am awed by the architecture, by the skill of the builders. It is so obvious that a great civilization was at work here. Intelligent minds with a great depth of understanding planned these buildings. Inspired artists designed and decorated them. | We left the tour group when it entered the Plaza. Gilberto kept the group walking very fast. We rejoined the group for awhile at the Temple of the Warriors and stayed with the group as it marched to the Observatory. The paths through the trees are lined with Mayan Indians selling souvenirs. We bought nothing. Terry and I sat in the main plaza on a log (along with a Dutch newlywed) and soaked in the sight. For me the thrill of being in the presence of the buildings was overwhelming. A dream come true. We walked to the Boll Court, the Temple of the Warriors, to the Observatory. I got drenched in sweat. Stumbled a bit. Was extremely happy.
104: Many of the walls are covered with carvings. I’m not sure if we know how the Mayans cut and dressed the limestone without metal tools. After 1 or 2 hours in among the ruins we walked back to the Mayaland Hotel for lunch with the tour group (which we had left at the Observatory.) Ate under a huge palapa (means “round” in Mayan, said the waiter.) I couldn’t find the energy to walk back to the ruins after lunch so we stayed in the hotel - which, by the way, is a delight. Opened in 1921 and obviously kept up in beautiful condition, the Mayaland is very impressive. Back on the bus at 3:15. At the hotel at 6:30. Dinner in the room. To bed. | Tuesday 4 July This is the first 4th of July we have ever spent away from the family! Up at 7:00 (or before) and to the beach. Terry went into the water (Gulf of Mexico). I lolled under a palapa on a chaise lounge. (Earlier we had breakfast in the room. Again a “Camino Real Breakfast,” which is Eggs Benedict, etc. etc. Delicious.) Back to room. Dressed. Sat on the balcony and watched the Parrott fish in the blue waters of the Caribbean directly in front of our room. What a lovely day! Lunch in the “Fish Market” at the Regency Hyatt next door to our hotel. Table inside in the shade but right at a window with delightful breeze. Marvelous.
106: Spent a seriously lazy day. Nap. Sat on the balcony. Watched some TV. Dinner in our room. Drinks in the Lobby Bar. I love this life. To bed. Wednesday 5 July Up at 7:00 am. To the beach. Terry in the water. Me under the palapa. Breakfast today in the hotel’s beachfront restaurant. Nice breakfast bar with cereals, fruits, juices, croissants & rolls, coffee, tea, etc. Sat at a table among the coconut palms directly on the beach. Lovely breeze. Our vacation retirement holiday has turned out to be pure joy. Lunch in room. Sat on the balcony. Sent out laundry. Tonight we go to the Ballet Folklorico in the Cancun Convention Center. ($40 each for dinner & show.) | Cab to Convention Center at 6:00 pm. Up three of the highest most dizzying escalators I have ever ridden to top floor of the Center. Upper lobby was full of souvenir sellers. We are early. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Waiters are circulating with free drinks. Got good seats at large dinner table one row back from stage. Stage has elaborate backdrop. Musicians enter to play during dinner. They are excellent. Some very plaintive kind of sorrowful tunes along with faster music. I think some of the music is from Chile or Peru. Very good.
107: Master of ceremonies introduced each dance first in Spanish then in English. (The Spanish intros were longer.) Show began with spectacular “Ancient Mayan or Aztec” Indian Dance. Central dancer had a pot of fire which he kept putting his hands and legs into. Picked up flames at times. Not sure how he did this but made a helluva impression. Costumes were extremely elaborate! On both men and women. Women were beautiful. Terry says men dancers were good looking too! Show continued for about 1 hours with dances from almost all Mexican states. Very good show. Costumes were extraordinary. Music great. We think we got our money’s worth. | About dinner: Food was elaborate Mexican buffet with free drinks. I had 4 Pina Coladas. Thought they tasted wonderful!! Thursday 6 July Woke up with “Turista” or “Montezuma’s Revenge.” I have read you can be very very sick with this. I had very light case. Diarrhea mostly. Took Amodium AD. Slept. Terry went shopping. It’s obvious that I got sick because of the Pina Coladas - not the water since Terry and I ate the same food and drank the same water and she did not get sick. By nightfall I ate a bowl of soup and I was fine.
108: Friday 7 July Up at 6:30 or so. To beach etc. etc etc. Breakfast in beach front restaurant. Dressed. Went shopping in Plaza Caracol. Souvenirs. Lunch in the shopping center. Lounged on the balcony. Arranged to hold room tomorrow until 1 pm. Dinner in the big hotel restaurant which was having a “Mexican Fiesta” night with balloons, colorful tablecloths, Mexican Buffet. Terry ate the Mexican Buffet. I had grilled snapper. Drinks in lobby bar in “our chairs.” | Bill was slipped under the door about 8:00 pm. (Terry says bill came Saturday am - not Friday night. She may be correct. Whatever, it’s a good system. ) So you could look over your charges the night before you left. If they were ok, you signed the accompanying envelope and gve to bell hop on your way out. Good system I think. Bill was ok. Went outside for last night on balcony. Hotel’s spot lights shone down on the water. To bed.
110: Saturday 8 July Home today. All lovely things must end and we leave today. Cancun has turned to be lovely - weather generally good - room superb except for a bit damp from air conditioning. Up at 6:30 am. To beach. Breakfast in our “usual spot.” Dressed. Packed. Tip for maid. It’s 1:00 pm. Luggage to lobby. Lunch in hotel restaurant. Paid cash since bill is closed out. Luggage to front door. Bus came at 4:00 pm. To airport. | Boarded plane at 6:20 pm. Flight to Dulles uneventful. Dinner on plane not too bad. Landed at 12:30 am Sunday. Went through Immigration. Got a nice “Welcome Home” from Immigration Officer. Picked up luggage. Went to Curb 2G. Courtesy van from Marriott arrived. To bed at 1:30 am - maybe 2 am. Really good idea to spend 2 nights (Fri & Sun) at Marriott.
111: Sunday 9 July Up at 9:00 am. Breakfast in hotel (included in our room charge.) Drove home by way of 29 South - now open. Home at 2:30. Chrissy left to go home. (Bless her!!) Summing Up -- Memories of Cancun The island of Cancun is, just as the guide books say, a perfect spot for a vacation. We went in July during the wet season when temperatures are higher. In January, during the dry season with lower humidity and lower temperatures, Cancun must be Paradise! | Our trip to Chichen Itza was, as I wrote, a dream come true. The immense satisfaction of actually going to a destination about which you have dreamed for years provides great joy. I remember going up into the Eiffel Tower and walking into St. Peter’s. The thrill comes from accomplishing a long held goal. Chichen Itza, for me, was the same kind of thrill. It’s not that El Castillo is so grand or so high; it’s just there. An actual link with other peoples - other minds - other lives.
112: I enjoy being in a foreign country. It’s a challenge which adds considerably to the pleasure of a trip. I look for the differences between the “foreigners” (actually I am the foreigner in their country) and me --- and I look for the similarities between us. These discoveries add to the pleasures of the trip. Cancun has been “Americanized” to a great degree but so have all the great tourist cities. MacDonald and KFC and Mr. Doughnut are everywhere. So are the Hard Rock Cafés and the Planet Hollywoods. There are T shirt sellers in every country and awful souvenir sellers on every block!! But look at the people. Listen to the people. Is the waiter really like me? | Cancun and the Camino Real certainly combined all the elements Terry and I set for our vacation: a beach resort which was not too formal, a relaxing place where we could enjoy just sitting back and looking at the ocean, and a foreign place with strong historical buildings - which we found at Chichen Itza.
113: More Trip Pictures