Page 8 of Home and Away Travel Blog Posts

Europe » France » Paris April 8th 2004

8 April 2004 Thursday. We caught the 7:15 am P&O ferry from Dover to Calais, where we lost an hour due to time change. We drove directly to Paris where we fought traffic to the center of the city. We found a perfect parking spot at the lower end of the fountains in front of the Palais de Chaillot, across from the Eifel Tower. We caught the metro to the Louvre, where our goal was the Mona Lisa, which was quickly accomplished. So after 30 minutes in the Louvre, a record but we had been there many times before, we walked across the Place de la Concord, through the Tuileries Gardens, and up the Champs Elysee, where the girls shopped for clothing. Along the way we were accosted by hawkers who wanted to sell the girls ... read more
Rosanna, Tamara and Will at the Louvre
Tamara, Rosanna, and Will at the Louvre
Tamara at the Louvre

Europe » United Kingdom » England April 4th 2004

In November 1995, before leaving Belgium, I promised the kids we would visit our former home in Overijse before Tamara graduated from high school. As Tamara would be graduating in June 2004, I bought tickets for the entire family to fly to London and tour London, the Cotswolds, and Kent in England; Paris, France; and Brussels and Overijse, Belgium; and then Basingstoke, England to visit friends before our return flight. When Linda saw the itinerary she stubbornly refused to go with us. She stayed home to garden and spring clean. She was right; she never would have survived the trip. 4 April 2004 Sunday. We set our alarms for 5 am and made it to Dulles in time for the daytime flight on British Airways to London Heathrow. This was the first time we took the ... read more
Rosanna, Tamara and Will on the plane
Tamara and Rosanna on the Tube into London
Will on Tube into London

By now the kids were strongly opposed to any more road trips. They wanted to go to a beach and they wanted to bring their friends along. We also wanted to stay at a beach for a week or more, but we didn’t want to bring friends along. Besides, there wasn’t room for three friends in our van. This meant we had to fly somewhere, and since we had done all 50 states, where better to go than a U.S. territory. Linda and I had been to every U.S. territory except American Samoa and the Northern Marianas. We weren’t making this our next goal as both territories are expensive to get to. Nevertheless, we decided that the U.S. Virgin Islands would be a great next destination. 1 July 2003 Tuesday. Our flight from Dulles to San ... read more
Tamara, Rosanna, and Will with a donkey
View to the east of St John USVI from top of St Thomas
View of St Thomas USVI to the south

North America » United States » Alabama April 12th 2003

Tamara was in her junior year of high school so we decided to check out colleges in which she had shown some interest in the Southeast. 12 April 2003 Saturday. Our first stop was Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. She wasn’t impressed, but Rosanna and Will were. Rosanna eventually went there and graduated in 2010. From Blacksburg we drove down the Blue Ridge Parkway all the way to Asheville, North Carolina, where we spent the night. The girls stayed at the hotel and got supper from room service. Will and I explored the town. We stopped at a Chinese restaurant and ordered. Will told the waitress this was the second best meal he had ever eaten. She asked what the best was. He replied, “I haven’t eaten it yet.” Back at the hotel, there was a prom ... read more
Carol and Steve's furlough home in Taccoa GA
Steve and Carol and their boys Jordan, Justin, and Joshua
Boys playing on their trampoline at Taccoa GA

North America » United States » Alaska July 1st 2002

Since we knew where we wanted to go (with Alaska we would have been to all 50 states), I started planning this vacation in November 2001. As we would be using frequent flyer miles it was important that we book the flight as soon as possible. Even booking early we were stuck with a Monday flight instead of the previous Saturday. So we booked the flight and reserved hotel rooms. Now to see if Plan A would work. 1 July 2002 Monday. We had the whole weekend to prepare for the trip and even that wasn’t long enough for Linda. Given that much time to prepare, the kids kept messing up what Linda had just cleaned and organized. Nevertheless, we caught a taxi to Dulles airport at noon and our flight to Chicago at 2:45 pm. ... read more
Rosanna, Linda, Tamara, and Will at the Anchorage Visitor Information Center
Alaska Native Heritage Center
View from Homer Spit across Kachemak Bay

North America » United States » Minnesota July 28th 2001

Over Spring Break 2001 we visited my sister Sue, husband Rob, and their kids Alyssa and Brendan, in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We went to Sanibel Island and then to Disney World and Universal Studios. As summer approached we didn’t have any vacation plans. We had sworn off road trips, but as I contemplated the map of the U.S. I realized that we had been to every state except for Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Alaska. This would mean at least one more road trip; but we decided to cater to the kids activities and not stay at B&Bs. So we decided to go camping and stay at nice hotels with swimming pools. I check the internet and made reservations for the campground at Bear Head Lake State Park, near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. 28 ... read more
Will and Linda at Great Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Charlevoix "hobbit" homes
Painted Rocks National Lakeshore

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels May 12th 2001

Having spent eleven years as the United States Representative to the Infrastructure Committees, when the inviation arrived to attend the 50th anniversary celebrations in Brussels, I immediately accepted. It would be a wonderful opportunity to meet former colleagues. I hadn't been to Brussels since leaving in November 1995, so this would also be an opportunity to see our former neighbors and visit the places we enjoyed so much. Mike and Betty kindly allowed me to stay at their home and even let me borrow their car. Before the official events kicked off, my former boss Dave invited a close group of friends for dinner. It was good to see those I first met when I moved to Brussels in 1984. Most of them had moved back to their own countries by 1986 or 87 as their ... read more
Brussels - Mannekin Pis
Brussels - Bob at Vincents
My favorite meal - Moules, frites and beer

28 July 2000 Friday. I worked until noon while Linda packed up the car and organized the house. She likes to have the house in pristine order before we leave for a trip. Our neighbors Tom and Wendy would take care of our cats; we always took care of their cats when they were on vacation. I got home at 12:15 pm expecting to depart immediately. But there were errands; to buy a hostess gift, snacks for the trip and lunch. We finally hit the road at 1:30 pm heading north on US 15 to I-81. He hot heavy traffic and rain in Scranton. At 6:30 we called our hotel for that night in Syracuse to see if our friends, Buz and Kathy, who would be joining us on the trip had arrived yet. They had ... read more
Boldt Castle in/on the Thousand Islands
Boldt Castle in/on the Thousand Islands
Boldt Castle in/on the Thousand Islands

13 April 2000 Thursday. For the kids Spring Break we decided to fly to Puerto Rico. We all had an early start…3:30 am for Linda, 4 am for me and 4:30 am for the kids…in time for the taxi which arrived at 5 am. It was dark and cold; Rosanna was the only one to refuse to wear a jacket knowing that she wouldn’t need it where we were going…she is the stubborn one. We departed Reagan National at 6:30 am for Puerto Rico, via St Louis. We were using TWA frequent flyer miles so had to go through their hub…maybe that’s why they got eaten up by American…who wants to fly down the East or West Coasts via the middle of the country? Linda was surprised at the meager airline food…no surprise to me as ... read more
Linda leading the crew to Mina Falls
El Junque Rain Forest National Park
Mina Falls in the El Junque Rain Forest

North America » United States » Washington June 24th 1999

I the previous three years our road trips took us to the Florida via the East Coast, Texas via the Southeastern States, California via all the Midwest and Western states, so we thought it was time to see the Northwest, broadly defined as everything northwest of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, to include the westernmost Canadian provinces. We would be join by our good friends buz and Kathy. 24 June 1999 Thursday. The alarm went off at 3:45 am. Amazingly, we were all ready to catch the cab by 4:45 am, and made it to Dulles airport in plenty of time to catch the 6:30 am flight to St. Louis and on to Seattle, Washington. The only glitch was that our daughter Rosanna didn’t have a ticket. We explained to the TWA agent that ... read more
Kathy, Linda, Rosanna, Tamara, and Buz on Kalaloch beach
Beach beauty at Kalaloch beach
Driftwood at Kalaloch, Washington

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