Category Archives: Vacation Travel

The Ferry

The leaves had turned and within six weeks Christmas would have come and gone. Rolling my suitcase off the bus toward the slippery Seattle street in good spirits, my eyes glistening with excitement, I focused on the ocean within my view. After all it was Thanksgiving and my friend promised a wonderful meal for the holidays. What she would do for me is what I had done for her over the years, as my memories conjured up my kitchen with savory smells that my taste buds couldn’t wait for again.

Manhandling my heavy luggage, staring at the lights dancing off the buildings near the Puget Sound’s emerald waters, I could see the Bremerton Ferry awaiting for me. I arrived a couple of hours early bought my fare and rested on a construction site zone bench, where waiting for my friend to arrive was my goal.

Time went by rapidly, but it had been some time before I heard from her and all to knowing work at the hospital was the culprit. Not a surprise and it did not bother me in the least.

The ferry dock information lady stared at me as I asked her a question.

“Where is the best clam chowder?”

Undeniably she said pointing to Ivars, “right there!”

Yes. Of course.

Suitcase in tow, I decided best to get a bite. It was a good thing as my two hour wait turned to four. What was so interesting besides being physically tired, I enjoyed every minute of that beautiful scenery as dark got darker and the afternoon turned to evening.

It was late, but she arrived and off we went from the ferry to her car parked on the other side of the sound. Driving those dark roads, we reminisced of days gone by and how we both loved the tall pine and fir trees in our view as we weaved the curved asphalt road. I was mesmerized by this part of earth I call home. Yet a part of me was lonely. It was my first Thanksgiving without my sons in 25 years.

When we arrived at my girlfriend’s home, she announced,

“Would you be OK if we have our Thanksgiving meal on Friday?”

Studying her tired face and all to knowing that feeling I made sure to remind her the most important part of hanging out was that we weren’t alone. She smiled and agreed.

Long before she and I would find ourselves together this night, I could not help to think long before in the heavenly it was decided how we would be a help to each other in the present. No Thanksgiving meal on the actual holiday, but my day would not be spent alone and the ferry made sure of that.

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Pearl Harbor-Few Words Needed

Pearl Harbor is not like any other museum experience.  One must prepare for this excursion.  I get up at 0530 in the morning in anticipation of getting free tickets.  Driving to Pearl from Waikiki is a half hour and I want to be sure to be there in time to stand in line to get tickets especially for my girlfriend who has never been.  Yes. FREE.  Tour guides ask for top dollar to take you to this site.  Tourism is high up as a way of making a living on the islands.  I think the price they ask is a bit high.  I was quoted $115/person.  I rented a car..

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Entering sacred waters toward the USS Arizona Memorial .  The ship is beneath the white structure  

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Why Am I Comfortable Today?

  
While driving along Palm Circle on Fort Shafter, I was brought back to another time.  It was here I experienced Hawaiian life first in 1969 as an army brat. This base was named after General William R. Shafter who liberated Cuba in 1898. It is also the oldest military base on the island.

  
Many of my Alabama family and friends will appreciate the hound’s tooth dress my mother made and wore on a beautiful hawaiian day when dad received honors for his army career on the island. Over a quarter of a century before this photo was taken, Fort Shafter was hit by Japanese bombers who targeted its artillery. It is on the field above where you see the young service men and women raising our flag that we sustained casualities.  The famous movies Pearl Harbor and Tora, Tora, Tora were filmed on location here. 

   

Above you will see the second post I lived on. This base is the largest outside the continental United States called Scholfield Barracks.  I captured in this photo buildings that you can see if you were to watch the classic film  From Here To Eternity.     

  
 
Mother always dressed my sister and I up in clothes she made for us while living on the Hawaiian bases. Who would have ever thought a little over 25 years before this photo was taken Japanese pilots would warm up their guns above us before bombing our Army Air Corps pilots’ home base Wheeler Army Airfield?

  
 
Perhaps Hawaii’s most famous scenic picture I took is of Pearl Harbor itself. It is underneath this structure you can see the remains eerily of the sunken Battleship Arizona. It is this tourist spot visited  by millions that led to the United States entering WWII. 

I hope you enjoyed learning  alittle history not only about your blogger, but about the Hawaiian Islands.  It is good for us to understand why we are comfortable today as I titled this post, but also to keep in mind that our defense needs to stay our priority if we want to continue to stay that way.