Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

I was born and raised in Quincy, Massachusetts. First settled in 1625, my hometown is known as the “City of Presidents” as both Presidents John and John Quincy Adams were born there as well as John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. The Adamses have no libraries you can visit. As a matter of fact, neither do any of those men memorialized…

Ocean/Desert: Two State Parks

Only 125 miles separates Crystal Cove State Park and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. But, on a visit with friends in April 2018, I found the two parks to be worlds apart. OCEAN: Crystal Cove  Crystal Cove State Park is located along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) between Newport Beach and Laguna Beach. It consists of over 3 miles of beach…

Channel Islands National Park

You’ve probably heard of the Channel Islands in the English Channel off the Normandy coast of France – a chain of eight inhabited islands including the major islands of Jersey and Guernsey. Perhaps not so familiar, are the Channel Islands off the coast of southern California. Also a chain of eight islands, five of which (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Anacapa, Santa…

A Day At Mt. Rainier National Park

When in Washington state last year there wasn’t time to visit Mt. Rainier National Park. However, after finishing up a visit to Montana in September 2017, a quick flight from Kalispell to Seattle had me in Rainier’s backyard! Mt. Rainier is approximately 50 miles (as the crow flies) from Seattle. Standing at 14,410 feet, this snow-capped mountain provides a spectacular…

Glacier National Park

In the years following the Korean War, to prevent a surprise communist attack, the US established a network of radar stations to protect our airspace. These stations were built in some of the most isolated places in the country. In the early part of my Air Force career, I was a radar operator. Generally, this meant assignments to those remote,…

Where’s The Brisket?

In our 45 years together, I don’t recall Joanna ever serving brisket – maybe she did, I just don’t remember it. Fast forward several years… Rob is living in Dallas. On one of my visits, he remarked how Texans are in love with their brisket. On another visit, the girls’ school had a fundraiser at one of the many BBQ restaurants. I had…

Close Cover Before Striking!

Several years ago, I started saving matchbooks and matchboxes. Up until the early 1990’s they were ubiquitous – restaurants, hotels, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. offered them. As the country woke up to the dangers of smoking, these give-away matches are almost non-existent today – gone the way of public telephones, LP records, cassette tapes and VHS recordings. After breaking my nasty…

Way More Than Sand Castles!

An article in the paper caught my eye: …the annual Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival, a ten day celebration, starts today at Pier 60. The festival pays tribute to two of the Tampa Bay’s most valuable assets: sand and sunsets. Eleven sculptors are creating elaborate works for this year’s theme, ‘Sugar Sand FantaSea, a Magical Adventure Above and Below the…

Cutting the Cord on Cable TV

The cable bill seemed to growing faster than my grandchildren – and those young folks grow up fast! I moved to a new apartment this fall and as part of my monthly lease was a $30 charge for data/internet access in my unit. If I wanted TV service, I’d have to buy it from the apartment’s sole provider: Directv. I’d been thinking about…

A Pacific Northwest Adventure

Looking for a new experience, this description of a six-day getaway sounded appealing: “Paddle the tidal marshes, boreal forests and pristine estuaries of the lower Columbia River with experts as you improve your kayak technique and learn the story of this ancient region.” I’d never sat in a kayak, so I had no technique to improve! Upon further reading about…