Tag Archives: #Travel

Random Memories of Germany-A Visit to Greece

18 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

We so loved living in Germany – the housing, the stores, the antiquities, being close to so many other countries of Europe – the food…just about anything and everything we could think of….is a great memory for us.

One of those memories is the time we were able to visit Greece.  WOW!  What an experience that was!  I never, in any imagination, did I think I would ever be able to visit that beautiful country!

It was in March of 1969 that Fred and I made the trip.  We left two-year-old Karen with some good church friends, and we left for a two-week trip to Greece.  I guess the main place we wanted to visit was Athens, and we did just that.  I’m not too sure just how much wandering around the town on our own we did.

We did do some of that wandering, because we came upon the Panatheniac Stadium for the “new” Olympics (the first modern Olympic Games, 1896, the only stadium built completely out of marble), and the plaque with the Olympic symbols.

We found a Greek War Memorial.  According to Google Search and Alamy photos, it is: dh Old town South NICOSIA CYPRUS Eleftheria Freedom monument liberty Lefkosia Podocataro

We found the St. Luke’s Byzantine Monastery.

We found the ruins of the Temple of Jupiter.

We found Hadrian’s Arch – and here is a picture of the Acropolis through the arch.

I know we did ramble through a lot of the ruins and the acropolis in Athens.  I believe we stayed most of one entire day on the acropolis, just being amazed that we were standing on those wonderful ruins that had been in existence for thousands of years.  I remember Fred sitting on a broken pillar, and stating “I never thought I would get here!”  Here is a picture of me inside the Parthenon and other pictures.  

I was fascinated by the ruins of Dionysus Amphitheater along one side of the Acropolis.

And here’s a picture of Fred sitting on one of the priest’s seats in that amphitheater.  Those marble seats must have been really hard for long-term sitting through the Greek plays performed there!

For some reason, I was especially taken with the Erectheoin.  Something about all those Greek women carved into the pillars just fascinated me. 

There is a legend about the olive tree planted alongside the Erectheoin.  From Google search and Culture Trip:

Legend has it that when it came to determining which god would be the patron deity of Athens, both Athena and Poseidon responded as wanting the position. The contest took place in the Acropolis, where both gods were asked to present their gifts to the city. Poseidon went first and raised his trident, smashing it on a rock of the Acropolis, thus, producing salt water. Athena went second and offered an olive tree, a gift the citizens of Athens deemed useful and beautiful; therefore, she became the patron of the city, which was named after her.

Credit Google search and Erick Drost/Flickr

And here’s a picture of that olive tree in 1969 – with Judy in the red dress.

I think I enjoyed the countryside of Greece as much as anything.  With the olive trees and the landscape – the countryside reminded me a lot of New Mexico.  Thoughts of “home” came to mind seeing that.

We did made one side-trip up to Delphi.  It was a bus trip that allowed us to see a lot of the Greek countryside along the way.  I especially wanted to get to Delphi, as I had read in one of my favorite books, that there is a stadium at the top of the amphitheater.  So Fred and I began the climb from Apollo’s Temple, up to the top of the amphitheater.  

Apollo’s Temple and amphitheater from top of the amphitheater

When we stopped to catch our breath, we saw the bus tour group heading down from the Temple back to the bus.  So we made a hurried trip down – never quite reaching the very top to see the stadium.  Shucks! 

But we were able to walk along the Sacred Way, and saw one remnant of an Oracle.  It was still a wonderful trip, and we are so glad we were able to make it.

Along the Sacred Way
The Oracle-along the Sacred Way

NOTE:  All pictures were by Fred and Judy Wills, except the one noted.

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Our trip to St. Kitts Part 1

14 Jul

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

As I remember, the year was 1987 and my wife, DiVoran, and I signed up with a group from work for an ‘All-Inclusive’ vacation week to the resort island of St. Kitts, located southeast of Puerto Rico between the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.  We had only been on cruise ship vacations in the Caribbean, and I was not sure what to expect.  However, my friends told me not to worry, and assured me that we would have a great time.  When the day of departure arrived, we were excited about the prospects of our ‘Caribbean Island Adventure’ as we packed our bags and waited for our daughter and son-in-law to drive us to the airport.

Image: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/maps/caribbean/saint-kitts-and-nevis 

The trip started with a three-hour chartered flight, on a Boeing 727, that flew us non-stop from Orlando, FL directly to what was then called the Golden Rock Airport on St. Kitts.  This was a pleasant flight and we landed in the afternoon in time to be transported to a luxurious hotel where we could relax some before our evening meal.  The local weather on the island was similar to our Central Florida weather, with warm humid days and a steady breeze off the ocean.

Photo by Bill Lites

One of the best things of this trip, for me, was the food.  It was much like being on a cruise ship, with your choice of delicious ‘all you could eat’ entrees and desserts three times each day.  The days were filled with a myriad of activities including golf, archery, hiking, swimming, boating, snorkeling, scuba diving, and exploring, all included as part of our package.  The other thing that was nice was being treated like royalty everywhere we went.  The staff couldn’t do enough for us, and we really enjoyed the special around-the-clock treatment.

Photo by DiVoran Lites

We spent some of the first morning swimming and snorkeling in the beautiful clear waters near the hotel.  The abundance of colorful fish was amazing.  I had always wanted to learn to scuba dive, so we signed up for the lessons for the next morning.  After lunch and a nap, we spent a restful time strolling the hotel grounds, where we found all kinds of colorful parrot feathers.  Then we moved on to the courtyard where we met some friends and spent some time talking about what all we were going to do while there.  

Photo By DiVoran Lites

The next morning, we spent several hours in the hotel pool with the local dive instructors learning what we needed to know about scuba diving.  That was a fairly intense time, and we were ready for some lunch and a nap for sure.  We met our dining friends for dinner that evening and had a wonderful time discussing our activities.

Photo by Bill Lites

The next morning, we took the dive instructor’s boat to a ship wreck site and began our first guided dive.  The instructors ran thru all the safety rules with us and helped us into our equipment.  By the time they got DiVoran’s equipment on her, and with the rocking of the boat, she could hardly walk.  Finally, two men helped her to the side of the boat and dropped her into the water.  She remembers, “I told them there was too much weight, but they said I needed all of it.  I sank to the bottom, and it was all I could do to keep from getting cut on the coral.”

Image: https://www.canstockphoto.com/illustration/scuba.html

There was an instructor with the two of us, guiding and helping us to and around the wreck.  I was having a good time, but DiVoran was having trouble with her mask fogging up and trying to stay upright.  She finally indicated to the instructor that she wanted to go up.  The instructor went up to the boat with DiVoran, while I looked around the wreck.  We weren’t that deep, so I could see that DiVoran was at the boat and okay.  I enjoyed the dive and was ready to do it again the next day, but DiVoran said she had had enough.  Needless to say we were ready for a rest and a delicious meal by the end of that day.  Looking back now on that whole scuba diving activity and the way it was handled, I’m not sure how adequate the pool instructions were, and if the dive itself was the safest.   But hey, we all had a good time (except maybe for DiVoran) and we all survive. 

Photo by Bill Lites

—–To Be Continued—-

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Random Memories of Germany-Heidelberg

27 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES
Judy Wills

I was looking at the photograph over our bed recently, and it reminded me of when and where we purchased it.

When we arrived in Heidelberg (1980-1983 tour of duty), we stayed in temporary quarters until we could move into our “permanent” quarters. It was, essentially, a hotel, but maintained by the government. We were able to find and purchase a car relatively quickly, but Fred used it to go to and from work. That left me and the girls with riding the bus wherever we wanted to go.

That wasn’t too bad, fortunately. One day, I remember being by myself at the BX/Commissary complex, and found the “Thrift Shop.” It was a good place to look around and see if those leaving the area had put anything up for sale, that they didn’t need since they were returning to the States.

One thing I found that we really needed was a transformer.

Credit Google Search and Amazon.com

Germany uses 220v electricity, while the U.S. uses 110v. So we needed a piece of equipment called a transformer that allowed us to use our 110v powered equipment on the 220v system without ruining our stuff. This was a good piece of equipment and the price was right, so I purchased it. Unfortunately, it was extremely HEAVY!! It weighed about 30 pounds! Definitely too heavy for me to carry on the bus! I asked if I could leave it there until my husband could pick me up with the car, and they agreed.

As I was looking around the shop more, I found a large photograph, framed, of the Heidelberg castle, and fell in love with it, immediately! Again, the price was right, so I purchased it. And, again, I asked if they could “hold” it for me until my husband could get there with the car – and they agreed.

This photo has hung over our bed ever since – no matter what house we lived it. Unfortunately, the photo has faded to a sepia tone.

Apparently the photographer did not “seal” the photo. Now that wouldn’t have been too bad, but I really liked the picture in color. We have a friend here who has the equipment to make a copy of the photo and enlarge it to the same size – in color. And he did. So we have our original photo back in color, and we are pleased.

As a footnote, our daughter, Karen, and her husband, Brian, found and gave us a miniature of the Heidelberg Gate. It is lighted from inside, and wonder of wonders – the small bulb that came with it all those years ago, is still burning – and it’s running 24/7/365!! It sits on a shelf and I can see it every single day – and enjoy that part of Heidelberg every day. Lovely!

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Life During Covid 19-Part 23

24 Sep

Road Trip West Day 4

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

In my previous blog I mentioned my attempts to communicate with the housekeepers. On the final morning of our stay, I was determined to communicate with them about emptying the trash and removing towels. I peeked out my door and spied a housekeeper directly across from our room. I motioned her over and indicated I was ready for her. She propped the door open and I moved the trash cans to the door and then pointed to the bathroom and the soiled towels. This worked well, much better than trying to talk. I had begun to have a suspicion that it wasn’t my poor Spanish that was the problem, it was that she was not a Spanish speaker.

I began thinking I would call the vacation Our Road Trip to Nowhere but the people in Georgetown, Kentucky deeply touched our hearts with their kindness. I think I will call it Our Trip to Compassion in the Midst of the Covid Pandemic.

Day 4 was hospital discharge day and I was feeling at loose ends not knowing when he would call. I spent time trying to tidy up the room to be ready to pack up for our return home trip. How did we get so much stuff in our room?

Image by Jose Aitor Pons Buigues from Pixabay 

After tidying the room, I settled down to clean out my email inbox when I heard a firm knock on my door. I peered through the peep hole and saw the sweet woman from the front desk. She had been an angel, making sure the coffee pot in the breakfast room was full and asking about my husband.   I opened the door to her bright smile as she presented me with this. She remembered we were celebrating our anniversary. So sweet! I would have hugged her but, you know, that Covid thing.

I puttered around the room, waiting on the phone call that my husband was released. Getting bored, I decided to go for more ice and another cup of coffee. When my phone finally did ring, it was the specialist office from North Carolina setting up an appointment for follow up care. Truly a Divine appointment. It turned out that the Kentucky doctor was a life long friend with the North Carolina specialist.

At last the call came that hubby was being released.  But… there was paperwork to finish and copies of his chart and a disk of his scan to be collected. As 1 pm, the start of visiting hours approached I decided to go to the hospital.

I was not over my fear/dislike of driving the truck, but I was getting better at it. I almost parked within the lines in the hospital parking lot. A big improvement over the previous day.

We made it through the discharge process, stopped to get his medications at the pharmacy and finally arrived back at the hotel. Fortunately the hotel parking lot had a lot of empty spaces making parking a bit less terrifying. Whew! Thank you, Lord. One more night in the hotel, then we would return home.

After getting husband settled into our room I headed back to the truck to unload his stuff.  On the way back to our room, I stopped to thank the woman who delivered the gift and tell her how much I appreciated their care. I told her about my adventures communicating with the housekeeper and that I had begun to suspect it wasn’t my Spanish but that the woman didn’t speak Spanish. She asked if it was the short housekeeper and I said yes. She laughed and informed me the woman was from India! What a hoot. The poor woman must have thought I was crazy and sadly I may have offended her.  I hope not. I can relate to being a little crazy with all that was going on.

Next week will be the drive home. Would I be up to the challenge of driving the truck through the mountains and a long tunnel? (Gasp-I’m claustrophobic!) And what about the roller coaster life I mentioned last week?

Image by Jose Aitor Pons Buigues from Pixabay

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

Life During Covid-19 Part 20- Road Trip West

27 Aug

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

I decided to journal our journey. I know we will make many special memories and I don’t want to forget a single one, even the not perfect ones because sometimes those memories become the most dear.

We spent months planning our 49 1 /2 years anniversary road trip west.  Many days I awoke to doubts that we should take the trip due to Covid concerns, but each day after my morning quiet time and meditation, my worries would banish.

Our biggest challenge was packing the truck!  Our daughter and a friend would be flying to join us in Montana so we were carrying their luggage as well.  Then there were the folding chairs for impromptu picnics and a large tote for the various jackets we would need in the Rocky Mountains. After two attempts to fit everything we resorted to Facetime with our daughter, a master packer!

Day 1

When our children were young we began our annual vacation with a quick video, usually accompanied by the song, On the Road Again. One year, my son held the cat up and gave her a slight squeeze so that she would screech, imitating the movie studio that used a roaring lion as its signature.

My husband and I decided to revive the tradition but 2020 style.  He rummaged through his “stuff” (ladies, you know what I mean) and found two purple full face respirator masks from his working life. We put them on and took a selfie. I posted it on Facebook with the caption Road Trip. I had no idea anyone would think the masks were serious. But several did.

Our first stop would be Georgetown, Kentucky, a little over a 5 hour drive. Most of our drive was through mountainous areas and so beautiful. We wanted to avoid interstate as much as possible but in some areas, the interstate was the better choice.

In Kentucky we stopped at Cumberland Gap, of Davey Crockett fame. We enjoyed our first on the road picnic lunch in the parking lot before driving up to the Pinnacle Overlook.

The road getting to the top was extremely curvy!

Overlook from the Pinnacle

When we arrived at our stop for the night, I was delighted to see that one of our favorite burger and salad restaurants , Culvers, was directly across the street and there was a traffic light to make crossing easy. Perfect!

A nice finish to a good first day…but trouble was on our horizon. The best laid plans.

I'm a winnerAfter my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  where we frequently host the best in up and coming authors.

My 2019 goal is to use my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.

I Love to Travel Part 2

19 Aug

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

So now, this is an example of how I plan one of my road trips.   I select a specific Aviation museum, from the Guide Book to visit.  I preferably like it to be in an area of the country where I haven’t been before.  Using the guide book, I research the other Aviation museums in the states surrounding the target museum.  Then I use Wikipedia (“Museums in Colorado”) to find all the different types of museums in the states surrounding the target state, that interest me.  I locate the museums, using MapQuest, to establish a route, in those states, and that becomes my itinerary.  I find a major city, nearest my route, with the best airline rate, and my itinerary starts there.  I usually fly Southwest Airlines because I can fly free with my Reward Miles.

My direction of travel does not depend on moving clockwise or counterclockwise, as long as the big two-week itinerary circle brings me back to the same airport.  That way I can pick-up and return my rental car at the same location without any addition drop-off charges.  Rental car costs, gas, food, and museum admissions are usually my only our-of-pocket expenses I have (unless there are tour fees or special tickets. etc.) for one of these two-week trips.  I have my own Accident Insurance, but I’m not always sure my Auto Insurance will cover everything on the rental car, so I usually purchase Travel Insurance that covers anything that could happen to me or the rental car on the trip.

I figure a day’s travel miles (as close as possible) where my itinerary will place me at a location where I can get good motel rates (larger cities generally have more motels to choose from, and their rates are usually lower).  I make advanced motel reservations (usually free with credit card points), so I don’t have to do that on the road.  All of this planning can sometimes take me weeks to arrange, but once it’s all arranged, and I have conformations for everything, I’m ready to go.  

I like to print out a copy of all my conformation notices for airline, rental car, and motels.  Then I make a copy of the description of each museum, which includes name, address, and phone number (days & hours of operation).  I arrange the museum sheets in the order I have decided on for my itinerary, so I will have them at hand in the car as I go.  That way, all I have to do is plug-in the address on my Garmin (Greta), and off I go.  This also gives me a record of everything I might need in case Greta or I get lost, or any other type of problem I might run into.  Sometimes Greta, will take me to the wrong address, or not be able to locate the address.  If that happens, I can refer to the information sheet, for the place I’m heading, and call to ask for directions.  Those sorts of things have happened more than once on my trips in the past.

At the end of each day’s travels, while relaxing at the motel, I record the hi-lights of the day’s activities on my cell phone and email it to my computer at home.  When I get home I use the emails and the internet to thoroughly research each museum for any special or historical data I can find.  It’s amazing how much more interesting my blogs can become with that expanded information.  I arrange the museum’s information in sequence, for that day, and that becomes a short blog (500-700 words).  Then I post one blog per week on the “Old Things R New” website.  This allows others to enjoy my trips (vicariously) if they like that sort of thing, and maybe learn a little something new at the same time.  Writing up these blogs also allows me to re-live the fun memories of the trip again.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick look at the reason “I Love to Travel” and how I go about choosing, researching, arranging, and reporting a two-week “Bucket List” road trip.  These trips are so relaxing, enjoyable and freeing for me.  I can really recommend travel.  Just getting away from the every-day mundane things of life, and hitting the road to somewhere.  It doesn’t have to be a BIG trip.  Just get out and go.  We have a big country out there, and there is a large variety of very interesting and beautiful places and things to see.  So enjoy it.  If you are ever interested in some of the places and things I’ve encountered on my past trips, you can find my travel blogs at www.oldthingsrnew.com. Enter the Title & Part # (if any) of the blog you would like to read in the search box, at the top of the opening screen.  Press “Search” and that should take you to the blog you are looking for (by Bill Lites).  I wish each and every one of you Happy Traveling and enjoyable reading.

Bill

—–The End—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

Bill

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

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