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H1, H2, & Big Boy Life on the (L)edge

Begun in the aftermath of Katrina, this blog was a way to keep family and friends updated as the family struggled to return to a semblance of normalcy. Now, more than four years later, the memories are still strong, the family is, to some extent, scattered. However, life did go on, and this is our story.

June 10, 2007

MAKE IT STOP!!! PLEASE!!!

In case you didn’t notice, my around the world journey in words is not in chronological order. The Quebec/Novia Scotia trip was the last journey I made with the “Moose”. Prior to that I heard the words, “The MOOSE is LOOSE!! Shift Colors!!” many, many times meaning that we were, once again, underway, and leaving Charleston (or anywhere else we might have been at the time). Being a test platform for a sophisticated sonar system, we spent a LOT of time underway!! Still, I did get to a few countries while onboard.

Grenada – Once again, I didn’t actually set foot on Grenada. Two days after leaving Charleston enroute to the Mediterranean, the Moose took a hard right turn and headed for the small island of Grenada. Depending on how old you are, you may or may not remember the invasion of Grenada and the rescue of many U.S. students there, among others. We provided gunfire support, and I have many pictures of the invasion.

Haifa, Israel – The trip to Haifa was awful. We left Grenada and steamed eastward. We had been underway from Charleston for a full 90 days before we put into port at Haifa. By this time we had pretty much run out of anything fresh and the food was getting pretty bad. Israel in the early 80s was much more peaceful than now, but still we saw a lot of mainly Israeli soldiers carrying automatic weapons.

While in Haifa I took a tour that went to Jerusalem and Bethlehem. The high point of the trip (among many highs) was going to midnight Mass in a cave in the shepherds field outside Bethlehem. I saw the “Wailing Wall”, “THE Temple” (at least the remains of it, where Jesus and all observant Jews traveled each year), the Garden of Olives, two places that vie to be the “real” Golgotha, and shrines believed to be built where 1. Jesus was born, 2. where Jesus was buried, and 3. where the annunciation took place (the angel told Mary she would be with child by the power of the Most High).

Gaeta, Italy – This is perhaps the best place ever. It was here that several of the wives met the ship. I was able to take 2 weeks leave, and Linda and I, with several friends, toured Rome, Florence, and the Amalfi Coast. It was a marvelous time, full of wonderful memories… “vino locale”, pasta, pasta, and more pasta, crowded (beyond belief) train rides, 6 people sleeping in one bedroom because we had arrived at our hotel too early in the morning, attack of the killer gypsies, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City and the marvelous artwork there, hunting for the statue of Bacchus in Boboli Gardens in Florence only to find it accidentally after we had given up and were leaving the park. The picture in the tourist guide book made it look deceptively large when it actuality it was a small, relatively obscure piece of artwork off to the side near the exit. Trying to tour every single Catholic church in Rome, until Linda took away the camera. Throwing coins into Trevi fountain to ensure that we will return someday. All this before we had ever heard of the Krewe of Bacchus!! And, did I mention “vino locale”???

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1 Comments:

Blogger Patti said...

Very cool. I'm going to have to come over and check out the pics.

3:22 PM  

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