Wednesday, April 30, 2008


We had a great lamb dinner on Sunday Night with 4 of Sheila's friends. I got up early on Monday, packed, and went out for breakfast with Sheila, dropped Sheila off at the train station we said good bye, and I was off to Mark and Judy's in New Hampshire. Along the way, I stopped by in New Haven, Connecticut to look at the Yale campus (it was raining like crazy, and I got soaked!) and grab lunch. I hit the road again and arrived at Mark and Judy's place near Milford, NH around 3:00 PM. The house is very nice and big, and very old. Mark told me the house was probably built in 1750, but definitely before 1780. For a history buff like me, it is amazing to be staying in a colonial-era home! Judy made a wonderful roast beef dinner and the 3 of us relaxed and talked for the evening.

On Tuesday, I got up and had a leisurely morning, then I drove to Quincy, MA to see the President Adams homes (his birthplace and his nicer home he bought later) and library. I read the David McCullough biography John Adams, so it was extra interesting for me to see the homes. I got back around 4:00 PM, we went to a very good local diner for dinner.

I was up a little earlier this morning, Judy had the day off and Mark took the day off, and they took me on a little tour. We drove through and did a little sight-seeing in Concord and Lexington (Where the first battle of the American Revolution was fought in April, 1775). We then went to Salem, strolled the town and visited the "Witch Museum" and a very old cemetery. We saw a tombstone of a person that died around 1680, and it said "Mayflower Pilgrim". I didn't cut my toe and got a picture. Now, we're lounging around and watching TV, Judy will have another wonderful home-made dinner ready soon.

Tomorrow, I plan on doing the "Freedom Trail" in Boston. Life is good!

Until the next post,

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The New Orleans Incident

Someone asked about the toe injury, and I said I'd post about it...

I had parked in NO, was was walking toward the French Quarter when I heard the blow of a Riverboat whistle. In my youthful enthusiasm that has somehow hung on to middle age, I started running toward the Mississippi to see the boat. Think "Yay, a big river boat, I'm gonna get a nice picture!" I'm running through a parking lot, then toward the gate near the river, then all of a sudden I hit something and I stumble and fall. I evaluate the damage: raspberries on my hands and knees, I look at my feet in my sandals and I see some bleeding. I think, "Wow, that's odd. What caused that?" I look toward the gate. Tire shredding spikes! I found a nearby bathroom and cleaned it and bandaged it. Luckily, the spike hit my callous, and the damage wasn't too bad. I'm still alive and it's almost totally healed now. I didn't get the picture : )

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Love New York- Mariah Carey, not so much.

After lunch on Thursday, I just roamed around Manhattan, through a section called "East Village". The weather was spectacular, sunny and mid 70s. I met Sheila in Madison Park at 5:30 PM, we took the train back to her place in Queens. We drove to Little Bay Park for a short jog, then we dropped by a Greek restaurant (Sheila knows the owners) for dinner to go.

On Friday, I slept in, got ready to go, had a leisurely breakfast near the train station. Got on the train, headed to Manhattan again. Manhattan blows my mind, its so huge, tall and crowded. Fascinating to me. I walked around Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick's Catholic Church, then met up with Sheila at the Empire State Building. We went up, and we really enjoyed the view. But, we got kinda stuck on the observation deck. Why? Maria Carey was up on the observation deck doing an interview or something, and they decided to shut down all the elevators. There were a lot of upset folks up there! At least I got a picture of her (since we were stuck there anyhow). Afterwards, we headed down to the Battery Park area. We walked around a little, walked by "ground zero", and took the passenger ferry over to Hoboken New Jersey. I will now refer to Hoboken as "Hobroken" since the old (1920s?) ferry terminal there was literally falling down : ) We had a nice dinner at a Malayan restaurant, then roamed the waterfront, then we took the "PATH" train back to Penn Station, where we caught the RIRR train back to Queens. When folks got on at Shea Stadium got on the train, there was grumbling about the Mets losing.

Slept in again on Saturday (seeing a pattern?), Sheila went off to run errands, so I went for breakfast/coffee on my own. Met back at the house at Noon, we headed out in Sheila's car to pick up Julie, a friend of Sheila's. We then we drove out to the vineyards of Long Island on the South Fork on the eastern end of the island. We stopped at a beautiful looking diner that had decidedly so-so food. Can't win 'em all I guess! We visited two wineries for tasting: Duck Walk and The Channing Daughters. East coast wines taste very mellow to me, I liked the taste, but I'm not a connoisseur. We got back to town around 8:00 PM, and were tired so just ordered a pizza for dinner.

This morning Sheila and I went to her church (1st Presbyterian of Whitestone in Queens)  at 10:30, it was a cute little building, about 100 years old. The congregation is very small, but full of love and spirit. After the service they had a little celebration for the birthday of the Pastor and a congregant. After that, they had a healing service. We left about 12:30, went food shopping and had coffee. We got back to the house at 2:00 PM, and here I am blogging!

I plan on leaving NYC tomorrow for Boston. New York has been great, and Sheila has been a wonderful host. We're having a lamb dinner tonight in honor of Orthodox Easter, with several of Sheila's friends. NYC is such a huge, interesting megalopolis you could spend years here to explore it all.

Until the next post,

PS No comments on the pics??

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Greg holding Alex and Emy's kids Dylan and Alyssa in Cuppertino

Tim and Greg at the Padres game in San Diego

Uncle Ted and Greg at an undisclosed lunch location in Phoenix

Cousin Staffan and Greg at the Iron Cactus in Dallas

Dealy Plaza in Dallas

Cousin Tor and Greg at the Astros game in Houston

(from left) Carol, Don, Dan, Greg and Michelle eating dinner in Athens, GA

(from left) Matt, Melody, Mark (retiree), Marty and Greg at Mark's retirement ceremony in Norfolk, VA.

Jefferson's Monticello near Charlottesville, VA. Look at the back of a nickel!

Sheila's cat (put in at her request). Sheila loves her cats.


Got up Monday, met Ted and Eve for breakfast. We picked up Ted's friend Ray, and we all went to the Jamestown Settlement. For the one or two of you that may not know, Jamestown was the first permanent English settlement in the New World. We checked out the "living museum" and the actual settlement site, where archaelogical work is ongoing. Ray had us over for a home cooked meal courtesy of his grandson. It was excellent!

Tuesday, Ted, Eve and I met for breakfast as usual. We then headed to the Maritime Museum in Newport News, where we looked around for 3 hours of so. The highlight was viewing the remains of the Union Civil War era ironclad ship, The Monitor. Ray's girlfriend made lunch for us, then we all said our goodbye's, and I was off to Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary. I spent a couple hours there, then drove off to Charlottesville to stay the night.

Got up early on Wednesday, and headed for Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. I looked around for 3 hours of so, then headed off for New York. I passed through 5 states and DC on Wednesday! That was the first time I'd be though Delaware. I arrived at Sheila's place in Queens at 8:00, were we had dinner with a friend of Sheila's.

Slept in, cleaned up and headed to Manhattan on the Long Island railroad. I met sheila for lunch, we had a nice Sushi lunch, then Sheila showed me here office. We parted ways, now I'm in a local Kinkos writing this. I'm gonna wander around and meet Sheila at 5:30 for the train ride back to Queens.

I have some pictures ready to post, they should be up later today or tomorrow.

The adventure continues!

Until the next post,

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mark's Retirement

Friday was Mark's retirement ceremony in Norfolk. The rough midpoint of my trip, and one of the main main inspirations for the trip. The ceremony was fairly simple and not too long, but was very nice and patriotic. There was talk of dedication, service and God. It was a great experience, to be there with Mark and his family, celebrating his 26 years of service to the United States Navy.

There was a reception after the ceremony, then we headed to Kelly's (Mark's wife's sister who lives in town) house for a wonderful bar-b-que for good food, drink and long conversations.

On Saturday, we all met for breakfast in the hotel, then Mark brought us on board the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt for a tour. It was a thrill to get a tour of an active carrier! All the sailors were very professional and polite, especially the Petty Officer who conducted most of our tour. We hit the Navy PX, headed back to the hotel, ate a dinner of leftovers from the various parties for Mark, and later I had a good conversation with my cousin Matt.

Sunday has been pretty lazy, meeting as usual for breakfast at the hotel, and people heading to the airport to go home. I got an oil change and am taking advantage of the hotel laundry (exciting stuff in this blog, huh? :) I'll stay with Ted and Eve, tomorrow we're planning to see a few of the local historical sites.

Till the next post,

Friday, April 18, 2008

Athens and Norfolk

It's great to hear that there are quite a few readers of this blog! There have been several requests for pictures, hopefully I can get some posted soon, but I am keeping very busy and I also need access to a computer with an SD card reader.

I met up with Michelle, Michelle's 5 (yes, 5!) children and Carol in Athens on Tuesday, we went out for ice cream and I got a whirlwind tour of Athens. Later, Michelle, Dan (Michelle's husband), Carol and Don (Carol's husband) and I went out for dinner to a fantastic southern food restaurant in downtown Athens. My sporadic jogging is just keeping me even with all the great food I'm downing! Afterwards, we had a drink at a bar owned by a friend of Michelle and Dan, also in downtown Athens.

Here's the amazing story behind this meeting: Michelle and I ran around with the same set of friends in HS, but lost contact after HS. About 4 years ago, I just happened to run into Michelle when she was visiting Seattle. We discovered we had our faith in common, and we've been in touch ever since. I met Don a couple of years ago through a Christian program called "Alpha" at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle. Don moved about a year ago for a new job. It turns out that Don moved to Athens, GA, and joined Redeemer Presbyterian church which happens to be Dan and Michelle's church, and they became friends . Carol moved to Athens a little after Don, and Michelle and Carol are great friends now.

Michelle and Dan put me up for the night, I woke up Wednesday, packed up and said goodbye to Michelle and the kids on Wednesday morning. Dan and I went downtown to have breakfast together. Dan showed me their church (where he works), then I headed off to cruise around the University of Georgia for a few hours. It is a beautiful campus (but not quite as beautiful as my Alma Mater, the University of Washington :) I got a haircut downtown at "Lock Nest" hair studio, then I hit the road again around 1:00 PM. I drove through Georgia, South Carolina and stopped for the night at 9:00 PM night at a Motel 6 in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

I got up and headed out to Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday. I arrived at the hotel where my family is staying at 11:00 AM. I met up with Uncle Ted and Eve (who starred in the Phoenix post), cousin Mark and his wife Judy, and we headed to Judy's sister's place for a get together. Ted and I later left for the Norfolk airport to pick up cousins Marty, Matt and Melody (Along with Mark, all Ted's children). We had a drink and a fun conversation at the airport, then headed back to the hotel. We ate at the hotel, then went up to Ted and Eve's apartment for a drink and some more good conversation. I heard a lot of fun stories about my cousin's youth in Durango, Colorado. Evidently, they got into their fair share of trouble... lol

Crashed in Mark's room, slept like a baby, got up and met everyone for breakfast in the hotel restaurant area. We're now getting ready for Mark's retirement ceremony at noon.

Another unbelievably enjoyable last few days with great friends and family. To kill the long hours of driving, I'm keeping in touch with several of you by cell phone, listening to music and talk radio. I gotta say this trip ranks very high on my list of life events! Everyday is an adventure, and the fun, generosity and love of those I've been with is overwhelming.

Until the next post,

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Houston, New Orleans and Atlanta

The trip from Dallas to Houston took 4 hours. Met Tor and his lovely wife Anna at 3:30. They have a guest room where they let me stay. Their townhouse is very nice! We watched "There Will be Blood" on DVD, then the 3 of us met a friend of theirs in town from London at a very nice Italian restaurant where we ate outdoors. It was nice, about 70 degrees. We had good food, good wine and good conversation.

Tor, Anna and I got up, headed to Memorial Park, and we walked 3 miles in the mild morning sun. We went back to the house, cleaned up, then met Tor's mom for brunch at another great little restaurant (Named the "Hobbit Hole" I believe...). Some Astros tickets fell out of the sky into Tor's lap, so we headed to Minute Maid field where we watched the game vs. the Florida Marlins. Let's see: Twice on this trip free baseball tickets have come out of nowhere for me, and both games featured the Astros. Am I supposed to be an Astros fan?? After the game we got some very good Gelato near Rice University. Back to the house, we relaxed, watched another movie (a French film called, "Russian Dolls"), Anna's brother came over and we all had a bar-b-que dinner of hot dogs and hamburgers.

On Monday morning, I packed up and cleaned up, then followed Tor to a Starbucks near his office. We had coffee then said our goodbyes. I left Houston around 8:00 AM. I hadn't planned on it, but I ended up on the road to New Orleans. Since I had a little time, I went with the flow. I found the French Quarter, parked and walked around for 2 hours. I love old buildings and history, so I really enjoyed my walk, and was glad I decided to stop. At least I got a taste of New Orleans, an unplanned treat. Driving east on I-10 out of town, I saw some of the devastated areas of town... the scale of it all was amazing. But, I hear the city is progressing well. I drove on, stayed the night in Evergreen, Alabama. I visited 3 states I never had visited before on Monday: Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. My goal of visiting every state is getting closer!

Got up Tuesday, took advantage of the hotel's breakfast, and then hit the road. Right now, I'm in a downtown Atlanta Kinkos writing this. I'm heading off to Athens in a few minutes to visit another High School friend, Michelle and her family. I'm still having a great time, and am well (except I cut my left big toe in New Orleans... I'll tell that story later : )

Till the next post,

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Pt 7 Staffan finished work, came home, then Staffan, his girlfriend Sara and I headed out to eat a downtown Mexican restaurant. We had great food and conversation. Afterwards, we watched a movie on Staffan's big 'ol HD flatscreen.

Friday morning was lazy, then I drove to Addison to meet up with another friend, the Brother of my friend Alex (who I saw in Cuppertino), Ken. We had an Indian buffet lunch and a good conversation. Headed back to Staffan's, then roamed around downtown Dallas until I came upon Dealey Plaza. I went in to the museum and spent a couple of hours there. It was well done and very interesting. For dinner, Staffan, Sara and another couple Issac and Amy and I went to a gourmet Mexican restaurant downtown, "Iron Cactus" for dinner. I had the best Chicken fried steak I've ever had there. It's highly recommended! We all went back to Staffan's and played "Trivial Pursuit". Staffan took the prize for the night!

I hit the sack at 1:00 AM, was up at 9:00, and here I am. I wish I had more time here in Dallas, it was a great time, it was great to hang out with my Cousin Staffan. But the journey will continue soon, and I'll be off to Houston!

Till the next post,

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Duststorms and Tornados

Prt. 6 Ted, Eve and I had a nice dinner at the local Outback on Monday night. Tuesday morning, Roxy and I did a final jog together in the cool morning. We got back, I cleaned up, packed up and said goodbyes to Ted and Eve (I'll see them again in Norfolk). Hit the road at 10:00 AM. The freeways were pretty much wide open. I enjoyed the desert scenery, and the temps were nice and cool, cooler than usual, about 65. I took I-10, which was closed near the New Mexico/Texas line due to big dust storms, but luckily the freeway wasn't closed long. I chugged along until 10:00 PM PDT (12:00 AM CDT), and I stopped and got a hotel room in Odessa, TX. Evidently a tornado hit fairly near by in San Angelo that night. I woke up at 5:00 AM CDT (3:00 AM PDT), and headed out to Dallas to meet my Maternal cousin Staffan for lunch. I saw the sunrise, which was nice. I hope my picture came out good!

Thank goodness for the Magellan GPS, cause I'm not sure I could have navigated all those complicated Ft. Worth/Dallas freeways to my cousin Staffan's office in North Dallas without it! Met Staffan and 3 of his co-workers at his office, then we headed out for lunch at a local Sushi restaurant at 11:30. Staffan and I grabbed coffee briefly afterwards to chat some more. Then, I headed over to his apartment in downtown Dallas to "chill". What a nice place it is! I'm a bit jealous- it's right downtown, nicely furnished with a lot of cool gadgets (the computer I'm on has a, gosh, 25" or so screen).

Most of my postings have been straight journaling, but wow, I am having the time of my life! Everything has been great from all my overly-generous friends and family to the beautiful countryside to happy coincidences.

Hope you are all well.

Until the next post,

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Enjoying Phoenix

Pt. 5 Uncle Ted (My Father's brother) and Eve are putting me up in their guest room, which is very comfortable. Got up early-ish on Monday, and went for a little jog with Ted and Eve's dog Roxy. There was perfect jogging weather in the morning, 70 and sunny! Their home is in a retirement community, and they have a series of man-made lakes with jogging trails. Roxy and I came back, cleaned up, then Ted, Eve and I went to their clubhouse for breakfast. Then, Ted showed me around town, told me about his local business, then we went to a Native American museum in Tempe. We went to Hooters for lunch in downtown Phoenix (it was his idea :) We came back to the house, lounged, and had a nice bar-b-que dinner. Ted made a fire in the back yard after dinner, and the 3 of us relaxed, chatted and enjoyed the fire.

Same routine this morning: Got up, went jogging, cleaned up, headed out for a tour and business with Ted. When we got back, Ted took me and Roxy out on his 4x4 quad in the nearby desert. It was a blast! We'll be heading out soon for dinner. I'll be packing up and hitting the road for Dallas tomorrow morning.

That's all for now. Until the next post,

Sunday, April 6, 2008

On to Phoenix!

Pt. 4 Another lazy morning on Friday. I got another 2 mile or so jog in. It's been great jogging weather in the mornings, 60 and partly cloudy. I met up with my cousin Eric around 3:30 PM. We drove around and grabbed dinner at his favorite local buffet. We drove around some more, caught up with a couple of Eric's friends and we all went to Denny's for a snack, then later Eric and I saw the new Rolling Stones concert movie "Shine a Light" directed by Martin Scorsese (The movie wasn't that great- wait for the rental). It's always great meeting up with Eric, we always have an instant connection and great conversations.

Saturday was mellow all day long. I got some chores done, Uncle Butch and I went to dinner at a local cafe that has a nostalgic Americana theme. The food was excellent. We stayed in and had a good conversation.

Today (Sun 4/6), I got up, went for a jog, had coffee with Butch, cleaned up and packed. I said my goodbyes to Butch, and hit the road around 11:15 AM. It was pretty much a wide open Road from San Diego to the Phoenix area (Chandler). I arrived around 5:00 PM at Uncle Ted and Eve's place. Ted showed me around (it's my first visti) and we chatted. We had a very nice dinner, and here I am! I want to thank Uncle Butch once again for putting up for me for a WHOLE WEEK! He made me feel welcome the whole time, we had a lot of fun and laughs with our conversations.

Until the next post,

Friday, April 4, 2008

Special Guest Star

Pt. 3 After I left the Kinkos on Wednesday, Tim and I met up and had a great brunch at a place called "Brian's" in the Gaslight area of San Diego. Then, I dropped off Tim at his Hotel, I went back to my base at Uncle Butch's. Picked up Tim again around 7:30 PM, and we went to the Padres/Astros game at Petco Park. That is one nice stadium! It's only 3 years old, and it has a lot of interesting extras, like a little play field for young kids. We had great seats, it was fun, but the Padres lost.

Lounged around Thursday morning, got a 2 mile jog in. Tim and I met up again at noon, we headed to the waterfront where we had lunch and visited the aircraft carrier "Midway" (served 1945 through 1991) that is open for tours. That was pretty interesting. We had a little time left before Tim was scheduled to fly out, so we headed to the beach on Coronado. We walked around on the beach, went by the Hotel Coronado, got some coffee, then we headed out. I dropped Tim off at the airport, then I was off to visit Aunt Joyce in Poway. Joyce and I had a fun time and conversation, then we visited her husband Maurice at the convalescent home where he is recovering from a broken hip. While I was with Joyce, my brother Scott called! He was in Poway for business, so I met up with him and a co-worker of his at the local gourmet restaurant "Chili's". I had no idea he'd be down here, so that was a big surprise.

Until the next post,

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

LA and San Diego

Part 2. I arrived in the LA area around 8:15 PM on Friday 3/28, I met up with my friend Larry I met in Seattle who now lives in Berkley, but was visiting his home town of LA. We had a good dinner and good conversation. After dinner, I headed to Inglewood, where another friend from way back in Jr. High, Scott, lives and had graciously invited me to stay. Saturday was pretty mellow, we got breakfast, cruised around town, then had a home bar-b-que dinner. On Sunday, I went with Scott to his Church in West LA, it was very similar to my Church in Seattle, so I felt right at home. Afterwards we grabbed breakfast and went to the J. Paul Getty museum near Bel Aire. It is a very impressive building, and the art was fascinating and beautiful. I recommend a visit if you ever get a chance (and it's only $8 for parking, admission is free)! Scott and I grabbed dinner, then I was off for San Diego.

I arrived at my Uncle Butch's place in San Diego at about 10:00 PM on Sun 3/30. On Monday we grabbed breakfast at a nearby Mexican restaurant which was very good. Later that day, I headed to Escondido to visit my Uncle Dick and his wife Suzie for about half a day. We went to watch Dick's Grandson's baseball game at Escondido High. Afterwards, we had dinner at a very nice Mexican restaurant nearby. Dick gave me two tickets for the Padres game on Wed night. Coincidentally a very good friend from Seattle, Tim, is in San Diego for business so I called him up, and he agreed to go with me to the game. After dinner, I headed back to Butch's place in San Diego.

Tuesday 4/1 was a pretty mellow day. I surfed the internet, roamed Butch's neighborhood in the warm San Diego sun (nice!), stopped for coffee at a local coffee shop. Butch and I went out for Chinese food at lunch. Later, I met up with Tim and some people he met from his company down here in the downtown/Gaslight area for drinks and fun. And we had drinks and fun : )

Woke up late-ish (due to the drinks and fun of the previous night), Tim called and suggested we meet for breakfast. So, I headed down to pick him up at his hotel. Right now, he's getting a little work task done via computer as I write this post at a nearby Kinkos.

Wow, I'm finally caught up on the blogging! Upcoming plans include the previoulsy mentioned Padres game tonight with Tim, visiting a few more relatives here in the San Diego area, then heading out for Phoenix on the 5th or 6th.

I hope everyone is well!

Till the next post,

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm Baaack

If you haven't heard I was locked out of the blog. Google's software thought this blog was a "spam blog". Anyhow, they have finally reviewed it and determined this blog isn't a spam blog and unlocked it. Good news.

Back to the trip!

Part 1. I got a late start on Tuesday 3/25. Headed to North Bend with my loyal Golden Retriever Midas, dropped him off at my brother's place then headed down Hwy 18 to to I-5. Drove all the way Grant's Pass in Oregon, then took the cut off over to Hwy 101 along the CA coast. It was late and I was running behind schedule, so I just pulled over near the ocean and snoozed in the car. It was clear when I pulled over- the ocean was crashing and the sky was the blackest I've ever seen. The stars were blazing. Soon after I settled in my sleeping bag, it started to rain. "This is great" I thought (though the sleep wasn't so great).

I arrived at the home of my good friend Alex in Cuppertino around 11:00 AM on Wednesday (The Magellan GPS unit proved it's worth getting me there!). We had lunch, and a great conversation. Dinner with Alex and family that evening. Thursday morning, Alex and family left for vacation, and I was off for lunch with another old friend from Jr. High and High School, Ed. I hadn't seen Ed in at least 12 years, we did a lot of catching up. I then headed up to Berkley and roamed around campus. Then caught up with another old friend from HS, Jim at his house in Oakland. Jim and I got back in touch after, ahem, 25 years via Facebook. Jim, his wife Pam and I went out to gourmet Mexican restaurant in Oakland for dinner. They put me up for the night in their cute guest house in the back. On Friday morning Jim made breakfast and coffee which we enjoyed leisurely. Hit the road for San Francisco at 9:00 or so. I drove around SF a little, then stopped near the Golden Gate, and walked along the shore for a couple hours. Then, met Jim downtown for lunch. At 1:30 PM, I was on the road again.