In February of 1989, Steve got orders back to Germany and the girls and I were not happy. Kristie had wanted to graduate from a high school in the United States. She had been a freshman in Virginia, a sophomore in Kansas and now she would do her Junior and Senior years in Kaiserslautern. Holan’s school days in Germany had been terrible and I was not sure it would be a positive move with her learning disability. But the Rotchfords were heading back to Darmstadt so off we went. We were an hour and twenty minutes apart. Still closer than in the States but with the girl’s school work and activities, the guys work schedules it wasn’t like living in the same city, We got together as much as we could. The Rotchfords came to Kaiserslautern for New Years Eve so the adults went out to the Officer’s Club for …
It was the summer of ’82, the guys had been working at CRC Lauda for a year. There were approximately 30 to 35 US Army Officers & Enlisted assigned to the unit. They worked side by side with a German Luftwaffe Tactical Fighter Control Unit which fell under a NATO SOC Command. Their responsible was for the air defense of Central Europe and the Fulda Gap. They went to work in the dark, come home in the dark and worked in “The Bunker” at Bad Mergentheim with no windows. It was time to find a new job and come out of the dark! Steve became the Battery Commander of 10th ADA Group and Fred became an Operation Officer at Headquarters 32nd AADCOM. So the two families packed their stuff and off to Darmstadt we went. Lupe and I were busy with our volunteer work with the schools, church, Officer’s Wives …
Today we went to the World’s Oldest Indoor Rodeo at the Fort Worth Stock Yards. And yes, it was truly our first rodeo. This was the 117th Rodeo and was held at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum in Fort Worth. This is the last year the event will be held at Will Rogers. A new $450 million arena is being built a short distance away. We got a great parking place in the handicap lot and found our way to the first exhibit hall. The range of vendors was outstanding! Of course, there was the western hats, boots, house decor and clothing for the entire family. The vendors also ranged from mattresses to furniture, fire pit and metal signs and fences to farm equipment, home improvements to home made butter, honey, and salsa. It was a great home show, a beautiful western wear boutique and a wonderful craft show rolled into …
This was a wonderful wood carving in front of the Havana Cigar store. Along the path was a coconut water cart, in case you need a quick drink. The shore line of the island. The sunlight reflecting on the water waves made it sparkle. As we left, we discovered the shopping area was designed as a maze, designed to keep cruise passengers rotating in and out of the shops. There are signs for the exits but they were hard to find. Going back to the ship, you could see the flags flying, the trolley waiting, the ships and people coming and going.
Our 3rd stop on this cruise was Costa Maya. We had breakfast in the dining room, then spent a couple of hours in the hot tubs. Most of the people had gotten off the ship so the tubs were pretty empty. We did have a nice conversation with a couple from Canada, before going to lunch in Savor, one of the main dining rooms. After lunch we made our way off the ship. We had been to Costa Maya before and had not found any excursions we were interested in doing. Seems like the last time we were in Costa Maya we tendered, took a small boat, to shore. This time a brand new and very long pier stretched out along the water. We could walk or be transported via a complimentary shuttle, to a new entrance into the shopping area. We took the shuttle. Once off the shuttle, a friendly …
We arrived at Harvest Caye, Belize and was very surprised to find that we were not on the mainland of Belize. The last time we were in Belize, we had tendered to the port, which was your usual cruise ship experience. There was nothing usual about this beautiful cruise port. It is owned exclusively by Norwegian Cruise Line. It took four years and $50 million to creating this paradise.  The materials used to construct port were sourced locally from Belize. Our ship docked and there was a long canopied pier connecting us from the ship to the port. It was a good 15 minute walk down the pier or there were carts to take passengers to the port entrance. On arriving at the port, we were greeted by the lush greens of Belize‚Äôs forests, The paved paths lead to different facilities available on the island, starting with the shopping area …
Local artist were commissioned to create wood carvings featuring Belize wildlife. Carving of a large iguana side by side with a smaller iguana is huge, it’s about 5′ high at the head of the iguana and 10′ long from head to tail of the larger iguana. Iguanas are a common sight throughout the Caribbean. This elaborate carving is one of a series of wood sculptures depicting the wildlife of Belize. We were amazed at all the unusual plants on Harvest Caye. The variety of flowering plants included Hibiscus, Jatropha, Jasmine, Ixora, and Heliconia
This was our 12th cruise and our 8th on Norwegian Cruise Line (Getaway). When we first started with NCL we were getting double loyalty points for the cruises. This moved us up the ladder to Platinum level for this cruise. As a Platinum members, we have an exclusive check in line at the embarkation port. Once we checked in we got our boarding number, not realizing we did not need one. Our number was eight and they hadn’t even called one yet. Fred, having checked in on his cruise in September as a Platinum member, knew this wasn’t right. So he went out to find the Platinum boarding. In just a few minutes he was back and we were off to embark on the Getaway. One minor problem, Dee had not reached Platinum yet. But with a few words from Steve and Fred we were on our way to the …
As we entered Colonial/Wisteria Lane, most of us could identify the Desperate Housewives houses. But if you have watched TV shows and movies, you might recognize houses for other reasons. The houses were filmed as these family homes: Munster’s, Hardy Boys, The Burbs, Live It To Beaver, Nancy Drew, and the Matlock. Other shows/movies include: Harvey, The Little Rascals Save the Day, The House of the Seven Gables, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Save
After driving around looking at other mansions, we arrived at Greystone Mansion & Gardens. It was completed in 1928 for the son of an oil tycoon. The City of Beverly Hills purchased the property in 1965 and became a public park in 1971. The Mansion is now used for weddings, events and filming for TV and movies (Batman’s home). The view overlooking Beverly Hills was amazing. We could pick out different place we had been during the day and a totally different look of Universal Studios from this overlook.
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