Charleston S.C. We liked this town! The narrow cobblestone
streets, city market, and waterfront provided a fun-filled day. We stayed on nearby James
Island County Park, which was extraordinary. It featured a Christmas light show unlike
anything we've ever seen. Huge light displays sponsored by corporations lined the park
roads. A parade of vehicles came to take in the spectacle. The light display would have
been enough for most parks, but James Island County Park did not rest on its laurels. It
also featured an outdoor ice rink (while it was 70 degrees) that seemed to attract the
whole city. We marveled at the quality of the park and its facilities.
||We visited the battleship USS North Carolina in Willmington, NC. Mark's
father served on this ship in WWII. Commissioned in 1941, the USS North Carolina was the
first of the fast battleships built by the U.S. Navy in World War II. During that war she
earned 15 battle stars and participated in every major naval offensive in the Pacific. She
had a crew of 2,339 and a top speed of 28 knots. An ice cream parlor, post office, shoe
repair and barber shop were some of the conveniences on board. It was a floating city.
When first commissioned, radar was not present on the ship because it had not yet been
||Plimoth Plantation goes to great lengths to re-create the details of 17th-century
life. Furnishings, clothing and everyday utensils are reproductions of objects produced
during the period. We had the opportunity to speak with "pilgrims" and learn
about their life. It's time travel you won't soon forget. It is located in Plymouth,
Massachusetts, and is a nonprofit, living history museum.
||New York City was one of our favorite places and this page would not be complete
without a picture from THE CITY. Rockefeller Center, located in the heart of Manhattan,
was always busy and alive with people and events. From ice skating to election day
coverage, this was a great place to soak up the energy of the city.
Philadelphia was perfect following Boston,
the North Bridge, Lexington, and Concord. We stopped for the day and toured the historic
area. Independence Hall was getting a face lift, but the crack in the Liberty Bell remains
unchanged. The sacrifices and courage of the men who signed the Declaration of
Independence were brought to life.
||A view of San Diego from Cabrillo National
Monument. San Diego is a special place.
||The Saguaro Desert near Tucson was a
magical experience... Haunting in its starkness, beautiful on its own terms, the desert
exerts a hold on the soul.
||This bookstore is said to be the largest in
the free world. It is located in downtown Portland, OR, and be prepared to spend an
afternoon. Bet you can't buy just one.
||Oops! This was Buddy's favorite place. In
Coronado, California, they have a designated dog beach. One Saturday we witnessed up to 50
dogs and their owners bonding on the beach. It was truly a funny scene with dogs
impressing each other with their beach skills.
||At MacDonald Observatory outside Ft. Davis,
Texas, we spent an especially educational and fun day. The staff was outstanding. Here we
are learning about the 107-inch telescope. That night we came back for some star gazing.
The celestial view is amazingly vivid.
||Seven Seas Whale Watching Line provided
free tickets on one of their boats. From Gloucester, Mass. we traveled 30-40 miles to
feeding grounds. We saw about 50 whales, including humpback, minke, and fin. One whale
breached right next to the boat, and we saw into its huge mouth.
||We spent several days in Yosemite National
Park. It is spectacular, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. Upper Yosemite Falls pictured here
drop 2,500 feet. The valley floor provides a platform from which to witness nature
||This picture was taken from our cable car
in San Francisco. We climbed on and hung off the side -- just like in the movies. San
Francisco is a jewel.
||This was our all-time favorite hike, an
unforgettable and challenging experience into Waipio Valley along this dream-like river on
the Big Island of Hawaii . We forded the river several times to take advantage of what
little trail existed, climbed boulders, and slipped on rocks as we made our way through
rain forest to the pool at the base of two unbelievable waterfalls. We swam in the pool
and let the falls shower us.
||Jackson Square in New Orleans was too impressive not to be included on
this page. Certain images of this city stand out clearly. In the heart of the French
Quarter, this park is surrounded by a flagstone pedestrian mall and centered by a statue
of General Andrew Jackson, the hero who defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans.
The mall is alive with street vendors, artists, and clowns.
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