|Aviator Memorial NAS Lemoore|
Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) in the background
Raining hard it was in Little Rhody, miserable weather, slowly turning to sleet but as we got closer to New England's premier city, the precipitation stopped. Though cold, it was dry. After many trials and tribulations we headed west.
Finally, nearly six hours later than scheduled, we landed in Fresno. Sans luggage, which apparently was taking a different route to the California Republic than taken by myself and my lovely bride.
On Friday, we had planned to head south towards Sandy Eggo at an early hour.
We all know what Robbie Burns had to say about plans, don't we?*
After reuniting with our misplaced baggage (and a tearful reunion it was) and rendezvousing with The Naviguesser, we headed south. At an hour long past that recommended by a number of Californians of our acquaintance.
Again, the plan had been to meet up with an old friend and his wife at their home for an evening of fine dining, reminiscing, tall tales and the liberal consumption of Guinness and Jameson's.
We were supposed to get to our Sandy Eggo accommodations at around 1700 local, then meet up with our friends at 1830 local. 'Twas not to be.
Me (text): "Looks like we're not going to get to Sandy Eggo until around 2100. Kinda late for dinner neh?"
My friend: "Nah, that's not that late. Get here when you can, if you're going to be later, then we might need to negotiate."
Well, we got to his place at around 2200, again, that's local, and commenced to put a dent in my buddy's Guinness and Jameson's supply. Well, he and I did. The Naviguessor ain't much of a drinker anymore and he also volunteered to haul his old man over to Coronado for the festivities. Designated driver and all that.
What about the others? Well, The Missus Herself, The WSO and Little Bit, like the intelligent humans they are, decided to stay at the hotel and get something they called "sleep."
Hhmm, I had heard of that concept but hadn't seen much of it since the previous Saturday.
My buddy and his charming wife had also prepared quite a feast for us.
So we feasted, we drank and talked long into the night sitting around a fire pit and watching the full moon slide across the sky.
It was epic. One might say, legendary.
Saturday dawned, bright and sunny. We were (somewhat) well rested and ready to face the day at the San Diego Zoo, followed by an evening at Shakespeare's, with members of the extended family. Not blood relatives mind you, but family nevertheless.
|At the zoo.|
|The Family, with our Mary in the foreground|
(the usual suspects scattered between the two tables...)
There is so much to tell, the weekend was emotionally draining.
As I write this, I'm within twelve hours of flying back to the land of the ice and snow.
It's nice to go home, but...
So much is being left behind, here in sunny California. There will be more details forthcoming of this incredible weekend, but I need time to digest it all.
|It's all left me, a bit...|
Stephen Arnold Photo
|The view from Ft Rosecrans National Cemetery|
|Hi Lex, this is my oldest granddaughter...|
|The Aviator Memorial, NAS Lemoore|
|Remembering a friend...|
|Lex's First Fleet Squadron|
|Lex's First Command|
*The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
To a Mouse -- Robert Burns