Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Out West

Aviator Memorial NAS Lemoore
Field Carrier Landing Practice (FCLP) in the background
It started in the middle of the night as The Missus Herself and Your Humble Scribe climbed on board Big Girl (my 2005 Honda Element) and pointed the nose north-northeast towards Boston.

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.

Ah well...

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

In Remembrance.

*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


  1. Well....glad you're home safe and sound and that the mission was accomplished. Wish the travel thing had gone better, but that seems to be the way of the world now. Most of all, wish I'd have been able to make it also.

    1. I miss the warmth. Poured rain all the way from Boston.

      Good to see the cats though.

  2. Quite a memorable trip indeed, OAFS. Glad to hear you at back at home station.

    1. This past weekend has left me in a bit of a daze. And it's not just the travel.

  3. Still sounds like a great trip. Did you see Tuna? Did you go to the USS Midway and visit "my" F-4 Phantoms?

    1. Tuna was in Vegas, watching automobiles making continuous left turns.

      Didn't get to the Midway, thought about it but given the choice between spending time with my granddaughter at the zoo or seeing a carrier, well, she wins every time.

      Next time Murph, next time. (Without you there to drop the ladders, where's the fun?)

  4. Was indeed an honor and a hi-lite of the evening to meet you face to face. Give mine and Teresa's best to The Missus Herself and my thanks to the WSO for her contribution to your being at what was probably the best Gathering of the Clan ever.

    1. Ah SoCal, learning that your Missus was Air Force explains your wit and savoir faire. She has trained you well. (Heh.)

      It was indeed an honor and a privilege to sit down with you and your wife.

      It was an evening to remember!

    2. Hope to make a trip north to NE after we move back to NC. That would move a visit to 'Little Rhody' out of the visit by mistake and into the by design category. A Gathering with the NE Clan would be great.

    3. Count on it! We'll introduce you to "Shakespeare's East."

  5. Well done, and thanks for giving us a view on the get together.

    1. Honored to be of service. [Said while bowing, chapeau sweeping the floor. So to speak...]


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Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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