Thursday, June 30, 1988

1988 Vacation Cleveland, OH and Boston, MA (6/29-30/1988)

Wednesday, June 29, 1988
I was packing the clean clothes and getting ready, and went downstairs to see everyone was already eating breakfast together! Had a banana and freshly squeezed orange juice. Kent's parents had brought a bag of ugly little oranges from Florida, which tasted great! They had gotten back to Ohio the day before we arrived! The others had cereal and bagels.
I did some ironing, and when everyone else was ready, we piled into the Ss’ van to drive into Cleveland to the Museum of Natural History. Outside was a life-size stegosaurus, which Kyle and Erich were able to climb and slide down.
Erich and Kyle in the stegosaurus
We entered for free on the Ss’ membership, and first went to the Hall of Ethnology. Very nicely done with great displays at the floor level as well as above. Saw a video of an eaglet being born, and one display showed a variety of animals watching a TV showing the world’s most dangerous animals. Those most dangerous animals were us! A small temporary exhibit on Mayan temples. Went through the gift shop to the dinosaurs and early man. Saw the difference between a mastodon and a mammoth, the former having sharp ridges on their teeth, the latter being flat, although both were vegetarians. Saw a skeleton holding a baseball. Downstairs to see birds, a woman showing an owl, then a black snake to perhaps science teachers. Insects, butterflies, plants. There was also a room of stones and gems, and planets. The planetarium only opens on weekends. We went outside where a bald eagle was in a cage.
We drove back to the Ss’ house for a lunch of cold-cut sandwiches, chips, pickles, and watermelon from Florida, Kent had found out he had to go to a meeting at 8:15 in Boston tomorrow, so he had made plane and hotel reservations and invited me along! After I finished ironing and packing we went to Westlake Mall to the Higbee’s department store to exchange the shirt and tie Kent had received for his birthday. He needed a bigger size shirt and a different style tie. We drove to the airport, taking the long way by driving into Cleveland, and finding that Snow Road would take us back out to the airport. Parked and took the moving sidewalk to the terminal. There was a long line at the ticket counter. Kent got in line and I waited with the luggage. Suddenly it got darker, and I turned around to find a huge man blocking the light. I tried to gauge his height by comparing him to Kent and he seemed two feet taller! Just a big businessman!
Kent managed to pay for the tickets using travel order drafts, although they had to do a lot of checking. We walked out to Gate 47 that was unmarked. I went further to find a Continental desk marked 47, but the loading was done from the gate. We boarded the 16:00 direct flight to Boston, and it turned into a take-any-seat situation after we had settled in our proper seats. We then sat for an hour because the routine check found an emergency oxygen tank was empty. They were debating several options, then chose to take one from a plane that was out of service for the rest of the day. We took off after 17:00, and were given a snack. They offered free beer due to the delay. Arrived in Boston about 18:30, and it was very cool as we waited for a taxi. The taxi had to loop around to get through the tunnel, then make a big circle to get to the Marriot Long Wharf Hotel. We had closed the windows because it was cool, but opened them because of a stale smell of vomit in the taxi. The taxi cost $9.40.
Checked into the swanky hotel, and had a $210 room with a king-size bed, and there was a small display of toiletries that we collected for Kent’s mom. Had a decent view of the water and Columbus Park. The hotel was very convenient for walking out under the highway to Quincy Market. We browsed, and decided to eat a combo plate of Cajun dishes; red beans and rice with sausage, jambalaya with chicken and sausage in a spicy sauce, and Étouffée: shrimp with a fish sauce over rice, with iced teas. After we ate we roamed amongst the carts, and found a blue spoon rest with a goose to give to Kent’s mom as a hostess gift. We liked it enough to remember to come back here to get one of our own. We got dessert of a fudge nut brownie for me, and mocha fudge for Kent. We bought drinks to take back to the hotel. We settled in at the hotel, when all of a sudden it began to pour rain! The Red Sox game was called due to rain and hail.

Thursday, June 30, 1988
Kent was up at 7:00 to go to the ISPO meeting here in this hotel. I was hoping to go to the Ramses II exhibit at the Science Museum, but it was by reserved ticket and there were no openings today. So I wandered through Quincy Market and picked up a lunch for me and Kent. I returned to the hotel to pick up our things and called the front desk to use the express check-out. At noon, I went to the hotel lobby to wait for Kent, and when he arrived, we caught a cab for the airport. This time the route was more direct and we paid $5.70.
There was a long line to check into USAir’s 13:30 flight to Pittsburgh. We ate the Latino empanadas, one was broccoli and cheese and the other was supposed to be chicken, but was beef. We also had grapefruit and apple juice. Boarded and left on time, and we had the double seats at the emergency exit with lots of leg room. Another snack. Landed in Pittsburgh about 15:00, and walked the entire length of the airport, having to leave and re-enter security to reach the gate for the 16:35 flight for Cleveland. I fell asleep and Kent said I was nearly snoring. On the plane, there didn’t appear to be enough room for all the carry-on luggage, and the woman next to me was cranky. It took a while to takeoff, since we joined a line of a dozen USAir planes that took off alternating with the landing of USAir planes. The whole fleet has been mobilized!
We arrived at 17:15, found the car, and unparked it for $14 and found a shorter route back to Rocky River. The Ss had dinner ready of halibut marinated in Italian dressing and grilled, with rice and peas, rolls and fruit salad. And chocolate cake for dessert.
Meanwhile, the boys had enjoyed the pool at Jean L's.
Kyle (photo by Ada)
Ada with Kyle and Erich (photo by Bert)

Tuesday, June 28, 1988

1988 Vacation Oxford and Dayton, OH (6/28/1988)

Tuesday, June 28, 1988
Kent had set the alarm, but we missed it, and woke up at 8:15. Because I was in a hurry, I got up and walked a couple steps before collapsing in a heap, because my leg was asleep! Hysterical laughing until the pins and needles started.
We checked out, and drove up the Red Bank Expressway to I-71, and stopped at a Bob Evans, the number one fast food chain according to Consumer Reports. Sort of like a McManus. We were seated right away and the kids got crayons and activity sheets. Kent ordered the Homestead special with two eggs, sausage patties, home fries, and two huge biscuits with country gravy, and coffee. I had tomato juice with a sausage and cheese omelette and home fries, plus two biscuits! Kyle and Erich each had the children’s hotcakes with sausage, and milk and orange juice.
After getting gas, we headed over to I-75, then worked our way west to Oxford, to drive around the campus of Kent’s alma mater, Miami University.
Oxford, OH map
We passed a house he lived in that was behind a greasy spoon, but now Mary Jo’s Cuisine.
Kent lived here
Oxford main street
Stopped at a bookstore to let Kent purchase a t-shirt and hooded sweatshirt with Miami logos. Also stopped to let Erich buy a toothbrush since his turned up missing at Mariemont. We returned to I-75 on back roads past a steel mill and headed north towards Dayton. Exited to OH-4 and found the Wright Patterson AFB Air Force Museum, made up by four large hangars!
Air Force Museum brochure
Air Force Museum
We got cold drinks. Admission was free, and we began our tour with the early years. Learning that the Wright Brothers grew up in Dayton, owned a bicycle shop, and did most of their work here. Thus, Dayton is the home of American aviation. Saw models and renovated airplanes from the very first flown at Kitty Hawk. Saw bits of original canvas, and a mannequin with a clear face into which a film was projected to give the illusion of live talking, as “Orville” welcomed us to the museum. From the Wright Brothers in 1901-1903, to the military in 1909. Then World War I planes with a pictorial history of the war, some transcontinental planes, and World War II planes. Through some galleries including Vietnamese art, winners of the Distinguished Flying Cross, insignia, and air force emblems from around the world. Another hangar full of planes, mostly WWII, including foreign and enemy planes, and the one that dropped the A-bomb on Nagasaki, “Bockscar.” Saw the transition from propeller to jet engine; the Germans were the first with jet engines, but not in time during the war. Also dirigibles, hot air balloons, kamikaze planes, and a few space capsules. Walked into a fighter jet. Kyle and Erich were too pooped to do anymore, so we skipped the Modern Flight gallery in the next hangar. The boys bought pens in the souvenir shop. Outside we saw rockets and more planes, and also saw planes flying overhead, including a pair of F-15s or the like.
Rockets
Apparently there is a shuttle bus to go see more planes! Hangars across the field had silhouettes of the Wright brothers and their plane. Kyle and I checked out a few more planes while Kent and Erich went to get the car and picked us up. We drove up OH-4 to I-70, and stopped for lunch at a Wendy’s. Kent called in to work, and then we found I-71 and headed north.
It began to get cloudy followed by some rain when we made a pit stop in Mansfield and called the Ss. Arrived in Rocky River about 18:30 and dinner was on the table! Roast beef, potatoes and carrots, rolls and salad.
On the road after lunch, we were behind a truck and either one of it tires de-treaded or it kicked up treads on the road. One hit is perpendicular to the bumper, and we found it had mangled the brand new RI license plate, and taken a small chip off the plastic trim under the grille.
Later we were able to do some laundry, and the second load agitated for over an hour because the timer got stuck!

Monday, June 27, 1988

1988 Vacation Cincinnati, OH (6/27/1988)

Monday, June 27, 1988
Up again at 7:00. I repacked since now we had more dirty clothes than clean ones. Breakfast of waffles. A prolonged goodbye and Sarah’s cry to “Stay!” was in contrast to her initial welcome! We left closer to 9:00 and made a figure-eight to finally get to I-71 heading south with Kent driving. Noted many Wendy’s places, since Columbus is home to the franchise. Columbus supposedly emphasized the brain over brawn, focusing on education and state government, without any industrial decline. Columbus is the birthplace of James Thurber, and first in scientific and technological progress, with 150 high-tech companies. They were the first with city-wide cable TV, interactive cable TV, 24-hour banking machines, and an electronic newspaper. Columbus is also a very average city with residents representing a demographic slice of America, thus it is a cross section of consumers resulting in being a test market for new products, especially fast food chains!
We drove down to Grove City, going into town to find the house on Columbus Road in which Kent once lived with the Ts and David C.
Grove City house
Still standing, but no more garage. The basketball court was still around the corner. We drove through town, and back to I-71.
We took a short detour to the Fort Ancient State Memorial with a prehistoric Hopewell Indian earthwork, but it was closed on Mondays. We could see some mounds.
Fort Ancient State Memorial mound
As we headed down I-71 to Cincinnati, it was very flat country. The corn was short due to the drought. When it became hilly again, we took I-275 to the second exit to the south in an attempt to follow the Little Miami River. A pretty little river when we crossed it. We got all turned around, and took roads up, down, and around until we came to US-50 in Milford. Kent recognized the location of an old United Dairy place, a creamery in RI terms, now across the street in a new location. Followed US-50 to Terrace Park, where Kent and his family lived for about six years, just before their move to Japan. We found Kent’s old house, now with some new additions, and with new homes built across the street in a former lumberyard. Saw the Elementary School, and circled up to the old mansion where a small circus (John Robinson Circus) wintered. Now the area is a housing development based on “Circus Place.” We also saw a house of a friend, and a wonderful stone Presbyterian church they used to attend.
We left Terrace Park to take US-50 to Mariemont where Kent went to high school for two years. The town has an English Tudor theme to its architecture. Nice median strip with trees. It was a bit early to check into the Mariemont Inn, which was very English Tudor and had a double deck bus for advertising.
We went down the street to a Cincinnati Chili franchise, to have the local original Cincinnati-style chili developed by an immigrant Greek family. Since many imitators have emerged, there are as many chili parlor franchises as there are for hamburgers! Kyle had a 3-way chili with spaghetti, chili and cheese. The rest of us had 5-way chili that also included onions and red beans. The shredded cheese was heaped on top of it all. A small bowl of oyster crackers comes with each serving. Kent also ordered four “coneys,” small hot dogs with chili, onion, and heaps of cheese. We each had one except Kyle who refused to try one, so Kent ate two.
We drove into Cincinnati on US-50/Columbia Parkway, following what was once a canal, and then a subway. Cincinnati is hilly and often compared to San Francisco. Across the Ohio River was Kentucky. Cincinnati was nicknamed the Queen City of the West by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and received accolades from Charles Dickens and Winston Churchill. It is located in a basin surrounded by seven hills, and is on the Mason-Dixon Line, at the midpoint of the Ohio River. Its accessibility improved in 1811 with steamboats, and the Miami & Erie Canal. Trade was in whiskey, pork, and flour, and by 1850 it was the largest pork-packing center in the world, giving it the nickname of “Porkopolis.” German and Irish immigrants came in the 1830s and 1840s respectively.
Due to good directional signs, we easily found our way to the Cincinnati Zoo, where we paid $2 for parking, plus entrance fees of $4.75/adult and $2/child.
Cincinnati Zoo guide
We spent about three hours in the beautifully landscaped zoo with very open and natural-looking habitats for the animals. Saw pink flamingoes, and rare gibbons on islands. A pair of black gibbons had snared a seagull and were picking at it, although they are reported to be vegetarians.
Carnivorous gibbons
Red pandas looked like fat furry foxes. We saw the two white Bengal tigers, one of the zoo highlights.
A pair of white Bengal tigers
Zebras and elands. We went to the 13:00 show at the RC Cola Wildlife Theater featuring birds. A parrot flew in, and hawks and eagles were shown. A baby barn owl hissed at us. A gray cockatoo and his parrot friend talked, whistled, and even sang “Take me out to the ballgame.” A few more tricks, more talking, and a small hawk flew to different parts of the stands.
Golden eagle
We went through the Ape House, seeing baboons, and then through a building where a crowd was shown a short film on the koala, and a koala named Tully. Australia was this year’s theme of the zoo with Australian natives emphasized. Next to the Cat House which was full of a variety of large cats, but no big ones like lions or tigers. Saw the lowland gorilla display, and they were hiding. Passed a memorial to passenger pigeons, as the last couple alive lived here at the zoo until they died in 1910, making the species extinct. Kyle insisted we go to Insect World, and it turned out to be interesting with many displays showing dozens of insects, many camouflaged, so it was like hidden pictures trying to spot them. Learned ways they eat, geography, colonies, etc., then a mini rain forest with butterflies and hummingbirds. The Nocturnal House had bats, aardvarks, and other night animals. There was an area for a camel ride. We breezed through the aquarium after getting frozen lemonade. Saw another white Bengal tiger, and finally reached the bear pits, which great-great-great-grandfather S had built (he was a stonemason). After going through the Bird House, we left about 15:30. They had taken our photos as we entered the zoo, but we didn’t look for them.
We drove back to Mariemont, passing the St Francis de Sales Church the stonemasons built. When nearing Mariemont, you could smell the bakery smells of the Keebler factory. We checked into the hotel, getting two double beds for $58 in a very nice place. We unpacked and showered.
We drove back into Cincinnati again, finding a parking place downtown for $5 near the stadium. We walked around looking for a place to eat, using the central area walkways or “Skywalks.” We could look down on the huge fountain in Fountain Square.
Fountain Square with the
 First National Bank Center (1979-1981)
designed by John W. Galbreath
Decided to eat at Roy Rogers. After eating we walked down to Riverfront Stadium, a huge clean facility with seating for over 50,000 for baseball.
Cincinnati Red baseball ticket
Riverfront Stadium
We were there at 19:00, early enough to watch batting practice on the artificial turf. The game between the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres started at 19:35. A slow start, and the Reds blundered by batting out of order. After the fourth inning, Kent got us drinks and a pretzel for me. The game did speed up, and we left during the ninth inning, hearing the last minute on the car radio. The Padres won handily at 9-2. Kyle bought a Red baseball cap.

Sunday, June 26, 1988

1988 Vacation Flint Ridge, OH (6/26/1988)

Sunday, June 26, 1988
We turned the beds back into furniture, had a bran cereal breakfast, packed the car, said our goodbyes, and hit the road shortly after 8:00, as I drove back to I-95 and I-495/the Beltway heading west. In Maryland we took I-270 to I-70. When we made a pit stop, I was asked to help a blind lady in the restroom I led her to a stall, quickly did my own business, then led the woman out to the sink and finally out again.
We drove into Pennsylvania, stopping at a highway Burger King for lunch. There were a bunch of Boy Scouts who apparently were at a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg for the weekend. Drove through a tunnel.
Kent took over driving, past huge fences to block rock slides. A car fire blocked traffic going the other way. There was lots of road kill, but we saw a few live animals. There was something sitting up like a prairie dog, but it was darker in color. Went through 15 miles of West Virginia before entering Ohio. Lots of hawks.
Exited for OH-668 to Brownsville and looked for Flint Ridge State Memorial, driving past hayfields with rolled bales and oil pumps. You could smell the oil. At the park, we used the restrooms. P.U.! We followed a trail for the handicapped with signs telling of the trees, and arrived at the museum. With AAA we received a 20% discount, so we only had to pay $4.
Flint Ridge State Memorial
adult ticket
Flint Ridge State Memorial
child ticket
The woman gave us 50 cents in change from $5, but then realized her error and gave us another 50 cents!
Flint Ridge State Memorial brochure
The tiny museum had displays about Indians mining the flint, geology, and had flint samples and arrowheads from many eras. Flint comes in many colors, and we saw some very old pieces.
Flint rock
Outside we followed a short trail to see the depressions in the ground, which were once flint pits, now full of leaves and water. Much of the undergrowth in the woods was wilting and dying due to the drought. It was hot, but not humid. Near the entrance we saw some flint outcroppings. Kyle and Erich went to play catch with the baseball. It was about 16:00 when we left to drive to Columbus, returning to I-70, then taking OH-315 into the city to find King Avenue.
We arrived about 17:00 at Hewitt’s big old Victorian house. Hewitt and Martha welcomed us despite the house being in shambles due to multiple renovations including totally re-doing the third floor. Sarah, who just finished kindergarten, was being extremely shy, but soon warmed up to Kyle and Erich. We had sodas and sat out in the back until dinner. We had brought two bottles of “Eye of the Storm” Sakonnet wine, from grapes harvested after Hurricane Gloria in 1985, a pale pink blush wine. We opened one of the bottles for dinner, which was huge steak ‘n’ onion with optional cheese sandwiches, and salad with ranch dressing. Very good! Then unload the car, kids to bed, and wedding video and album again! Strawberries and shortcake with whipped cream for dessert. Maybe we aren’t on diets, but we are trying to eat healthily.

Saturday, June 25, 1988

1988 Vacation Baltimore, MD (6/25/1988)

Saturday, June 25, 1988
Up at 7:00 for a waffle breakfast prepared by Sue. Heated syrup: wonderful service! Kyle also had cereal.
We packed the car and took off just after 8:00. A bit hazy, but it quickly became sunny; another beautiful day. We headed down US-422 towards Harrisburg to get on I-83 towards Baltimore. Passed many army convoys. We took I-83 to its end on a winding curvy highway right into the city that appeared to be larger than Boston! (Yes, 92 over 90 square miles…)
Found our way to the Inner Harbor. We saw a sign for Fort McHenry, and remembered that was where Francis Scott Key wrote the words to the Star Spangled Banner while a prisoner on a British war ship, which was unsuccessfully bombarding the city of Baltimore during the War of 1812. Baltimore was known for its shipyards producing the Baltimore Clippers, and for the country’s first railroad freight and passenger station, the start of the first railroad in the US, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The first telegraph was received here in 1844, “What hath God wrought.” Now it is a big university town. The Inner Harbor was once warehouses and factories, but is now a showplace with office buildings and tourist attractions, and is the site of many festivals. The harbor is still important for grain, coal, and spices, but is also home to the USS Constellation, the nation’s oldest frigate war ship, the original was launched in 1797. (This version was built in 1854.) It fought pirates in Tripoli in 1802, fought in the War of 1812, and even saw some action during the Civil War. It was an auxiliary flagship of the Atlantic Fleet in World War II. Presently it was under renovation, so we could not board.
USS Constellation at Inner Harbor
We parked near Pier 5, and walked over a couple bridges to the National Aquarium where we were to meet Terry and Jim at 10:00 near the seal pool. Terry and Jim elected to catch some rays (sun) while I, Kyle and Erich went to the aquarium.
National Aquarium
First we had to get tickets to join a line to wait to be allowed up the escalator to the entrance. Then we purchased tickets for the aquarium. We had to give our zip code, and I tried using AAA to get a discount to pay for the three of us. (Paid the regular prices of $7.25/adult and $4.25/child!)
National Aquarium receipt
The aquarium was similar to, but better than, the aquarium in Boston. By the entrance were huge floor to ceiling tubes filled with bubbling water. We started up the ramps around the perimeter of the building to view the displays, passing the empty Beluga whale tank as it was closed to repair a leak. The aquarium is home to 5,000 creatures. Kyle and Erich seemed interested in the cross-sections of Maryland aquatic environments and life, and the illustrations of such things as camouflage, eating habits, and body shapes. Big graphics, colorful fish, sleepy electric eels, tiny deep-sea fish with “lanterns,” and a hands-on area with both Atlantic and Pacific tide pools. Unusual was a weedy-looking sea dragon, resembling a twig that looked like a Chinese dragon! Lots of colorful shrimp. At the top we entered the Tropical Rain Forest with some fish tanks, including an open tank with piranha (Do not put hands in tank! Right!). The jungle was full of birds, and the boys liked the scarlet ibis. Also parrots and a sloth, and we heard lots of chirping. Throughout the aquarium were loudspeakers issuing marine sounds. Next was an area of amphibians, with little display areas stock full of a variety of frogs, so that you could always see a half-dozen or so at a time. We next spiraled down inside the ring tanks with the coral reef. A huge tortoise swam by. We saw a diver feeding fish, as well as one scrubbing the “coral.”
We left about 11:30 and met Terry and Jim outside. They passed again as we bought tickets for the Maritime Museum, $2.50 for me, and $1 each for the kids.
USS Torsk guide
We went through the submarine, the USS Torsk, named after a fish as was the custom. It was a WWII sub built in 1944, and saw duty in the Pacific, making a record 11,884 dives in its career until retirement in 1972.
Kyle and Erich in the USS Torsk
Kyle and Erich
We went down in the rear and came out up the front. Kyle and Erich found enough hand-on things to keep them interested. Outside we admired the teeth painted around the front of the sub.
USS Torsk teeth
USS Torsk propeller

Then Terry, Jim, and Erich watched things at the seal pool, while Kyle and I boarded the Lightship Chesapeake, a floating lighthouse anchored to a spot for a year at a time with crews alternating three weeks on and three weeks off.
Lightship Chesapeake guide
Lightship Chesapeake
Built in 1930, and retired in 1971. There are no more lightships since they have found a way to build towers in the deepest seas (thanks to oil tower technology!). Went through it quickly, as Kyle found it boring.
We all walked past an office building that had an observation floor, the USS Constellation, and a mini-amphitheater to the Harbor Place area of shops and restaurants. Went to the market with many fast food counters and a wide choice of foods. Terry and Jim went to an Italian deli to get a calzone and a sausage sandwich. Kyle and Erich opted for Subway ham ‘n’ cheese and meatball subs respectively. Erich needed a knife and fork to eat his sub. I had a combo platter of stir-fried vegetables of zucchini, onions, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Then the boys had Italian ices; Kyle had cherry and Erich had grape. Sat in the amphitheater as they ate them.
We walked down to the Maryland Science Center, and I treated as Terry and Jim joined us. $6.50/adult and $5/50/child, including the 14:00 IMAX theater show in a 5-story theater and a bowed screen giving you the sensation of being in the action.
Maryland Science Center ticket
Downstairs were some communication displays, science, and Chesapeake geography and local animals in glass display cages. We went upstairs to the extensive hands-on science arcade, and the boys went wild. We had to drag them out to go to the IMAX show, which was “A History and Study of the Grand Canyon,” with us flying over and around, then joining the explorers as they rafted down the Colorado River. What fools, we thought! From prehistoric times, to Indians, a look at animals and nature, up to present day pleasure rapids rafting! A half-hour movie. Kyle and Erich wanted to stay at the museum, so we went to the computer area. Each of the boys paid a quarter to get a computerized digital self-portrait.
We finally had to leave about 15:30, and the boys went in Terry and Jim’s air-conditioned car, and I drove alone in the sweltering heat! (Paid $6 to park.) We followed the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, then joined the Beltway (I-95/I-495) around Washington, DC. We stopped at the Huntington end of the Metro Yellow Line. I was following Jim down Telegraph Road and Jim signaled left, but went straight to take the next left, but I took the first left. I turned around and went down the street I last saw them turn on, and saw the Metro station. Went in the Kiss ‘n’ Ride loop and found Kent waiting in the shelter! Apparently Jim went to the Park ‘n’ Ride lot and went deep into the bowels of the earth to look for Kent. Kent went looking for them, and they soon found each other. Kent and Kyle got in my car as we followed Terry and Jim with Erich to Springfield, VA and their new townhouse. We got on Franconia Road, went under I-95, and took a left on Backlick Road. Right on Hooes Road and curved around a very hilly suburban section with trees! Left on Rolling Road and left on Donegal Lane to its end. We parked, unloaded, and were given a house tour of the very nice and spacious house, with nice air-conditioning, and had drinks. We all piled in Terry and Jim’s Mazda 626, and Terry drove us to Alexandria, with Jim directing her across five lanes of highway to stay on I-95!
Alexandria has a wonderfully restored old town.
109 King Street, Alexandria, VA
It was established in 1794 by a group of Scottish merchants and named for John Alexander who bought the land in 1669. It was a colonial port. George Washington kept a town house in Alexandria, and organized the Friendship Fire Company. He was a vestryman of the Christ Church parish and a member of the Masonic Lodge. Alexandria was home to “Light Horse” Harry Lee, a Revolutionary War general, and was the boyhood home of his son, Robert E Lee. Governors met in Alexandria to discuss action that became the French and Indian War. From the highway you can see the spire of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial, a 333-foot tall landmark modeled after the ancient lighthouse at Alexandria in Egypt. We found a parking space by waiting for another car to pull out. Walked a few blocks to King Street and down to Armand’s Chicago Pizzeria. After a minute’s wait, we got a table by the salad bar. Kyle had a steak ‘n’ cheese sandwich with chips, and Erich had a piece of pepperoni pizza and the salad bar. The rest of us shared two small deep dish pizzas, one pepperoni and one spinach. The guys had beers, the boys had milk, Terry had Sprite, and I had iced tea. Kent treated.
We walked down past the old torpedo factory, now an art center with a bull’s eye logo, to a small marina to admire some impressive yachts, and look up the Potomac River to the DC skyline. Stopped at an ice cream shop where Kent got a cup, Kyle a cone, and Erich had an upside down cone in a cup!

Back at Terry and Jim’s place, we showed our wedding video and album. We received our wedding gifts, a Scherenschnitte of birds of happiness in a fan shape with a matte, and a series of handmade ceramic: two bowls (medium and large sizes) and a bowl attached to a plate for snacks with a dip. We had brought Jim a 6-pack of Hope Beer from RI, and Terry a Nantucket covered box with stationery in it, as well as a napkin-folding book and an address book with a lacquered cover. The boys slept on a futon on a neat folding oak base, and Kent and I had the living room sleeper sofa, queen-size!

Friday, June 24, 1988

1988 Vacation Hershey, PA (6/24/1988)

Friday, June 24, 1988
Vacation time! Kent was in Washington, DC on business.
After breakfast and packing the car, I left with Kyle and Erich at 7:15 to begin the drive down I-195 to I-95 south. Through Rhode Island, then Connecticut. Once in New York we headed for the Tappan Zee Bridge, and once in Rockland County, we took the Palisades Interstate Parkway into NJ. Managed to get through Fort Lee and get on I-80. The other direction was backed up due to an accident.
We stopped at a scenic view area for lunch of tuna sandwiches and juice, grapes and fig newtons. The boys played some catch. A custom Volvo came in for a rest. Had a view out over the Delaware Water Gap, a break in the Kittatinny Ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. The Delaware River cuts through, getting to be 90 feet deep in the gap.
We continued along I-80, paying a quarter to cross the bridge into Pennsylvania. Drove through the mountains. Near the bottom of one long hill, I spotted a police car, and thought I was going too fast. But he crossed the road to help a stranded motorist.
Stopped for gas near Stroudsburg, and later took I-81 towards Hershey. Turned off onto PA-743, taking us on a hilly country road, past the State Police Academy on a hill, into Hershey. Drove through town with the Hershey Kiss street lights, and out US-422 to Palmyra to Sue H’s condo, arriving at 14:15, an hour behind ETA, but safe and sound. Sue had the afternoon off. We unloaded the car and had lemonade. Sue gave me a colorful windsock she had made. We all then headed for Hershey Park, and found a parking space as close as one could get! First we went to Chocolate World, which was air-conditioned and free. A new set-up opened just this season. We joined a short line to a revolving platform and hopped aboard an automated conveyance. A TV monitor showed us a quality assurance controller who talked us through a simulated world of chocolate production, along with CP-1, an alien wanting to learn the secrets of making chocolate. Saw examples of production from raw ingredients to finished product. Walked through the extensive souvenir boutiques and eateries, all under one roof. Outside, a girl with a camera snapped a couple photos that we could purchase later. We never went to look at them.
Sue had a free pass for Hershey Park from her singing guild, which had performed in the park. She also gave us some coupons, and also because it was after 15:00, we got in for reduced rates.
Hershey Park ticket
Erich cost us $11, and Kyle and I got in for $13.75 each. The park covers 84 acres, most of which we covered until 21:30!
Hershey Park map
Walked in past the shops and first took a ride on the Swiss gondolas, the Sky Ride, across the park. The first big ride was the Coal Cracker, a flume ride with nearly a vertical hill at the end. We zigzagged around the park. One of the best rides was the Canyon River Rapids, with round rafts traveling through simulated rapids, and then going past and under waterfalls to get totally soaked!
Very wet boys
Erich and Sue went on the SooperDooperLooper, a roller coaster with a loop. Kyle and Erich went on the Wave Swinger a couple times. They also drove sports cars around the Twin Turnpike.
Erich on the Twin Turnpike
Kyle (in second car) on the Twin Turnpike
Erich wasn’t tall enough to go on the Fender Bender bumper cars with Sue and Kyle, so we went downstairs to the AutoSkooters. The Cool Shaker was wild, like the Mad Hatter’s Teacups, and Sue and I kept sliding side to side. The boys went down the Frontier Chute-Out, basically using plastic rafts down a water slide. They also went on the Himalayan and Tilt-A-Whirl. We watched a dolphin and sea lion show. The highlights were the trainer holding a fish in his mouth for the dolphin to leap 17 feet to grab, a dolphin pulling a child volunteer around on a raft, and a volunteer man holding a rope across the pool for the dolphins to jump over. Two kid volunteers got kissed by the sea lions (they have ears and stronger front flippers than seals).
We had dinner about 18:30, getting plain and a pepperoni pizzas to share. Sue had milk, Kyle had Sprite, and Erich and I tried Birch Beer. Later we played miniature golf,
Mini Golf score card
and the boys spent money on a few arcade games and pitching. Kyle won a tiny stuffed bear dressed as a ballerina in a horse-race arcade game. Erich tried the basketball-shoot. We stopped in the souvenir shop where Kyle bought a plastic cup, and Erich got a small banner on a large pencil. Outside the exit, we checked out a chocolate shop and bought a bag of Hershey mixed miniatures for dessert.
Back at Sue’s, Kyle and Erich were put to bed on the sleeper sofa. Sue and I looked at the wedding photos, and I gave her a hostess gift of pineapple candles. Then to bed; I was in Sue’s bed and she on her couch.

Wednesday, June 8, 1988

1988 Wedding Showers (5//22 and 6/8/1988)

Friday May 20, 1988
After work I went home to pick up the Dove Bar Rondos (bite size chocolate covered ice cream) to take to Donna P’s for a “Spring Get-Together,: supposedly because Donna is going in for surgery and will be out for five weeks, and then the summer the whole Baby Team won’t be together. But when I arrived, it was a surprise wedding shower for me! I had my suspicions, but Rose threw me off by bringing a wedding gift for me yesterday, and still saying she was coming to the party! So much for avoiding gifts and showers! Donna’s house was decorated with ribbons and bells. There was loads of food, and we all nibbled away. Everyone except Sandy, Louise, and Bev were there from Baby Team, plus Sue C and Sally from the aerobics class! They had me sit in front of the fireplace to open a pile of gifts. So much for not wanting to be the center of attention!
Center of attention...
They made a “bow corsage” from the bows and ribbons taken from each of the gifts, and claimed that for every ribbon I broke when unwrapping the gifts, we would have a baby! I managed not to break any, but didn’t take the bow off the basket Rose gave me!
I actually had a lot of fun. Later we had desserts and watched the wedding videotape. I was one of the last to leave at 19:00, and drove straight to the McK’s to pick up the twins for weekend respite. Alicia’s mother wasn’t taking her and Ward didn’t know what to do with her, so I took her too. Got home about 20:00 and put Kerry and Jackie to bed on the lower trundle, and Alicia soon joined them. I would have to remember Kerry’s seizure medication schedule, and Alicia’s eye-patch schedule following her eye surgery. Showed all the shower gifts to Kent.

Wednesday, June 8, 1988
After work I went upstairs to Pam’s apartment for my own wedding shower!
PT Wedding shower decorations
Wedding shower napkin
Mary, Janis, Sue, Linda, Pam, and Diane in attendance as Bev and Cindy couldn’t make it. Lots of food again. I received a bunch of nice little gifts, things we could really use, like grilling utensils (fork, tongs, spatula and brush), insect repellent candles, wicker paper plate holders, napkins, corncob holders, and a grill brush/cleaner. Then a pretty bag with very sexy underwear, and a can of whipped cream! But they said that wasn’t all, and they blindfolded me and had me go downstairs and out to Janis’s car. They whipped a blanket off a huge box: a gas grill! I was so overwhelmed! We watched my wedding video, better sound on Pam’s VCR. Then dessert. By 20:00 people left, and I helped Pam clean up. Kent was at an advertising dinner at the Griswold Inn in Essex, CT and didn’t come home until late.

Saturday, June 4, 1988

1988 Baseball (6/4/1988)

Saturday, June 4, 1988

Went to Kyle’s baseball at 10:00. It was his pitching debut, and he did fine, and had a good hit as well.
Kyle pitching
Picked up Erich, went home for lunch, and tried to get the key for the new house, but no one at home, and it wasn’t in the mailbox.
Went to Erich’s 14:00 baseball game. Played some catch with Kyle who was practicing his pitching. Erich made some more of his home runs where he just runs around the bases without regard to where the ball goes. No such thing as taking one base for an overthrown ball, he takes them all, and the coaches love it!