In 2006, we took a series of mini-vacations, partly separately, partly together.
Michael & Elizabeth & Hansel headed out in the VW camper on 24 June to see Elizabeth's brother Carroll in Vegas.
We continued up to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Little Big Horn, and then on to Michael's father's hometown, Luverne MN, where
Michael did some work for the local historical society. Then we joined Michael's uncle Wally, mother Lorraine,
& sister Kathy & her family in North Dakota on the family farm (which we are in the process of selling).
[2007 update: it has been sold, on the most favorable terms; and it is especially gratifying that the deal
allows our long-term tenant farmers to retain their places.]
Michael then went down to Sioux Falls, from which he flew out to Paris. Elizabeth
& Hansel followed Kathy's camper to Minneapolis, then to Lorraine' hometown (Merrill, WI), then to visit cousin Mary in
New Berlin near Milwaukee. Elizabeth & Hansel continued on to Elizabeth's mother's hometown of Murphysboro,
IL, then joined Kathy at her house in Franklin, TN. Kathy, her son William, and Hansel then drove cross-country
in the VW to LA.
After a week in Paris, Michael drove down to get some beach time at La Baule, along
the south coast of Brittany. Then he drove up to see Peter Huchthausen, who now runs a B&B in the little village
of Amfreville in Normandy, very near to the D-Day drop zone in Ste-Mere Eglise. Back to Paris, took the train to Vienna
for a few days, then to Budapest for a few days (first visit there) then back through Vienna to Munich for a few days.
He then took a car & drove to Tegernsee in Bavaria, then across the Austrian border to Tirol, stayed at Zell am See, then
back through the Salzkammergut to Koenigsee and saw Hitler's mountain retreat. (Sort of the Band of Brothers tour, from
Normandy to Berchtesgaden . . . ). Back to Munich for a few days, then by train back to Paris for a few days.
He then flew to New York, where Elizabeth joined him (minus Hansel). We spent a week in the
Village, then took a car down to DC where Michael buried himself in the National Archives for Slocum research, while Elizabeth
discovered the National Gallery & Georgetown.
For Christmas 2006, Mom & Kathy's family cruised to the Bahamas. Michael
and Elizabeth remained in LA. (Michael had jury duty, and in any case wished to use the down time to work on the
Davids' Island book; which he did, and made considerable progress.)
For Easter break, Michael & Elizabeth went home to Muenchen. Michael's favorite Hotel
Stachus being sold out, we splurged & booked not quite inside the old city walls but closer to the center (Hotel
Viktualienmarkt) and were quite happy. We took a day-trip to Augsburg. The weather was unseasonably
warm and so even in early April many of the beer gardens were serving in the outdoor terrasses. Bayrische Himmel!
Weisswurst, Brez'n, Helles, Weissbier, it was all good! (Being born an Army brat conveys great responsibilities;
one must work to keep them up! Hard life. But true to our upbringing, we soldier on.)
Best discovery: Haselnuessgeist! "Geist" (lit. "spirit")
is what in France we would call "alcool blanc," i.e., a distillate from various sources (usually fruit, i.e. pear or
plum) that comes out of the still, white (in fact, looking not white like milk but clear like water). This product looks
like water, but smells & tastes like roasted hazelnuts (filberts). Go figure! We tasted it
off the menu in the Loewenbraeu Keller, bought it retail (guess where) in Dallmayrs. It is from Edelbrenner
Dirler, 63776 Moembris. I am perhaps jaded from alcool blanc, but this one is true revelation.
You will drink water, yet taste roasted filberts.
Why do I like to travel? Surprises. Even in all the old
familiar places, it is possible to find the new; or else, to deepen the old. Either way it's all good.
And yet, temptation aside, it is not back to Muenchen, at least not immediately.
Again like 2006 Michael & Elizabeth are doing a series of mini-vacations, partly separate, partly together.
For 2007, Michael is heading out first to the East Coast. He will spend some time in NYC, then a day-trip to Davids'
Island to assess the progress of the demolition, followed by a rare (personal) appearance in New Rochelle at the Corps of
Engineers meeting to discuss the future of the Island. (He has been a regular participant on behalf of the Fort
Slocum Alumni & Friends via teleconference, but this will be the first time since the initial March 2005 meeting
that he has been able to attend in person.) He will then depart for DC for a screening of the Brat Film
and meeting with fellow military brats, then some research time again in the National Archives.
In the meantime, Elizabeth will leave behind all dogs (yes, Hansel included!) and fly
to Franklin. Mom has graciously treated us all to a week's cruise from Seattle to Alaska & back.
But Mom can't fly. So Mom, Kathy, Elizabeth, Hannah, & William are going to travel, again this year, with
a rented camper van, from Nashville to the Pacific Northwest.
This will take about a week. Bruce will fly out to join them in Boise, ID early
in July, and they will proceed across to Hayden Island (in the Columbia River, between Portland OR and our old hometown (1963-66)
of Vancouver, WA. In the meantime, Michael will fly into Seattle, and visit various Army posts to study comparative
military architecture: Ft. Lawton, Ft. Lewis, Ft. Worden, Ft. Casey, Ft. Flagler, and Vancouver Barracks.
We will meet up at Hayden Island for the famous 4th of July fireworks from Vancouver; with any luck in the company
of our cousin Jan Cavanaugh (the famous art historian and expert on early 20th c. Polish painting), now pinned down temporarily
at least in Portland). (It would be the first ever of all our generation of Cavanaughs in one location .
. . ) Yeah, why not?
Then we shall rush back to Seattle, since from the 6th we are scheduled (courtesy of maman;
merci beaucoup, maman!) for a cruise to Alaska & back. Mom loved Snoqualmie Falls (she and Pop met in
Seattle, and lived in the region for several years in the late '40's and early '50's) and so on her behest we shall stay there
for a night afterwards on the 13th.
After that, the tribe will head over to the central Oregon coast. Michael &
Elizabeth will take a separate car & visit Astoria & Ft. Stevens (a coast artillery fort, now a state park;
part of Michael's research agenda). We will then join the larger party for a few days at Waldorf, OR (mid-way along
the coast). William wants to see the Sea Lion caves (and after all it will be his birthday, so we shall
indulge.) Bruce (& Michael) have to fly out of Portland the next day, the 17th.
Elizabeth will then drive back to Franklin with Mom, Kathy, Hannah & William. After
that she will fly back to LA for a few weeks at home with Hansel et al. Michael will proceed
to Paris, and then down to the beach at La Baule in the south of Brittany for a week (avoiding the August rush). Time
permitting, he will travel back to Paris via Amfreville, a little hamlet in the Normandy drop zone where his good friend &
fellow Slocum alumnus Capt. Peter Huchthausen USN has a B & B.
After a few more days in Paris, Michael will return to NY for the annual meeting of a professional
organization, The Association for the Sociology of Religion. Elizabeth will join him. There
may be a chance for one more visit to Davids' Island. In any case, after NYC they will drive up the coast
to New England, visiting along the way several coast artillery forts (e.g. Ft Adams in RI); Nantucket Island;
and Boston (the first time, believe it or not, for us both).
(Well in fact we did more or less the above. Alas Mom was not able to make it cross-country for the cruise
but insisted the rest of us go. She died two days later.)
We stayed home for Christmas 2007. For Easter 2008, Michael went to New York for research.
For Summer 2008, he returned to New York for research at the beginning and the end of Long Vac. For Independence
Day, Elizabeth joined him at sister Kathy's in Franklin TN for the start of 6 weeks travel together.
Thereafter we flew to Paris, where we joined Karl who had gotten there several days earlier. Though
Karl had been to France before, this was his first time in Paris. We all took a side trip by train to see
Monet's house & gardens in Giverny. Then Elizabeth & Michael drove through Chartres & Chinon to spend about
a week at La Baule. It was Elizabeth's first time. We ate well (esp. the fresh oysters).
On the way back we saw Mt St-Michel (again, Elizabeth's first time); went through the Normandy beaches, were we
camped at Omaha Beach, saw Memorial at Caen, and the American cemetery at Colleville (again Elizabeth's first time).
Sadly we were there in time to attend the memorial service for Michael's friend Capt. Peter Huchthausen (see Ft. Slocum pages).
We drove back to Paris, whence we took Monsieur TGV to Cannes. We camped there for a week, enjoying beaches and
seafood. Then we took the train for Venice, then on to Napoli (once again, a first for Elizabeth).
We took a daytrip to Capri and saw the blue grotto (a first for both of us). After that we took a car down
the Amalfi coast, beyond Salerno to Paestum (site of 3 preserved Greek temples). Returning to Napoli, Michael
at last got to see the cave of the Sibyl at Cuma (while Elizabeth had another beach day).
Then we took the train to Rome. Elizabeth had not been back since our first trip in 1991, and we saw
the newly-opened House of Augustus (with newly-discovered frescoes). We also saw the Vatican art collections
After returning to Paris for a week, we each flew back, Elizabeth to LA & Michael back to NYC for a week in the archives.
Whew! Brief synopsis since: for Spring 2009, a week in Key West (first time for Elizabeth); August
2009, Vermont New Hampshire & Maine (first for both); Christmas 2009, Costa Rica & Panama (including the Canal,
also first time).
For Spring 2010, Hawaii (Honolulu & Maui, again first time). Long Vac was LONG (all
10 weeks of it): Paris, La Baule, Dordogne (Elizabeth saw the caves at Lascaux for the first time), then by train to
Munich & Venice. Took a ferry to Patras (Greece), train to Athens. (Michael won 900 Euros on a slot machine
on the cruise!) Petrol strike forced us to cancel driving plans for Sparta but took the ferry instead to Mykonos (again)
then (first time) Naxos; really nice island, fresh produce & fish, good sailing. A hop to Rhodes, then over to Turkey:
Istanbul, Troy, Ephesus & Miletus. A short hop to Egypt: Cairo, Giza, some other Pyramids, Luxor & Thebes.
But it was Ramadan and 120 degrees, so we cut our planned 13 days short at 6, & back home to Munich (beer, pork &
cooler weather), then Paris.
We saw Egypt just in time!
Christmas 2010 was spent in Key West, including at the Dachshund Parade on New Years' Eve; and we saw Sushi the
Drag Queen descend in the giant ruby slipper (Key West's equivalent of the Time Square ball dropping).
Spring 2011 was in Hawaii, this time part in Waikiki, part on the Big Island, including a trip to the volcanoes.
Summer 2011 was mostly stay-cation; two weeks in Paris & Munich, then we came home to oversee the radical reconstruction
of our kitchen and the construction of a new bath/laundry room. All in vain, as it turns out; because the
house is an historic property, the City delayed permission until Dec. We did another hop to Waikiki for Christmas, and
then construction began at last in January.
For Spring 2012 Michael is planning the better part of a week in NYC (despite the previous bedbug scare). This
summer we do want to get away; Michael has a Slocum alumni reunion early in July, and needs to do some more research
in DC, but we hope to get back to Greece (and contribute some dollars to the economy), also to see the new museum at the Acropolis,
also to get out to the Cyclades for some beach time.