Michael & Elizabeth CAVANAUGH
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      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 again.
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 Times 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.

Here's something fun to do in Paris:
every Sunday (pretty much rain or shine) between 11h & 14h, Christian Bassoul, Mylene, Georges, Thierry, Andree, Sophie, Guy, Mimi, Sebastian & the rest of the compagnons congregate at the end of the r Mouffetard in front of the church of St-Medard (5th. arr., just before the boundary with the 13th).   Soon a crowd gathers.  Christian plays the chromatic accordion and lyric sheets circulate so everyone can join in singing Piaf, Ferre, Ferrer, Gainsbourg, Aznavour, Trenet, Frehel, etc.!   Guest musicians, opera singers, other accordionists, soloists, the occasional composer, wander in and out, and there is dancing in the street.   (We arranged our honeymoon so as to cover 3 Sundays for maximum singing.  When in Paris we never miss it.)
     Christian and his music are getting wider recognition;  earlier in 2010, just after his 60th birthday, the Mayor of the 5th Arrondissement presented him with a medal in recognition of his contribution to the cultural life of the district.  He now has a really nice website, www.petitbal.com, with lots of photos and videos, including a few broadcast interviews.   He has also recorded several CD's;  on vol 2 he & his wife Mylene Launay sing an original of theirs, entitled (what else?) Rue Mouffetard.

Here's a link to a site that I run every day as the soundtrack at work:  www.nostalgie.frRadio Nostalgie, streaming live over the web en direct de Paris, alternating oldies in French & English.   What can be better than that?  (All Mingus, all the time? But nobody's done that yet.)