AJ, AZ High 88 Low 55
I can’t believe that our good friend Paul has already been in the area for five weeks and it’s time for him to move on. We had our last dinner together at our usual place – Los Gringos Locos here in AJ. We have made plans to meet up again this summer in Montana. Safe travels.
Last Tuesday night we also met up with a bunch of friends for dinner at Boulders on Broadway. Nice turn out and no pictures. Dianna, Bobbie, Paul, Paula, Croft, Norma, Ken and Kris. We even had our own little room which made it much easier to visit with everybody.
We are still hitting or breaking high temperatures. At least we’re still staying mostly in the 80’s and not the 90’s yet. We are here until the end of May because of Jim’s doctor appointments.
I wanted to record some memories of Aunt Happy and it might even be of interest to you. She was quite the traveler in her day. So here is her report of her journey on the Concorde.
Around the World in 33 days on the Concorde
In 1992 I called my travel agency and asked for their suggestion for a trip that was different from the ones I had taken with them. They suggested a trip around the world on the Concorde. They would be leaving in October an there was still room for me. Of the 99 maximum passengers allowed, there would be 45 single men and women.
I needed many shots; most of them were administered at Mayo Clinic in Phoenix due to the fact that there were few calls for them in our area. We were going around the world in 33 days! This was to include many social affairs which would require evening dresses and fancy shoes. Each passenger was allowed one piece of baggage and an overnight bag.
I began my trip meeting everyone on the flight, which originated in San Francisco. Never before was it possible to fly so far and so fast in such luxury – first class all the way. The Concorde was the most graceful aircraft every built. I could look out my window and see the curvature of the earth. Only a spacecraft could bring us closer to the moon. We watched the Mack meter tick off the increasing speed of 683 miles per hour above the Earth. Twice the speed of sound. I never dreamed of such exuberance in my lifetime. We were wined and dined in the grandest manner at the finest restaurants in places, seldom visited by other travelers. Travel directors were included in all our tours.
The Concorde had to be refueled every 2 ½ hours. A red carpet was laid for us as we stopped off at all the Pacific Islands that had runways large enough to accommodate the plane’s landing. These stops gave us a chance to take a taxi around to see the top sightseeing places. Dancing girls in native outfits met our plane hugged us and gave us leis. Around 4 p.m. each day, we were met by our hotel busses. Each hotel was selected for its deluxe comfort and excellent service.
After three days in the Hawaiian Islands we were on our way to Australia. The world famous Opera House planned a dinner and night show for us. I did not feel it was as elegant inside as the one in Vienna or Mexico City. However, the outside is worth seeing. There is always a lot to see and do in Sydney. Our visit to the zoo gave us a chance to hold the baby koala bears and feed kangaroos.
New Zealand is noted for its friendly people. Many homes invited five or six people to have dinner with them and learn their lifestyle. I was really impressed with their hospitality. Some of the countryside reminded me of Montana, with high mountains and thousands of sheep in the lowlands.
Japan is always a highlight of a trip. Their achievements are worth hearing over and over again. It is a proud nation, and still, beneath this super society are old traditions of removing shoes, bowing and sitting on the floor at some evening nightclubs. The real treat was the super train to Kyoto, Japan’s ancient capital and heartland of the country’s art, beautiful gardens and architecture.
In Beijing China we visited the Forbidden City that emperors once ruled with complete control. In Hong Kong, we viewed the city from Victoria Peak, rode on the junk boats and viewed the waterfront on a dinner cruise – a sight to behold. The Great Wall was a feat. To believe hand labor could create something so spectacular.
In Cairo, Egypt, I could see the Nile out of my bedroom window, full of pleasure and working boats. We saw the precious items from King Tut’s tomb at the museum. We always enjoy a trip to the pyramids and rides on the camels. In Luxor, we walked down the great Avenue of the Sphinxes.
In Agra, India, home of the Taj-Mahal, we listened to the story of the ruler building this beautiful temple for his dying wife.
My favorite memories were in African. In mini-buses we’d go out in the reserve with all the animals and their babies all around us; lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, etc. At night we returned to the resort hotel with white linen tablecloths. (The mongoose kept the snakes away.)
Most of the group had been in Europe many times, so we spent little time in Rome, Paris, and Berlin. We did however, enjoy going back to Moscow. There were so many changes but troops were still marching in Red Square. At night, when we entered the big dining room of our hotel, everyone stood up and a band played “America”. We stood by the door with tears in our eyes; even the men used their hankies. We had a seven course dinner with lots of liquor.
Our farewell gathering was at the opera house in London to see “Les Miserables.” This was a trip of a lifetime, never to be forgotten. A dream come true.