You can forget all your troubles, forget all your cares and go…

It was an awesome day today. The weather is really fantastic. Temps are in the 70’s with lot’s of sunshine and low, low humidity. Cynthia and I decided to go downtown and shoot some pics. She is testing some different film in her camera and we wanted to see how it would do before we leave for Europe.

We headed to The Flying Saucer for some beers and then headed off down Main Street.
Tested the tripod and the timer. Worked well.

Oh, we'll drink and drink and drink and drink and...

Mostly she was just burning film and I was just snapping this and that. Still ended up with a nice one of Cynthia at the corner of Main and Texas.

Got the time?

All I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by…

I was rummaging through some stuff and found my grandfather’s photo albums.

My grandfather, J. Lee Sr., (aka “Jack”) was a Lt. (JG) on board the USS Fanning (DD-37) during the World War I.

The USS Fanning

Based at Queenstown, Ireland, Fanning and her sister destroyers patrolled the eastern Atlantic, escorting convoys and rescuing survivors of sunken merchantmen.

In the afternoon of 17 November 1917 an alert lookout on board Fanning sighted the periscope of U-58, and the destroyer quickly moved in on the attack. Fanning’s first depth charge pattern scored and as Nicholson (DD-52) joined the action, the submarine broke the surface, her crew pouring out on deck, hands raised in surrender.


Fanning maneuvered to pick up the prisoners as the damaged submarine plunged to the bottom, the first of two U-boats to fall victim to United States Navy destroyers in World War I.

Grandpa in VeniceI am rather proud of my grandfather. I never really knew him. He died when I was 6 years old. Needless to say, the military history is precious to me. It is a way of knowing him even though I did not have the chance to do so real life.

There are other tales of “Jack” and I hope to document them later. Interestingly enough, in the photo album were some pictures of my grandfather in Europe. Most interesting to me was this one of him in Venice taken in December of 1919.

My intention is to take a copy of this picture with me when we go to Europe next month.

I want to find that spot and have my own picture taken right there where he is standing (maybe even with a pidgeon on my hand like he has).

I am sure one of the locals will know what and where it is.
It’s my own quest of sorts.

I guess I am bridging the span of time to reach back to the grandfather I never knew.

Shove, stuff, squeeeeeeze

I did a dry run on packing “The Bag” for the trip.
Not a lot of room in a bag this size.
Sacrifices must be made, compromises must be discovered.

Goodbye form, hello functionality.

  • No laptop. I wanted it to store images on and access the Internet when available. Shlepping those extra 6 pounds is not worth it. Instead I am borrowing a pocket sized 20 gig card reader to offload my images.
  • 1/3 the stash of socks and underwear. Laundry on the road or buying new. Those are the choices.
  • Khaki pants instead of jeans. They are lighter in the pack and I can carry more.
  • So I got it all packed. 20 lbs. Not bad.

    Probably one of the more “adventurous” aspects of our trip will be attempting to carry everything we need in a backpack style bag.

    No bigger than a carry on sized piece of luggage, it measures 9″ x 21″ x 14″ and is ultra light weight.

    So yea, basically we are backpacking across Europe for 3 weeks. Of course we are riding the rail and staying in 4 star hotels and B&B’s the whole way….but still. Looks like we will buy clothing over there and/or do some laundry.

    It’s going to be interesting but, as we learned on our trip to the UK, much more efficient. On our last vacation we had 3 bags each and it was a nightmare to move them from place to place. This method is much, MUCH more mobile and I think it will pay off in convenience.

    Practical considerations

    We are going to pack light for this trip. Our cameras and what will fit in a backpack.
    Pretty bold for a couple of old fogies like ourselves. I know we will need to restock on the essentials while we are there…that is why I am researching phrases in Dutch, French and Italian

    Ik wens om onder broek te kopen

    Je souhaite acheter sous le pantalon

    Desidero comprare sotto i pantaloni