October 30, 2004

Hawaii, Yosemite, Colorado and Washington DC


guam coastline from the air
Greetings from Oregon!

I am writing this update from my grandparents house in Hillsboro, Oregon where I am spending some time with family. Unfortunately the reason for my visit is not a good one as my grandfather passed away recently. We had burial and memorial services for him this past weekend and now we are resting and spending more time with my grandmother. I plan to return to Tennessee on Monday.

Well, my last update was about my trip to Palau so I'll pick up where I left off. My flight back to Guam from Palau had one short stopover in Yap, but I didn't even get off the plane there. I arrived in Guam early in the morning, got a ride back to my apartment, slept a few hours, finished packing and headed to an Italian restaurant for lunch. I enjoyed visiting with friends over lunch and then some more at the airport before I finally said my goodbyes and boarded my flight to Tokyo. In Tokyo I had a short layover before boarding an
a beach in hawaii
overnight flight to Honolulu, Hawaii.

Since I crossed the International Date Line on the way to Hawaii, the time change was rather drastic at about minus 20 hours. This meant that I got to spend Sunday in Guam and then arrived in Hawaii bright and early Sunday morning. A friend from college who is living and working in Honolulu met me at the airport and she took me directly to Pearl Harbor to get some tour tickets for later in the morning. After a quick stop at her apartment we returned to Pearl Harbor and enjoyed a ferry ride out to the USS Arizona ship wreck and memorial. From Pearl Harbor we drove north to the Dole Pineapple plantation for a quick stop before continuing on to the north shore of the island. We got some lunch along the north shore and then drove along the coast, stopping at several beaches to walk around and take pictures. Eventually we headed back
view from glacier point
towards Honolulu through a winding road that cut through the interior of the island. At the top of Pali Pass we enjoyed a beautiful view of the ocean, mountains and city far below. Our next stop was another scenic overlook where we enjoyed a panoramic view of Honolulu. Finally we drove down to Waikiki where we got smoothies, caught the tail end of the sunset on the beach and watched a traditional Hawaiian dance performance. By the time we left Waikiki we had just enough time for another quick stop at my friend's apartment before she dropped me off at the airport so I could catch my flight to Los Angeles. It was a very short visit to Hawaii, but thanks to my friend I got to see a lot of the sights and thoroughly enjoyed my layover there.

After spending my third night in a row on an airplane I arrived in Los Angeles very early Monday morning on Labor Day. I was met at the airport by my grandparents from Tennessee and another relative who lives in California. From the airport we went to a restaurant and had a nice breakfast before walking down to the beach where we watched the surfers for a bit. Our next stop was at a cemetery to visit the graves of my great grandparents before we headed back to Calimesa. My grandparents from Tennessee had already planned a road
colorado aspen
trip to California before I made my travel plans, but the dates lined up nicely so that I was able to meet them in California and travel back to Tennessee with them. We first spent a few days in southern California visiting friends and relatives and collecting my belongings that were stored in the area. We also shopped for and eventually bought a trailer which we towed all the way back to Tennessee.

Our first stop after leaving southern California was at Wawona youth camp in Yosemite. We went to the camp to attend a weekend celebration of the camp's 75th anniversary. My great grandfather found the land and started the camp 75 years ago so the weekend was especially memorable. We arrived at the camp Thursday night then spent Friday enjoying Yosemite. We first went to see the Giant Sequoia trees in Grant Grove and then enjoyed the fantastic view of Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point. After a picnic lunch at Glacier Point we drove down to the valley floor and watched some rock climbers before we headed back to the camp for supper.

Friday night and Saturday we enjoyed several meetings and then finished up with a late night ice cream feed. Sunday morning we drove through Yosemite, over Tioga Pass and out of the park. For the rest of the day and most of the following day we drove east towards Colorado with an overnight stop along the
cottonwood lake near buena vista
way. We also had a few sightseeing stops in Utah to enjoy some of the desert vistas.

In Colorado we traveled through the town of Aspen and made it to the top of Independence Pass just after sunset. All along the way we enjoyed the golden Aspen trees which were at their prime just in time for our visit. Not long after going over Independence Pass we arrived at our relatives house in Buena Vista where we enjoyed a good supper and comfortable night's sleep. Over the course of our two days in Buena Vista we took a couple of trips to see the Aspen colors and even took along a picnic lunch on one of them. On Wednesday we loaded the trailer with some additional furniture items and then on Thursday we continued our trip to Tennessee. The first day back on the road was a bit slower than we had expected as we had to stop a couple
cloudland state park in Georgia
times to make adjustments to the trailer load, but we finally got everything secured after which we made better time. After spending a night in a hotel we then traveled the rest of the way to my grandparents house in Tennessee.

After my arrival in Tennessee I got settled into my apartment, registered my car and got acquainted with the area around Collegedale and Chattanooga a bit better. I've enjoyed visiting downtown Chattanooga as well as a couple of parks in the area. I also enjoyed camping on Lookout Mountain in Georgia a few weeks ago and briefly visited Fall Creek Falls another weekend.

A couple of weeks ago Melissa and I drove up to Maryland for a long weekend to visit my dad who was in town for some meetings. We also got to see lots of my family and friends and even spent Sunday doing touristy things in downtown Washington, DC. We visited several of the museums, most of the monuments, Union
the capitol
Station, and even went inside the capitol building to watch the Senate in session for a while. I especially enjoyed visiting the new World War II memorial which I hadn't seen before. After having supper with friends we visited several more memorials after dark and concluded the evening with some rollerblading.

A few days after getting back from Maryland I got the news about my grandfather so started making plans to travel out here to Oregon for the services. As it turned out I was able to make last minute reservations using miles that I earned on my trip back to the US from Guam and arrived here in Oregon last week.

Well, I think that is pretty much all that has been going on with me lately so I'll go ahead and get this posted.

Until next time,

Andrew

More pictures in my gallery.

Posted by andrew on October 30, 2004
Comments

Andrew, Sorry about your Grandfather. Loved the pictures of DC. The Capital and the Washington Mounument have some special memories for me so it was nice to see them again. I worked there for 4 years and lived in MD. I flew to Chattanooga, TN on a business trip once and it was nice there. I know you are going to enjoy it there. So glad to see Melissa is with you. I remember you met her in Guam. Lots of Luck!

Posted by: Susie on November 14, 2004

I am an islander from guam, but now residing in california. I stumbled across your website looking for photos of the island. As I was going thru your website, I couldn't help wonder what it is exactly that you do, you seem to visit lots of great places, anyhow, I was just wondering...who knows, you could just be visiting all these places on random vacations.

Posted by: cher manglona on December 27, 2004

Cher,

I was doing computer related work in Cambodia and then Guam but have taken several trips along the way as well.

Andrew

Posted by: Andrew on January 10, 2005