September 30, 1961 – Hawaii

Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii – Cloudy

       As dawn approached I was snuggled in my bed dreaming pleasant fantasies when all of sudden my world was invaded by screeching creatures that pulled my consciousness to the surface.  Once I was fully awake I focused on the unpleasant sounds to try and figure out what they were.  As I walked to the window to see if I could tell where the noise came from I noticed Edith was still very much asleep.  I envied her ability to sleep through the noise.  Once I got to the window I could see huge flocks of Myna birds under our window and I realized they were responsible for making a racket that closely resembled a million doors with rusty hinges all opening at once.  I went back to bed and tried to go back to sleep.  I really wished right then I had my grandson David’s squirt gun so I could squirt water at the birds and drive them off.

      When I finally got up it was hectic because Edith and I were both trying to get dressed at the same time as we tried to pack our luggage again for when we went back to the airport this evening.  We joined the rest of the tour at breakfast in the dining room and I enjoyed my simple breakfast of grapefruit, toast and coffee.  At 9am Rudy joined us in the dining room and had us to pile aboard our now familiar bus to spend our Saturday touring the island of Oahu or at least that’s what it looked from reading where it said we were to go on our itinerary:

Sept. 30 – A full day’s excursion has been planned for you to see the entire Island of Oahu, visiting the Iolani Palace, former home of Hawaii’s Kings and Queens – the very beautiful botanical gardens, – famous for orchids, the Punchbowl – an extinct volcano, for a fine view of the city of Honolulu, Queen Emma’s home, the Upside Down Falls, breathtaking view from the top of Nuuanu Pali, the taro and rice paddies, banana, coconut and papaya plantations, the Laie Mormon Temple, Kahuku sugar mill, Wahiawa Pineapple plantation, and a Panoramic view of Pearl Harbor.

View of Beach

     Our tour started off by visiting the Iolani Palace.  Edith and I were impressed with what we saw and especially the history behind it that we were told about.  Our next stop was the Foster Botanical Gardens where I was looking forward to seeing their famous orchids.  I found them to be ever so much more colorful and unique than the ones I had back home.  The yellows and pinks seemed so deep and vibrant.  The variety of plants in the garden included some I hadn’t even heard of before like the Banyan Tree.  The gardens had such wonderful smells that I kept finding myself closing my eyes and taking deep breaths to take it all in.  After we started traveling again on our bus we went past taro and rice paddies, banana, coconut and papaya plantations on our way to have lunch.  We even saw a set up of a native hut and outrigger’s canoe that was interesting to look at.

Banyon Tree in Botanical Gardens

Outriggers Canoe Display

Crouching Lion Inn

      By the time I sat down to wait for our lunch at the Crouching Lion Inn I was ready to take a break.  The heat had drained me and I found myself drinking glass after glass of water in an effort to get rehydrated.  Curt and Flo were sitting at the same table with Edith and I.  Curt suggested dishes for each of us to order telling us they were specialties and something we should try.  When I saw the platter of food placed before me I would never have guessed what kind of fish it was that I had ordered – Dolphin.  I was amazed to find it had a sweet, non-fishy taste and I was pleasantly surprised. Edith made it quite clear that she didn’t like her lunch.  I was beginning to sense she was a very picky eater.

          For desert I had a nice big piece of coconut cream pie and by the time I got up from the table I was totally satiated.  All I wanted to do for the rest of the day was to take a nap instead of doing more touring.

      As we continued to drive around I found myself dozing off and on despite all the bouncing around.  I was glad when we finally arrived at our first afternoon stop so I could get out, walk around and wake up.  The Punchbowl had a terrific view of the city and there was a nice breeze as we stood on the edge of the extinct volcano.  It turned out it was also be a national cemetery.  I was moved seeing all the military graves in a place of such beautiful scenery. 

The Punchbowl Extinct Volcano

     I got upset when I had trouble trying to change the film.  I was afraid I might lose some pictures.  I found another binder to put the film in and I hoped it would be fine.  I was glad I was figuring the camera out now rather than later when a mistake like this might be more disastrous.  Ramona’s camera was more complex than mine but I had decided to use her camera because the pictures always came out better than mine.

      Our next stop turned out to be the home of Queen Emma’s that she had shared with her husband, King Kamehameha IV during her lifetime.  We were told that because the climate was cooler in the upland and far more pleasant than the area nearer to the beaches which Queen Emma had used as her summer home.

      Next the tour took us to the wonderful Upside Down Falls, the Laie Mormon Temple, the Soto Zen Temple, the Kahuku sugar mill and the Wahiavw pineapple plantation.  All were impressive to see but also exhausting to rush through.  I was glad when we got to the top of the Pali lookout and were given time to enjoy the breathtaking view.  The sight of Oahu Island, Diamond Head and a little island called the Captains Hat was magnificent to see.  We also had a breathtaking view of Pearl Harbor.  Seeing the harbor and remembering the men lost on the ships that December 7th made me wistful.  I took several pictures to remember everything. 

Pali Lookout on Oahu

View of Pearl Harbor

Captain's Hat Island

Soto Zen Temple

      Once we arrived back at the hotel Rudy asked all of us to gather in the lobby.  He let us all know we would be leaving for the airport around midnight to check in and get our tickets.  The hotel had set aside two suites for us to wait in till we had to leave since we’d had to check out of our rooms.  Rudy asked the women to congregate in the first room and the men in the second.  Finally he let us know that those wanting to go to the Surfside Hotel for dinner and a floor show should meet in the lobby at 7pm.

      While Rudy was right each room had several beds most of the women including me weren’t lucky enough to get one to rest on.  I made myself as comfortable as I could in a big stuffed chair and took advantage of our wait to write letters.  First I decided I would write Bob’s kids and Sammy (their dachshund puppy) since I knew they would be excited to get something from me:

 Sept 30, 1961

Dear Patrick, Penny, Liz Ann and Sammy;

     We arrived here safely yesterday at 11:40am and came right to the hotel after a stop by the wrong hotel which I will tell you about some day.

     We went to the Beachcomber for dinner last nite and the floor show was tops.  It was Ed Kenny and his Troupe.  We saw the Fire Dance, several hula dancers and heard some wonderful singing.  This club was a very beautiful one.  It rained last night.

     This morning we were awakened at 5am by the Myna birds, screeching like mad (about a million of them) I wished I had a squirt gun.  They were under our window.  Then we went for a tour of the island had lunch at the Crouching Lion and the coconut cream pie was real good.  We went to the Pali outlook, to the pineapple farms as well as to the top of the extinct volcano where there is a cemetery overlooking Honolulu.  Oh a lot of other places then back to the hotel.  We are going to the Surfside Hotel tonight and see the floor show.

     I am enclosing some pictures of where we went and the clipping of the Limping Mammoth.

Love to you all, Grandma

 P.S. Save the post cards for me.

      Then I wrote one to Ramona and her family to update them on how things were going.  I’d asked her to keep all the letters so I could use them later to work on my memoir:

Sept 30, 1961

Dear Ramona, Ray, Janice, David, Mike and Binky;

     Last night we went to the Beachcombers the guest of the tour and it is a beautiful place, belongs to Duke Kahanamoku, he had the table next to ours – his wife was with him – the floor show was grand.  I could hardly eat my dinner.  The Fire Dance and hula dancers and Hawaiian singers – Ed Kinney and his troupe entertained us for 3 hours.  Our dinner was so delicious.  I had a whiskey sour then filet (2 ½ inches thick) and stuffed mushroom caps and coconut Sunday for desert. 

     This morning Myna birds awakened us at 5 am sounded like a million doors with rusty hinges all opening at once, they were right under our window.  We got up, ate breakfast and at 9am met for the tour just like the itinerary says – everything was nice- and our guide sang to us, he had a good voice and he told funny stories.  We had the best fresh pineapple.  I got back to the hotel at 5pm.  Edith and I had a big lunch at the Crouching Lion.  Dolphin steaks which are fish with a sweet taste very good and coconut cream pie which was super. 

      I took the rest of the film and it broke getting it out of the camera.  I used another binder and sent it on to you.  The itinerary will explain these pictures I can do the camera now I’m sure without more trouble. 

     Tonite we are going to the Surfisde Hotel and see a floor show then leave here at 1:45am for Japan.  We will arrive Monday at 5am.  We skip a day.

Love Mother

     When it came time to go to dinner at the Surfside Hotel and watch the floor show I opted to stay behind. I was still full from lunch and didn’t have the energy to go anywhere else before we had to leave for the airport.

      After finishing my letters I walked down to the lobby to mail them before returning to the room we’d been given. When I got back to the room I noticed everyone who had gone to the Surfside Club had returned and were talking and getting to know each other better.  It was a pleasant time and I enjoyed getting to know everyone better.

      Rudy came to collect us promptly at midnight for our trip to the air park to get our tickets to travel to Japan.  Once the tickets were obtained we had to wait till it was time to go aboard the airplane so we had to find seats but none were as nice as those at Los Angeles International airport.  Once we were seated we waited and waited but our plane wasn’t ready to leave at the scheduled time of 1:45am.  They told us we wouldn’t leave till 2:50am but even then there was delay followed by delay.  Finally at 5:00am Rudy told us we had time to go get breakfast in the Sky Room of the air park restaurant, so we decided to do just that.

     Edith and I found a table and looked over the menu.  Our waitress brought us some coffee and started to take our order when there was an announcement over the loudspeaker that our plane was boarding immediately.  As I got up I noticed some people in our group had been lucky enough to get their food order.

      Once we got to the gate Edith and I lined up to hand over our tickets so we could board the plane and get comfortable.  I was anxious to get aboard so I could try and get some sleep.  I settled into my seat and I was pleased that this time I was sitting next to the window because it would give me a chance to see some of the islands we were going to fly over even though I wouldn’t be able to get very good pictures.  As we lifted off the ground I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

September 29, 1961 – Long Beach

Long Beach, California, USA – Foggy

      Edith had set her alarm for 6:00am so it would give us enough time to dress and get ready to leave for the airport.  We dressed quickly and without a lot of fuss since we only had 45 minutes till we were to be picked up by Bill who had offered to take us to Los Angeles International airport.  I was glad that I’d laid out my things the night before so I had more time to gather myself together. 

      It caught me off guard when the door bell rang because I still needed to brush my hair and put a few things back in my overnight case.  While I finished doing those things, Edith made sure her house was ready to leave and Bill started putting our luggage into his car. 

      Once we made it the airport Bill parked the car and helped us get our luggage into the terminal.  Thankfully we’d gotten to the airport with plenty of time because we were surprised to see a large number of people in line ahead of us.  We made our way slowly through the line of passengers to check in and get our tickets.  Edith and I were grateful that Bill decided to stay with us to help us move all our luggage.  Finally, while we were standing at the ticket counter I heard a small commotion behind us and turned around to see what it was.  To my amazement I saw Bob, Pat, Janice, Patrick, David, Penny and Liz Anne coming toward us.  They had driven down from Ventura to surprise me and to see us off on our trip.  I was pleased to see them because it made me feel good to have some moral support before I started this big adventure.

      My son, Bob and his wife, Pat, made a nice couple and they had done very well for themselves over the years.  I hadn’t seen them or their kids Patrick, Penny, and little Liz Anne since last summer.  They had come down to Ventura to visit with Pat’s mother, Hazel, his sister Ramona and her family.  Bob and Ramona have always been close as brother and sister with Bob the younger of the two.  Bob had wanted to surprise me and surprise me he did.  Bob was such a sweet, thoughtful son.  He always had been, even as a little boy.  I couldn’t believe that he had driven all the way from San Jose just to surprise me.  Ramona must have been in on the surprise too since Janice and David were there. 

      After getting our boarding passes Bill said goodbye to us and the rest of us all headed to a little restaurant in the airport to have some coffee and visit for awhile before we left.  It was good to talk to Bob and Pat even if for just a few minutes to catch up on things and find out how they had pulled off this surprise.  I had tried to call Bob yesterday and he hadn’t been home.  Now I knew why.

      After having some coffee the time neared when we would have to leave so we all made our way to the gate so we could find some chairs to sit in till they called for us enplane.  Eventually the airline ticketing agent called for our section to board.  It was hard to say good bye to Bob, Pat and the kids because they were the last of my “world” as I knew it.  I had confidence that the trip would be a good one but there were so many unknowns ahead of me I felt a little like I was going outside my comfort zone.  As I kissed each of the grandkids goodbye I promised them I would send post cards.  I also promised Patrick I would make sure I would bring him some good stamps for his collection.

      Edith and I moved to the gate door and handed our tickets to the ticket agent.  As I went into the tunnel leading to the plane I turned around and waved one more time.  Walking down the tunnel I remember tearing up a little but that soon passed with the hectic process of boarding, making my way to our row and finding my seat.  I was disappointed when I saw I didn’t have a window seat because it meant my view would be restricted and I would have to rely on Flo for pictures.

      We settled into our seats, I looked through the pouch in front of my seat to see what was included and sat nervously while the plane prepared to take off.  Once the plane was finally in the air I sat quietly thinking about what was supposed to happen the rest of the day.

      Our flight turned out to be better than I thought it would be.  I’d never liked flying so being on a plane for such a long period had worried me.  I was pleased when the stewardess brought us each a menu showing us what we would get for our lunch.  I knew I would be hungry by the time we arrived in Hawaii near their noon hour or 2 pm California time. 

     The menu was impressive although we weren’t even traveling in first class. 

Menu for Hawaii Trip

Inside Menu

     I knew I was already overweight but I knew this trip would give me a chance to try various dishes I’d never experienced before so I decided not to worry about my weight for the next three months.  Edith found her food okay too but didn’t like her crabmeat cocktail so that meant more for me because I loved it all. 

      Our trip was quiet but by the time we landed I was feeling a little tipsy from the champagne they kept serving us. When they opened the airplane doors so we could walk to the terminal the difference in humidity was very noticeable in addition to the September heat. 

      I smiled when I saw a big native dressed as a Chief carrying a red feather blanket standing next to two lovely Hawaiian ladies holding Leis standing at the entrance of the gate.  I decided to call him Rain in the Face because of his demeanor as people passed by.  The three made it clear we were expected to pass by the three, get a Lei and then move on as quickly as possible.  As I passed by they were all business and they didn’t demonstrate any of the friendliness I’d heard was typical of Hawaiians.  I finished moving down the line as fast as I could and then turned to look back and watch Edith go through the line.

      “Get out of the way lady and let the others get their Lei’s!”  The male Hawaiian commanded Edith when she didn’t move past very fast. 

      I was shocked and dismayed at how Chief Rain in the Face had treated Edith and watched in horror to see the kind of impact his words had on her.  Edith’s face crumbled but she did as requested and moved along faster than she had been.

     As we went to get our luggage I tried to cheer Edith up and soon her mood seemed to cheer up.  Just like in the movies we found our Hawaiian tour guide waiting holding a sign up for us as we neared the baggage claim area.  Edith, Flo and I congregated around the guide once we’d gotten our all our bags and he introduced himself as Rudy.  Rudy steered us outside to the bus which would take us to our hotel. 

      The drive away from the airport was fun and I enjoyed seeing the lush terrain as we traveled since it was so different than what I was used to.  Our bus pulled up a hotel after only driving for a few minutes.  Edith and I dropped our jaws at the same time when we saw the hotel because it wasn’t what we thought it would be.  The hotel we saw was called the Moana Hotel and while it had a nice traditional Hawaiian name it looked beat up and had a cheap look to it.  Edith whispered to me that she thought we were supposed to be at a different hotel but before she could say anything to Rudy he had our luggage unloaded and us ushered into the hotel.   When we saw the lobby it didn’t reassure us that our rooms would be what we expected either so I mulled over what if anything I would say or do. 

Moana Hotel and Beach

  I was pleased and proud of Edith when she spoke up and told Rudy that she and I had paid to stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel not at the Moana.  I didn’t think that others would have spoken up.  I didn’t think I would have said anything either.  I smiled when the guide gave up arguing with Edith and went over to the house phone to make a call.  After Rudy finished talking on the phone he went over to Curt, spoke to him for a few minutes and then went outside. 

     Curt called us all together to tell us Edith had been right and they were bringing the buses back for us. 

      While we waited for the bus I went outside to look at the beach.  The sand was so white, the water and sky so blue that I was in awe.  It was amazing how blue the blue was and that they had such different shades of intensity. 

     Eventually the bus returned, we loaded up again and traveled to our hotel.  When we pulled up at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel the delay and mistake were forgotten because the hotel was obviously much more superior.  Edith and I were scheduled to share a room and each room was supposed to have twin beds.  This, our first room on the trip was beautiful and overlooked the gardens below.  We could see flowers and there was a wonderful clear view of the ocean and its beaches.  Looking around our room we found there were many amenities out of the usual so I felt quite pampered.  hung up my dresses, admired the view.

Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu

Royal Hawaiian Hotel Dining Room

      I decided to write a letter to Ramona.  I found stationary in the desk so I pulled some out and sat at a table by the window:

Sept 29, 1961

Dear Ramona, Ray, Janice, David, Mike, Binky;

     Boy it is warm here.  We arrived at 2:20pm, California time, got off the plane and was met by a big Chief (Rain in the face) who had a red feather blanket and  two Hawaiians with Leis.  We each got one and then they took one picture – hurrah!  This is for my memoirs.  The boy put the Lei on Edith and then very businesslike shoved her aside saying “Get out of the way and let the others get their Lei’s.”  Then bus came and we got in and after a long wait we drove to the Moana Hotel which was very beat up looking and a cheap Hotel.

     Our guide said it was OK to everyone but Edith thought we were supposed to be at the Royal Hawaiian.  Edith spoke up and said this is not the R.H. and I paid enough for the trip to stay at the R. H. so our guide changed his mind, they brought back the buses (we were all unloaded and in the Hotel) and we were brought to this place, the Royal Hawaiian.  It is beautiful here and our room is lovely looking over the garden.

     We are just going out for a walk now. 

      Edith and I decided to go for a walk to see what some shops might tempt us to buy.  Edith and I had noticed several nearby as we had pulled up to the hotel.  In one shop we found some pretty materials but they were more expensive than either of us was willing to pay.  After our foray out alone Edith and I took a few pictures before settling into some lawn chairs in the garden.  When we returned to our room I decided to spoil myself and take a bubble bath.  Afterward I felt so relaxed I lay down to rest in preparation for the night I knew we had coming.  Lying there I tried to imagine how I’d feel in 90 days after more days like this of going from airport to bus to hotel and so on. 

      Edith and I were pleasantly surprised when a waiter brought us some complimentary fresh pineapple to eat.  While I snacked on pineapple I decided to finish my letter to Ramona:

      (Later)  We walked and the stores are nice.  The real nice ones were very expensive but the materials were pretty.  We came back, sat on the lawn chairs and took some pictures.  I forgot to set the distance which you will find out but I’ll learn.  I took a bubble bath in soft, soft water, took a little nap, the waiter brought us a fresh pineapple to eat and now we are getting ready to go to the Beach Comber’s for dinner and a tour party.  It’s hot, hot here with over head clouds looks like rain.  I’ll wear my gold dress tonite and I’m sorry I sent my sweater home, but Edith is letting me wear her beautiful black lace scarf.

     Well can’t think of anything else to write love Mother

P.S. Can’t tell you how happy I was to see Bob, Pat, Janice, Patrick, David, Penny, Liz Ann this morning and how surprised – boy – missed you Ray and Mike.  Love Mother.

      Rudy came to pick us up so we piled onto a bus for our drive to the restaurant – The Beachcombers.  We were all pleased when Curt, our tour company escort, announced to everyone that dinner was complimentary of Travel World.  As it turned out I’d never been to a restaurant quite like the Beachcombers and the atmosphere was very fantasy-like.  We felt honored when we found out Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaiian royalty, was sitting at the table next to ours with his wife.  It turned out he owned the restaurant,.   Our food was quite delicious but I could hardly eat all of it because there was so much of it.  After having a Whiskey sour before eating I was served a filet of beef two inches thick, stuffed mushroom caps and wine for dinner.  Our dessert was a coconut Sunday and even though I hadn’t eaten all my dinner, I did finish my dessert.

      Our dinner was very relaxing and when the entertainment started it only added to our night in a nice way.  The entertainment was delightful and was very pleasurable.  We were treated to a Fire Dance by hula dancers and some Hawaiian singers.  Just when I thought the amusement was winding down Ed Kinney and his troupe came out and continued to amuse us.  All in all the diversion lasted for 3 hours.  I never thought I could smile so much and clap so hard for such a long period of time.  By the time we climbed aboard our bus again I was ready to go back to our hotel and get some sleep.  During our ride back to the hotel I noticed that it had started to sprinkle and by the time we arrived it was really coming down.  When I stepped out of the bus I was pleased to feel the air was cooler.

      Once we were in our room Edith was still excited and not quite ready to sleep so she started writing a letter to the Fillmore Herald about what we’d seen so far.  She didn’t plan on mailing it right away but wanted to get a good start on it anyway.  I put on my bed clothes on and settled onto my bed for the night but as I tried to doze off Edith kept asking me questions about our day saying she couldn’t remember everything.  Eventually she finished but I felt like I might as well have written down everything for her since I’d more or less dictated most of it to her.  I hoped this wasn’t a sign of what was to come with her and these letters to the Herald!

September 28, 1961 – Ventura

Ventura, California, USA – Clear, warm, sunny     

Today was finally here.  The last several months had been rather hectic and far busier than the last year at this time for me.  Though I’d set my alarm to wake up early I decided to stay in bed a few extra moments to collect my thoughts. 

     Life after my husband Stuart had passed away in 1959 had been pretty sedentary.  I’d spent my time visiting friends, playing cards or going to my club meetings but not much else.  The house was certainly much more hectic since my daughter, Ramona and her family had moved in.  Ramona’s husband, Ray was always good company and their three kids, Janice, David and Mike made the house very full.  Still I felt like something was missing with all that was going on and when Edith had called me July 18th I knew what was gone from my life – travel. 

     I remember writing in my diary that night, “Edith called me this evening to ask me to go on a trip around the world with her.  Sounds fabulous.”  That call started me on the path I’d taken to get ready for today, September 28, 1961.  I knew the next three months were going to be both wonderful and hectic so I hoped I was ready for it. 

      I’d known Edith from when we both lived in Fillmore.  Eventually she’d moved to Long Beach and I’d come to Ventura.  Despite living so far apart though we’d always still seen each other fairly often at the women’s service organization we attended like Alice Bartlett Club and the women’s version of Masons, Eastern Star.  While we’d known each other for years I wouldn’t say we were close but Edith was alone and needed someone to travel with her and share her room throughout the trip.  Stuart and I had done so much traveling and I really missed it so I was glad that Edith had called.  Edith was a good companion at card games so I thought she would turn out to be a fine traveling cohort also.  And besides there were others I knew who were also going on this trip.  Flo would be there and we’d been friends for many years through the Alice Bartlett Club.  In addition our tour escort from Travel World  was Curt and he was a long time acquaintance. 

      Time to get up.  I’d stalled long enough.  I’d set my alarm early so I had plenty of time to get my hair done and if I didn’t get up now there wouldn’t be time to do it.  I wasn’t sure when or if I’d have an opportunity to get my hair done again while I was traveling.  I’d made an appointment at Sheila’s this morning and I was looking forward to being able sit down for a little while.  

      It seemed like all I’d done over the last few months was to get ready for this trip.  There were shots to get.  I had had to gather the information to make sure I had all the proper paperwork necessary to get into the various countries in addition to my passport.  I had to go shopping for clothes that I could rinse out and wouldn’t wrinkle.  Ramona had taken me shopping to get comfortable shoes I would be able to walk in for hours and hours.  I’d had so many things to think about that for several days I’d had trouble sleeping so night before last Ray had poured me a stiff drink which really relaxed me and put me to sleep.  After my night of rest I had long day though packing, repacking and trying to get all my last minute things done. 

      Home from the beauty salon I decided to do one more check of my luggage to make sure I had all my paperwork put where I could easily find it.  My check done I went outside with Binky my Cairn Terrier so he could go potty.  It felt good to sit on one of my lawn chairs and think about the trip to come. 

       Since it was noon and time to go Ramona helped me load my luggage into her car before Mike, Binky and I got in the car with Ramona to drive to Edith’s apartment in Long Beach.  The trip was long but I was glad because it gave me time to run over last minute concerns and reminders with Ramona.   I wanted to remind her to check the cut off dates before mailing each letter because the hotels wouldn’t forward letters after we’d been there.  I wanted to make sure she watched Binky and kept an eye on his health. 

     The warnings issued, the reassurance given, the remainder of our drive to Edith’s apartment was spent in discussing where she was going and wondering what it would be like there.  Once we reached Long Beach I had to refer to a map to find Edith’s street but we finally made it there.  Her apartment was comfortable although not very large.    

       After helping me to unload my luggage, Ramona gave me a refresher on how to use her camera one more time.  I hadn’t had too much practice with it so I was glad she went over it with me one more time.  Then Ramona took a picture of Edith and I in front of her apartment to commemorate the day and to finish off the roll of film.  Ramona showed me how to change the film one more time so I would have a fresh one to start my trip with.  

       I went through my luggage once more but this time with Edith to see if I was taking too much.  After looking it over she encouraged me to have Ramona take my blue dress, an extra pair of dress brown shoes, a slip and a sweater back home.  I decided she was right so I took out those things and then repacked my suitcase to make it a little lighter.  I noticed that it also gave me a little extra room to put things I bought along the way on my trip. 

       When it came time for Ramona, Mike and Binky to leave I got a little teary eyed and I was glad I had my handkerchief handy.  I was worried about Binky and how he would do while I was gone.  He was so prone to getting urine infections and he was getting on in years.  Stuart had purchased Binky’s father, Bosun, for me while he was stationed in Northern Ireland and during that time he had become Stuart’s Navy unit’s mascot while he was stationed there during World War II.  When Stuart’s unit was being transferred to the Pacific theatre of the war Bosun had been “discharged” from the military and sent back to Ventura.  Kerry Mae, Binky’s mother, was likewise purchased in Ireland after the water and Binky was one of the pups from their first litter.  I’d gotten closer and closer to Binky over the years because we’d been through so many things together and most recently Stuart’s passing.  I hoped he would be okay while I was gone because I didn’t want to lose him too. 

       At 7:00pm Edith’s friends, Bill and Earline, came over to her apartment to take us out to dinner at the Tenderloin restaurant.  At dinner they surprised each of us with a white orchid to wear.  Our meal was very pleasant and we shared cocktails and good conversation.  Edith announced a little news to all of us that pleased me.  She had been contacted by the Fillmore Herald to write letters back to them about our trip.  She notated I could help her contribute to her letters back 

      After dinner Bill drove all of us over to their house to spend the rest of the evening visiting and looking at slides of their recent trip to Mexico.  Once there I found we were also going to celebrate Edith’s upcoming birthday that would occur while we were on our trip.  As Bill set up the slides for us to watch Earline brought out a bottle of champagne and a cake for us to enjoy.  One by one they went through their slides and pointed out interesting things they’d seen.  It was all very pleasant and I got some ideas on what to take pictures of from looking at their collection. 

      The champagne had relaxed me so when it came time to return to Edith’s apartment I was ready to go.  Once there I checked my suitcase one more time and went to bed.  It didn’t take very long for me to drift off to sleep. 

   

Grandma and Edith at Her Apt