The Adventure Begins

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     On December 7, 1941, the placid and tranquil Hawaiian island of Oahu was turned into the first battle ground of the war against Japan.  From six aircraft carriers that stealthily approached the islands, over three hundred fighters, bombers and torpedo planes were launched against the American forces at Pearl Harbor.  Additionally, the military airfields of the island were bombed and strafed. The attack would catapult the United States into the last global conflict of the 20th century with the President’s address to the Congress and would forever make that date "a date that will live in infamy."

Arlington National Cemetery

Across the river from Washington D.C., in the neighboring state of Virginia, lies the most famous cemetery in the United States.  One of many burial grounds for the military service men and women, Arlington is the resting place of many American heroes, as well as two Presidents; John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft.  It is also the location of the Tomb of the Unknowns, servicemen who died during World War I, World War II and the Korean Conflict whose bodies remained unidentified.  A tour of this historic site should be on everyone’s bucket list to remind them of our history and freedom, and the costs to keep it.

Murano and Burano - Islands of Glass and Lace

While a trip to Venice may be on many a presons list of dreams yet to be fulfilled, few of us think about including the desitinations of the islands of Murano and Burano in their itenerary.  But a trip to Venice without seeing these artistic destinations is a lost opportunity.  These two islands should certainly be on everyones list of things to see and do when visiting that Renaissance city.

Soccorros Radio Telescope Array

Before 1974 the high plain of San Agustin in western New Mexico was a harsh and barren landscape suitable only to desert plants, snakes, and lizards.  Since then it has become home to one of the worlds’ most famous astronomical observatories - the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array; more commonly known as the Very Large Array or simply the VLA.  With its’ twenty-seven parabolic dish antennas - each weighing over 200-tons - it is the most complex radio telescope facility in the world.

The Rock

Alcatraz Prison is Americas most famous penetentiary.  It became home to the worst of the worst inmates and quickly developed a reputation for its strict rules.  During thier incarceration, prisoners had little to do but quietly serve thier time and try to survive the monotony and solitude on the island prison that was deemed escape-proof.  They gave it the moniker "the Rock", and in its nearly 30 years as a Federal Penetentiary there were only 14 escape attempts.  Most escapees were quickly recaptured and many died, but only one succeeded in the long swim to the mainland only to be quickly arrested and returned.  What has been called America's Devils Island has since become a National Park.

Washington DC

If there is one city every American should visit - our Nation's capital, Washington, D.C. Filled with monuments, memorials, and museums, this city has something for everyone. This link all too briefly touches on but a few of the sights of this metropolis. While there are many more that have been left off this list (due to space constraints) a quick search on your favorite search engine will open a plethora of activities and city-wide destinations. It is not a destination where everything can be seen and done in a standard two week vacation. Many of the attractions are open to the public free of charge, which makes this a Mecca for many families.

The Magic of Disney

There has probably been no person who has brought so much happiness to so many people as Walt Disney.  When you hear his name, you automatically think of Mickey Mouse and Disneyland.  We remember him for his award winning cartoons and keeping the inner child alive with his amazing theme parks.  While volumes have been written about the man, his dreams, and his realizations, we've limited this presentation to but a few dozen paragraphs; enough to wade into the ocean of adventure and fun that all came about with the creation of a cartoon mouse.

Bodie, CA - An American Ghost Town 

The Wild West of America has all but disappeared except for the pages of adventure books and Hollywood movies.  However the ghost of the time can still be found if you know where to look.  Bodie, California is one of many towns that was part of the gold fever of the nineteenth century.  Once a thriving settlement with a population that hoped it woud rival San Francisco, Bodie dies when the gold was mined out.  Most of the town burned to the ground, but what remains is perhaps the most impressive and well presevered of the west mining towns.

Out of the Ashes - Pompeii

The city of Pompeii, located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, was a rich and thriving seaside resort.  In its time it was the Malibu Beach of the Roman world.  It's markets were rich with the trade from all over the know world, which made a number of its citizens wealthy. All that ended on a summers day in 79 AD when Mount Vesuvisu, after remaining dormant for a thousand years, suddenly erupted, sending tons of pumic and ash to cover the city and the surrounding countryside.  Today, walking the streets and plazas of these ancient ruins, we can only imagine the terror when the thick air choked man and beast alike, and wiped the city off the Roman maps.

Places of Antiquity

(Part II of II)

A continuation of last months blog with six new distinations that represent some of the grandest locations to visit for a look into the culture of the past. Begining in the Central American jungles of Guatamala, we visit the Mayan city of Tikal and from there weave our way through Cambodia, Greece, the United States, Easter Island and Peru. Once again, the sites are in choronological order, with the our tour beginning at the oldest site.  (NOTE: The locations underlined indicate those which I have visited and can speak of from first hand experience.)
Here you will find the ten previous N.E.W.S. articles. 
Click on the title to access the past topics.