A Travellerspoint blog

O Solo A Roma - Day Four - The Elusive Piazza Navona

Trying to find Piazza Navona but ending up at the Colosseum. Another day of walking in Rome

View O Solo Roma July 2016 on littlesam1's travel map.


I've mentioned before I am not a great person with maps. They can mislead me very easily. I much prefer to just follow along behind someone while they use the map to navigate. Then I can find some humor when the map misleads and frustrates them instead of me. All I needed was a simple tourist map with the tourist destinations singled out and enlarged so they are easy to locate. Or I could have asked the attendant at the hotel for some guidance each morning. But instead I had a very complex street map with lots of small print and tiny streets. And each day I was determined to use this map all on my own and conquer my problems with maps. And each day I struggled.

Searching for Bernini was my big plan for visiting Rome. So far I had spent three days and not found any works of Bernini. My plan for day four was to locate Piazza Navona and see the famous Bernini Fountain in the square and then cut over to see the Pantheon which would be very close. With the help of my guide the night before I studied the map. I saw that I could walk from my hotel to Castel Sant'Angelo. I knew this neighborhood so this should not be a problem. From there I planned to cross the bridge behind the castle and walk over to Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. It appeared this would take me directly past Piazza Navona. But I was wrong! I saw some interesting churches and a few statues.

I saw a memorial to Marco Minghetti.



I had no idea who Marco Minghetti was but the monument was interesting. It would give me some research to one once I got home from the holiday.

I saw a man who looked tired and had taken off his shoe to rest his foot. I was going to ask if he also was trying to find Piazza Novona but then decided against it. Why let someone else know I could not follow my map


I continued to walk down Corso Vittorio Emanuele II I and saw Basilica Sant'Andrea della Valle. It was not on any tourist maps. It was not in my guide book. It had no art by Bernini. But it was beautiful inside and had some art work that made me question what I was seeing.



Statue of Child of Prague inside Basilica Di Sant Andrea Della Valle

This is just to prove to anyone reading this that I am not Catholic. I have learned a lot about the Catholic church from Mark who is Catholic. But I was alone. He was not here to keep me from making uneducated guesses about things I was seeing. I saw an amazing painting. At first I thought is was the crucifixion was of Christ which amazed me because it was so unusual. It depicted a very large man instead of the Christ we usually see. It made me think a lot and question myself about the images we see of Christ and what he must have really looked like. I was amazed by this depiction. Later that evening when I returned to my hotel I researched to see who the artist was on this amazing portrait only to find out that it was not Jesus but St. Andrew. I still felt I had received an important spiritual message anyway and still felt my mental image of Christ left a lot to question. And then I realized this was the Basilica Di Sant Andrea Della Valle so of course the portrait was of St. Andrew.


I stopped for some lunch and did some people watching. I saw an older man wearing dress clothes and some expensive leather shoes with no sox having an intimate lunch with an attractive young girl. There is a story to be written about this photo some day.


After lunch I kept walking thinking Piazza Navona had to be just down the next block. But I never found it and ended up back at Vittorio Emanuele II Monument where I had already been the previous day



I had planned on seeing the Colosseum on the next day. But as long as I was already at the Vittorio Emanuele Monument there was no reason not to walk behind it and explore the Colosseum now instead of waiting for another day. Besides I would have to search for Piazza Navona tomorrow instead of seeing the Colosseum.

I have seen hundreds of photos of the Colosseum but no photo does it justice. Nothing prepares you for it's majesty.



I had walked a lot. I never did find Piazza Navona. So by the time I got back to my room I was very tired. I stopped at the grocery store near my hotel and bought myself a couple bottles of water, a Coca Cola and a large bottle of Peroni. Luckily I had left a bottle opener in my travel bag from my last trip. So I popped the top of the Peroni and broke out the guide book trying to figure out just how I has missed the elusive Piazza Navona.


I decided to walk down to St. Peter's Square for some night photos of the Cathedral. My hotel was very near The Vatican.


Before going out I asked the hotel clerk for a suggestion of a good restaurant near the church. The hotel desk clerk recommended Ristorante Almafi which was just down the street for dinner. It was a perfect choice. I had a delicious bottle of Vermentino which is one of my favorite wines. The brushcetta was probably the freshest I have ever eaten. And I my daily dose of pasta for dinner.



When I finally returned to my hotel for the evening I was very tired. It had been an eventful day. And I had no regrets. It was still a perfectly fascinating day, just not the day I had anticipated. I took some time to text with Mark before sleeping to tell him about my day. He laughed at my problems with the map and said he was sure he would have found Piazza Navona. And then came the question. Did you get to Trastevere today? No. Once again I did not go there. But I promised I would try tomorrow.

And yes I did buy a new selfie stick after losing mine the first day in Rome. There were available for sale in all of the tourist areas. They still aren't the best photos but I had fun talking them.




Showered after a hot day and dressed for dinner

Posted by littlesam1 15:55 Archived in Italy Tagged italy rome wine colosseum pasta piazza_novana evasive_piazze vatican_at_night vermentino brushcetta Comments (5)

O Solo Roma - Day 3 - Oddities and Favorite Tourist Sites

Day Three in my solo tour of Rome. Exploring famous tourist sites.

View O Solo Roma July 2016 on littlesam1's travel map.


Day three was an interesting day. It was the first day I actually ventured away from the immediate area where I was staying. My main goal for the day was to see The Spanish Steps, Throw a coin the Trevi Fountain and buy a Hard Rock Café Tee shirt. I more or less achieved all of these goals. Returning to my room the previous evening I spent some time with my guide book plotting out the locations I wanted to see my third day. I rarely use maps when I travel. I am not good with maps and hate to struggle with deciphering them. I usually let who ever I am traveling with deal with maps and I just follow them hoping they have figured out where we are going. I can use maps. I am not helpless. I just don't enjoy the process and try to avoid the task. But traveling alone I had no choice. It was either work with the maps or just walk around and get lost, which is not always the worst thing to happen.


Piazza del Popolo


Santa Maria del Popolo

I started out from what was to become my central point in Rome Piazza del Popolo. I took a photo of Santa Maria del Popolo Church which is used for the opening scene in Rome in the movie Angels and Demons. The church was beautiful inside. But because it was Sunday and I walked into the church during mass I was unable to take any photos. I had planned to return because there was an angle by Bernini that I wanted to see but for one reason or another I never had to the chance to venture back inside. And it was a big mistake on my part as I was in Piazza del Popolo almost every day of my vacation and exploring the works of Bernini was one of my big goals of the holiday.


I walked down Via del Babuino towards the Spanish steps. This is a major shopping street for tourists. Before finind the steps I saw two things that I found interesting and a bit odd in my opinion. I saw some very unusual shoes in one of the store windows. Then just past the store with the shoes I saw a second thing I found odd. It was a clothing store named Roy Rogers. When I think of Roy Rogers that last thing I think of is fashion.

To me Roy Rogers is a famous American movie star who made western movies and TV shows when I was a child. And then years later he opened up a roast beef sandwich chain. I never connected the name with a clothing store. Funny though, as I was writing this blog I tried to research the store brand to find some information about it and I found the store I had seen is now closed permanently. I guess this store rode off into the sunset along with the old cowboy hero.


I ventured on to find the Spanish Steps. I have recently learned that Rome has passed laws to prevent people from sitting on the steps. They have had issues with too many tourists and are trying to protect the steps. But for years tourists have looked forward to seeing the steps and taking photos sitting on them. So my first goal of the day was to locate the steps and ask a friendly stranger to take my photo. But to my surprise the steps were closed! The square was still full of people but all they got see was a set of empty white steps. No beautiful flowers. No tourists sitting on the steps. But the crowd was still large and many were sitting around Fontana della Barcaccia at the bottom of the steps.



Crowds walking to Trevi Fountain

I then continued to walk down Via del Babuino. I cut across Via Barberini down to Via Del Corso. From there I approached Piazza Trevi. I could hear the crowds before I walked around the corner to find the Trevi Fountain.


The crowds were insane. It was all but impossible to get close enough to the fountain to try to throw in a coin and take a photo. Being alone I had no one to take a photo and it was too crowded to take out my selfie stick without decapitating someone. So I decided to just step back and watch the crowds and take some photos from a distance.


I walked across the Piazza to the church Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio a Trevi. There was a large group of people setting on the steps. I joined them. From there I was able to get a few selfie stick photos of myself with the fountain in the background. Fortunately no one was decapitated.


I did finally find a friendly stranger to take my photo at the Trevi fountain also.


I left Piazza Trevi and walked up Via Lavatorie to Via del Traforo. From there I walked up too Via del Tritone so I could walk to Piazza Barberini where I wanted to see a fountain by Bernini. I read about the fountain in my guide book the previous evening. This would be my first major Bernini sculpture to see.


I really liked this fountain a lot. It was a Bernini design which was important to me. And there were no crowds. It was no where near the size of the Trevi fountain. But it was very near so I did not understand why no one was visiting the fountain.


There was no one near to take my photo so I had to use the selfie stick.

Leaving the Tritone Fountain I headed towards the Hard Rock Cafe. Before arriving at the cafe though I did see another oddity. I saw a very interesting lady on the side walk smoking a cigar. I don't see a lot of ladies smoking cigars so I had to get a photo.


I know it's touristy but when I travel I really enjoy visiting Hard Rock Cafe's. I have a huge colletction of Hard Rock Cafe tee shirts. The HRC in Rome is a smaller café than some others I have visited. But I did have a beer at the bar before purchasing my tee shirt. I had a Peroni Nastro Azzurro. It was a good choice and the first beer I had in Rome. It's difficult to pass up all of the good Italian wines for a beer.



And I got to hear James Brown singing "I Feel Good" while at the cafe. And after the heat of the day I did feel good after having that cold beer. This left me time for one more selfie stick photo. I was really enjoying the selfie on this trip.


Food? I had a lot of good food opportunities on my third day. It's Rome of course. And my food adventures were excellent.


I had a delicious Pasta Bolognese at Piazza Mignanelli for lunch. And it's not a meal without a glass of wine when in Rome. I also really like the pasta plate a lot and would have loved to have found some to buy for home.

Later in the day I had dinner at Restaurante Rosati I beautiful restaurant with side walk dining in Piazza del Popolo. I read on the menu that the restaurant originally opened in 1922 which is the year my father was born. I know he was in Rome in World War II and I know he had no time for restaurants. But it was a nice feeling to make the connection to him while dining here.



I had Penne Arrabbiata, white wine and a glass of limoncello after my dinner. Once again the pasta bowl was beautiful.

I then walked back down Via Cola di Rienzo to return to my hotel. I stopped by Portofina Café for a huge gelato dessert. It was called a Volcano. There was liquid nitrogen in the bottom of the glass making it smoke like a Volcano. It was a fun dessert and the perfect ending to my day.


There were several more odd things I noticed during my day. When you are traveling alone there is a lot of time to notice things you might overlook if you are with someone else. You might be busy talking. Or making plans. Or looking at each others photos while eating. But being alone it's easier to pick up on things that might go unnoticed. Some of these were just odd. One was kind of funny. And one was down right creepy.


One thing I saw would not go unnoticed alone or with someone else. Although it was a very nice restaurant the toilet at Restaurante Rosati was a bit disturbing. There was no toilet seat!

Also while having my dinner I noticed a young couple at the table next to me. The young girl was very attentive to the young man which was fine. But then for no reason I understood she took off her shoe and pushed her foot up underneath of his. And that is how they finished their meal. Maybe he liked it. Maybe not. But had I been with Mark I might have missed this.


At the end of my evening while having my gelato I noticed a man dressed in clown make up holding balloons in his hand. He was greeting children who entered the restaurant and also talking to their parents. And he was staring at me! And I was alone! Headlines the next day...lonely tourist murdered by crazed clown with creepy smile on Via Cola di Rienzo in Rome.


When I was back in my hotel as I relaxed I texted Mark on my laptop. We laughed about the weird clown. I sent him a copy of the photo. We also had a laugh about the girl with her foot underneath her boyfriend while having dinner. And then just like the two previous nights Mark asked me if I had gone to Trastevere. And once more I had not gotten there yet.

Posted by littlesam1 17:37 Archived in Italy Tagged beer italy rome spanish_steps clowns hard_rock_cafe trevi_fountain bernini Comments (6)

In memory of my travel buddy Berni Shand

Thinking of Berni on her birthday and the life lessons she taught me.


Berni's original Virtual Tourist photo - my first memory of her

I had a very dear friend named Berni. She was a friend from the internet. We met on a travel web site. We talked on line for hours on end. She was a very funny lady and kept me laughing late into the night on many occasions. She loved to collect shoes. She had closets full of shoes. She also loved to travel. We laughed together, we shared secrets, we cried together. We had a perfect online friendship. Suddenly one day as we were talking she said to me "Larry I have just been diagnosed with cancer." I was speechless. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. When Berni lost her hair from her chemotherapy treatments I sent her a giant Maryland crab hat. I told her to wear it out in public so she would not attract attention to herself. She loved it. She told me she laughed for days over that silly hat. Everyone who came to visit her had to wear the crab hat and she would send me photos of them wearing the hat. I went to England to meet her and she was no longer able to wear her beloved high heeled shoes. She was in a wheel chair. But we laughed and had some wonderful party moments in London. Two years later she was near the end and I traveled to England to see her one last time. She was still so full of life. She and her husband had sold their home and possessions and traveled the last two years of her life. This last visit in London was not sad. We laughed and talked and enjoyed our time together. My last memory of her is seeing her husband Carl wheel her through the British museum in London. I was surprised as ill as she to see her going through the museum. She said to me I still want to learn. I never want to stop seeing something new. Even near death she still wanted to see and experience life.


When I was in Oslo Norway I saw this wonderful statue of a nude lady with red high heels. I immediately thought of Berni when I saw the shoes on the statue. Berni was very ill by this time. I took a picture and sent a copy to Berni. I labeled it Berni and Larry in Oslo. She replied back to me "Get your hands off my ass. Its cold back there." Oh how she made me laugh. I learned more about living from her those last few years than I had in a lifetime from any where else. One of the last times we spoke she was talking about traveling to Florida. She wanted to watch a space launch at Cape Kennedy. She never made it to Florida. I miss you Berni. But I know your still near wearing those high heels where ever you are and thinking about that still makes me me laugh.




With Berni and Carl

Posted by littlesam1 09:56 Comments (3)

O Solo A Roma - Alone in Rome

My first two days alone exploring Rome

View O Solo Roma July 2016 on littlesam1's travel map.


Just my cap on the bed. Alone at Hotel Relais dei Papi in Rome

I don't mind traveling alone. I've done it on many occasions. Mark and I had planned a trip to Rome. We were very excited about it. We have talked about it for years. I had never been to Rome. Mark had been in Rome when he was eighteen and traveled there with his sister when he graduated from high school. We really wanted to go together so he could show me all of the places he visited with his sister. His sister died very young in her forties. So there was a lot of nostalgia for him going back to Rome. Mark is Italian and he speaks Italian fluently. So I was also looking forward to watching him talk to the waiters and bartenders in Italian. We really had planned a very special and romantic vacation to Rome. But things don't always go as planned. Mark's parents were both elderly and having major health issues. Just a couple of weeks before our planned trip his father took very ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized. With only one child still living his parents needed him home so there is no way we could do the holiday together. Do to some complications with our travel insurance we were unable to cancel without losing a lot the money we had paid in advance. So we decided I would go alone to Rome and not lose the entire investment in the trip. I hated going without him and although not thrilled with losing the money on his part of the trip he was very supportive of me going. That brings me to this holiday in Rome I called The O Solo A Roma Trip.

Day One In Rome - Exploring the neighborhood

Rome had never been on one of my must see lists. I had not really thought much about Rome at all. I had lots of thoughts about Rome but they did not include visiting it. I had read many times online and in guide books that Rome is well know for petty theft and pick pockets. I had one friend who was in Rome for an extended period tell me how her husband was pick pocketed within an hour after arriving in Rome. She told me if you've never been pick pocketed then you've never been to Rome. I had also read it's always very crowded with tourists. There are lines for everything. So Rome was always on the back burner for me, someplace I would see someday but not today.

I was very conscious of being alone. With my history of bizarre accidents when I travel I was somewhat concerned what might happen to me if I had any problems and no one there with me. Suppose I tripped and injured myself, which I have done in the past. Suppose I do get pick pocketed and lose my credit cards? I would be alone with no one else near with money. So I was extremely cautious when I first arrived. Then I took a walk my first afternoon in Rome. Just a few blocks from my hotel I found Piazza del Popolo.




And with that Rome had captured me. I forgot all about my concerns and doubts. Rome was beckoning me. And then I saw this restaurant in the Piazza and they had this excellent wine and pizza.


At Trattoria Ciampini, First pizza in Rome and first of many glasses of wine for one

I returned to my room happy and full. I was ready to conquer Rome. And then I realized I had lost my credit card. My first day. The art, the piazza, the pizza, the wine. It all distracted me. I let down my guard. It all worked out though. It was my error not Romes. I immediately called my credit card company and notified them and then went on to my back up credit card the rest of the trip. Then before falling asleep I texted Mark to let him know about my first day adventures He asked me if I had gone to Trastevere, his favorite section of Rome. I had not. So he said make sure to get there tomorrow.

Day Two - My first full day in Rome. St, Peter's Square. Food and Selfie Sticks


My second day in Rome I walked to St. Peters Square. It was only a few blocks from my hotel which was convenient for me. I was expecting massive crowds. I went early and it was not crowded at all. I had plenty of time and space for photos and selfies. You never quite get over that first glimpse of St. Peters Basilica.

Everywhere I looked there were sculptures. There were nuns. There were Swiss guards in colorful uniforms. It truly was awe inspiring




Leaving St. Peter's Square it was time for some lunch. I found a small restaurant just across the river from Vatican City called Mela Stregata, Mela stranslates to apple and the pizzeria was decorated with a Disney Snow White Theme dealing with the evil queen and the apple. Not what I was expecting in Rome near the Vatican but interesting to say the least.


So there I sat surrounded by Snow White's woods drinking wine and eating lasagna.


The lasagna was very good. So I guess Snow White must have a little Italian in her ancestry. Leaving the restaurant I had a car stop next to curb and the driver called out to me. He asked for help locating something on his map. I had just been approached by my first scam artist in Rome. He offered me a leather coat from his store in Paris if I would be kind enough to help him locate a near by location on his map. Luckily for me this was the only scam artist I would see in Rome.

Castel Sant'Angelo was also nearby so this was my next stop. The views from the top of the castle were amazing.


Castel Sant'Angelo


Flemish sculptor Pieter Van Verschaffelt's bronze angel on top of Castel Sant'Angelo


Viewing the River Tiber from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo


Viewing Vittoriano from the top of Castel Saint'Angelo

There was a small cafe inside the Castel Sant'Angelo. And yes they did have wine.


I did see some unusual things my second day in Rome. Nothing too shocking but still interesting.

I saw a bear begging for money near Castel Sant'Angelo


I saw a man napping on a bench with a rubber duck on his stomach


And I saw a blonde baby Jesus in a shop window.


Because I was alone I made sure to take my selfie stick with me to make sure I could get photos of myself during the day I had a great deal of fun with it. I know they drive people crazy when you are in crowded tourist areas trying to use a selfie stick. But I am a tourist. And i was alone. So I ignored everyone who was offended. My first tries with the selfie stick came out a little awkward. Yes I know you are not supposed to see the stick in the photo. But I was just getting the hang of using it. I got better as the week progressed.



I was still a little jet lagged from the time change so I had an early dinner before returning to my room for an early sleep. I had supper at Pizzeria San Marco. This was located very near my hotel. I had a delicious pasta with cheese and bacon and some wine of course. For dessert I had an excellent panacota with another shot of grappa. A pattern is forming here. Good food, good wine, and a shot of grappa to end my day.


I ended my day back in my room. I took some time to text with Mark and tell him all about my day and what I had seen. He had lots of questions and was very excited for all I had seen. He asked me again did you go to Trastevere. I had not. He insisted that I make sure to go there. We had this same conversation every evening when we chatted. After talking to Mark I reviewed my thoughts on the day and I was glad to find that I had not lost any credit cards. I had avoided getting ripped off by the con artist with the leather coats. And then I looked at my camera bag and there was no selfie stick attached. I had lost it. My first full day in Rome and my selfie stick was gone.

Posted by littlesam1 08:20 Archived in Italy Tagged italy rome wine the_tiber grappa castel_sant'angelo selfie selfie_stick the_vatican Comments (8)

Honeymooning in Hawaii with Elvis and Dennis The Menace

Everything I need to know about Hawaii I learned from Elvis and Dennis the Menace

View Larry and Mark Go Hawaiian - Sept 2013 on littlesam1's travel map.


I am a child of the 1950's. I was born in 1952. There were only forty eight states in 1952. I entered the first grade in September 1958 at the age of five. I turned six while in first grade. Hawaii became the fiftieth state on August 21, 1959 just two weeks before I entered the second grade. So in 1959 when I was in the second grade the addition of two new states, Alaska and Hawaii, was something exciting. At the age of six I became fascinated with our new fiftieth state. I can remember going home from school all excited and asking my parents when were we going to be able to visit the new fiftieth state of Hawaii. We were a working class family. My father was a heavy equipment operator and drove a tractor and trailer for the Department of Defense. We lived in a rented house in a small town in Maryland. Hawaii was in a different world from us. My sister was just born in 1959. My father, who was taught by his mother to use a sewing machine, made my mother's maternity clothes for her to save money. We weren't poor but we did not have a lot money for extras. Vacation meant driving down the street to Jeff Baldwin's boat dock and talking our little boat out to the "flats" just off the city park in Havre de Grace, Maryland to go swimming on Saturday afternoons. The closest I got to Hawaii was getting my parents to buy me the comic book Dennis In Hawaii - congratulations to our 50th State.

I must have read that comic over one hundred times. Dennis and his family flew on Pan American Airlines to Hawaii. Dennis yells to the taxi driver taking them to the airport "We're going to Honey Lulu". This little boy wanted to go to Honey Lulu also. Dennis got to go to Oahu or "Wahoo" as he called it. He saw a heavy lady in a moo moo and asked his mother if it meant moo moo like in cow. He went to Pearl Harbor, and even though he was too young to understand, he still got teary eyed at Pearl Harbor. Dennis got to taste poi at a luau and thought it tasted like school paste. Dennis even included a glossary of Hawaiian words for me to learn and practice saying.


Two years later, in 1961, the new state of Hawaii was still big news. Hollywood was making movies about the new fiftieth state. Surfing was becoming a new fascination. Movies set on the beaches of Hawaii were very popular with the small town Saturday afternoon matinee kids. And who else, but Elvis Presley, would capitalize on it it best. I still had my Dennis the Menace comic book, but now Elvis now brought Hawaii to life on the big screen. I saw the movie Blue Hawaii at the State Theater in my little home town on a Saturday afternoon. From the moment I saw the opening credits and the view of Diamond Head my fascination with Hawaii grew even stronger. As you can see above those opening credits still make me smile.

Now I just had to go to Hawaii. Elvis was there. He sang on the beach. He surfed. He rebelled against his parents. He got married and sang the beautiful Hawaiian Wedding Song on a canal in Kauai. I learned about luau's and what the words hooki lau meant from Elvis. What I did not learn from Dennis, Elvis taught me.

Hawaii did not become a reality for me for many years. My best friend from high school and I talked about going to Hawaii after we graduated. I started to save some money for the trip. World travel and tourism was still in it's infancy in 1970. So the thought of going to Hawaii was a real fantasy for us at the time. In reality my best friend got married and I used my savings to go to college. Hawaii remained in the world of Dennis the Menace comic books and Elvis Presley movies for me.

I had two other opportunities to go to Hawaii over the years, but both times they did not happen. One of the planned trips was going to allow me to stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel where Gidget and her family stayed in the movie Gidget Goes Hawaiian. But Hawaii was still a fantasy for me and would continue beckoning me in the future.

In 2013 I started thinking about Hawaii again. I had long lost my Dennis Goes to Hawaii comic book. However with the technology of Ebay, I found an original copy of the comic book at a price much higher than the original twenty five cents. But I wanted it. When it arrived I was a kid again exploring Hawaii with Dennis and the Mitchell family. The Elvis movie Blue Hawaii had been in my DVD collection for many years. It still fascinated and inspired me, even with it's cheesy dialogue and plot. I was getting older and knew I still wanted to see Hawaii but wanted to go before I was too old to enjoy it. I wanted to go before I needed a cane or walker. So sixty seem liked a good age to finally visit the island paradise.


Little did I realize at the young age of six that fifty four years later I would finally get to visit Hawaii. And I would not need Dennis' glossary of Hawaiian words because I would be going to "Honey Lulu", as Dennis called it, with my husband Mark who is a linguistics master. Same sex marriage had just been legalized in our state of Maryland and we decided to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We had not traveled for two years, which was an eternity for us. We had recently bought a new house, but we unable to Mark's previous house, so we were paying two mortgages for over a year until his house was sold. Much like my parents, we did not have a lot of extra cash for traveling at this time. But with the sale of his house and now being married the chance of a Hawaiian honeymoon was becoming a reality.

I was a little nervous about finally going to Hawaii. I had such high expectations and was afraid I would be disappointed. I love to travel, but I hate touristy places where nothing is authentic. I love to meet locals, explore foreign cultures, and learn lots of history. Hawaii was touristy. Some places were not authentic. But there was so much more to see and explore than I had expected. When I returned home with over a thousand photos I was overwhelmed at what I had seen and learned. When my daughter came to visit and to see my photos I broke out the Dennis the Menace comic book and showed her how I had followed Dennis The Menace's adventures and she was amazed that I had been able to recapture Dennis' trip all these years late. . I showed her where Dennis had visited and where I had visited. Everything I had learned from Dennis was still there.

As I slowly labeling and organizing my photos after I returned I often had Elvis's Blue Hawaii on my big screen TV. Along with my guide books, notes I wrote, and Dennis's guides, I also have Elvis's travelogue to be my companion in remembering the details of the vacation. Elvis wore a blue Hawaiian shirt on the movie poster and sound track album cover to Blue Hawaii. Can you guess what color shirt I bought in Hawaii to wear to the luau?


I will close this with words from Dennis the Menace and the Mitchell family on the last page of the comic book.


Posted by littlesam1 14:01 Archived in USA Tagged honeymoon elvis oahu hawaii statehood honolulu blue_hawaii dennis_the_menace Comments (5)

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