Wednesday, October 3, 2007

People You Meet While Traveling

I want to do a blog about some of the interesting people we met on this trip. So here goes a blog about some great folks we met on this trip.

1. The couple from Orlando, Florida that we met in Plains, GA. They were dressed as Thing One and Thing Two from Cat In The Hat because there son works for a Universal Studios Resort in Orlando. And what do Orlando folks do for vacation plans? This couple was heading to the great state of Arkansas to do the springs and spas. Who knew?

2. The two English couples we met at the Hay House in Macon, GA who had just toured Charleston and Savannah, GA. They told us that they just rolled their eyes when their tour guides in Charleston and Savannah spoke about how old these cities were. They said to us----you want to see old---come to England and experience things overs 1000 years old. Oh, and all of them were reading Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

3. The World War II navy veteran we met in Tallahassee, FLA. He told me that his ship was at the last land battle of the Pacific: the Battle of Okinawa and I told him that I had taught for DODs on Okinawa. This man said that his ship then went to Hiroshima where they waited for Admiral Halsey to show up. They spent the time waiting firing on targets of the city and he said he was amazed that they successfully hit 24 out 25 targets. Then his ship was the first ship to land and enter Hiroshima after the atom bomb was dropped. Three days after the bomb was dropped he and the other sailors from his ship were walking in downtown Hiroshima and were aware of the strange sensation of their clothes sticking to their bodies. The after effects of the bombing and radiation in the air. He said that there were over 270 men on that ship and only one man on that ship was able to conceive a child after the war was over. And that that one child that was conceived was greatly deformed. So sad. We need to remember the consequences of nuclear bombs.

5. The concierge man at Saratoga Springs Resort who struck up a long conversation with us after we mentioned that we had taken a cruise to Alaska and that Jack had worked in Anchorage for Army Audit. He talked about how very expensive Alaska is today for living. That's why he now lives in Orlando. He also told us about how you can get picked up for driving too slow on one Alaskan highway. He says that when he is back in Alaska he drives 120 miles per hour on this road to avoid getting a ticket.

6. The man from Morocco that we met at the Marrakesh Restaurant in the Moroccan Pavilion at EPCOT. He was our waiter and we had a great discussion about gender and the Muslim religion. He also spoke of how Morocco is very enlightened and gets along well with the minority Jewish population in Morocco.

7. The Englishman from Manchester who told us that Americans are spoiled when it comes to gas prices. In England as well as other European Union countries the average price for a gallon of gas is around $8.50!

8. The Canadian lady from Ottawa who spoke about how diverse Canada is becoming, especially the city of Toronto.

9. The young mother who was doing Disney with a seven week old baby boy and a two year old girl! What a patient sweet young momma she was. And get this: she was taking both kids on a kiddie ride while her husband did the roller coasters!

10. Our tour guide at the Harry P. Leu Home and Gardens. We discovered that we both are former DODs teachers. Then we discovered that we both taught in Germany as well as Okinawa. Then we discovered that we both had taught first grade at Zukeran Elementary on Okinawa! In 1968 I was at Zukeran. In 1990 she was at Zukeran. When she learned that we were from Northern Virginia she mentioned that she taught in Germany with a retired Fairfax County teacher. When she mentioned Mrs. Montgomery and her husband Charles Jack and I just about fell on the floor because they were our neighbors who lived across the stem from us in Burke Centre in the early 1980's. In fact, this lady was meeting Mrs. Montgomery on Tuesday in Phoenix to tour and attend an elder hostel program. We told her to tell Mrs. Montgomery hello for us and of course we exchanged phone numbers and email addresses so that we can keep in touch. She told me that I must attend a DODs teachers annual convention soon. I said I would.

11. Mark, the Disney backstage tour guide, that I wrote about in another blog this week.

13. The family from Dayton, Ohio who sat next to us at the Aloha Dinner.
I was surprised to learn that they had heard of Russia, Ohio and that it was sometimes pronounced Roo shee.

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