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Tag Archives: travel

(1 of 2) Scheveningen, Den Haag (The Hauge), NL

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After Rome, we moved to The Hauge, Holland.

It took awhile for my folks to find a suitable place to live, and then even longer to TOTALLY remodel the place before we move in.

In the interim, we stayed at the Kurhaus Hotel, Scheveningen, which is located right on the North Sea coast.

The staff all knew we were there on an extended stay; and they truly went out of the way to make us feel at home.

A couple of the memorable memories for me was when one of them took me up inside the dome; and another was a quick tour in the kitchen. I remember I was given a pasty as a treat; and THEN having the gall to ask for another; and YES, they gave me one!

“Aan de medewerkers van de het Kourhaus, ik dank u hartelijk voor uw vriendelijkheid!”


Our ’55 Christmas Card, was taken at …

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‘touristy’ Volendam.

After Rome it was on to the Hague.

Most of my Dad’s coworkers elected to live in ‘Americanish’ suburban Wassenaar, but my folks wanted to live in a more typical 50’s style Dutch neighborhood, and chose nearby Schevenigen.

Schevenigen is very nice community, and worth a visit. But fifty years ago, it was truly a wonderful place for a young American kid to live because there were so many cool places to ride our bikes including a very active ‘working’ fishing port just two blocks away, and the dunes and North Sea another block beyond.

The opposite direction was a little shopping street, where my Mom would go in one store for milk & eggs, and another for fruit & vegetables, and the best for last, the bakery. The Dutch to this day, make wonderful pastries.

Is it worth a trip to The Netherlands for the pastries?

Well, if you throw in some chocolates, absolutely!!

After returning to the States, a copy of this photo was on our wall, and my buddies would often ask if I REALLY wore these clothes to school?

C’mon now, how would you answer that?


’54 – the back of this photo …

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has in My Dad’s writing, “Rome – New Years’ Eve – ’54”

I know how my Mom could cook, so this had to be ‘only one of many’ tables laid out in preparation for the party.

Prior to Rome, if any us had broken a glass, plate, or whatever, it wouldn’t have been a good thing, right?

Well when this happened during 1953, it was met with a ‘no problem’, and then she would quietly say, “Great, we’ve got some more!!”


Well it turns out, my Mom had heard of an Italian tradition, possibly no longer followed, where the broken glass would be saved during the year, and be discarded at the sound of the New Year church bells. This of course would signify out with the old, in with the new, with hopes for even a better New Year.

And when I’m talking about discarding, I’m not talking about discarding into a dumpster, but ‘out the window’/ ‘off the balcony’!!

By this time, I was already (still am for that matter) in love with the Italians, but to see glass being thrown out of four and five story windows to the streets below. WOW!!!

Note: a few hours later, the streets were all clean, and you would never have known it had happened. That is, if you hadn’t seen it, or for that matter, heard it.

’52 – It was back to the Pacific Northwest

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After several years in Brazil, we returned to Tacoma, and of course would use this opportunity to visit with my Grandparents.

By this time I was truly bilingual, and would switch between English and Portuguese with ease, often in mid-sentence. I would speak to my family in English, but for some goofy-four-year-old-kid reasoning, I would speak to my Grandma ONLY in Portuguese, and it drove her KRAZY!!

She would scold my folks, “Oh you took little Jonnie away, and now look!”

Apparently I would laugh with delight when this happened, and my dumb trick ended as soon as they figured out what I was doing and stopped reacting/over-reacting.

Over the next few years before I lost my second language, I would make my Grandma laugh by answering her in Portuguese. Much to the chagrin of my older brothers, this would occasionally result in an extra cookie or two.

I was extraordinarily blessed to have had such a wonderful Grandma!

’51 – The back of this photo …

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Has in my Dad’s writing:

“Our Mountain Perch – Home Sweet Home”

The reason we went to Brazil, was because my Dad was a construction engineer. The project was a dam, somewhere in the hills above Rio.

As you can see, our company supplied housing wasn’t exactly palatial, but based on the family stories, we had a wonderful time. My parents loved the Brazilians and their enjoyment of life: music, dance, food, …

I understand the conditions at the camp were pretty basic, but the ‘grown-ups’ spare time was filled with pot-luck dinners, bridge games, dances, etc. As far as the kids, well ‘kids are kids’, so we had no trouble finding fun things to do.

I’m not sure how often it happened, but I know we’d drive into ‘town’ to shop and eat, and do all the touristy things: Ipanema, Corcovado & Pao de Acurcar, and Carnaval.

I don’t know when, but someday I would like to go back ‘home’, and I hope it’s during Carnaval.

’49 – Seattle Tacoma International Airport

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In 1942, construction started on a new international airport between Seattle and Tacoma.

The new airport dubbed Sea-Tac, was formally opened on July 9, 1949 (shown here).

The airport cost $11million and was opened free of debt.

Unted Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Pan American World Airways and Western Airlines started their service at Sea-Tac on the day of dedication.

Seattle PI Photo Gallery:

My Mom would say, “We flew Pan-Am out of TACOMA-Seattle the day they opened the new airport …”

Note: My Mom was a Tacoma-girl.

She would then laugh, because she knew it wasn’t ‘technically’ correct, would add, ” … and when we were walking out to the plane, a ‘flock’ of planes flew over”.

Until just now, I had no idea of how big the ‘flock’ was.

’49 – Front Row (Left)

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The photo was taken on the day we (my Mom, five-year and ten-year old brothers, and I) departed Tacoma, Washington, to meet my Dad who was already in Rio de Janeiro. It was my Mom’s FIRST flight, and for her to take two bratty-kids, and one very sweet baby, on a trip like this by HERSELF, speaks volumes about the fortitude of my Mother.

I of course don’t remember the flights, but I heard the story enough times to know the route went roughly: Seattle, Denver, Chicago, New York, Miami, Havana, Caracas, Recifie, and finally Rio. I also know the story had us laying over in Havana for a full day because of a hurricane.

My Mom said she was met with a kiss from my Dad, and the question, “How was the trip?”

Her answer was apparently, “Here, YOU take THEM!!”

She then proceeded to walk into the terminal, leaving my Dad trying to hold me, and keep an eye on two ‘very happy to be finally off the plane’ little boys.

They both laughed at my Mom’s telling of the story, but I knew from my Dad’s discomfort, there had to modicum of truth to the story.

Years and years later as age caught up to her, I could always make her ‘feel good’, by asking her to tell me the story of our trip to Brazil.

She always told it like it was the very first time, and as the years went on, the bratty kids were no longer so bratty, and the sweet baby, although hard to believe, became even sweeter.