from the Editor
The Military and Veterans Travel
travellers (primarily military, retirees, veterans and their
families) in planning their next trip by first viewing it on the
internet and experiencing it in the virtual world. The viewer
can prepare a
detailed travel planning document to enrich their travel
experience and save them time, effort and
b. Gives the
cyber-traveller the opportunity to learn
about current news, world travel and vicariously experience
sights, sounds and events in the virtual world.
Allows me to enrich the
life of others by showcasing the talents of my wonderful musical family.
d, Focuses my life work in a
creative enriching direction.
View the material below to learn more about
the countries, how to get there, where to stay, dining and major
attractions. For US military base and lodging information in foreign
countries, view the Military
Living Web Site and Handbooks.
viewing Mimi's Web Cams
and the following travel sites:
- Year in Review
- The Desmonds
- Favorite Space A Trip
1. Year in Review
am proposing to the Deptment of Veterans Affairs to integrate
the site information as part of the Independent Living program for
severely disabled veterans. to show them how to do email, access
the internet, do on line shopping, pay their bills, seek medical
assistance, and use their computer as an entertainment center doing
virtual tours, watching movies and TV . and listening to music.
training in voice recognition software even the most severely
handicapped veteran will be able to enjoy these features.
I have spent considerable rewarding time this
year training a paralyzed
man on how to use voice recognition commands to access the internet and
write email. I know he would appreciate receiving emails from you. (He
needs the Practice). His
name is Mike Francis, and his email address is Mike's EMAIL.. I also having
been emailing a 20 year old young man currently serving
with the US Army in Iraq.
His name is Ken Adamo. His email is Ken's EMAIL.
The last four newsletters provides
information on areas
of the world that are less frequented by Space A travelers. Check ther
I was pleasantly surprised when the web
Widders.com granted my
site THE TOP SITE OF THE DAY award. They further honored
the site by giving
it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED status.
Hoping and praying for a rewarding year in 2005 for me and you.
2. The Desmonds
Lower:My daughter, Katherine,
granddaughter, Mary (violinist)
Upper: Bill, Bill jr. (singer and drums), and
(Izzy the dog has learned to howl in the key of C.)
I am such a blessed man to have such a
talented musical family. I occasionally forget that
Casey's mother, my daughter, Katherine, is a very gifted singer,
song writer. She still sings, plays keyboards and guitar with her
Bill Desmond's outrageous iconoclastic band, The
here to listen to Kathy and Bill "sing" a Bentmen favorite, Immaculate
Here is a picture of Kathy when she was 18 playing with the Modern
Electrics . Click this
picture or link below to listen to her song, --one of my
favorites-- Love or Money. She sang
song 24 years ago. I know you will enjoy it.
highlight of this year for me was listening to my granddaughter,
Casey Desmond's music, and watching her perform her
music throughout New England. She started
college this year, and recently completed a new album . Click here to listen to many
of Casey's original songs. Her new web
site is Casey Desmond's Web
reference desk. It includes information on just
about everything including current events, almanacs, all the
newspapers, and periodicals, travel information, museums, government
departments, Congress etc.
TV and Radio World
access to just about every radio and TV station
throughout the world including live broadcasts.
Veterans Travel Site
Provides a great deal
of comprehensive travel information
and discounts for the veterans and military.
News and Events
Updated several times
daily provides the user with all the current information
about the War in Iraq, the
Arab/Israeli Conflict, and other news and events occuring in the
Humorous Daily Videos
videos mostly about the young population and adds new videos daily.
Provides video clips of
current events, movies, business news, fashion, the War in Iraq, and
Travel Preparation Check List
Lists the things
you should do prior to travelling.
World Cities Travel Guide
travel information about all of the
world's cities and countries.
4. My Favorite Space
A Trip Report
TRIP REPORT (SYDNEY) BY BILL MATHEWS WITH JACK DOSHIER
Mathews (126.96.36.199) on November 20, 2001 at 13:07:58:
SpaceA Travel is a trip to Australia. Jack Doshier and I left Ft. Worth
NAS, TX Nov 3, on a C40, our "second try" to get to Australia from
Hickam AFB, HI. Our first try was on Sep 28 and resulted in overnights
at Hickam and San Diego as the C141 & C17 flights we hoped to catch
from Travis through Hickam to Richmond, Australia did not take any
passengers (we did have our Australian Electronic Visas, which Hickam
requires; I got mine from AAA at no charge). So we returned to Ft.
Worth on the same C40.
2nd try was
from Ft. Worth NAS to Hickam scheduled Sat., Nov 3. We then found a C5
flight on Friday, going from Travis to Hickam and Richmond, Australia
with 73 seats. So we headed from Ft Worth to catch the flight at Hickam
with a 10pm show time. This worked as we were going with the sun, and
arrived Hickam at 2pm, enough time to go in to Honolulu for the
evening, before we caught our flight to Richmond,near Sydney. There
were 35 pax. for the 73 available seats on the C5, so got to sleep
(using 3 seats) on the 5 1/2 hr leg to Pago Pago and then 6 hrs to
Australia, arriving 2pm the next day, Monday. Very nice, uneventful
flight. The plane went on to Alice Springs and would stay at Richmond
for 2 nights, where we hoped to take this C5 back to Hickam and Travis.
This was not a long time inAaustralia, but a guarantee to get back to
the USA as we didn't want to wait another week for the next Wed. flight
to Hickam/Travis, which
could be cancelled.
on the C5 flight. Two retired couples had been to Australia 3 times
this year. Also, one lady who has been traveling for 7 months and
seemed ready to go home.... but her husband and old Navy Sub. man,
wanted to keep going....He was 78 and in great shape; she was 62 and
was not a happy camper.
Richmond, we had to walk to the RAAF Gate, where we met a cab to take
us to our motel in Richmond. We stayed at the Colonial Motel, near the
train station,for $96AUS/night ($48USD). We ate fish and chips for
dinner and took the train, 1 1/2 hr to Sydney, and walked around the
Circular Quay and Opera House areas. Then took the 8pm boat cruise
around the Sydney Harbor and saw the city lights, an amazing site...
then back to the motel for a real "bed". (Note: The exchange rate is $
2 AUS for $1 USD)
stayed in the
town, Richmond, near the RAAF Base. It is very quaint and everybody is
friendly. Walked to the downtown from our motel and had breakfast in a
local cafŽ daily. Got to be part of the "local scene". Saw another
SpaceAer from our C5 and he wastrying to find a military flight to New
Zealand, but had given up and will buy a commercial ticket. Everywhere
we go everyone says travel and vacationing is way off in Australia,
more than 50% and they are hurting for business. Commercial flight to
NZ is about $400AUS return.
train back to Sydney using a Day Tripper Train Pass: $13AUS Adult Fare
and $2AUS Over 65 Fare, if you can get them to honor your Medicare
Card, which worked (one of us) 2 of our 4 days. We visited the Chinese
Garden and Darling Harbor area. Then in the afternoon we took the ferry
across from Sydney to the Taronga Zoo to see the koalas and echidnas,
and wombats and other strange animals. Later in the afternoon we took
the bus to the Bondi Beach area and walked the beach and had a great
steak dinner for $13AUS at a street-side CafŽ, owned by an former
Israeli, who has lived in Sydney 17 years.
is a very
city, but the little towns 70 km out look like the town I grew up in
the 1940-50's, very quaint with porch roofs on the front of buildings
over the sidewalks. Very old fashion looking, but very nice. The people
seemed to know me because they called me "mate", or think I know how to
"sail". They are very helpful, but talk funny. I asked them if I talked
funny to them, and they said "very".... They also drive on the wrong
side of the road, so we had to be careful when we crossed the street as
cars were coming from everywhere. Spring was in Australia, flowers were
in bloom. Weather is 80 days/60 nights.
we got a
and had breakfast at the local Cafe in Richmond and talked to the
locals for an hour or so. One lady told us to take the train North and
we would visit a nice quaint town called Berowra.. We rode 1 1/2 hrs
and got off and had to walk a mile to the town (missed the local bus)
and then could not find anything but a small shopping center. The local
"Chemist" laughed when we said we came to visit their town and wanted
to know what to see. Everybody laughed in the store. I told him we were
from Dallas and said "you know J.R. don't you".. that is a real ice
breaker as they all do know J.R. ("reruns")... They all said "nothing
to do in their town but there was a scenic drive outside of town", but
we did not have time for that as we had to leave in 1 hr.. So a local
mother (2 kids, 1 a 12 yr old in local school) said she would drive us
to the local overlook and show us a pretty site where she goes when she
needs "quiet Mommy time". Nice or her and we went to this Park for 15
min. to see a great overlook of the start of the Blue Mts. Then she
took us to the train station for the ride back to Sydney. The people
are great and really friendly. In Sydney we then took the ferry ride to
Marley Beach, a famous spot the surfer and tourists go, and walked
around and fed the birds. Then back to Sydney (30 min. boat ride) and
went back to the Rocks area (Old Town) for dinner with George the
Greek, who came to Sydney in 1960 and opened a restaurant. George was
great and we had a lot of laughs. We did not know him until we asked
the waitress who owned the place and she said George and that he was
Greek. We said we loved Greeks and the "rest was history" as he came
out and spent the meal with us, even gave us a jar of his "home grown"
olives to take with us. Then we went (now 9pm) to the Kings Cross area
to walk around and found an Internet Cafe, which is cheap to use and
located everywhere in Australia ... about $ 3 AUS for an hour.
Base on Wed. at 10am (you call between 10-11am for "Roll Call") they
said the C5 was delayed a day and will now leave Thurs at 9pm. So we
could then take a train Thursday to the Blue Mountain area, which is
very pretty like our Smoky Mts. They were not to far from Richmond. We
rode the double deck bus to most of the Blue Mt. sites and took the
train and local bus back to Windsor, near Richmond, in order to try out
the Windsor RSL (Returned & Services League) Club's food. Food was
great and cheap $5AUS. All in all the delay made just enough time to
see most of the sites in Sydney and the surrounds. Was starting to be a
"not to shabby of a trip".
flight Thurs. night there was another repair delay until Friday night.
We then found another, better hotel, The New Inn Motel, also near
downtown Richmond for $82 AUS for 2 people. It was new and very nice
(not on the AMC/Richmond RAAF brochure). This gave us another day
(Friday) back in Sydney to again go to Manly Beach for lunch and take a
trip to Paddy's Market for some great and inexpensive shopping that we
had forgotten to do. We arrived back at Richmond 6pm and went to the
Richmond RSL Club for dinner, another very nice club (food, bar, and
gambling) that you can enter by showing your Military ID Card. We had
dinner with 2 new friends we met for the C5 flight back to HI, who live
(3 months at a time on a visa) in the Gold Coast (Brisbane area),
Australia. They said it is very cheap to retire to Australia.
C5 was fixed
departed Richmond around 11pm Friday. After a 3 hr. stop in Pago Pago
we were back at Hickam Sat. afternoon. We got a room at the Hickam
Royal Alakai Inn, on a "walk up" basis only, using a rental car one of
the guys on the flight rented. Had dinner down town at the Hale Koa
Hotel and back for much needed sleep and off to Travis AFB Sat. at
11am. Arrived Travis AFB, CA late Sat. and again found a "walk up" only
room at the Travis Westward Inn , a longer walk from the terminal. Then
a 3:30am show for a 7am MedEvac flight to Kelly (C9 that we hoped to
catch). We arrived Kelly Sun at 2:30pm and drove a rental car back to
the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, a 4 hr. drive.
trip ended up 5 days in Sydney, which is a great city. Nothing like
SpaceA to make your visit challenging and most unexpected. We plan to
return next spring (their fall) with our wives. This is an amazing and
safe place to visit, if you have time and luck -