MILITARY HOPS
                                   
GAZETTE

 Ed Prifogle
ed
 1185 Narragansett Blvd
 Suite 106, Cranston RI
02905   401-785-0411\                                          
DECEMBER  29, 2004         NO. 15                                                                                                                                                                       
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Letter from the Editor

The Military and Veterans Travel Planner 

     a. Assists 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 then can prepare a detailed travel planning document  to enrich their travel experience and save them time, effort and money.

    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.

   c. 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.
 

Start by viewing  Mimi's Web Cams

and the following travel sites:


TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Year in Review
  2. The Desmonds
  3. Favorite Links
  4. Favorite Space A Trip Report

1. Year in Review

I 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. With 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 list  below.

I was pleasantly surprised when the web site 
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.

Ed Prifogle


2. The Desmonds

family
Left to right
Lower:My daughter, Katherine, granddaughter, Mary (violinist)
Upper: Bill, Bill jr. (singer and drums), and Casey.
(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,  guitarist, and song writer. She still sings, plays keyboards and guitar with her husband Bill Desmond's outrageous iconoclastic band,  The Bentmen. 

Click here to listen to Kathy and Bill "sing" a Bentmen favorite, Immaculate Contraption.

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 this song 24 years ago. I know you will enjoy it.



k1

Casey

Another highlight of this year for me was listening to my granddaughter, cg
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 Site 





3. Favorite Links

Reference Desk
A complete 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
Gives  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.

Middle East 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 Islamic world.

Humorous Daily Videos
Contains funny videos mostly about the young population and adds new videos daily.

Netscape Feedroom
 Provides video clips of current events, movies, business news, fashion, the War in Iraq, and many others.

BBC Travel Preparation Check List
Lists the things you should do prior to travelling.

Yahoo World Cities Travel Guide
 Provides comprehensive travel information about all of the world's cities and countries.

           








4. My Favorite Space A Trip Report

AUSTRALIAN TRIP REPORT (SYDNEY) BY BILL MATHEWS WITH JACK DOSHIER

Posted by Bill Mathews (4.35.129.221) on November 20, 2001 at 13:07:58:

On everybody's list for 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.

Our 2nd try was a flight 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.

A few unusual SpaceAer's 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.

After Mon. arrival at 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)

We stayed in the small 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.

Tuesday we took the 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.

Sydney is a very modern 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.

Wed. we got a late start 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.

When we called the RAAF 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".

Then we returned for the 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.

The C5 was fixed and we 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.

Our original 1 1/2 day 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 - traveling SpaceA.



G'day Mate!



                                                                                         Previous Issues
Original Newsletter
Space A Outing -Charleston AB
Aviano Info and Battlefield Tours
European Art Museums
European Trains/Airlines and The Perils of Louise
Travel to Crete and Greece
Dano's  Adventure Part 1
Wonders of the world
European Airlines and Trains(re-issue)
Traveling the Virtual World
Wonders of the World-Enhanced Version
Australia. NZ and South and Central America
Central and Eastern European Countries
South Asia