Monday, October 31, 2011

The USS Iowa

The USS Iowa, a World War II-era battleship, whose speed, armor and 16-inch guns made its name as "The Big Stick" of the U.S. Navy, began the first leg of its final mission Thursday, departing a mothball mooring in Suisun Bay, California.

Representing the peak of naval military power in an era from Franklin Roosevelt to George H.W. Bush, the Iowa was nudged by tugs from its decade-long spot amid the Navy's fleet of retired ships.
The Iowa, the lead ship of its class of the biggest, fastest and most powerful battleships ever to sail, is also the last battleship to find a permanent spot for retirement. Its sister ships are museums: the Missouri, at Pearl Harbor; the Wisconsin, in Norfolk, Va., and the New Jersey, in Camden, N.J. The Navy no longer has battleships in its fleet. This is the world's last battleship's final voyage.  

·         Nine 16-inch, 50-caliber guns, capable of firing shells weighing a ton or more for 20 miles
·         Three, three-gun turrets
·         Its speed, firepower and special angled armor were achievements at the time unmatched by other nations
·         The Iowa was commissioned in February 1943 and deployed to the Atlantic and then the Pacific 
·         President Franklin Roosevelt traveled on it en route to a conference with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin.
·         The Navy installed an elevator and bathtub for Roosevelt, who used a wheelchair. The tub and captain's wardroom where he stayed were the main attractions for the few workers and visitors allowed on board Thursday. This is the only battleship ever equipped with a bathtub.
·         The ship weighs 45,000 tons, is 887 feet long and 108 feet wide. It could travel at up to 38 mph and displaces 38 feet of water, leaving only inches to spare in parts of Thursday's journey.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Travel Gadgets

We all travel with gadgets...some we use, others we don't. Recently I read a post on Budget Travel about some gadgets to take next time you travel.

A mini power strip helps you plug in your phone, laptop, iPod, etc. all in the same place. You will only take up one plug in spot in airports and everything will be plugged in in one spot in your hotel room.

How many travel mugs do you have? Think about packing one of them to keep your sunglasses from getting squashed, holding delicate souvenirs or a place to store extra cash if your hotel room does not have a room safe.

Safety pins double as a multi-functional travel tool. They can be used to clasp zippers of your day pack together to deter thieves, replace a button or zipper pull, hold torn clothing together or hem your skirt. And they take up so little room.

Light weight tote bags work for shopping, picnics, the beach or dirty laundry. Check out greenbaglady.blogspot to get ideas for other uses and perhaps qualify for one.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sleepy Night

This post has nothing to do with travel...unless Myron took a trip and now has to catch up on his sleep.

 Perhaps he is exhausted from writing his latest book. Watch for it soon...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

San Francisco

Last Sunday in San Francisco was the perfect day to ride the cable cars.

Also a great day to shop for flowers at the farmer's market by City Hall.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Traveling With a Smart Phone

A recent Rick Steves travel post indicated that by the end of 2011 half of all American mobile phone users will have a smartphone. Why? They are becoming essential tools for traveling.

Do you use one when you travel? Why or why not?

After all, you could record a video and post it to your Facebook page. You could check in online for your next flight, talk to someone half way around the world connected to Wi-Fi via Skype, or find out how traffic is in San Francisco. Maybe you have the travel ap for the city or country you will be visiting. Guide books are great resources, but your phone is easier to carry.

Need a hotel reservation on short notice? Want to figure out train schedules? Perhaps you want to ask a question in a language you normally do not speak. Need a subway map? Use your smartphone.

Likewise, when in Europe your smartphone is great as a travel tool. It's probably not something you want to use as a phone, however. Calls can be expensive. Talk to your carrier about international plans before you go. That way you will know what your charges will add up to while you are gone.