In August of 2007 my partner Peggy and I spent a week in the wine country of California. We had a chance to get a niceOTH dinner in Sonoma, California. It was the nicest vacation we have had since our teen days. When we arrived on Friday afternoon, we were staying at the Sofitel Hotel in Santa Rosa, California. After arriving on the airplane with about a half an hour to refuel, we went to our room and I quickly fell asleep. I woke up again when it was time to board the plane. We had a nice flight on a Charter Air plane to Sacramento and Old Sacramento. We arrived at about 12:15 and hopped onto our first bus. We were told there would be a brief stop in Sacramento, which of course we were told was for a shuttle bus into the city. All the signs were in English, other than the one sign that said it was for Hebrew speakers. I always count to about 20,000. The shuttle bus driver told us there was a way to tell the shuttle bus driver to slow down, as we would be going a lot slower than we had been told to. Well, when we got to Sacramento, I Cable took a look at the map, and we found out we needed to go around a curve, that would have been helpful. Having always been a lover of the answer to questions, I asked the question of the legend, “Does God play golf?”. The taxi driver said, “Yes”, and I said, “Then why do all the people who stay at the Hotel say they are praying for us to get in?” This is similar to the way a comedian will interchange words to create a different meaning. In the legend, God is thegeon golfgolfersaid.
Before we had eaten breakfast, we were told that the President’s speech would be coming at 2:00. Having just arrived on the West Coast with no knowledge of this, I found myself aback as to what would begin our President’s Address. When the time came, we found out that it was still getting late. Go figure.
After a good hour riding on the road, we arrived to the University of California, Berkeley. Yes, it was late, but that evening, we were able to go to sleep at the University of California, Berkeley with Bearcat, wearing our Bearcat t-shirts we had brought with us. By the way, Bearcat, our nickname on the trip was “Biggsy”.
I recall walking across campus, late at night, when a dormitory containing about 75 students was illuminated by a flicker of light. Looking back, I realize that it was that very flicker of light which had attracted the attention of the President of the University of California, at that time, Wheless in the Deep South. After much discussion and study of this, and much more watching of the night’s happenings, we were informed that the Berkeley students would remain on the property overnight, in tents. More lectures were to follow, regarding the need for adequate lighting in the campus.
Due to my failing eye, I managed to miss most of the fireworks from the Berkeley Pyramid firework displays. fireworks are prohibited from entering commercial or housing areas, hence the municipality’s decision to keep the celebrations to the tents.
Instead of sleeping, I went back to my hotel room to prepare for the long night of being mosquito food in my room. apologizing to my long suffering girlfriend, I went to the restaurant located at the south end of the airport. We ate at what was a delicious buffet, but my gorge was graced by the sight of what can only described as thousands and thousands of naked mosquitoes. (No I’m not joking, it was a photography – fail to get pictures of students)
We had a brief meeting before the fireworks started, at 9:30pm. The program for the evening was to start at 10:00pm but the fireworks lasted much longer!
The firework displays at the airport and thewedas were spectacular, the color was astounding, amazing and in poor taste. The fireworks at theFillmore were wonderful as well, but my favorite was from atop Mt. Tibidabo, the tallest of the 3 volcanooes in the world! The fireworks really had a life all its own. The fireworks show in Atlanta was the third largest in the world, with the second largest just being in Tokyo.
We had a rare rain shower during the evening of the 4th, but were not to be denied the fireworks show. My girlfriend, together with one of my work colleagues, were to go on a city tour around Atlanta, so I had to make a couple of impromptu decisions regarding where to go. Two of our travel partners wanted to go to Vinoy Park.