BACK TO THE U.S.A and CALIFORNIA
We really enjoyed being in Cuba, but there is always a
time one must leave. Just before we
did leave, Castro became our enemy and the gates to the road to the beaches were
closed and locked. A lot of the
workers were starting to wonder how this was going to affect them.
But Castro wanted the dollars, so the Cubans kept their jobs on the base.
We flew from Guantanamo to Jacksonville, FL.
Carl watching the clouds on the flight
Van put us on the train to Eglin Air Force Base, to my brother Bill and
Dorisí residence on the base. Then
Van took a train to Miami to pick up our car and meet us within the week at
Billís. The train ride was longer
than I thought. We were to arrive about eleven oíclock at night.
The kids were fast asleep so when it was time I woke them up.
But the train kept on going passed the time. Finally, a conductor came
through and I questioned him. He
apologized for not coming through
the train sooner to inform me that there would be a time change.
I didnít know whether to let the kids go back to sleep or not and they
did. The conductor did come back to tell me when it was almost time for our stop.
Bill was at the station when we arrived and took us bag and baggage to his home. We were all so tired; we were ready to go to bed. Doris had everything all planned out for us and was happy we got there safely. It was 3 or 4 days before Van arrived with the car. They took us sight seeing around the base. Eglin Air Base is huge. Bill was working in construction on the side and he showed us some the houses he helped build. We didnít stay but a very few days. The children played well together. Bill, Jr. was the same age as Carl and Joey was almost two years old. Doris got word that her mother was coming down to visit. So we decided to be on our way West.
The children traveled very well. They kept themselves busy either watching the scenery or playing games. They knew that I still didnít feel too good, so they behaved. We would stop often, so they could run around and unwind. We did have to stop for lunch and dinner. Dinner was the biggest problem, ordering food that the kids would like. When we stopped at New Orleans one night, the food was terrible. The potatoes were very soupy and didnít taste that good. The coffee was worse, we couldnít drink it. To make matters worse, it was January and it got dark very early. We had trouble finding a place to eat and now everyone was sleepy. We decided to find a motel. They were little cabins with a place to park the car. Van would go in to register and check out the beds to make sure they were clean and no bugs. The kids all had one bag with nightclothes and a few changes in them. So they all could get ready by themselves, with a little help from me. Van was very good with them.
On the days that followed, we decided to find a grocery store and get some essentials for lunch and snacks. That worked out well for lunch and play time when we stopped along the road. But at dinnertime, we needed a hot meal. We discovered that ďa hot turkey sandwichĒ was just the thing. It had hot turkey on a slice of bread, with mashed potatoes. The kids loved it, so that was the main order every night on the trip.
The view along the Gulf of Mexico was just beautiful. The road stayed pretty close to the water until we reached Texas. We stopped to visit the Alamo, which looked just like it did after the war with Davie Crockett. We also visited the River Walk. The river ran right through San Antonio and the city had sidewalks built on both sides of the river with benches for relaxing. They were beginning to build hotels and stores on both sides (we often thought it could be a wonderful idea for the San Diego river).
After we left San Antonio, we drove through a sand storm. It was pretty bad. You could taste the sand in your coke. It finally ended and we stopped to get some fresh air and shake some of the sand out of the car and off of us. We had lots of mountains to climb and the sand dunes were quiet when we drove by them in California. Luckily, we didnít have any car problems with the car on this trip and we were getting closer to our destination, San Diego.