International Travel in Time of Pandemic

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International travel at this time is challenging, but not insurmountable. However, if not vaccinated it is out of the question. Some web sites to review:

For Italy the following was required:

  • Mandatory proof of vaccination
  • Mandatory passenger locator form (PLF)*
  • Mandatory health pass for public activity- CDC Vaccination card accepted
  • Proof of COVID-19 test results required for vaccinated travelers – test must be administered within 48 hours of departure
  • Masks at all sites

Upon entry into Sicily there was a new regulation with a rapid screen required upon entry. This was free and available on airport grounds.

The proof of vaccination during this trip was more vital than passport. Ensure it is always with you.

*The PLF Form – Patient Locator Form

This Form needs completion prior to European travel. It is challenging to complete. Ensure you have your passport and all components of your travel itinerary before initiating this e form. Read instructions carefully and recommend having another set of eyes available during the completion. Carry copies of this form with you at all times and on your phone as well.

The purpose of this form is to facilitate contact tracing on exposed individuals. It is a vital public health document with cross boarder health threats.

Rapid Screen Testing

Rapid Screen Testing results are required and reviewed by airline staff during the check in process. These tests need completion 48 hours prior to flight. You will not be allowed on the plane should you not have this completed. Bring paper copies and download on your phone as well.

Shop around to obtain a fair price for this screening. At most airports this testing can be completed, Newark Airport cost $250. Unsure if all health insurances will pay for travel testing.

Cruise ships also requiring Rapid Screen Testing.

Carnival Cruise Line has strong guidelines: The following information regarding Rapid Screen Testing is copied from the Carnival web site:

Carnival has recommended using an Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card Home Test, which includes a viral antigen home test and the services of an eMed telemedicine professional who will supervise the administration of the home test.

The test provider must provide guests with an official test result; no handwritten report. Results are provided in approximately 15 minutes, and test kits are available to be shipped in 50 states. The home test (including two tests) costs $69.99 when it is purchased via the Optum Store. 

No financial remuneration was received from Carnival. Sharing this information as in checking Florida sites have found this testing in the $170 range and at port side $150. The UK provides this testing for citizens free and congress is currently looking at this.

Without this paperwork you cannot check in. Plan ahead and have documentation readily available.


Wet Virginia

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Did you watch Stephen Colbert last night? It’s an eye opener veiled in humor.

Wonder why the Senator from West Virginia is against the Biden legislation? He made half a million in coal profits last year, his son manages a coal company, and coal money is streaming into his campaign coffers. Guess we all know where his interests lie…in his self interest, not for his people.

In the meantime, West Virginia as well as all of us are drowning in the affects of this dirty energy.

Next wonder…whose contributing to the Arizona Senator’s campaign?

President Biden Rally Dates!

I recently emailed the White House with this idea. The American public needs to know and understand the following bills:

  • The Infrastructure Bill
  • The Human Infrastructure Bill

They are key to our survival and once they learn their components they’ll be contacting those senators and representatives against them letting them know how they feel.

And start these rallies in West Virginia and Arizona.

Come on President Joe, get your message out to the American people – tell them what’s in these bills and do it NOW as we don’t have time to loose.

Leaving For Sicily

Doing a make up European trip. Much paperwork is involved in this process. While vaccinated and boostered a rapid screen covid test 48 hours before departure is required. Currently, am waiting as long as I possibly can to ensure compliance. Have found a local drug store who will conduct the screen and write a letter with results. Nice touch for $50 as at Newark Airport it was $250.

Am nervous about the trip. Have packed and repacked a half dozen times to lighten the load as much as possible. Will keep you posted on the ins and outs of traveling European in a COVID world upon return.

Huntington Museum and Gardens

The final stop on my Los Angeles adventure was the Huntington Museum and Gardens. What an exquisite museum. It is a must see while in LA. Words cannot describe its beauty. The Huntington’s amassed their wealth in the railroad industry and real estate. Originally from the East they fell in love with California and were one of the earliest couples to promote cultural philanthropy.

First Stop: The American Collection

Here unique pieces of Americana are displayed.

A Gilbert Stuart of George Washington

The greenhouse held unique plants and fish.

But perhaps the most interesting part of the Botanical Gardens was the Children’s Area. Was wonderful to see many parents involved with their children.

More gardens..

Diana, the Warrior

Take time to explore the Chinese and Japanese Gardens which folks from round the world come to visit.

The Museums priceless Blue Boy and Pinky are on display. This gallery is in the Huntington Home which is undergoing renovation.

At the end of your visit have a bite at the Museum restaurant – delicious – and the gift shop has many fine gift ideas.

To visit the Huntington reservations are required. I was blessed to find someone break that rule and let me in but do plan ahead for your visit. You’ll want to visit and never leave.

More Nixon Library and Events


Besides outlining President Nixon’s lengthy career in public service, the library also recognizes past presidents in its Hall of Presidents. In this Hall the many presidential eras are described.

The family life of the Nixon’s is also honored in the Library. Tricia Nixon Cox recently returned to the Library to renew her wedding vows under the arbor she married. She is very involved in the Library as is her sister, Julie.

Tricia’s wedding gown, Julie’s matron of honor dress, and Mrs. Nixon’s gown.

After leaving office President and Mrs. Nixon moved to the New York City area. Here he wrote a series of best selling books.

The Library is available for social functions. On the day of visit there was an evening wedding reception in the recreated East Room. The room is also available for book signings, and conferences.

What a spectacular place for a wedding.

President Nixon’s Accomplishments

The library is beautiful with rose gardens and awe inspiring grounds and fountains.

Much has been said and written about President Nixon. The Library provides information on his life and presidency in an open and truthful fashion. Here are some of his accomplishments:

  • Served in the Navy in the South Pacific in WWII in 1942
  • Elected to congress in 1946 and 1948
  • Elected to the US Senate in 1950
  • Was President Eisenhower’s Vice President in 1952 and 1956
  • Lost the Presidential election to JFK in 1960 by 113,000 votes
  • Won the Presidency in 1968 against Hubert Humphrey
  • Re-elected in 1972 by a landslide against George McGovern
  • Ended the War in Viet Nam
  • In 1969 created the Office for Minorities to increase businesses nationwide
  • Began the Environmental Protection Agency in 1970
  • Extended voting rights in 1970 by eliminating voter literacy requirement
  • Welcomed home Apollo astronauts from moon walk
  • Launched war on cancer in 1971 creating National Cancer Centers
  • Signed Title IX in 1972 eliminating gender bias in colleges and universities receiving federal aid.
  • Journeyed to China in 1972 to normalize relations
Replica of the White House Oval Office during President Nixon’s tenure.

Next: More of the library and events

Richard Nixon Library: Boyhood Home, Oval Office in the Sky, and Graves

This visit was recommended and glad I went. Much is to be learned of this man who was considered by many an enigma.

Boyhood Home: A Charming Sears Catalog Home, 1912

Nixon was one of 5 boys. His mother was college educated, and while his father had little education, it was he who instilled his son’s debate skills round the kitchen table. There the issues of the day and politics were often discussed. The family had a grove of lemon and orange trees on the property, however, that could not support the family so later when his father heard of automobiles he bought a gas station. This was successful as it was the only one in LA. Richard often worked long hours at the combination gas station and market.

Just down from the boyhood home is the Oval Office in the Sky. It served presidents JFK, LBJ, RMN, and GF. This 1961 Sikorsy was built in Straford, Connecticut at a cost of $1 million, which by today’s standard would equate to $8.6 million. While not open for tours a glance through the helicopter windows provides much insight.

Walking back toward the Museum are the graves of the President and Mrs. Nixon.

Next: President Nixon’s Accomplishments

Disney’s California Adventure

Buena Vista Street in California Adventure

When purchasing the ticket for Disneyland inadvertently purchased a Hopper ticket which included this Park. Had never heard of this Park even though it has been around for 20 years. The Park opens on to Buena Vista Street which is a retail area of restaurants, markets, and lounges, somewhat similar to Disneyland.

Most of the food obtained at Disneyland is done via an AP, however, there are stands which accept a credit card. But bring food, water, and an empty water bottle for refill. At this Park a hot dog was $10.

Buena Vista branches into Hollywood Land where patrons can learn animation from some of Disney’s best at the Animation Academy.

Long line but room for all..

Turtle Talk is at this venue. Kids love it..

Cars Land has rides and Halloween decor.

Halloween Leaning Tower of Tires

Pacific Wharf has the tastes of San Francisco with sourdough bread and Ghiradelli Square.

Pixar and the Avengers also have representation at the Park.

Much retail at this store for your purchasing pleasure.

And what would Disney be without a large midway for all.

A child in awe, always love these shots.

Walk through Paradise Gardens and Grizzly Peaks

Tired Campers
Remember these?

As usual, Disney gives a bang for the buck and memories to last a lifetime.

Next: The Richard Nixon Library