Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Ron Irwin
Observer Staff Writer 

On The Road Again with my wife of 34 years, I met myself

Local EMT's got me restarted and transported to a nearby hospital where I spent 26 days most in a coma.

 

The Tower Bridge London - opened June 30, 1894

My love of travel has been with me my entire life. As a youngster I traveled by car and train with one or both parents to America's west, Canada and New York City. In my teens I discovered America's south, Pittsburgh, Maine and more. But I wanted more, much more so at 17 when I learned that U.S. Marines served in Asia I jumped at the opportunity and got to visit, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Singapore. Later I discovered travel writing and added Tahiti, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, China, Morocco, Spain, France, England, Ireland, Monaco, Italy, Mexico, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Peru and more to my list of great joy. It is my firm belief based on abundant experience that world travel is one of the best things anyone can do. It is far more instructive than any college degree and exposure to a wide spectrum of differing cultures, languages, typographies and food brings far more genuine joy and understanding of our world than any other human activity. But on December 18th 2012 my ability to travel abruptly crashed down around me.

On that date I literally dropped dead. Local EMT's got me restarted and transported to a nearby hospital where I spent 26 days most in a coma. The problem was Congestive Heart Failure along with a little Type 2 Diabetes thrown in just for fun. Then shortly after my release I was diagnosed with advanced stage prostate cancer. That required 42 radiation treatments and when it was all over I was physically and fiscally exhausted. All of that is now ancient history and it is finally time to get back on the road again and this time I am inviting you to join me by following this adventure right here in this publication.

Cologne

I, along with my beautiful bride of 34 years, my two daughters Kimberly and Kari and my most granddaughter Somaya will depart Los Angeles International Airport on March 28th and arrive on March 29th in London England there to stay but one night before taking a train under the English Channel to Brussels, Belgium headquarters for NATO and the European Union not to mention world renown waffles. Next will be our first ever visit to Cologne, Germany a 2000 year old city along the banks of the Rhine River. From there we train on to magnificent Paris, France a first time visit for all but me. The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Lourve and so much more including some awesome food. But for the best in beverage we will travel next to Reims, France home of Champagne. Finally we shall return to London for two more days before flying home.

At each stop along this trail I promise to write about every significant experience and send it here with abundant photos so that you too may enjoy this experience with us almost as it happens. And now I also invite you to share with us any thoughts or suggestions you may have about the places we shall visit. To do that simply send you ideas, thoughts, recommendations or questions to: [email protected] I may not be able to respond directly but rest assured your thoughts and helpful suggestions will be deeply appreciated.

Bon voyage!

 

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