Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Hopping from One Reunion to Another

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Hopping from One Reunion to Another

imposing Roosevelt Dam
From September18 to October 5, we took a road trip, hopping from one reunion to another.
Monument Valley, Utah

Reunion #1

the rock formation called Mexican Hat in Utah
The last time I visited Suzanne (Bill’s second child) and family in Westminster, Colorado was August of 2013, thirteen months ago. Bill, on the other hand, was able to be with her during her recovery from an arthroscopic hip surgery October-November of 2013. This time the two-day route we took was a new one so the road trip was exciting, especially when we touched Monument Valley and Mexican Hat. It was also exciting to see Devin, her eldest, win his Doubles Tennis Championship.
30,000 keys at Baldpate Inn

Stanley Hotel
Suzanne also took us to a small Celtic Festival where Cassie and I enjoyed a bald eagle. One day, when the kids were in school, Suzanne drove us to Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains. Right at the entrance of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Baldpate Inn has built a collection of 30,000 keys since it opened in 1917. Yellow burst into every scene of the rustic cabins and the view of the town below. When we got down to the valley, I could not resist having my photo taken with a herd of elk resting at the golf park in the middle of town, despite the downpour! Finally, we had lunch at the Stanley Park Hotel where Jack Nicholson’s movie “The Shining” was filmed and where Stephen King wrote the book.
a herd of elk at the Estes Golf Course

Reunion #2

our official photo at the Anniversary
After another two days, we reached Kansas City where we had lunch with Rosemary, Bill’s sister, her husband Jack, and son Bill. Then we checked in at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center for the 50th Anniversary of the Zeta Iota Chapter of Sigma Chi. Bill graduated from Pittsburg State University. He was there from fall of 1964 to spring of 1966, after a two-year scholarship at Oberlin College in Cleveland, Ohio. During his pledge period in 1964, the local Xi Omega fraternity he was entering became Zeta Iota. Sigma Chi is one of the largest and oldest Greek-letter social fraternities in North America with 239 active chapters across the US and Canada and more than 300,000 members.

Table 18
Asian women married to Sigma Chi brothers
The two-day gathering was started with registration, silent auction, and a welcome dinner catered by Chicken Annie, one of two favorite chicken places in Pittsburg. The next morning was a meeting of the brothers and in the afternoon they watched the Gorrilla game against Fort Hays. The Gorillas is the football team of the Pittsburg State University. Saturday night was cocktails and gala. We were seated with fellow pledge classmates of Bill: Oliver Becker, Lynn Brown, and Tom Bay and their sweethearts. The 50-year history of Zeta Iota (and Xi Omega) was recounted in awards, videos, and speeches. Great dancing ended the night. I found thwo new Asian friends, Hedy and Yu C, who also married brothers.

Reunion # 3

Tonto Natural Bridge
The following day we were on the way home to Phoenix. The drive took three days with stops at Guymon, Oklahoma and Winslow, Arizona. At Winslow, we decided to drive home to Viewpoint through scenic byways that pass through Payson, Arizona up in the mountains and stumbled upon the Tonto Natural Bridge in the Tonto State Park. From there we took the route that passed by Roosevelt Lake, Roosevelt Bridge and Roosevelt Dam. These were all great finds.

beautiful Roosevelt Lake
stunning Roosevelt Bridge
After resting for three days, we were off again, this time to Las Vegas for my IBM Philippines Reunion in America. On Oct. 3 we drove to Las Vegas, a five hour drive, which turned out to be eight hours because of a stop we made at Wikkieup Trading Post and the horrific traffic on I-93 along the Hoover Dam section. So we went straight to the Welcome Dinner at Red Rock Casino.

Wikkieup Trading Post
after mass at the Church of St. Joan of Arc
The next day was the Main Event at the Main Street Casino and Hotel at downtown Las Vegas where I gave a presentation of “Cruising in an RV” along with other presentations from Tony NIevera (Social Media) and Manny Tongson ( IBM Blue Genes). After that the group went to mass at the Church of St, Joan of Arc, the very first Catholic Parish in Las Vegas.  The following morning we had a farewell brunch at Kusina ni Lorraine and lots of Filipino eats.  There were 24 attendees, in all, from Canada and the US.
the whole group


  1. Looks like a lot of dress up fun. Particularly like Bills tie and his very casual look in the pick with guys and their Asian wives

    1. Yes lots of dress up but also lots of scenery!


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