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06 Feb 2018

Pago Pago, American Samoa

 

I got off the ship to walk around today with no intention of writing a blog as this place is tiny and we are way out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean somewhere. But it is so peaceful here and I kept picking up so many interesting facts That I would like to share.

Pago Pago - It is pronounced Pango Pango.

Population - American Samoa a total population of 55,519 people.

Size - Slightly larger Washington D.C.

Location - American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the United States and one of two U.S. territories south of the Equator. We are roughly 2,500 miles Southwest of Hawaii (about the distance from Las Vegas to New York) and still 1,500 miles from Auckland, NZ.

Citizenship - American Samoa is the only major territory of the United States in which citizenship is not granted at birth, and people born there are considered "non-citizen nationals”.

Apollo Programs - American Samoa was the closest landing and rescue point for five Apollo program flights. Three moon rocks and with a flag carried to the moon are on display here. 

Flu pandemic - During the 1918 flu pandemic, America Samoa was quarantined by its governor and therefore was one of the few places in the world where no flu-related deaths occurred.

Language - Most American Samoans are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently. Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa. (I didn’t even know Samoa was different than American Samoa.)

Margaret Mead - Margaret Mead did her fieldwork here for her doctoral dissertation in anthropology at Columbia University, where she wrote her book Coming of Age in Samoa which was published in 1928, and at the time became the most widely read book in the field of anthropology.

Tuna - Starkist is by far the largest employer on the island with their tuna cannery that annually ships back hundreds of millions of dollars of canned tuna to the USA.

 

 

 

Pan Am – It probably is a statistical aberration. But Pan American Air had two deadly crashed here; 1938 and 1974.

 

 








02 Feb 2018

Four Champions and Me

 It's fun hanging with champions. 

Dwight Edwin Stones is an American television commentator and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and former three-time world record holder in the men's high jump. During his 16-year career, he won 19 national championships.

John Naber, also a sports commentator was America’s most highly decorated Olympian at the 1976 Games in Montreal earning four gold medals in swimming, each in world record time. He was the first swimmer in history to earn two individual medals on the same day of Olympic competition, and earned the Sullivan Award as America’s top amateur athlete of 1977. 

 

 

And everybody knows Allyn Jaffrey Shulman. She won this year’s World Cruise Games Gold Medal for Scrabble, defending her many previous titles for same. Currently she is pointing towards her next, equally important event, Sudoku. 

She was presented her gold medal by Wyomia Thus,a four-time Olympic Gold Medalist and holder of many world records.

Me? I’ll try Freecell when it comes around.

 

 









31 Jan 2018

Honolulu, Jan, 2018

 

 

 

It seemed like we were just here because we were, but it is always fun to be in Honolulu.

 

The highlight was having our customary meal at The Chart House with our pals.

 

 

We probably were the last two to reboard the ship before setting off to Samoa when I realized my wallet was missing. Acting quickly we called our friends who found the wallet at the restaurant and rushed it over immediately.

 

Permission had to come all the way from the captain to allow me to get off the ship and snag my wallet from our buddies who were rushing it over.

 

 

I got it and all is well. Thanks for all the help everybody. Phew.

 









22 Jan 2018

Pre-cruise West Hollywood

 

Allyn and Jessica love to bond over certain silly programs when she visits us, such as The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Vanderpump Rules. So what a treat it was for her to have a drink at Sur and dinner tonight at Pump in West Hollywood, both owned by Lisa Vanderpump.

We were hosted by Jessica's friends Jason and Rob as a gracious thank you to our recent Honolulu extravaganza.

 

 

The evening was capped off at The Abbey, the world’s most popular gay club.

 









21 Jan 2018

Private Jet on the Cheap

 

Today starts our annual winter vacation (I’m not sure from what). As usual I will be back in action reporting at least once from every stop along the way.

We are on the jet headed to LA which is where our cruise will commence Tuesday.

We decided to try JetSuiteX which represents it’s supposed to be just like flying privately, but at prices competitive with Southwest and JetBlue. Pretty much they pull it off.

 

 

Here is how it works:

12:00 – Arrive at their private office and check in – no security, no lines, bags taken right from our car and brought in and tagged by them.

12:10 - Hop on a van with the other 18 passengers while they load the luggage

12:15 – Drive to the tarmac and get on the plane

12:30 – Plane taxis out

12:40 – Plane takes off

1:27 – Touchdown

1:35 – Had bags and outside.

Bottom line – From car to car, we saved about 1 hour 20 minutes. That is huge.

Total elapsed time car to car including checked bags – 2 hours

All this is like a private jet.

Unlike a private jet, they go a few times a day and just go to Burbank. The seats are like coach, not much different than a small private jet.

Our cost was about $400 total for two. A small private plane that take the same short elapsed time and convenience would be over $5,000.

What a pleasure. They fly to Las Vegas and five California destinations.

We will do it again when convenient.

If you want, put it my referral code, ZVEKIE, and we will each save $20 next time around. No biggie, but what the heck.

Please note that this is a newer cleaner look for JetSetWay.