Graduation Trip

P1000057After a short visit, Patricia and I said our goodbyes and drove to Fallbrook where we stayed for two nights in the wonderful home of our good friends Mike and Vikki Musto.  Wonderful people, great house and all in all a perfect beginning to the odyssey.  As much as we enjoyed the afternoon and evening with our friends, we were quite anxious for the 30th to arrive as that would be our first glimpse of our oldest son Nathan which was the entire purpose of this journey.   The 30th was “Family Day” at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California and what a day it was.  We were joined by Pat & June, Mike and Vikki plus more cousins – Galie, Moran and Bigeg.  We were all excited for our day with Nathan and our first glimpse, during his 5 mile Motivation Run didn’t disappoint.  Fit and looking sharp, “our” Marine was in front of his platoon.  We later learned that this meant he had been meritoriously promoted to PFC during boot camp!  The day just got better and better from there as after Liberty Formation, we got to spend the day with Nate.

P1000250On the 11th, Patricia and I fired up the old hybrid and began a leisurely drive back to California.  We haven’t been alone like that for quite some time, if ever, and it was a very nice trip.  First night was spent in Amarillo, Texas where we were the last customer of the day at a wonderful little Mom and Pop barbecue place where we entertained the proprietors with tails of scuba diving with sharks and life on a Pacific Island.  Sure would like to help them move their business out to Yap as the barbecue was really good.

P1000322We spend the 13th traveling from Green River to Las Vegas using I70 and I15 and stopping every couple of miles to take more scenic pictures.  Our option was this drive or the Grand Canyon and since Patricia had been to the Grand Canyon but not to Vegas, we took this and I tell you, the scenery was breathtaking, until you get into Nevada where it is desert and no thought of a rest area on the freeway.

P1000380We spent several hours in downtown Vegas enjoying the Freemont Experience light show.  This year it is dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Woodstock and for a guy who was a sophomore in high school during that time, I was very much taken back to my rock and roll roots.  Really good, loud Jimi Hendrix band brought back memories and caused Patricia to do a couple of dances.  A ride along the strip to take pictures of the neon lights followed and then it was dinner at 1 AM.

P1000063July 31st – Graduation Day.  Patricia and I were joined for breakfast by good friends Roger and Doris Robohm from Colorado and my other “brother” Ron Martin from the LA area as well as my real brother Pat from Rockwall, Texas and his wife June.  After breakfast, we attended the color ceremony where we heard from the base commander, a lady General, who was an excellent public speaker.  The thing I remember most about her speech was a question she asked of all the new Marine mothers in the audience.  She wanted to know what they thought of their new Marine when they first saw them yesterday as all had dropped a minimum of 20 to 30 pounds and replaced this fat with solid muscle.  She then asked the Moms “Did you notice their pants?”  “I did in 12 weeks what you couldn’t do in 18 years”.  Sure enough everyone’s pants were actually at their waste.

DSC05368DSC05394We then moved to the parade deck where we were joined by the Yapese family – Laamar, Galie, Moran, Bigeg, as well as our friends Elon Place as well as Ray and Diana Bullion.  A very moving ceremony with all the new Marines in their dress blues and marching sharply was followed by a day of Mexican food and beer at a place in Old Town San Diego aptly named The Alamo.  The entire gang joined us and we also go to welcome our good fishing friend Mr. Jason Niiya.  They say a picture tells a 1000 stories so you can make your own opinion.

P1000417By now, we had a very unexpected surprise as we learned that Nathan would have on-base leave the following day at Camp Pendleton and that the cousins were all in town and waiting to see him.  So, we got up early (crack of dawn at 9 AM) and drove like crazy to join the celebration.  Nate didn’t know we were coming and when we drove on base (both Galie and Laamar are E4 Navy ladies), he received quite a shock to see that big, white, mustache sitting in the rear of the car.  He didn’t recognize his Mom but that’s OK as she didn’t recognize him standing in his camis by his buddy’s pick-up truck.  We not only spent Saturday the 15th with him but he also had part of the day on Sunday so we went back and stayed with him until his liberty was over at 1600 (see how I have picked-up on the language).  It was bittersweet for all three of us to say goodbye this time as we all knew it would be for an unspecified period.  Nate graduates from infantry school on the 8th of September and reports immediately to Ft. Lee, Virginia for 2 months of MOS school.  The future, past that, is up in the air so we have no idea when we will be together again.

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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly
11:27 21 Mar 18
We stayed at the hotel and dove with Manta Ray divers in early December 2017. The hotel is very comfortable, well run and staffed with wonderful employees. During our visit my wife came down with an illness and the consideration and support from the hotel and dive staff could not have been better.read more
Sandy Stinson
Sandy Stinson
16:03 03 Mar 18
The staff couldn't be more friendly and accommodating. Food is good, (worth upgrading to include all meals). Diving is good too.read more
Alex Divinsky
Alex Divinsky
17:24 01 Jan 18
The best place to stay in Yap. The resort is really nice and clean, the scuba diving is great, and the docked ship that houses the bar, restaurant, and movie screen is very cool. I really enjoyed my stay here.read more
ASALI
ASALI
10:44 01 Jan 18
Offers one of the best accommodation service. It also has a uniquely designed restaurant.
Yi-Hsin Lin
Yi-Hsin Lin
00:53 21 Feb 17
The whole place centers around the scuba diving operation. Probably better to find somewhere else if you're not a diver. The dive operation was generally good, but a little too laid back - schedules weren't always clear, and sometimes would change without any notice. Sometimes it was hard to tell if this was really because of changing tides/weather or because of the island pace of life. Pizza is a surprisingly good option at the restaurant.read more
William Myers
William Myers
21:01 21 Jul 18
Great hotel. Have stayed twice.
Emily Caquelin
Emily Caquelin
04:10 02 Aug 18
Manta Ray Bay Resort is a great dive resort with extremely hospitable staff.
Daniel Granzer
Daniel Granzer
11:40 23 Aug 18
We were from 11.08 to 18.08 at the Manta Ray Bay resort and had unforgettable days there 😍In total we made 12 dives with wonderful encounters. Highlights were, of course, the manta rays in the Goofnuw Channel and many white tip reef sharks in the Shark City 🦈 But also we saw eagle rays, turtles 🐢 and buffalo head parrotfish. The hotel is beautiful and the whole team does a great job there. The food on the ship Mnuw, as well as the home-brewed beer are excellent. Thank you again to the whole team of Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers 👏🏼We also did a one-day land tour to explore the many beautiful places of this unique island. The beach is like in paradise🏝, stone money and relics from the second world war very worth to see! You find there also culturally typical houses with different meaning and use! It would be nice if more visitors would come to this great island and appreciate the great work that is done there! Anyway, we really enjoyed it and would come back anytime 🙏🏻✌🏼read more
Jonathan Gapith
Jonathan Gapith
10:31 19 Sep 18
Best dive resort around, amazingly friendly staff and great food on the mnuw
Rene Sten
Rene Sten
04:06 12 Oct 18
Bill and his family run a great dive resort, rooms are spacious and comfortable. Restaurant and bar provide good range of food and drink. Bill and his dive guides know the reef intimately and the diving is spectacular. Bill and his family make for a very friendly and rewarding experience in Yap.read more
Ms. Malinda
Ms. Malinda
13:52 14 Oct 18
Great place to stay while visiting the island. Lots of activities to do with places to see & people to meet.read more
Jan Toman
Jan Toman
22:14 02 Nov 18
Great! GREAT! GREAT! Lovely place, lovely staff, great location for divers!
Deb Roy-Stothart
Deb Roy-Stothart
13:55 06 Dec 18
The highest level of dive service ever experienced! Fabulous dive operation from crew, boats, snacks, hot tea and water, warm towels etc. etc. and of course the Manta Rays!! Thank you for making my 100th dive so memorable. Accommodations 5 star! Food was fabulous! Can't say enough about this beautiful Island and it's people. Loved Yap! Deb & Glenn, London, Ontarioread more
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