Coach Bradley traveled this year and did not coach.


 (By Jan B.---now you see why I stay tired)

Many, many years ago (before it became Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport), we would spend frequent Sunday afternoons at the airport, watching for the occasional plane to land.  We would climb up to the observation deck, on top of what was then the terminal, and watch for a plane to come into view and land.   We would try to point out the plane to Brenda, and tell her to “look--see the plane!”  (Back then they had probably four or five flights on a Sunday afternoon.)  Ultimately, this must have been a small indication of what was to come later---our travels!  Probably, partially because of our love of travel, this became a Sunday afternoon ritual which ultimately led to the short-time occupation of two of our children when Brenda became a flight attendant with Delta Airlines and before going into coaching, Bill was with American Airlines.  This gave us our “wings to the world!”

One of our first “family vacations” (which probably was the inspiration for the Chevy Chase shows), was a driving trip from Atlanta to the west coast---(many laughs and I’m sure, a few tears and a “spanking” or two along the way, but a good time!).  We stayed in Tulsa, OK (my hometown) for a few days’ visit with some family before we set off on our real venture! We saw the Grand Canyon, the Painted Desert, were stopped for a while for a FLOOD on the desert--and we thought it didn’t rain in the desert!--the Petrified Forest, topped a hill about 3:30 AM and saw the lights of Las Vegas--all in one day! (We had left the previous morning from Northeast New Mexico).  That was QUITE a day!  We did make it to the west coast and had a great experience, with many stories (which I won’t go into here) coming from that trip.

We made several trips which are rather unbelievable--flew to San Juan, P.R. and ate black bean soup.  (We left home thinking we were going to Canada, so I dressed warmly for the trip.  We ended up not being able to get on the plane so we ended up in Puerto Rico instead.--needless to say, I was warm!)  (All we did there was eat black bean soup-- but we ate 4 times in 1st class on the planes to and from there!)

On a trip we took to the west coast with some dear friends, we went to San Francisco.  When we got there, there was no fog (which was unusual for that time of year), so we decided to take Edgar & Lavinia on a quick tour and to the top of a big mountain overlooking the city.  It was a crystal-clear night, which we knew was not the norm, so we looked around a while.  Of course, but PST it was not extremely late, but our bodies were on EST.  Edgar said, “I knew you said we would see California, but I didn’t know you meant in one night.”  We were able to go to Hawaii several times, which was wonderful.  Edgar & Lavinia went with us once and since Edgar was a WWII veteran, he enjoyed seeing Pearl Harbor and the sights around there.

We went to England several times, and through some mutual friends, met a wonderful couple who lived there.  We stayed with them in their “bungalow” (which has a slightly different connotation in England than it does here) and they came to visit us,  Great folks!
Many of our trips at that time were spontaneous.  I was at my monthly bridge club at a friends home when the telephone rang.  Several of my friends said, “I’ll bet that’s my husband calling me.”  I replied, “I know it isn’t my husband, because I forgot to tell him where we were playing today.”  When the hostess came back, she said, “Jan, Ronald wants to speak to you.”  I went to the phone and he said, “I just wanted to let you know that we’re going to London tomorrow.”  That’s the way we traveled!

Ronald went to Japan, he flew to New Zealand (which is below Australia, in case you forgot your Geography), stayed for 4 hours, had his picture made with the statue of Jean Batten (who set several world records) outside the airport, which was inscribed “BORN TO TRAVEL”--(which pretty well could be a description of him, except it should read “Born to Coach and Travel”).  Several times during a very short Christmas break he would make 2 or 3-day trips to Austria (by himself as I was usually busy with holiday preparations and last-minute shopping, and I went once).

We made several trips to Las Vegas.  One memorable trip was with Frank and Betty Christian, our dear lifetime friends.  On a venture into the desert one day, we suddenly found ourselves completely surrounded by a herd of wild donkeys.  We could plainly see their large teeth and mouths as they “nibbled” at the window, without moving for our car.  Frank sat there a few minutes, then said, “I think we’re donkeyed in!”  (It was hilarious as we captured some of it on video.)

We finally made it to Canada, we saw Mt. St. Helens in Oregon, and had a very short trip to Trinidad (not on the same trip--but it sounds like it could have been, the way we travel!)  We visited Bob H. and his sled dogs in Alaska,  In Austria, I could hear Alicia singing the part of Maria everywhere I looked.  Mt. St. Helens (as well as the rest of Oregon) was beautiful, despite the black residue from the most recent eruption. We did finally make it to Canada, and Ronald flew to Maui to go jogging.  (That was a 1-day trip, so I didn’t go.)  In Trinidad, we were unaware we were putting ourselves at risk with a venture into an area where tourists were not especially welcome. 

The Bradleys made several trips with dear friends, Johnny & Peggy Capes.  On one occasion, Peggy and I made a trip to England, Scotland & Wales, while Ronald & Johnny went to Russia and Germany.  Our dear friends, the Frank Christians, introduced us to the beautiful beaches in Panama City, FL.  We bought our first beach condo (didn’t even know the meaning of the word back then) there where they owned one, and have owned several since then.

On the way to Chicago from London, Ronald came up with the bright idea to catch a 747 to Korea for the Olympics.  (I went to Va. to see the grandkids).  One day he was out for a jog, “found” himself running on a track---the Olympic Stadium!  How that happened I can’t imagine!  But that’s the way we travel!!!                          Try it---it’s fun!!

A document that covers a summer travel schedule for Ron and Jan