Home Leaves generally take place every two or three years. We tried to have Home Leaves scheduled during the summer months so that we wouldn't miss any school. Plus, the best time to see relatives and visit places was during the summer vacation months.
My mother, Hope, always planned out the Home Leave to include visits to both sets of families -- my father's relatives in the Boston area and her relatives in Omaha, Nebraska. Other than that, there was the requisite stay in Washington DC so my father could be debriefed on his last assignment and prepared for his next one.
For the kids, it was a time to get to know our own country, watch a lot of TV, listen to the radio, visit many tourist spots. Over the years we visited Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, drove across the U.S. several times, visited a number of cities, including Boston, Washington DC, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Seattle, and Denver, and any number of smaller cities in between.
1959 - Our first home leave from Korea, we went to Hawaii, rode horses in northern California.
1962 - We rented a house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware for a month while my father was in Washington DC.
1964 - We went by ship, the USS President Cleveland from Yokahama, Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii. We also visited the World's Fair in New York City that summer.
1967 - This was our crazy trip through Europe. Originally, we were supposed to leave Bangkok, travel by train down the Malay Peninsula to Singapore, stopping in Penang and Kuala Lumpur. And we did all of that. We were then supposed to travel by ship across the indian Ocean, up through the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal and on to Europe. However, this was the summer of 1967. By the time we arrived in Singapore the Suez Canal had been closed due to hostilities between Egypt and Israel. My mother rescheduled our entire trip, adding Italy, Switzerland, Germany and England to our itinerary. So it was Hope and six children traveling through Europe. After London, we flew to meet my father in Boston, then we drove across the U.S. to L.A. and flew on to Hawaii where we stayed until December, when we returned to Bangkok.
1970 - We spent a good deal of time on this home leave in Honolulu before departing for a trip through the Orient on our way back to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We had our first-ever family reunion in Hawaii, minus Mike, who was a soldier in Vietnam at the time, and managed to end up in the hospital in Vietnam the day before he was to go on R&R to see us in Hawaii. Our trip through Asia included stops in Guam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Kenya and back to Ethiopia.