Happy 4th July – Part Two – Houston Texas – 1986 – Halley’s Comet -Hawaii – Magnum PI – Top Gun

In celebration of our time in America and the wonderful people we met and still are in touch with, here is our second year living in Houston and some of the adventures we enjoyed. We actually ended up visiting all the East and West Coast as well as driving across country.. On this trip we wanted to see the once in a lifetime visit of Halley’s comet.

It is now 1986 and we were very aware that we only had a year left of David’s contract in America and that we needed to step up our explorations.  In that twelve months we visited the East and West coasts and made the epic road trip from Houston to New Mexico with a friend  to try and glimpse Halley’s Comet: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley%27s_Comet

Halley’s Comet only appears every 76 years and being such a rare visit we needed to find a very special place to try and view this once in a lifetime event .  We opted for the car park of Carlsbad Caverns which is an enormous underground network of caves.

We explored the 119 caverns hundreds of feet below ground in the day; at night we returned to the car park miles from any light pollution and lay on ground sheets searching the star filled sky above us. The second night we were rewarded with the most amazing, if very tiny, sight of this elusive comet with our low resolution telescopes and just about with the naked eye. We had taken a rucksack with us with hot coffee and snacks and as we watched this astral display, we heard the rucksack being dragged off into the undergrowth. Fearing we had been targeted by large felines; we aimed our combined torches at the predator. A raccoon stared back at us challenging our refusal to pay the car park fees!  We persuaded him that this was not acceptable and were able to enjoy our breakfast at dawn surrounded by deer and a view that stretched for miles across the Chihuahuan Desert.

That year David and I also took advantage of the air miles he had accumulated on all his sales trips and flew to Hawaii for the first of several visits to these magnificent islands. I have to admit at this point that I have always had rather a crush on Tom Selleck…. Magnum P.I and I rather hoped that I might be lucky enough to encounter him on our trip. Whilst waiting for a glimpse of an earthbound comet…. we did some of the usual tourist activities and I splashed out on a wonderful MuuMuu which was set off by my 80s hair.


We also  discovered the delight of rum cocktails and completed pre-dinner tasting sessions. The outright winner is the Molokai Mule which is a drink not to be attempted on an empty stomach with the expectation of being able to stand up again afterwards.. It certainly has a mighty kick…here is the recipe for those of you brave enough to attempt! http://www.sheknows.com/recipes/molokai-mule

Eventually my secret wish was fulfilled and the day before our flight back to Houston, whilst at a four way stop near Diamond Head, I was rewarded with a fleeting encounter with Magnum P.I. He was in a convertible at the stop opposite us and as we glided past each other like ships in the night I knew that 1986 had been a very special year!

The music of that year was great with many hits making their way across the Atlantic in both directions. Here is a small selection: Lionel Ritchie – Say You Say Me, Dionne Warwick & Friends – That’s What Friends are For, Robert Palmer – Addicted to Love, Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls, Steve Winwood – Higher Love, Simply Red – Holding Back the Years, Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer, Madonna – Don’t Preach, Billy Ocean – When the Going Gets Tough and Bananarama – Venus.

In honour of the passing years I have selected Simply Red for this weeks chart track from 1986.

Films were equally interesting in 1986 and we managed to get in a weekly cinema visit wherever we might be at the time. Aliens, Platoon (stunning) The Mission, Crocodile Dundee, The Name of the Rose (highly recommended) Star Trek IV- The Voyage Home, The Color of Money, and Mona Lisa (amazing). Without a doubt the film that followed in the wake of An Officer and a Gentlemen in the romance category, with action thrown in high in the skies for good measure, was Top Gun with the every youthful Tom Cruise.  Here is the theme song.. and 30 years later the soundtrack is still on my playlist.

Buy Top Gun: http://www.amazon.com/Top-Gun-Tom-Cruise/dp/B001K3K5MO

Halley’s Comet Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License;

I hope you have enjoyed my step back in time in tribute to our American friends and the two wonderful years we enjoyed as guests in Houston.


46 thoughts on “Happy 4th July – Part Two – Houston Texas – 1986 – Halley’s Comet -Hawaii – Magnum PI – Top Gun

  1. Pingback: Memories are made of this – 1986 – Halley’s Comet -Hawaii – Magnum PI – Top Gun | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. What a fabulous year you had. 1986 was the year my life changed when I signed a three-year contract to work at the leprosy centre in Karachi, Pakistan. I’ve loved remembering the music you’ve listed so far over the years but now I have a ten-year gap (my three years extended to ten) in my musical and film cultural references.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank goodness you got your secret wish that year. I, too, realized a secret wish and was cast in a stage production of Godspell. It was an amazing opportunity and still makes me smile 30 years later! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fabulous year you had, Sally. Hawaii is one of my favorite vacation destinations – I generally forget about everything when I’m there. The islands and the water have a mesmerizing effect. In 1986 I had a one year old and a three year old, so I’m amazed I even remember some of those songs and the movies. However, one thing is in our family vocabulary from Top Gun: I feel the need for speed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your Muu Muu, Sally !!! Love the Simply Red song..it was a favorite and I’d like to put it in a loop on my blog. Something so haunting about that voice.

    It was a special year for me, my baby boy arrived in April. I hate to say I planned him for April, but the fact is…I did. March has traditionally been a rough month for me, and I wanted to reverse the trend. He was born at 2 pm on his doctor- projected birth date, and has been a pure delight ever since. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I so remember watching for Halley’s Comet, Sally. There was also a song at Eurovision that year with the title ‘Halley’s Comet.’ It didn’t make anywhere in the top 10. Tom Selleck – what can I say except the man certainly did, and still does, have it.

    1986, for me, was the year I went to London for a weekend and ended up staying for 27 years! Now there’s a story.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I don’t have many memories that I can tie to 1986. Mostly work (I was in what was called ‘the Paddock’ of potential partnership candidates at my law firm – all the terms are horse racing related, not sure why) and a derelict house we’d bought to do up (I have countless memories of coming home at 9 or so and stripping 100 years of paint off woodwork). I do remember my birthday though. I was 30 and we had a fancy dress affair – I came as a gorilla for some reason – and the following morning I was given a kitten as a present a few hours after my wife flew to Chicargo for a month long training course with Arthur Andersen, long gone, not missed at least my me and she. So I had to work and look after the cat. I know what terrified me most. The music was great, wasn’t it?


  8. Sounds like a fascinating year, Sally! I used to love watching Magnum P.I. as a teenager, and via DVDs my 20-year-old daughter is now also a fan! . . . although we both now laugh hilariously at how short his shorts were 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Saturday Round Up – Book Promotion, Vitamin A, dogs and cat flaps! | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  10. Your 1986 sounds wonderful. Glad you took the opportunity to see as much of the US as you could, including Hawaii. Love your MuuMuu. The music was great. Can´t believe it has been 30 years since Top Gun!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a year, Sally! I’ve always wanted to go to Hawai and must confess to a soft spot for Tom Selleck too! When you went through the list of movies and songs I’ve again realised some of my favourites are there. Must get to Hawai… and Alaska… Perhaps they’d even each other out in one trip. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Happy 4th July – Part Two – Houston Texas – 1986 – Halley’s Comet -Hawaii – Magnum PI – Top Gun | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  13. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Magic, Music and Master storytellers oh and a bit of a laugh | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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