Sunday, July 11, 2010

National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL

So last Sunday, we got a phone call from my father in law asking us to take his camper trailer to his Florida property. He suggested since we'd be so close that we take the time to see the Blue Angels perform, since they'd be in town. But we figured, while we were there, we'd make a trip to the Aviation Museum on Sunday (avoiding the traffic for the Blue Angels show on Saturday), and go see the Blue Angels in the fall.

First, if you have a Garmin-- it's wise to check the settings. Ours was set to avoid traffic and toll roads... what that -means- is that you pretty much avoid all the major roads and end up on a slew of back roads (lol) Just after we got to Dad's property, I was grumbling about it, and Mark checked, discovering this interesting little setting. We got that fixed and the drive home was almost an hour shorter than the drive there (;

We decided to stop and get gas and have lunch at the DQ at Dad's exit. They were BUSY! Had to wait in line to get to the gas, then had to wait in line to order. But everyone was in a pretty friendly mood, despite the fact that it was awfully warm inside and warmer still outside.

And we learned that DQ kids meals come with -dessert-! The boys loved it! And Mark and I finished up our chicken strips with ice cream cones before time to be heading on our way.

It never ceases to amaze me that with current technology, you can head out the door with the idea of where you want to go and no idea how to get there-- and GET there! How remarkable is that?!?

So following the little electronic voice, we arrived at our destination (: We pulled in, and it looked like there were no parking spots at all-- and we got a good one! Then we walked up.

My boys on the really large anchor outside. Turns out it weighs as much as pretty much ALL the students at my older son's school.

We weren't even inside yet, and the boys were already delighted.

My boys really enjoyed the goggles and the hat. Wanted to know where they could get some (:

We'd hardly got in at all before we decided to take the really cool stairs up:

Once we were upstairs, the first exhibit we came to was some of the NASA related goodies.

And the outer limits of aviation was right beside some of the firsts:

My youngest helping them tow the line is one of my favorite pictures from the entire trip.

I thought seeing the Blue Angels was cool... then I looked -down-.

Above is another of my all time favorite images from the trip.

It seems like around every corner was another new fun portion. The memorabilia section was just so much fun! And my guys played along with me (:

And then! THEN! We came across a section that made me giggle like my kids.

(Okay, I claim my complete and total geekness-- I LOVE Star Trek!!)

I admit it. I completely GEEKED! (:

And so we made our way back to where we'd come upstairs, and finished the last of the space display.

When we first saw this, we all looked in awe. And then my oldest wondered if it was moon dust or land sand. And then I saw the foot prints and laughed. "You know, who ever got to put the foot prints in HAD to have a good time doing it!"

These are the pictures I got to take, while my guys were in here:

Then it was into the section with various planes that people were welcome to get into and an awesome display of minatures.

My youngest -adored- this plane.

He was in it for almost 20 minutes flipping switches and knobs (:

It's Mighty Mouse to save the day!!!

Then we headed downstairs.

While we'd been upstairs, we'd looked over the edge and knew there was a piece we were going to have to visit.

Throughout our walking, Mark was looking for a particular air craft. We finally found it:

Look through the next 3 images and see if you can see the Optical Illusion:

Then we came to the children's section:

We couldn't believe how quickly three hours passed!

We headed into the gift shop, bought each of the boys a toy plane and got Mark a new hat and then it was time to go.

And so we visit the first display in the door last.

But before we left, we needed to visit the last couple of bronze statues outside.

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