Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 2nd: USS Midway Museum

We woke up a bit later the next morning (finally, a day where I could sleep past 5am!) and my legs were still attached. Huzzah! Considering that we all ran a fairly long race the day before, then biked all over the place, it seemed like everyone was doing pretty well.

Mark is a bit blurry, but I wanted to make sure I had a picture of him making VEGAN pancakes. They were pretty good, and we had some tea and strawberries, too.

We had planned to bike around all day and do some sightseeing, but we didn't even make it out of Jen's development before we ran into a problem...Mark's tire was flat. We tried to figure out how to fix it but the tube wouldn't hold air, so the bikes went back into the garage and we drove to our first stop: the USS Midway Museum! The USS Midway is an aircraft carrier that served from 1945 to 1992; now it's a sweet museum in downtown San Diego.

We all played with the ejection seats (they were deactivated, of course!).

They also had a few planes that you could climb into. Mark and Mike had fun messing around in one of the helicopters.

There were also full motion fighter pilot simulators! Mike and I bought tickets, hopped in, and were off. The motion part took a minute to kick in...

...and then we were all over the place trying to shoot down enemy planes. We went upside down a few times, and in this picture we were pointed almost straight down. Mark said our simulator was moving around like crazy compared to everybody else's. We took turns being pilot and shooter (or gunner...whatever you call it), and it was really fun.

After wandering around inside a bit more, we made our way up to the flight deck.

They had a pretty cool collection of aircraft from different time periods, and the planes all looked really cool with the skyline in the background.

You could basically wander wherever you wanted on the flight deck.

This was one of my favorite aircraft on the looked like a hot dog! (It's actually an HUP Retriever.)

The view from the flight deck was great; that's the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the distance.

I didn't zoom out in time to get a picture of Mike taking this picture of Jen. Jen says go!!

We walked all the way to the end of the flight deck...

...and all the way out to the end of the little walkways that hung off the front. We didn't stay too long, though, because we really wanted to see...

...the inside of the ship! They offer guided tours of primary flight control and the bridge up in the ship's island. This is the view looking out over the flight was crazy to imagine what it would have been like to be up here watching the planes actually taking off and landing. Most of the pictures I took wound up really washed out from the reflection and sun glare, but it was really cool and if you're ever here, you should definitely check it out.

After the guided tour we spent a little more time wandering around down inside the ship. I never realized just how many things there were in an aircraft carrier! Cafeterias and bunks, of course, but also laundry (complete with a tailor), a barber shop, a sick bay and dentist office, and pretty much any other basic necessity you could think of. It was really neat! We wandered around until we saw just about everything, then did a quick walk-through of the gift shop before leaving.

This ship is massive.

I don't even remember seeing this plane when we were on the ship!

We walked around the ship to Tuna Harbor Park, which is also the home of the Unconditional Surrender Statue. There was a couple at the base of the statue trying to recreate the pose while their friend took a picture off to the side.

A little further down the path was the National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military. I thought it was neat to have so many military statues right in the shadow of the aircraft carrier.

We eventually left the park and wandered over to Seaport Village. There were all sorts of neat shops (Mark and I bought a few fun odds and ends, including an owl-shaped contact lens case), and lots of people were hanging out in and around the water, flying kites, sailing, and kite-surfing.

We were all getting a bit tired as the afternoon went on, so we made a pit stop at a bookstore/coffeeshop to grab some coffee and snacks.

The cake and caffeine made a huge difference, so we went for a walk through Embarcadero Marina Park North, ogled at all the fancy boats (and the Convention Center, which is that really long building behind all the boats), then eventually made our way back to the car. We had something tasty planned for dinner!

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