A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Wilmington Railroad Museum


After finishing up at the Battleship, I used my phone to figure out what else was nearby, thinking I might find myself some lunch.  Instead, I found that I was only 7 minutes away from the Wilmington Railroad Museum


Various forms of early communication.  I'm so glad we have cell phones and FaceTime and messaging apps and email and such now.  With adult children exploring all over the world, I'm grateful we have ways of keeping in touch.  


So, the first part of the museum houses a little gift shop.  I found it amusing that they sell replicas of the Golden Spike that we have in our local train museum


The next part of the museum has various displays to look at, including a sample of the dishes used on board.  I didn't get a picture of it, but there was an interesting exhibit about railroad police, something that I hadn't really thought about before. 


An impressive array of railway lanterns.  I'm pretty sure that chair is where the docent sits for the story time sessions. 


The back part of the museum houses a really large layout.  There are about 30 buttons you can push around the setup to start trains moving or hear sound effects that go with a particular part of the diorama.  


Had to get a picture of the "burning" building for my firefighter. 


The amount of detail that went into creating the different things to see in this room was amazing. 


The "cloud" in the back corner had 3 jags of "lightning" coming down from it, and every once in a while, it would storm over there. 


One of the neat things about this museum is that the model railroad enthusiast group affiliated with it hold a world record.  If you have a minute, click the link and watch the video of how they used the Wilmington Convention Center to build the longest model train in the world.  The former record was held by a group in Germany, and the current record set by Wilmington still stands, 8 years later.  


Outside the museum, they have a couple of rail cars that you can explore, including one that has "hobos" (mannequins) inside it. 


This casket car was used during WWII as our soldiers were returned home. 


Even though this was a smaller, more modest train museum than the one we have in Old Sac, it was neat to see the similarities and differences between the west coast and the east coast. 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Battleship North Carolina


So this was a neat thing for me to see for 2 reasons.  First because Sam just lived on a ship for several months, and even though this wasn't his ship, it's close enough, size wise, for me to get the general idea of what ship life was like.


The second reason was because my grandfather was in the Navy when my mom was born.  And much of the history aboard this ship was from around that time.


So I had a great time wandering through Battleship North Carolina.  They even had fans blowing below decks, so at least the warm air was moving.


Did you know they recycle ship names?  I actually learned this when I was doing family tree research and had to figure out which ship would have been in service at the correct time period.


Movies were projected from this tiny room into the mess hall after dinner.


Operating room, yikes.


I am pretty sure most of my kids have no idea what a cobbler is--unless we're talking about Grammy's cherry cobbler!  Insert moment of sadness over our disposable society here.  On a ship, you don't just go get a new pair of shoes.  You fix the pair you have.


See the sewing machine in the background?  Alterations, patch sewing, etc.  I was surprised at how many promotions happened on ship while Sam was gone.


Vaguely threatening projectiles.


So this is a big, circular room, that goes up 3 decks.  The center thingie is used to haul them up and down.


*Touch!*


Basically, those cylinders on the right are the explosive that goes inside the pointy things.


Those cans have three powder bags in each of them.  There was a whole wall of these things.


Had to get a shot of the dumbwaiter because part of Sam's time on Ship Tax was spent loading boxes onto a dumbwaiter.  All day long.


Zach is Air Force, and when he deploys, he goes to an air base.  That was my frame of reference, prior to Sam's deployment.  Sam, however, is a Marine, and when they go on ship, they're hitching a ride from the Navy.


There is some posturing between the branches, of course, but everyone works toward the goals of the deployment.


Laundry info


Laundry machines


I enjoyed some of these little anecdotes shared by former crew members.


When I was a kid, I ran across some of my great grandmother's stuff in my parents' garage, and one of the things I found was a patch similar to these.  I know from my mom's BC what rank he was when she was born, but I don't know what rank he was when he left the Navy.


Looking at a roomful of racks really helped me to imagine Sam's sleeping quarters.  He was so happy to get off the ship and only have ONE room mate and properly functioning, dependable toilets.  We really do take so much for granted.


After wandering all over the ship, I did the walk around the outside of it.  It's a nice path, with signs for all the branches.


Notice the background here is basically swamp.  Everything is so amazingly green there. 


The signs are in a Then and Now format, with the branch emblem between the two. 



One end of the ship.


I took a panoramic shot, but it came out pretty weird shaped. 


Super proud of my Airman, as well.  He just promoted.


I've been really blessed by watching what my children are becoming as adults.  Their unique paths have enriched my world and taught me so much. 


Even travel.  I realized this morning that I visited Nebraska because of Zach, Hawaii because of Annaliese, Missouri because of Brianna, and North Carolina because of Sam (not to mention China because of Hannah and Katie!).  I look forward to seeing more of where they go and what they do. 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Missiles and More Museum & Topsail Beach


I saw a brochure for the Missiles and More Museum and thought, "Okay, that sounds like something my boys would think is cool.  I should try to go there while I'm here."  But I actually stumbled upon the building when I was aiming for something else.  I was on my way to the beach that a friend of a friend recommended to me.  I found ocean, then I found public parking, and when I got out of the car, I looked across the street and saw the sign for the museum. 


Obviously the beach would have to wait while I went in and wandered around a bit. 

Eli has long had a fascination with aircraft, so the pictures I took were mainly for him. 

The Missiles and More Museum is a small but interesting record of military and pirate history in the area.  The docents are friendly, and there's a small "gift shop" area for souvenirs. 


I got to see Ospreys flying, which was a treat.  When I was near the airbase, they were really low and looked huge. 


I was looking forward to getting to the beach, so I took this picture to read more about the Osprey at home. 


How would you like to be walking along the beach and stumble across a WWII era missile?? 


After the little museum, I walked over to the ocean.  I pulled my shoes off and walked barefoot in the sand, and it felt wonderful!  It's been over a year since my last visit to any beach. 


And, this was my first time at the Atlantic Ocean. 


I walked along, picking up shells for Hannah and Katie.  I used my shoe as my "bucket" for them.


I'm pretty sure Topsail Beach was one of my top three experiences in North Carolina.