Josiah is leaving for boot camp very, very soon, so we've had a lot of last minute little things come up. Wednesday, after dropping Eli and Brianna off at school, we took Josiah to the local base he will be attached to after he completes all his training.
We got there early, and sat and stared at this boring building for quite a while. After Josiah went inside, we rolled across the parking lot and got out to stretch our legs a bit.
The kids had just started climbing when Josiah was done.
Being on the base was fun because there were lots of interesting things to see.
We needed a potty break after leaving the base, so we stopped at a McDonalds.
Although the kids had eaten breakfast at home, they can pretty much always eat again, so we had "brunch" for them and breakfast for me.
After that, we set off for our field trip destination: The Aerospace Museum! I'd purchased a Groupon, so admission for our party of 5 was only $15 bucks.
Although this is an air museum, there were some other interesting exhibits, as well, like this WW2 jeep.
As well as this old fire engine.
It made me want to take red shoe polish to it.
We got to walk around and see lots of different airplanes. Some big, some small. It was interesting to see how very different planes could be.
There were military planes and private sector planes and even helicopters.
Some of them were open for us to go inside. (This photo makes me face the reality that Hannah has finally outgrown size 120 dresses. At least without leggings.)
It was neat to get to see what the pilots would have been able to see from inside.
It was good that we got the outside walking around part done in the morning, because it was getting warm while we were there.
The cargo hold of a FedEx plane.
This plane had a fascinating history! One of the museum docents, who fought in the Korean War, took the time to tell us about it. This plane flew in the invasion on D Day. See the stripes on the body and wings? Those are invasion stripes. Anything without those stripes was to get shot down. The plane is green on top, to blend with the French countryside if German planes spotted it from above, and gray underneath, to blend with the overcast sky, if spotted from the ground. After the war, it ended up in South America, and it was eventually seized in a drug raid, which is how it ended up back here.
Josiah took this picture for me.
Inside the planes was starting to be noticably warmer than outside the planes. I looked at those seats and thought about the paratroopers who filled them on that infamous day in history.
Jack sat in the pilot's seat while we checked out the controls.
Pretty different from the ambulances we see today, both in appearance, and in medical technology, I imagine.
I was highly amused when the girls hopped into the airplane seats and immediately buckled themselves in. When Paul and I flew home with each of them, neither one wanted to wear their seat belt! I'd say they've acclimated to our safety rules.
Is this not the cutest member the USAF fleet??
All the kids took turns sitting in it.
Even motorcycles have changed a lot!
Josiah reads more about the motorcycle above. Over his shoulder, you can see a hot air balloon basket, and a little of the Space exhibit.
I think Jack is "turning" the plane.
And Miss Katie. See the tiny wheel chocks? They're basically building blocks.
There were some interactive areas that the kids could get hands on with.
And upstairs, there's a few chairs for tired parents and a play area for the children.
So we sat for a while and let them play.
I feel like we got a good overview of what the museum has to offer, without going too in depth in any one area and losing the kids' interest. I think there's a lot more that we could have learned, had they had the attention span for it.
It was a fun way to spend the morning, and it exposed the girls to a variety of aircraft and other vehicles that they have not seen before.
Jack has been here before (once when he was still in a stroller!) a couple of times.
I liked the artwork throughout the museum, and especially this cluster of paintings upstairs.
The Mars film was not playing while we were there, although, I'm guessing that if we'd asked one of the docents would have turned it on for us. You can see the space theater on the right of the photo above. The yellow timeline included the date of the Challenger explosion, which is one of those "I remember" moments that everyone who was alive then has. Another mom was telling her daughter where she was when it happened, and I caught myself doing the same thing. Kind of like the "when JFK was shot" moment of my parents' generation.
Next door to the museum is a space themed playground, so we hung out there for a little while to burn off some energy before hopping back in the van for the ride home.
Yesterday, we made another entry in our Field Trip Journal with all the things we wanted to remember about our visit. I hope to add several more entries this year! We have many fascinating things to explore nearby, and while I did most of these trips years ago with the older kids, the younger ones either don't remember, or haven't gone at all, so it's neat to get the chance to visit again.
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