This year, the 4th comes after a year of an american history focus by the kids. It started with a quick reading about Benjamin Franklin that became a passion for all of us, and rolled over into colonialism, Jamestown, the Revolutionary War, and early explorers. Not to mention The Golfer’s side interest in dogfighting and WWII. Because of this, the 4th of July is a little more meaningful than it’s been in the past. Ideas like ‘freedom’, ‘revolution’, ‘sacrifice’ and ‘patriotism’ have been an undercurrent in our studies.
We thought it would be perfect to spend the day in San Diego, on the USS Midway Aircraft carrier. I was unprepared for how awe inspiring it is to walk up to such a huge architectual wonder. The Golfer admited he ‘couldn’t stop smiling’.
The USS Midway served in the US Navy for 47 years, and the self guided walking tour allowed us to make our way through the maze of corridors, mess halls, war rooms, and officers quarters. In honor of it’s long service to our country, I photoshoped our pictures to make them look vintage-y and old, like they came from the 40’s.
The Toddler managed to make it up and down the steep ladder like stairs alright, but it was a little tricky at some points. The majority of the middle decks aren’t wheelchair or handicapped accessible, but there is plenty of other things to do and see on the main and flight deck.
Something we were all looking forward to was walking up to the flight deck and see the war planes and helicopters.
For excited as The Golfer was to see the planes that he’d been flying in his video games, he became rather reserved once he was surrounded by them. He kept his distance and would tell me, “Not too close, Mom! You’re getting too close!!!”. I finally realized that he assumed that all the weaponry displayed on the airplanes was active and could possibly detonate at any moment.
Once we straightened it out that we all weren’t going to die in a fiery explosion, The Golfer loosened up a bit.
We could walk up into many of the aircraft on display, which was pretty cool. Other than in the flight simulator games, none of us had ever been that close to a real helicopter cockpit. It’s amazing to see all the buttons, readouts, lights, and indicators there are in there!
We spent 4 hours walking around, and could have stayed longer if The Toddler would have been more cooperative. But the half day we spent gave us enough time to walk through all 5 decks they had available to see, ride on simulation rides, eat at the cafe, and browse through the gift shop.
We all walked away with a healthy respect for the US Armed Services, and for what they do for us on a daily basis.
So, Happy Independence Day to everyone out there. This has been a special one for us.