Bill and Kit’s Excellent Adventure Chapter 9

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The Bill and Kit Excellent Adventure Journal-Issue #9

Thursday, February 5, 2009:

 Up early for my daily walk on the beach. A very pretty morning; sunny….but only 23 degrees and a bit windy. This is what one looks like at o-dark thirty walking the frigid beach of Pensacola Bay. 

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Spotted these sights this morning.

 

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Not sure what the bottom left picture is…..thought it might be a chunk of ice (maybe blue ice?) but it was soft and squishy…..however, it didn’t look like any jellyfish that I’m familiar with. The picture on the lower right was the only splash of color on the pure white sand and kind of reminded me of summers gone by.

 

Today we spent at the National Naval Aviation Museum. Although I have been here before it still amazes me how complete and very well displayed the collection is.

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The admission is free and the fee based activities are very reasonable. There are many fine exhibits, among my favorites were the older aircraft, the Vietnam POW display, an opportunity to try out the various cockpit trainers and taking a wild ride on a full motion flight simulator during a mission over Iraq. There is also a fascinating exhibit detailing the two training carriers on Lake Michigan during WWII. These were old converted passenger lake steamers and apparently the Navy brass thought Lake Michigan was a safe place to escape the German U-boats. Ya think! Many rookie pilots damaged planes that were simply pushed overboard into the cold deep lake. One of these warbirds that was following.

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This Dauntless was a survivor of Pearl Harbor and participated in the battle of Midway before being assigned as a training bird due to its age and battle damage. It is an incredible plane and one of the very few actual WWII combat aircraft that exist today.

I took the opportunity to take this picture of my favorite Blue Angel.

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“Blue” because I made her climb in the cockpit and an “Angel” because she did it!

We had lunch in the Cubi Bar which is an exact replica of the famous watering hole on Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines. When Subic was closed down all the pieces and parts of the bar were disassembled, cataloged and sent here for reassembly. All the squadron plaques and other decorations are authentic and in the correct orientation. Veterans walk into this place and are immediately taken back to 1965.

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Even the menu items were historically accurate…..I had the teriyaki steak (which we used to call “monkey meat” because we had no idea what it actually was). It tasted as good as I remember when I used to purchase it from the street venders out in town and from the club on base.

Finally we enjoyed the IMAX film “Grand Canyon Adventure-River at Risk” in the huge theater. A great film and the soundtrack is scored by the Dave Matthews Band. Images and music in perfect harmony….I could have sat through the film again and again. I highly recommend seeing this film if you get a chance.

On the way back to the campground we passed by some cattle ranches. Apparently this state is a big producer of beef…..a fact that I had not been aware of.

Love, Dad/Mom, Poppy/Guma, Bill/Kit

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