Monday, March 29, 2010

San Diego - Good Times Part IV

One of Splenda's favorite war movies is "Midway".  When he saw that the USS Midway was in the bay and open for tours, well, let's just say, there was no question we would be going.

After Old Town, we followed our next set of googled driving directions and made our way to Pacific Blvd.  We first encountered 2 cruise ships getting ready to leave.  Now, I would like to go on a cruise.  Next.  Like in August or September.  I would like to get Splenda working on that, but I digress.

After we passed the cruise ships, we were able to spot the majestic USS Midway

We bought our tickets, received our earphones for the audio tour and began wandering around.  I couldn't keep my camera put away.  It was absolutley fabulous.  To think of that huge ship and all that she had been through.  The vets that had served with her, their stories, the was almost a little overwhelming at times.I may or may not have teared up on several occasions.

The Pride of the Pacific!

I had the privilege of meeting this gentleman.  He is 90 years old and a WWII veteran.  He was stationed in Pearl Harbor.  He was a bugle blower and was in Honolulu on December 6, 1941.  The day before the attack.  He was buying horns when they got the call to return to base.  He described the chaos of the attack.  "Running around while they were trying to shoot my backend off"
We chatted and he asked if we wanted to hear more stores.  Heck yeah!  He told us a couple about some of the aircraft that were bombed in Pearl Harbor.  One that still has 5 soldiers and a baby daughters ashes buried in the sea with the ship.  He told us of another situation where there were 4 soldiers trapped.  A captain found a way to get them out through a porthole.  Unfortunately, the last guy was over 200 lbs and couldn't fit through the porthole.  He died.  But not before making sure his buddies were safe.
I asked this wonderful man if he would mind posing for a picture with me, and he was so cute!  "Of course!" he told me, and then as I put my arm around him, he giggled and said, "Oh yeah, this is a good one!"  Everyone around got a good chuckle.  We exchanged "God Bless You"'s, and I thanked him for his service and sacrifice.  He did two tours before retiring.  He, as well as every other vet on the carrier were there as volunteers.  They were there because they love their country, they are proud of their service and they want to continue to give back.  I love each and every one of them.

There were planes inside the hangar that we could climb inside and check out.  Splenda was in heaven!

We went up on deck and checked out all the planes on the flight deck.

The view was amazing!

My "Maverick"

The different missiles loaded on the "tomcat".  Pucker factor much?

Doing this tour was truly an amazing experience!  I loved seeing the history in this beautiful aircraft carrier, I loved hearing the stories, but most of all I loved seeing the passion in each of the volunteers as they taught, explained, guided, and answered questions.  They are true patriots and I am grateful to them.

The rest of the trip was fairly uneventful.  We followed our next set of googled directions to get back on the freeway and headed north towards home.

Another stop in Baker.  This is for you Mom
(no words necessary eh?)

Instead of stopping in LV like we originally planned, we decided to push through.  It was pretty cool driving through the desert under a nearly full moon.

We did get a chance to have some food with some cute friends in St George.  I can't believe I forgot to get pictures!  But thanks A and E - it was a blast!

Before I knew it we were home.  Mixed feelings about getting home.  I guess it goes back to what my Grandma always used to say "We have gypsy blood in us.  We just like to roam"  True dat G-ma!

The funniest thing?  Coming home to this:
(No that is NOT beer!  Shasta was on sale.)


Cherie said...

Hey that looks like fun - I love visiting ships and historic stuff!
The Bob's Big Boy brings back a ton of memories - Holy Moly I didn't even think those were around anymore!

linda said...

I can't believe the size of the USS Midway. It's a city in it's own!

What a darling 90 year old man! Oh the stories he could tell!

kado! said...

how fun! I love all the pics...and so does my youngest who is sitting on my lap!

I remember Bob's...we had one of those in was the family Birthday restaurant for a few years. Wonder if it's still there...

Shasta...i think that is only sold in UT and ID !

tammy said...

What a cute little old man. He cracks me up. This is a trip we're planning to take the boys on. They will be in HEAVEN with that ship!

Uptown Girl said...

i LOVE LOVE LOVE that beer/shasta hat!!!!!!

Patricia said...

Wow it looks like you had a great time and I love the shasta hat also.


AS Amber said...

Hey, I was just you think you could go on a few more trips to really fun and WARM places? That way it'll be easier for me to hate you. (As it is, I'm not hating you at all!)

Looks like so much fun!!!

Vanessa said...

I love me some San Diego. I would live there if Elton would let me.

Glad you had such a fast, great time!

Mae Rae said...

that looks like an amazing trip. I haven't posted on every one but you know how to do it up big! Congrats on all the fun, history, and family in a little amount of time.

Plain Jame said...

I love that little old man. I too could live on Vacation through the entire winter. Especially January through March. I get seasonal-affective-disorder. Bad. Hence my little blog-fog. Haven't been into blogging as much lately. It ebbs and flows..

tiburon said...

Looks like a fantastic trip! I love T's hat too. It might be the greatest hat ever!