Saturday, January 16, 2010

Naval Aviation Museum

Saturday's rain started on Friday night, before Lynne could get in her shower. Sleep was perfect -- Morty has perfected the playing of the patter of precipitation better than anyone. As planned, it was a good day to finish off our tour of the Museum aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola [in proper Navy-speak]. Today, Saturday, was a lot different from yesterday because a lot of families had a lot of kids there to enjoy climbing on the flight simulators and such.

We mainly focused on the mezzanine level that surrounds the main display floor. This is great because it brings you nose-to-nose with the suspended display aircraft, but there are also many recreations of places like carrier decks, dirigible gondolas and South Pacific outposts. We will see if the pictures do it justice. We were amazed at how the planes are suspended from the building steel structure with no visible reinforcements. Some like the gliders and even the Cessna 150 equivalent were rotating free in in the wind currents. Before leaving we stopped for lunch in the Cubi Bar and Cafe for a couple of reasonably priced salads that were very good and some great service from Lolita from the Philippines -- highly recommended and not at all what you might expect.

The rain continued until around two in the afternoon when we left to replenish a few supplies at the local Wal-Mart. When we returned, I took a walk in the surf in trunks and t-shirt, and found the water to be nearly cold enough to cramp my feet. Everyone else out there was fully dressed for winter or running, but it was nowhere near that cold -- probably mid fifties again, air and water both.

The sand was remarkable because it reminded me perfectly of the sand-box sand we had as kids on Pennington Rd. The white creamish color, texture, puckers from the rain drops, feel under my feet, and especially the smell took me right back more than sixty years. A huge scarcity of shells, only one of the smallest clam-like shells we had grown accustomed to in North Carolina was to be found. Just now I am realizing that I have only driven by Gulf Coast beaches, never before have I experienced them first hand. So there is a first for me.

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