Day 12 - Museum of Flight

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Submitted by brad on Thu, 07/09/2015 - 00:09
He Said:Today was another unknown that turned out well. We took a trip to the Museum of Flight, which was massive. They had so many planes, helicopters, and shuttles I lost count. The hangar on WWI/WWII was interesting and horrifying. I've never really dwelt on it, but today it felt different. Everything looks so primitive, so dirty, violent. The old movies of the bombings and huddle masses, even the radio broadcasts about meat rationing. I can't imagine it. I was thinking I'd have to ask Nana when I got back about it, and how much it actually impacted their daily life. I can't imagine it. The other moment I had was in a replica of the space shuttle. Standing inside the main bay with the doors open, the sound muted from the padded walls, the Canada arm stretching out to a satellite...I swear I felt weightless for a moment. There was a kids' area, countless planes, a flight tower. The real time display of how many planes were in American airspace at that time was mind boggling. There were several planes outside that you could tour as well, including an old Air Force One. I couldn't stop thinking of Harrison Ford giving Gary Oldman the boot. This was a dated one, circa 1960s-1970s. I really want to come down the stairs flashing the Nixon peace signs. There was also a concorde, which is surprisingly small and Spartan. I thought they'd be high-end. The new 787 dreamliner's first class put it to shame. Then it was off to the Ram restaurant across the street from our hotel which was very good, followed by a trip to the hotel pool. Been driving this state for a week already and I still haven't seen a single pot shop. I expected this place to be crawling with slackjawed, chuckling yokels. She Said:I went for a run to the lake that's just 2 km north of us. I have a feeling nobody else in my family will see this one either. Too much else to do. We will have hang time next week back in Kelowna. Museum of Flight was cool. WWI and II exhibits were very moving and personal. Many personal artifacts of actual wartime pilots. The letters and diaries and jackets and newspaper clippings were more interesting to me than the "fact plaques" (don't know what else to call them). Gillian enjoyed listening to all the "What Was on the Radio" bits. I caught her dancing to the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and it made me cry. Not sure why. Maybe because I was feeling verklempt after reading about a pilot who was thought to be dead but a week later, a day after his funeral, his wife received a letter from him. Not dead after all. Anyway to then see Gillian joyfully dancing to that song, it was an odd juxtaposition that I couldn't resolve. If I were an artist , perhaps I could express it better. At one point we got a guided tour of a B-52 bomber, I think. The guide was describing the 11 guns and weight of the bombs and trying to convey the extremely difficult working conditions of the gunners and bombardiers. Only once mentioning that the targets of these soldiers were "bad guys". Again an odd juxtaposition of being amazed at human ingenuity and grit and sacrifice but also horrified by the idea of war and then there was Ryan snapping 100 pictures, completely oblivious to it all. Because it was a Museum of Flight there was a focus on technology and a celebration of it, really. It wasn't a celebration of American ingenuity, alone. They gave credit where it was due. "The Wright Brothers were the first to have manned, powered flight craft, but the French made the fastest and furthest advancements to it". Stuff like that. Overall, very well laid out for families too. Interactive exhibits to keep the kids busy and safe so that the adults could actually enjoy the "boring" stuff. Dinner was great! I had chicken fried halibut tacos, washed down with a coconut tequila blonde ale cocktail and a Devonshire cream fresh berry parfait for dessert. Num num. swimming pool for the rest of the evening.