When we were trying to secure a campground near Jon's mom in Ohio, we discovered that campgrounds up north are basically closed during the winter as of Oct. 31st. They turn off water to the camp sites and... well, we really needed a water supply because we were going to be there longer than our fresh water tank could hold our supply. :) So, we looked and looked. We discovered that the fam camp at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH stays open year round. This was both good news and a bummer, as it is an hour away from the town we were visiting.
We took full advantage of our 2 night stay at Bass Lake Fam Camp, Wright-Patterson AFB... We got a few minor warranty repairs done in the RV, kids got their flu shots, we played some pool, we shopped for groceries at the commissary, and we visited the National Air Force Museum. After a whirlwind trip in Dayton...we moved to a farm!
A recap of our Dayton adventure:
|Campsite #14, a pull-through---Whoop!|
|My two lefties :)|
|Yay for playgrounds!|
|A quick knitting lesson|
The activity we were most looking forward to in Dayton was touring the National Air Force Museum. The Air Force is an integral part of our children's history and we looked forward to sharing it "live." Their grandpa (Jon's dad), their great-grandpa (my mom's dad), and their uncle (Jon's brother) all served our nation with honor in WWII and Viet Nam. Their daddy retired from the Air Force after 20 years of distinguished service. The Air Force is also the way the Lord brought Jon and I together almost 20 years ago, as I served in the Air Force for 2 years and the AF Reserve for 6 years.
The museum is amazing and FREE! And massive and overwhelming!!! There are three large hangers that hold the main museum, with a fourth hanger addition being planned. There is also an annex of two hangers that hold four of the old Air Force Ones, as well as research and development aircraft.
|This captures only 1/3 of the third hanger... Did I mention the SIZE of this museum????|
The layout is air power through the decades from the invention of flying machines, to 20th and 21st centuries wars, to space exploration. I think my favorite area was actually the early years. The planes were so tiny and rickety in comparison to today's large, solidly built bombers and jets. I kept thinking about how courageous those first pilots had to have been. How crazy those flying contraptions must have seemed!
|Early Years: 1909 Military Flyer|
|McCook Field Wind Tunnel|
|The event that brought about WWII|
To the plane that ended WWII....
|This is the plane that dropped the bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, the B-29.|
|Ushering in the Cold War...|
|DEFCON: Made famous in the movie "War Games" and current way America ranks her defense posture.|
|Today's flying contraption.... the B-2 Stealth|
|The BEST thing about field trips with daddy.... finally learning what all those buttons actually do!|
And the BEST thing about visiting the Air Force Museum:
Sharing the history of grandpa's service in WWII (Jon's Dad). He served valiantly as a gunner and came home alive, yet deeply impacted by his 29 combat missions. We need to remember to pray for God's healing of the unseen scars that our service men and women sustain in war.
|Grandpa's plane: B-26 Marauder|
|How Grandpa saw Europe...|
Other American heros:
|Bob Hope... and this is his famous golf club from his USO Viet Nam tours!|
|Gold and Blue Star Families. Our family says, "Thank-you to all Gold Star families that have given ALL."|
We really enjoyed touring the Presidential Gallery. It is amazing how far air travel has come in such a short time. I don't think I would've enjoyed those early planes very much! They were VERY narrow inside and very basic in decor and niceties. The early planes were functional, and not luxurious by today's standards.
The final Presidential Plane we toured was Air Force One for 8 presidents (Kennedy to Clinton). The plane below was used to transport President Kennedy's body from TX. We stood in the very spot that President Johnson was sworn in as President!!!
Jon having a little fun with history :)
|President Franklin D. Roosevelt's plane (the inside narrows to just 17"!) FDR was the first president to fly in an aircraft while in office.|
|This is the elevator that President Roosevelt took to get into his plane.|
|President Dwight D. Eisenhower's plane, Columbine. (As a side note, I did a report on Eisenhower in elementary school :)|
|I LOVE these clocks in the Columbine! They are soooooo 1950's! Hm... does anyone else see a problem with these clocks???|
|Harry Truman's plane, The Independence--with a future President deplaning :)|
|One of the smaller shuttle planes that took President Reagan around the local Washington DC area.|
|Future First Ladies????|
Jon having a little fun with history :)