The Great West Coast Tour - Day Eighteen - San Diego

The Great West Coast Tour - Day Eighteen - San Diego

Buds and I had an early morning jaunt. We learned about the invasive Italian White Snail.

We learned it is gross.


In addition to spending time with Laura, Bryan, and Lucas, San Diego called to us (Buds) because of the USS Midway Museum. We were all excited for Buds to get this chance to walk the deck of an aircraft carrier.

We headed down to the harbor early enough that our line for entry was short. Laura and Lucas have done the tour several times and had great tips for us.

Monkey’s introvert battery was red-lining by this point in the Great West Coast Adventure, so she stayed in the air-conditioned van to recharge while the rest of us headed off to imagine this amazing ship at sea. (That’s why “Red” doesn’t appear in any of the pictures.)

Our pictures and my memories of the tour do not do it any sort of justice. For better of both, this description of the tour is a great read.

Even to my novice eyes, this was a fantastic tour. We were able to roam all over so much of the ship.

In no particular order:

Here we go.
Jobs are designated by color.

There are hundreds of volunteers offering talks and tours all over the ship. These retired military folks with great stories and memories are a treasure trove. One gentleman spent some time with us and he was wonderful, but being who we are, we ditched him as quickly as possible.

Buds did spend some time listening to a presentation about the Midway and various war stories.

This is Helicopter 66. It was used for astronaut retrieval for the Apollo Missions.

Around minute 22:50 you can see Helicopter 66 in action in this video:

Getting to go below deck was so cool, and we only explored a little bit. The midway has 18 decks, the equivalent of a 20-story building, and much of that is under the water.

This glass is over the “pit” that shows how things were hauled up and down between decks, and it goes way, way down.

I couldn’t stand to even look down it to take a picture, so you’ll have to imagine how far down it is.

Thanks to google photos, you can see gazillions of other people’s Midway pictures.

And for the “gives me willies” moment of the day, they had a “Top Gun” exhibit with a Tom Cruise look-alike you could get your picture taken with. It was eery how much this person looked like Tom Cruise, and we all wanted our picture taken with him about as much as the children want their pictures taken with the characters at Disney World.

Looking at him was a bit like seeing a train wreck:

The children were good about pretending to know each other so I could take fake pictures of them while taking actual pictures of Fake Tom.

Buds and I could have spent many more hours here, but we finally had to heed the cries of the chirping baby birds we brought with us and head off to get some lunch.

We ate at a pub down by the beach after a drive by the ocean.

San Diego is gloriously beautiful. I can see why Teresa loved living here.

After we had sustenance and family laughter, we headed back to enjoy the rest of the day by the pool and sharing stories and going out for dinner and ice cream.

Another 76 and sunny in San Diego.