Thursday, September 5, 2013

Aviation History (aka, Dayton, Ohio)

We arrived in Dayton, Ohio, on Friday night, August 30th.  We took time to get set up at the military campground, then pretty much crashed for the night.

The next day, Saturday, we reconnected with some longtime friends of ours.  We have known them since our college days, so over twenty years already!  They happen to have the same last name as us, but we spell it differently by one letter.  They were in our wedding. The Air Force assigned us the same duty stations after college, we had our children around the same time, and we have been raising boys together all these years.

We were planning to go to their community pool with them, but as soon as we arrived and set down the cooler, thunder rumbled in the distance and the pool was shut down.  So we piled into the cars and invaded their house instead.  All together, there were TEN boys in the house (our six, their three, plus a bonus neighbor boy). The boys had a great time playing toys and video games, and my 10yo said it was "so much fun!"

The next day, Sunday, we took our family to the National Museum of the US Air Force.  We've visited it in the past, but the boys don't remember much about it.  (This is actually where Steve pinned on the rank of Captain many moons ago.  The twins were still babies!)  The museum is absolutely huge, and you could spend several days taking in everything there is to see.  We spent several hours going through the exhibits before we decided to be done.  The boys and Steve did the museum scavenger hunt, while I got to entertain a very bored yet overwhelmed 10yo special needs child. 

Steve got to see his favorite airplane, the SR-71.  He was an avionics specialist on the SR-71 back when it was still in the Air Force inventory.  Back then, it was the fastest, highest flying airplane in the world.  Today it sits in mothballs. Sad, really.  But it isn't needed now like it was needed then, since the Cold War ended.

After the museum, we drove into Dayton to take in part of the Aviation Heritage National Historic Site.  Dayton is where Wilbur and Orville Wright had their bicycle shop and where they developed the first airplane.  We got to go through the visitor center, see the site of the Wright Brothers' bicycle shop, and see the site of their home.  The younger guys were able to get yet another Junior Ranger badge.

The next day in Dayton, Monday, we tried to go with our friends to their community pool once again, and this time we were successful!  We spent several hours at the pool.  The kids played in the pool while the adults chatted underneath the beautiful sky.  It's always a nice treat to be able to sit and talk with these old friends of ours.

On Tuesday we wrapped up our time in Dayton by touring a potential college for one of our boys.  This son is VERY interested in Cedarville University, and it is probably the highest contender for him.  It is a lovely campus, and the school is solidly Christian and academic.  (Now if only we can figure out where the money is going to come from to send him there!)  The campus tour took all day, but we were able to get a really good feel for the school.

Early Wednesday morning we left Dayton, drove through Ohio and into northwest Pennsylvania.  We are now stationary for several weeks while we visit with my dad, or "Grandpa".  The weather is so crisp and cool here.  Fall is creeping upon us, and I'm sure that in a few weeks the leaves will be on the ground.  .

We did have one snag when we arrived in Pennsylvania.  Upon setting up the camper, one of the slides didn't want to open up.  When we inspected it, we found that a cable is about ready to snap on the bedroom slide-out.  Steve and my dad are out right now trying to fix it, so hopefully we can open up our bedroom again before too long.

One thing we've learned on this adventure is that there is ALWAYS something to fix in camper.  ALWAYS.