Simulator stimulation

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, December 17, 2007

Today we went to visit a lady - Lady Lex - no not the wife of superman's foe, Lex Luther. This Lady is in fact the USS Lexington a WWII aircraft carrier now a museum moored in a bay by Corpus Christi. I know, I can hear you all say "not another military tour" well, yes and no! Obviously there are all the toys and fighting stories but there are also the personal stories, the living aboard and the ship's history. So yes, Betsy enjoyed it too :)
On the way to Lady Lex. We thought we had taken a wrong turn, well nearly - as Betsy pointed out the big sign directing us to turn left I started to turn in (under a big flyover) just as another car was coming towards me! "It must be one way" (or words to that effect I quietly murmured to Betsy) as I swung back and drove quickly straight on. We could see the carrier, it's rather too big not to, but it took us a little while to renegotiate our way round the rest of a one way system to get there. The worst thing about all this is the fact - we were right (Betsy tells me she is sometimes) and the other car must have been wrong! - it wasn't a one way at that point after all...
OK, we made it on board. The Lex was commissioned in 1943 and during the war saw action in the Pacific and even sustained a Kamikaze hit or two, there's actually a photograph showing the crew hosing parts of a 'plane and its pilot off the deck. Talking about the deck, it may be big but it didn't seem that big if you try to imagine landing a 'plane on it. We entered on the hangar deck - the one below the flight deck - this is big too, we visited the MEGA theatre (like an Imax but this one works) and watched "Fighter Pilot, Operation Red Flag" a modern day international training exercise over the Nevada desert. Well, after that I just had to have a go in the flight simulator, for some reason Betsy didn't seem to want to join me :)
Not only did we find out about the history and role of the Lexington but also got a look below decks, not much to see in the engine room - steam turbines if you are interested Gill :), but the living/sleeping quarters (a bit more room than on a yacht race), the barbers shop, the kitchens (a lot smaller than we imagined), the dentists, hospital, engineering workshop and many nooks and crannies with valves, levers and pipe work that even I couldn't figure out!
After popping out to feed the parking meter a couple of times we said goodbye to Lady Lex. after about 4 hours.
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