USS Midway.

Trip Start May 07, 2009
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Trip End May 31, 2009


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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, May 28, 2009

Didn't do the blog last night as was too full after a big meal and then very relaxed after sitting for an hour in the hot tub (which was the biggest one we've ever been in).
We got up yesterday morning and had a quick look around the resort. Will have to have a walk around today, they have their own private beach area on one side and want to have another look at the seals. They have 2 permanent seals here. From time to time they take in other sick, injured or abandoned young seals and help to strengthen them up and assist them to return to the wild. They two that they have as permanent residents are both severly visually impaired and can't return. Billy was found as a 3 month old pup and was blind when he was rescued. He's the nosy one though and more interactive than Gracie. He knows where people are and does head over to check them out (still wondering about that since he can't see but you go down there and along he comes).
The weather is certainly interesting. It is gray most mornings and then clears up nicely. Clouds tend to roll over again in the evening and the temperature drops when the clouds come in. Some say it's because they live on the coast and according to the Americans, if you live on the coast anywhere this is the weather you get! Others say May gray, June bloom. Certainly can't complain though as the temperatures have been pleasant for most of the trip, even the heat we had initially was nice.
We spent most of the day on the retired navy carrier the USS Midway. You do an audio tour as well as a guided tour on the 'island', the tall bit that sticks up where they navigate the ship from and guide the planes. There are also heaps of interactive things to do along the way so Josh had an absolute ball. He was also singled out in the island tour and was allowed to sit in the 'boss' chair (he's the guy who navigates the planes taking off and returning - mainly focuses on the returns as the mini-boss assists with the ones taking off). He also got to be the captain and sit in that chair. They have retired and restored planes on the flight deck and in the hanger as well as helicopters on the flight deck. Some of them are open so you can climb into the carrier parts of them or  into the cockpits.
The USS Midway was where the initial planes in Desert Storm were launched from. We saw the room where they actually made the plan of attack and saw the map where it had all of Day One's targets. Also saw the room where they received the official word from the White House to go ahead and start firing. I remember that day well when the US attacked Iraq which resulted in the Iraqi's pulling out of Kuwait. I was watching it on the TV and Nicole rolled over for the first time! The initial sea to land missiles were launched from the Midway.
We also saw one of the initial GPS receivers. When it was introduced they still had to do most of the naviagation the old way, by estimation, what they could view and using stars as there weren't many satelites around so the receiver would only work for short periods each day. They say that a good navigator though could pin point their location within 1.5 miles of the GPS location.
There were many different types of mess halls too depending on what your role was on the ship and whether your role was a clean or dirty one. The food in each varied too but they still claim that they navy feed their recruits better than any other division regardless of their statue. The Captain and Admiral both had their own kitchens in their quarters and private chefs!
Hard to believe we spent most of the day on there but there was so much to see and it was very informative. Was also a very large ship and I don't know how many times we went up and down stairs.
We were also able to view the USS Ronald Reagan which is still in service and was meant to leave port yesterday but was delayed. Would have been nice to have seen her go out to sea. The USS Midway carried 4500 people when it went out to sea, the USS Ronald Reagan carries 6000.
The area around where the USS Midway is docked is lovely too and has a few memorials, some to ships, one to Bob Hope and another huge statue showing the sailors saying goodbye to their sweethearts.
We went to an Outback Steakhouse for tea last night. Was funny as when we walked in they the song they were playing was one by Shane Nicholson so felt more Australian than the restaurant normally would. We did finish off the meal with another "Thunder From Down Under" dessert but this time we all shared it as it is just too much.
After we got back we headed down to the pool. I spent the whole time in the hot tub, the boys went between pool and hot tub. After that we went back to the video arcade room, all games in there except one are free. We had been in there for a little while in the morning, Rick found one that does the old Galaga and Space Invaders. Josh loves the shooting ones and car racing ones.
When we got back to the room we showered and then had to force ourselves to eat some icecream that we had in the freezer. Josh had some fudge icecream and I had my Haagan Daaz Strawberry one. Will have to finish off the tubs tonight though.
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