Saturday, August 4, 2012

A childhood dream comes true..for Mommy

All too quickly, our vacation in Delaware came to a close. I have to say, it was the busiest trip we've ever had up there, it seemed to be non-stop. But our life is non-stop, why should vacation be any different?  We did get to relax some, and really enjoyed our family time. 

Every trip recently, we've been trying to stop at the new Air and Space museum at Dulles Airport. For whatever reason, we've not been able to, but we were going to make it this time! And we did!  
Wow! What a building! And it looks like it has an air traffic control tower. It's actually an observation tower that you can watch planes at Dulles. 

That place is MASSIVE! There are three levels to look at the aircraft on,  with the aircraft being on the floor or suspended on two levels

Brant's favorite plane
 If you knew me when I was growing up, I wanted to be mission control specialist with NASA.  I loved all things NASA and the space shuttle. I had a flight suit, I was an astronaut for Halloween, my room was covered in space posters.  My telescope was my prized possession.

I was so excited to share my love of space with Brant, as we both watched the final shuttle launch together. It was delayed, so we ended up watching part of the countdown, then running into my classroom to watch the end of it on the Smartboard.  I don't know why, but it's always given me chills to watch one launch.  I have to admit, I'm sad to see the shuttles retire. But thinking back on it, it's been at least 20 years since I was all into it...gasp.  No wonder they are retiring!  I am sad, however, because my dream was to go see one launch and travel to see the same one land. Of course, as an adult, I nitpicked my dream to pieces, because I can see how unrealistic it was, with delays, and weather and such. But that was my dream.  Until the final launch.

If you've watched the news, you'll have known that Discovery is now housed there.  Flying the most missions, with 365 days total in space, it has a place of honor in the museum.

So, we didn't rush to the shuttle, we worked our way around to it.  And then I just stared.  It's massive.  And beat up and so vulnerable looking to have carried so many people through our atmosphere into the wilds of space.  The mom in me thought about the faith and trust those astronauts had to have in God and their fellow teammates, to do their job.  And I thought about the astronauts who didn't come back.  Then I smiled and read every sign, looked at the tiles, marvelled at the size of the engines.  And sighed. It's time for me to move on to helping my boys realize their dreams!  I wonder where their dreams will take them!

Why yes, I did take a lot of photos!
We continued our tour on the third level, walking out on gantries that take you near the planes.  It was so neat to see them, as if they were flying. The acrobatic ones were posed just like they were doing flips.

Yes, another one. As we crossed the intersection of walkways

We checked out the restoration...and the shuttle again through the windows, ha ha ha!!!

And paused for a moment to examine this historical, life changing, war ending plane.  My mind flitted over the book Hiroshima, the lives lost at Pearl Harbor, and the infamy of the name Enola Gay...and the fact that it was the pilot's mother's name!
Outside, directly in front of you, when you exit, is the Wall of Honor.  We saw it going in, but after seeing the progression of flight, and thinking about the people who lost their lives, or broke the barriers of not just sound, but race and sex, you appreciated it so much more!

Heading out to the van, we see a plane coming, and could tell it was big...

big and low, banking towards us....

It was an Airbus!  and once again, I am amazed that planes fly! by the way, I zoomed in very little for this photo.  We were standing in the shadow under it!

Nothing like a wall to walk on and a Grandma to hold your hand!

We highly recommend this museum....go.  now..and you know what Brant picked out in the gift shop?  a NASA flight suit and astronaut ice cream.  My dream lives on!! ;-)

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