Friday, January 11, 2013

Adventures of a Shameless Tourist: The USS Midway

One of the other really neat attractions we got to see while Spencer's parents were visiting us was the USS Midway. I know what you're thinking... snooze alert... but really, it was one of the better museums I've been to! I really didn't know jack much about it, so if you share my lack of knowledge here's a few facts to get you caught up.

1.) The Midway served as an aircraft carrier for the United States Navy for 47 years, beginning in 1945 and ending in 1992. Today, the Midway serves as a floating museum on San Diego's waterfront and is the most-visited floating ship museum in the world.

2.) In 1945, it was considered the largest ship in the world and held that title for the next ten years. She was the longest-serving U.S.Navy carrier of the 20th century.

3.) She served the Navy in the Vietnam War & Operation Desert Storm until retirement. Additionally, she holds 25 fully-restored aircraft from World War II until Desert Storm.

4.) The ship could launch a massive aircraft from it's 4-acre flight deck every 60 seconds.

5.) People often refer to the Midway as "the city at sea" because essentially it had everything that a small community would have: an "airport", a chapel, a market (where you could buy everything from a pack of cigarettes to a Rolex), several cafeterias (10 TONS of food were served PER DAY), barber shops, doctor and dental offices (the equipment in both of these places looked a little scary...) a "laundromat" (where one washing machine could hold 198 pounds of laundry!), and even a jail (which we didn't get to see--unfortunately!). Not bad for a ship that was constructed in just 17 months! 
Yeah... wrap your brain around that. I have worked on single-story projects that have taken more time than that.

The admission includes a self-guided audio tour, which is nice considering you can go about the exhibits at your own pace. My favorite part about the audio tours were the interviews following each exhibit with a Midway sailor, pilot, or captain briefly describing the day-to-day on the ship or the landing tactics used to park the aircraft on the ship's very, very, very small flight deck.

Incredibly interesting and not at all hard to believe how we easily spent 4-5 hours on board and still did not get to see all of the exhibits! We look forward taking more visitors to our beautiful city on board this  amazing historic landmark.

inside the hangar deck.

one of the planes inside the hangar deck.
oh you know, your typical cheesy tourist picture.
complete with audio headset, thank you very much.

another plane inside the hangar. 
on the flight deck.
on the flight deck.
the bridge to coronado island from the flight deck.
view from the flight deck. 
tiny, tiny little runway.
huge props to pilots!
the reynolds family
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