Traveling With Kids – San Diego Air and Space Museum – It’s No Ripley’s –

Are You Not Entertained?

IMG_2152The oldest is like the best version of me in a museum. Respectful, reads all the information on a display that interests him, doesn’t touch sh*t he’s not supposed to touch. Like the Prettiest-girl-in-the world. The youngest is like the worst version of me. Giddy at some exhibits, wanting to climb on others, happy to stay with the family until he’s not, until there’s something cool to look at longer than the others would like. Plus, if he gets excited about something, he won’t stop talking about it. Just like me sometimes.

I figured 50/50 that we would make it out before being asked to leave.

I was the first one to crack.

events air and spaceForget all the things I could see… they had a room filled with planes set aside for a special function, planes that I wanted to see. Not that I couldn’t see the planes from the windows, it’s that I hate anything that stops me from doing stuff.

It’s a flaw in my character.

If I see a sign that says do not touch, I desperately want to touch whatever it says I can’t touch. Like at whistler, there was a sign that said do not touch the honet’s nest. Seems like good advice, yet it took every ounce of my self-control not to touch it.

Here it took every ounce of control not to wander into that room filled with people in suits and dresses, planes overhead, chefs in white outfits standing behind their creations, and overly hot-looking waitresses carrying silver plates of tasty-looking yummies. If I’d been alone, I would have likely wandered in there by ‘mistake’ and grabbed a few snacks before I was escorted out of the event.

However, today, I am very respectful of museum rules. Mostly. So I didn’t go in. That and likely the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world would have left me rot in jail.

IMG_0323IMG_2172The youngest, too, was well-behaved. He loved that he could stuff himself in a small plane or climb into the cockpit of a helicopter. He asked all about the WW1 planes (though it could be he didn’t ask at all, maybe I just started going on and on about them and how they flew and fought.)

But he didn’t much care for the rest of it. In fact, much to my horror, no one cared that they had a P51 or Spitefire or F-18. Like right there!

You could even touch it!

IMG_0327Also, no one wanted to hear my incredibly entertaining and informative talk on WW2 and planes. Not even my epic story about the battle of Britain and how we owe so much to so few. In hindsight, I should have talked about how my dad had worked on those planes or mentioned that Finn and Jake flew them in an alternate universe. In fact, I was so boring that I was left talking to myself at one point, looking up at a ME109 swooping down from the ceiling. *sigh*

Another dad looked over at me, as I glanced around to where my family had gone and just shook his head and smiled. He too was alone, his family standing in line to get rewards for completing the Ripley questions.

However, for the oldest, there was highlight. Something that he actually enjoyed.

IMG_2173I took him on a flight sim. An F18, blue angels sim.

The youngest refused to go. He knows his limits. It’s one thing to climb into a cockpit that doesn’t move, another thing entirely to be locked in a large coffin-like box that could spin upside down.

So the oldest and I were belted inside one of the sim machines., told about the controls, then sealed inside.

He was a bit nervous. Excited, too, but nervous. I was dead proud of him for even trying this out. It was going to take him well beyond his comfort zone.

Then the sim started.

The oldest roared down the runway then into the sky. The controls were hard to understand, at first. He flew into buildings, the ocean, the runway, and a mountain. But then he began to get the hang of it. We shot straight up, the sim tilted 90 degrees. We spun in the air, the sim rolling us upside down. We barrel rolled and banked and dove, over and over and over again.

IMG_2176I held on for dear life while the oldest laughed and giggled and shouted with pure joy.

However, apparently there was a camera in the sim. The prettiest girl in the world said I looked like I wanted to get out.

And throw up.

I told her that’s my usual face, but it was all I could do to hold on as the oldest flew the hell out of that plane.

It only lasted 10 min, but it was an amazing 10 min.

He wants one for his home now.

Afterwards, we collected the little rewards for having completed the Ripley believe it or not questions (though, to be truthful, the youngest had decided to tick every possible answer box, but they gave him a gift anyway – which was probably based on numerous previous meltdowns experienced by younger children.) The oldest got a pencil which he dubbed his magic wand. The youngest got something he hit his brother with on the way home but I’ll be damned if I can remember what it was.

IMG_2154However, despite my failure to interest anyone in the epicness of flight and warplanes and tales of WW1 and 2, we hadn’t got kicked out, both boys had a bit of fun at some point and the Prettiest-girl-in-the-world hadn’t had to explain why her boys (me included) had done something silly.

So, a success, I guess.

But we still had some time left in the day.

What to do, what to do?

Luckily our secret San Diego spy, Schmennis, had a suggestion.

The day was not done yet!

About Joe Cummings

Aquarius. Traveler. Gamer. Writer. A New Parent. 4 of these things are easy. One is not. But the journey is that much better for the new people in my life. A life I want to share with others, to help them, maybe, to make them feel less alone, sure, to connect with the greater world, absolutely.
This entry was posted in Balboa Park, Blogging, Parenting, San Diego, Travel, Traveling with Kids, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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