A trip down memory lane

We all have a past, a past quite often filled with fond memories and memorable experiences.  Experiences that can be character building and instill a sense of confidence or strength.boat harbor Corpus Christi

Back in the 1970’s, hubby was pleased to call Corpus Christi, Texas home.  This was a very exciting and memorable time for a young man in his early twenties.  He was a flight instructor in the Navy.Lady Lex

Just two years earlier he was stationed in Pensacola, Florida, learning how to fly.  At the time, in order for a Naval Aviator to earn his wings, he was required to fly on and off an aircraft carrier.  For Al, that carrier was the USS Lexington.Lady Lex

Lady Lex aircraft carrierThe Lady Lex has since been retired and is comfortably docked in Corpus Christi Bay and has been turned into a museum.

Although Al didn’t push to do the museum tour, I knew it would be a special day filled with fond memories.  I also knew it would be something he would very much like to share with me.

Thus, on a cool overcast day we set out to explore the Lady Lex from top to bottom.

When I first laid on eyes on the USS Lexington, she looked like a huge ship but upon closer examination and assessing the upper deck – landing area I found myself reacting with a, “Holy sh*t! You landed on that?  You really were are one crazy son of ……”aircraft carrier musumsUSS LexingtonAl responded to my expletive filled comment in one of his lengthy and creative tales from those first days on the Lady Lex.

First the stories of taking off from the aircraft carrier and the sensation and G forces.  Then the story of landing on her that first time and his difficulty finding the ship.

She was most definitely a little floating area in a massive sea.  Think about it, all the while the ship is bobbing up and down, side to side, and he needed to land on this tiny, moving strip.

I don’t recall him not smiling the entire day during our visit.  He was a wealth of information and the perfect tour guide.

USS Lexington

aircraft carrier musuems

He shared his knowledge on the various aircrafts and their uses over the years…… in an abridged version mind you…. perfect for my short attention span.

walking the plank
me… ‘walking the plank’

Lady Lex aircraft carrierAnd although I was interested in the various planes, specifically the planes he flew, I was drawn to things like “the plank”.

Perhaps I’ve watched one too many Pirate movies.

I was also on a quest to see the living quarters and mess hall.  You see, hubby is over 6 feet three inches tall and I just couldn’t imagine him crawling around this ship without sustaining brain damage.  Oh dear, I may have finally figured out a few things…. haha!  Shhh… don’t tell him I said that 😉

aircraft carriers
However did you manage to sleep and live in these quarters?

famous aircraft carriersI did have a great time exploring this ship and realized no way in heck could you get me to go out to sea for even a day on the USS Lexington or any other ship.  I can feel the bile in my throat just thinking about it.

The USS Lexington is rife with history.  She was involved in some VERY important, life changing battles, one of which was the freeing of the Filipino people from Japanese occupation in the early 1940’s.

Throughout the ship are displays and plaques commemorating her history.USS LexingtonYes sirree, Al’s face lights up and the tales flow freely when he talks about those early years of flying in the Navy.  Tales from chasing Russian submarines off the coast of Alaska to a training flight that had him flying UNDER the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco…. for real, not a simulator.aircraft carrier museumsWe had a great time walking down memory lane together and just may need to do it again ….. soon  🙂aircraft carriers
USS Lexington CV-2 Squadron At Sea (34005)

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Pure Colorado

Colorado wildflowersAhhhh…… pure Colorado …… the grill was sizzling with a couple of steaks,  the azure blue sky was touched with tuffs of white fluffy clouds, the grassy meadow was covered in yellow wildflowers, the air was crisp, clean, with just a hint of a campfire wafting in the air.

Ah yes, perfect!  Well, not quite …. if only those darn little planes buzzing overhead would stop then life would have been perfect.  What happened to my quiet, remote solitude?Air show in ColoradoWe were camped at Lowry Campground in the White River National Forest near Keystone, Colorado at an elevation of about 9,400 feet and everything but that annoying aircraft noise was perfect.Dillon Air show

Hubby was relaxing in a chair outside and was more curious than annoyed by the little aircrafts dipping, climbing, and zooming back and forth. He was quick to determine these guys were practicing.  Practicing for what, he wasn’t sure until another observing neighbor informed him of an impending air show.Dillon air showThe Dillon Air Show was to be a small air show held near the Lake Dillon Marina.  There was no fee.  Basically it was pick a place on the grass in the park to sit and watch the planes.  Sounded like an event right up our alley especially once we knew biplanes would be involved. It’s been thirty years since hubby and I last attended an air show.  Thus, we were quick to add it to our next days agenda.Dillon Colorado Air showHubby has never regretted walking away from a career as a commercial Airline Pilot.  He found the job to be somewhat boring, especially after the type of flying he did in the Navy.  Now that…… his Navy days, he’ll talk about with a level of excitement.  The mere sight of a biplane brings about that same kind of exuberance and excitement.  His face will light up with delight.biplanes Dillon air showBiplanes Dillon air show

We attended the air show the following day.  As the biplanes started their maneuvers, Al was quick to explain the stunts and what a ‘scream’ this kind of flying is.  He could practically narrate what the pilots next move would be.  I heard repeated comments from hubby; “I’d love to get in one of those again”…. “Could I talk you into going up in a biplane?”  NO …..  “Gosh, if I ever bought a plane, it’d be a biplane”.  “Can we get one?  Huh, huh, pretty please?”  NO …..  “But why?”  Because we can’t pull it behind the RV!  Envision a dejected expression and frown …. however, that didn’t last long.  That big smile was quick to return as the pilots performed their next stunt.lake dillon air showThe whole time these biplanes were performing, hubby had a smile from ear to ear that didn’t end until long after the air show ended.  95% of the time if you ask Al if he misses aviation, he’ll answer “no”, but if you ask him if he misses this kind of flying ….. stunts?  He’ll respond with a resounding, “yes”!Dillon Colorado biplane air showThe air show was short and simple, but entertaining none the less.  It was held among some beautiful Colorado scenery over Lake Dillon.Lake Dillon Marina air show

FoxWe loved our stay in this area very much.  At camp, we felt like we were hundreds of miles away from civilization and yet everything we could possible need was within a 15-20 minute drive.

The towns of Dillon and Frisco offer plenty of grocery shopping possibilities including a Whole Foods and a Walmart.  The town of Silverthorn boasts an outlet mall and a Target.  The ever quaint Breckenridge is just a short drive down Highway 9 with plenty of small shops and restaurants.

There are plenty of hotels, Bed & Breakfasts, condos, vacation rentals, and even a high-end RV Park to call home during any stay.  Yep, I’d say Summit County Colorado is a great vacation destination year round.

I believe we’ve stumbled upon yet another favorite location loaded with the opportunity to explore or relax….. the perfect combination ….. ahhh, this is what Colorado living is all about.chipmonk