Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dad & Mom Visit Ohio

Back in April, before we left Ohio, my parents were able to make a trip out to visit and be present for Alanna's 4th birthday party (more on the party later).

It was fun having them around for a few days.

I had to take them to the Wright Brothers Sites and show them around the base.

Our first outing was to the Air Force Museum. Like I've said before, it can be overwhelming in there! You can spend HOURS and still feel like there is more to see. We all wandered through the first hangar and most of the second hangar, spending a good chunk of time also looking through the Holocaust portion in the middle.
 Then I ran off to take the kids to school while mom and dad toured a bit on their own.

When I caught back up to them we headed over to the Presidential Hangar on the base. I'd never been there before because I always have the kids with me... and this wasn't really a good place to take them. They are open hangars with no roped off areas or guided walkways. You are literally right next to the planes and are courteous enough to follow the rules of "No Touching."

We went into 3 Air Force Ones, very cool. One of them was the plane that carried President Kennedy after his assassination and where Johnson was sworn in. There are plexiglass walls throughout the entirety of all the planes with a clearance of about 16 inches. It was cramped. Seeing that old school technology and the history of the planes was pretty interesting.
 There were other planes in there. Several that never went past the research and development phase.
 I found it all intriguing.

Afterwards we picked up the kids from school and headed out to the Wright Memorial and Huffman Prairie Flying Field Interpretive Center. The kids got to go out and run and I was able to share more of Dayton's history from the view.
 Then we headed down to Huffman Prairie Flying Field, the old cow field where the brothers learned to control and actually fly their aircraft. We just drove around the area and got out to see the replica of their first hangar and played around a bit on the launcher.
 The next day we tried to get started a bit early and headed out to Woodland Cemetery. I showed them many of the notable burial sites. My dad was very interested in the Civil War burial ground (we're west coasters... we don't get to experience much about the Civil War). We also checked out the overlook to see the city of Dayton.
 From there we went to Carillon Park. I've been there a few times so I tried to keep the kiddos entertained in the kids section and riding the carousel while my parents walked through at their leisure. Once outside, the kids and I tried to be a bit more active on the trails and the new sand box while dad and mom were able to go about and read and take in what the old buildings were. We all caught back up in the big train depot. By the end Will was pretty squirrelly so he stayed on the lawn with me while Lana went into the Wright Brothers Aviation Center with her grandparents to see the 1905 Wright Flyer III. You really can spend all day there... so by later in the afternoon we were ready to head home.
Our final Dayton outing was to the Wright-Dunbar Visitor Center. More museums (which I enjoy) but by now I think Will and Lana were done. I went through the place quickly with them then took them outside to run on the sidewalk and pick the dandelions. When mom and dad had finished we went into the Wright Brothers' Bicycle Shop, but again, antsy kids made my trip inside pretty short. Since we didn't have enough time to go inside, I did at least drive by the Paul Lawrence Dunbar house... since we'd all just learned more about him also.
Once back home it was time to set up for Alanna's party!

The next day mom and dad headed down to Tennessee to see Nashville and Gatlinburg. They came back and joined us for church on Sunday, treated us to lunch, then headed out to the airport.

It was a fun trip. I'm glad I was able to share some of Dayton with them. Dad said he didn't realize how much innovation happened there. It really was a bustling city with a lot of rich history! I know we focused mostly on the Wright Brothers but there really is much more to take in. If you ever get to Dayton I can recommend some places to check out!

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