Sunday, May 29, 2011

Air Show, Andrews Air Force Base

The past week has not held enough hours for me and my feet have barely touched the ground. Work has suddenly erupted which is awesome but means I've been doing 12 -15 hour days and at the same time trying to organize my move from Centreville. But I took a day off for fun on Sunday and went with Steve to see the Air Show, something I've been wanting to do for years. It was a blistering hot day with hardly a breeze, perfect for planes pirouetting in the sky and parachutists twirling to the ground but not so nice for us thousands of people on the hot tarmac below. But we were excited.
We were shuttled from the parking lot to the airfield and I was very impressed at the faultless organization. We barely waited in line before we were stood in front of a C5 Super Galaxy. I've been wanting to see one of these close up for 25 years, and I was in instant awe at the sheer size of the beast.
Steve took this photo of me and his accompanying comment was, 'When considering the purchase of a new vehicle, it is always wise to give the tires a good kick and the engine a good tap' Hilarious!
There were 2 beautifully painted Military Tribute Camaros on show painted by Mickey Harris who's been airbrush painting for 33 years. His skill was apparent.
Every single military person we met and spoke with were extremely friendly, courteous and helpful. Even their animal counterparts were happy to strike a pose.
Army boots and a wonderful little guy happy to have his picture taken.
The Marines were there to display their physical skills and encourage the public to show theirs. I loved the message on their shirts.
The E-10 Warthog, F-15E Strike Eagle and the P-51 Mustang. The F-15 was my favorite with its afterburners and loud engine.
As the afternoon wore on, the skies got cloudy and blurry looking almost like a science fiction setting. With sore feet and sunburn we were ready to go but had to watch just one more display.
This jet car did 1-60 mph in 1.5 seconds and I was thrilled to catch the fireball busting out of the back end before my eyes were filled with dust and my eardrums nearly blew out.
The highlight of the day for me though was meeting Optimus Prime and having a chat. I desperately wanted to hug him but found this impossible with all his metal bits protruding so I had to settle for holding a hand.
The crowd cheering on the Thunderbirds as they made their way down the runway to start their display. We took this opportunity to leave and get a shuttle back to our car before everyone else left. It had been an amazing day and I felt a lump in my throat as I considered how our military forces give up so much for us by putting their lives on the line every day and yet still put on an incredible weekend for FREE. There was no charge to see this spectacular show. I can't think of anyone else in our region who gives so much to the public in this way and I was both humbled and very proud of these noble men and women.
So that was last weekend and this weekend I have spent each day packing and cleaning in Centreville and on Tuesday I move down to my country retreat in Marshall. I shall not blog about this weekend but will resume the week beginning June 6 with photos of my new abode. But the daily photo blog will continue throughout.

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