Just hanging out on an aircraft carrier
Ronan and Nieve toured their first aircraft carrier this week, walking through the now retired U.S.S. Midway. Even though the ship was monstrous in size, the internal spaces were all quite small. Ronan seemed a little unsettled by the lack of natural light and the very tight quarters - I'm not sure he'd make a great sailor. Nieve was just interested in taking it all in from her perch on Mom's back, always straining to get a glimpse of whatever Mom was looking at.
Ronan insisted he wear the same 'ear goggles' that all of the other tourists were wearing
What Ronan and Nieve did enjoy was exploring the cockpits of various aircraft that had served on the aircraft carrier. These cut-away exhibits let people climb into the pilot's seat, flip toggle switches, wiggle joy sticks, and tap gages. Ronan and Nieve did all of this eagerly and were surprisingly compliant to leave if a queue formed behind them.
Someone needs to play Kenny Loggins 'Danger Zone'
Even more fun for the kids was running around the flight deck, exploring retired aircraft (propeller, jet, and rotorcraft) and just generally being free from the dark interior of the ship. Although we tried to explain it to Ronan, I don't think he fully understood that the runway we were walking on was the top of a ship - it was so vast that to him it was part of an airport (or a 'street').
Landing gear. Awesome stuff.
We'll probably revisit the U.S.S. midway in a few years when the kids are curious and patient enough to tour the entire carrier. At that point they should be tall enough to be able to pilot the full-movement flight simulators that are available for those curious as to what it feels like to fly a fighter jet!