Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Graduation Celebration Trip: Day 12

Wednesday, April 8.

Mike gave me a tour of Oak Harbor, showing me the places he lived and what he did for fun there. We went on the open part of the base to the base exchange to search for P3 tshirts. Didn't find any, but got a few other P3 items like a shot glass and Christmas ornament. This stuff is disappearing just like the squadrons are.

Then we headed south on Whidbey Island. In Coupeville we drove out to the west coast of the island to find the house that my whole family helped build. We all loaned my dad money so that we could have this really nice house built on the ocean-front property that they had owned for more than 30 years. Finally admitting that they weren't going to retire to Whidbey Island. It's a beautiful house on a cliff over an agate beach:

Mike & I parked at the state park at the end of the road and I went for a walk on the beach back up to the property.
So many beautiful colors of rocks.
The cliff face is partly clay. Here an animal has taken advantage of a little cave to break open and eat a whole bunch of clams..the shells are all the white debris at the cave mouth.

As every other beach in the area, there was a ton of driftwood. Entire massive trees.

The white in the middle there is flesh of some ocean creature or maybe seaweed.
More driftwood.

Closeup of the beautiful texture of the above log.
This tree had somehow gotten a huge rock tangled in its roots.

Another closeup.
The cliff face had a lot of next textures. At the top of the photo is turf that is sticking out about 6-9 inches into thin air above where the cliff used to be.

We left Coupeville and drove the rest of the way to the ferry at the south end of the island. Shortly after reaching the main land, we stopped at the Boeing Future of Flight museum. It is pretty expensive entry fee, and the exhibits weren't really that great. I'd recommend skipping it.

From the parking lot we got a good view of the bizarre DreamLifter.
For an extra $8 per person, this was by far the best part of the museum. It is a 3-d flight simulator...it is not just a movie that jerks you around... YOU are in control and you can do as many barrel rolls as you want. The person who gets into the left side of the cockpit is the pilot and is totally in control of moving the pod around. The person on the right is the gunner. You are in a dogfight situation. I was gunner. I think I got 2 planes. Maybe 3.
A neat plane hanging from the ceiling: has double delta wings, and the propellers are in the BACk there.
We continued heading south, driving through downtown Seattle.

This is the closest we got to the Space Needle.

Our hotel for the night was in Auburn, across the freeway from a huge mall. It was in a really bad part of town. We were very tired, and I was getting sick, and traffic had been horrible. We decided to change our airline tickets and go home the next day, 2 days early.

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