Friday, April 6, 2012

The USS Hornet

As soon as Jonathan found out that you could stay the night on an aircraft carrier in our area, he was hooked. He had me call immediately to inquire about the earliest opening, the cost, and everything else you can think of. The first option was while Kyla was here, and she wasn't all that interested, so we booked for early November on a Friday night.

I honestly knew very little about aircraft carriers before we went. I had no concept of how large they were or the number of people who lived on them. So, while I was fascinated by all of the information we learned over the course of 20 hours, Jonathan understood a lot more and asked detailed questions. Overall, we both really loved the Hornet and would recommend you not only visit it, but do the overnight experience. (there are 15 pictures below. It seems like a lot until you know I took over 250...)
us with the Hornet
the entrance
view of San Francisco from the Hornet
It wasn't that easy to find - they could really use some more signs from the highway! I did know where to park from talking on the phone with the coordinator, but we started walking up to the pier and didn't see any signs about which staircase to climb... not the greatest when you're carrying a backpack and a sleeping bag and pillow! So, yeah, we chose the wrong one at first. We figured it out and got situated in our group - there were 17 scheduled to sleep aboard that night, but sometimes they get 300! We were soon shown to our barracks, where we laid out our beds.
8 of us shared this room for the night. The beds were fairly comfortable,
though there was very little space between you and the bunk above!
I thought this was cute
you can see how you get between levels and how you get between compartments
(notice the step you have to make between doors in the back)

Then we began the tour, had dinner, watched a video, and had another tour. Before the night was over, there were different options - we chose the ghost stories. Needless to say, I was thoroughly creeped out by the end of the hour and didn't sleep too well that night. The next morning we had breakfast and then brought our stuff back to our cars. The price of the overnight gave us wristbands to use for entry into the Hornet the entire day, so we did some touring on our own, then had a volunteer docent show us a few things as well. We didn't spend the entire day there, but you certainly could!
tons of planes, inside and out.
one of the things the Hornet is known for is being the recovery
craft for the Apollo 11. This is a replica of the capsule.

the astronauts had to wait in one of these to make
sure they weren't contaminated with space germs
Machine Room
look at those torpedoes!
the Admiral's Quarters
we rode in this simulator - neat!

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