Tuesday, April 27, 2010

AIR & ROCKET RACING SHOW

My life is anything but boring! And that my dear readers is an understatement!!

Saturday, April 24th, Tulsa had it's first Air & Rocket Racing Show. We picked up Oksana & Aric on Friday afternoon to spend Saturday and Sunday with us. We had bought tickets to this show several weeks ago.

As you can see the show ran from 9:30 to 5:00 with the main attractions beginning at 12 noon. We left the house about 10 thinking we would arrive around 10:30. WRONG! Seems close to 1,000,000 (yes, as in million) others had the same idea. Not only was the highway clogged with these other 999,996 people with the same idea but Tulsa is doing major construction work, ON THE WEEKENDS, on Highway 169. So we are in gridlock, moving about 2 miles an hour in our one lane of traffic, with vehicles flying by us on the lane that is closed ahead so they can not wait their turn and squeeze in up ahead of all of us patiently (?) waiting our turn. This cheating and squeezing in line is a MAJOR pet peeve of mine!!!! grrrrrrr Patience is a fruit of the Spirit we are reminding ourselves :o)
Finally, we get off HW 169 and onto E 56th Street North. Still bumper to bumper and hardly moving. We decide we need to park the car and walk to the Tulsa Air & Space Museum, where the event is taking place. We know it will be a long walk, but it seems to be the only solution to get there in time to see the main events. We have our folding canvas chairs in bags on our shoulders and the 4 of us begin walking, along with, I might add, lots of other people!!! We walk and walk and WALK and when we get to a large building which we thought was the museum we were wrong. I have to periodically stop, unfold my chair and rest a few minutes, then start again. We walk and walk and WALK to the next large building.......oops not the museum ...we are still not there. It is noon and we see the first plane in the air with the female space walker. One of the main attractions. Finally we tell Oksana & Aric to go on ahead and to meet us at 1:30 in the gift shop. They run on ahead and Mickey stays with me as I trudge along, walking, stopping, resting for a few minutes, walking again.
FINALLY we make it to the Museum. Guess what? The Museum itself is not open today, hence the gift shop is not open. How are we going to find these 2 kids?!! Even after we get to the entrance to the Museum we still have a good ways to walk until we get to the entrance where we present our tickets to enter the roped off area of the show. Praise God as we near the gate we see two very worried, and then relieved, faces of Oksana & Aric watching for us!!!!! Oksana said she kept asking people where the gift shop was and no one knew what she was talking about. I'm so thankful she had the presence of mind to know she'd have to find us when we entered the gate.

A great shot of one of the planes flying over.
(not my photo)



These two stood in L-O-N-G lines, first to get a big corn dog, a pop and then these ice cream cones. About an hour for the cones!!! A shorter line to get a large bag of caramel corn that we all shared and Mickey & I shared a pop.



Grandpa & Oksana


Lovely picture of me watching the planes flying over.....but at least it's proof I was there!!!



Another fly over shot that we took.

The show was fantastic and well worth the drive, the gridlock, and the walk. It was only the second public demonstration of a rocket powered airplane. They had 2 of them and they performed a lot of stunts and were amazing. The tail stream when firing had yellow coloring added on one and red on the other to distinguish them.

The next feature was the 2009 championship Glider flyer. Then they paraded and flew 16 vintage WWII air planes. It was awesome. They flew over many times for the applauding crowds.
The static displays


B51 Mustang


Jet engine of a fighter plane.

















Oksana took the static plane pictures.

THEN about 3 o'clock Aric and I started on the L-O-N-G walk back. Again, I had to walk, stop, unfold chair, sit, rest, and then go again. We finally arrived back at the car at 4 o'clock. Boy, were we tired, and dehydrated!!! Mickey & Oksana arrived shortly after, even though they had started out later but did not have to stop.
Mickey & I had nothing to eat since the French Toast I had prepared for breakfast except the caramel corn and 1/2 a pop!!!! We stopped at the first decent restaurant we found, which happened to be a Waffle House, and the first thing I said to the waiter is: "Bring us water right away, please."
We've heard, on the news, that many people just gave up and went home. They are not refunding money for the unused tickets!!! The organizers are already planning for next years event, because of the huge success this was, and also acknowledging they have much work to do in the area of getting the large crowds in and available parking for all.
Tulsa is one of 20 museums vieing for one of the 3 Challenger Space Shuttles as a permanent display at our Air & Space Museum. All the proceeds from this event are going for that purpose. Tulsa actually has a great history of space aviation dating back to 1928 when Spartan Aircraft Company was formed and the Tulsa Municipal Airport was opened.
Four Astronauts were here for the show: Buzz Aldrin, John Herrington, Owen Garriott & Richard Garriott. Our long time State Senator,James Inholfe, flew his own Van's RV8 tandam two-seat, single-engine, low-wing aircraft in the show. He was instrumental in securing the B2 Stealth Bomber flyover for this show.
This is the 3rd year we have taken Aric to visit the Tulsa Air & Space Museum. Both grands were disappointed that the museum and planetarium were closed for this show as we had planned to visit them.
Even though these 72 & 77 year old grandparents were tired and worn out it was a wonderful outing and show and making lasting memories for these two special grands of ours is a joy and treasure to us.

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9 comments:

Mari said...

I've gone to several air shows with our family because Andy loved planes from the time he was young. We also endured crowds and dehydration, but at least we didn't have the trouble on the drive like you did. It was a great memory making time though - I know Aric and Oksana will remember it with smiles!
PS - I get very frustrated with those drivers who cut in line too!

Joy said...

What a great show to experience. I haven't been to one before. Sorry the traffic and walk were so exhausting. That would get anyone. I hope it pays off and they get the display for the museum.
♥ Joy

Sunny said...

Oksana and Eric are so blessed to have grandparents like you who will "go the extra mile", literally! to see that they get to have a very neat educational experience. I am glad you were able to do all that walking. Made my knees cringe just to read your post :)
I have enjoyed watching airshows, especially as there were 3 fliers in my family. My uncle Bill, who built his own airplane; his son, my cousin Bill, who also used to fly Fed-ex, and my cousin Bill's son Gary Miller, who was a skilled performance flier, just lost his life in CO last year when a mechanism malfunctioned as he was preparing for a show. It was devastating, but he was doing what he loved to do. There is a true beauty in the talent these fliers have.... Do you remember the movie of Will Rodgers Jr???

Brenda said...

I love your outlook, Susan.
1. I'm with you on the drivers zooming ahead only to cut in. Drives me nuts too.
2. So, that's what Oksana looks like! ;) Beautiful young lady.
3. And that's what a headless Susan looks like!
Glad you enjoyed your day inspite of all the hassle to get there and back.

Kathy said...

It looks like you all had a wonderful time despite the long walks, waits, and car traffic. What a wonderful tradition of taking your Grandchildren to this air show! They will remember and talk about these things with you all for years to come. Tasty looking to me was the ice cream Oksana & her Grandpa were having. Looked totally yummy!!! : )

Oh Sew Good said...

So does this mean next year you will be camping overnight in the parking lot? The one closest to the gift shop at that. :) Good for you for walking that far though. I'm quite proud of you!

Barbara said...

Had the same situation here when taking our children who were then about 6 and 8 to a county and air show. Sitting 3 hours in car in narrow country lane. Nowhere to ditch the car, just had to sit it out. Don't know how much it has improved since then but some I hope.

Shirley said...

Oh - what a great time! Wow - you had quite the adventure :)
Last year, I tried to take our kids to a local free airshow - they also didn't have any parking, so we ended up turning around and heading home.

Kahri said...

What a day! It will be a wonderful memory for you all, though!