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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Above and Beyond

There was a special show at the Gaillard Center. Boeing's Above and Beyond, the Ultimate Interactive Flight Exhibition.   It is ending on the 13th of March.   We just did not have time to go down there before! Wednesday was a half day, so I figured it would be perfect.  Our first stop was Chic Fil A. I have never seen it so crowded in there!   We even saw people we knew!  I still think that is fun to have lived here long enough to know people around town.

The Gaillard Center is on Calhoun Street.  I knew there was a parking garage down near the Aquarium, so we parked there and walked the 5 blocks to the center.

It may have been a half day for Dorchester 2 school district, but it was field trip day for a good number of other schools! The boys stopped at the arches and another family was standing there watching a lady bug.   We talked to them for a bit, they told us that while the people at the door did not exactly say no, we are full, they were strongly encouraged to come back about 2.   There were so many field trips it would have been impossible for the boys to enjoy themselves.  I thought maybe going to the Fort Sumter Visitors Center would be a good idea. A fun place to wait for an hour and a half.

On the way to the Visitors Center, we saw this sign and learned a little more about Charleston History.

The borough houses.

At the entrance to Fort Sumter and the Aquarium

Learning a little more as we walked along

 Lon loves getting Jr. Ranger Badges, and his friend had never done one before.  Lon talked him into doing it. He seemed to enjoy the workbook, but talking to the Ranger, not so much.

It was time to go back to the Gaillard Center.

The courtyard was empty and there was no line! Looks like we timed it right

The light was very blue in the first part of the exhibit.  All the screens were touch screen.

Designing an aircraft for different purposes. This kiosk gives you a mission and you design the aircraft for it from the choices given. The computer then tells you if you made good choices and why.  It was pretty cool. The boys did all three missions.

This one was about how far space was away and how to get there and back.

A machine that dropped a large weight on the micro fabric to test the strength of the fabric.  The boys were impressed that the weight has dropped more than 13 thousand times and the fabric still was looking like the fabric in the display case

Lon was finally able to participate in this exhibit.  It seemed a large group pushed him back a couple times, until Mamma bear came to stand by. I never said anything I was just there with him.  This exhibit was showing you how birds fly, and it was not exactly as easy as it looked.  Flying, gliding, diving in formation with the other birds.  The bird that was you would turn red if you were not flying correctly.  The exhibit took you to a nice semi tropical location.

Lon was looking forward to this ! This is the coolest part of the whole exhibit according to Lon.  You designed your own aircraft, gave it your own tail identification and then you got to fly your aircraft through a course to see how well you designed your aircraft.
At first the line to go to the simulator did not seem too long.  Well, the large group was ahead of us, with only one of them holding their spots in line.  Lon designed one plane. The large group designed a few planes each and would take the two minutes in simulator 3 or more times. A docent noticed the line was not moving at all and  told them one plane at a time, then get back in line.  Once the large group moved out, the line moved very well. I have never been a fan of one person holding a spot in line for 15 other people.  I can understand one little kid not being able to wait in line for a long time and one parent taking him around to something else and coming back, but 15 people of various ages, not so much.
Lon looked at all the available options to make his plane exactly what he wanted.

 Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

In the simulator! He hit the afterburners to make a sonic boom! That was cool.

He was having a blast going through the course! Every missed gate added 10 seconds to your time. You wanted a good time and not missing any of the 14 gates.

Lon did really well!  He missed two gates, pretty good for the first time.

Then it was time to go home. It was after 3. I knew traffic was going to be a mess. It was.  It was nice that the back up on the freeway started right after the exit for the surface street that took us back home!  
It was a fun day, we learned a lot. I am glad we made the effort to see Above and Beyond.

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