Armchair Travel ~ Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington

I wrote the post (see below) 2 years ago … Now, you can visit this fabulous Museum virtually!

Check out museumofflight.org for a virtual tour! Enjoy …..

The Museum of Flight, home to more than 150 historic planes, spacecraft and related artifacts, celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2015. It offers an interactive experience for aviation enthusiasts and families at each of its main areas: the Great Gallery, the Tower at Boeing Field, the Red Barn, the Personal Courage Wing, the Space Gallery and the Airpark.

Start your adventure with a 30- or 60-minute guided tour of the Great Gallery. Walk among the reproductions and aircraft, ranging from an 1896 biplane glider to the popular M-21 Blackbird spy plane. Indulge your Red Baron fantasies by climbing into the cockpit of an SR-81 Blackbird or an F/A-18 Hornet.

If feeling adventurous, check out the X-Pilot simulator and take the controls. Fly a jet fighter or a WWII combat plane, engage in a dog fight, doing loops and 360 degree rolls. The 13-seat 4D-X simulator is tamer with 3-D graphics and some motion.

Space Exhibit Area 

In the space exhibit areas, marvel at the advances from Sputnik to the Mars Viking Lander, explore a full size replica of the International Space Station’s Destiny Research Lab, pilot a lunar module and try your hand at space docking, using the Manned Maneuvering Unit.

Visit the Tower to learn about flight and air traffic control and listen to real-time communications at King County International Airport, adjacent to the museum.

The Red Barn houses Boeing’s original manufacturing plant and early aircraft designs plus the beginnings of commercial aviation, including early ads from airlines extolling their new aircraft and on-board services.

Walk among 18 WWI aircraft and 10 WWII fighter aircraft, read stories, watch films and enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Personal Courage Wing.

Take the walkway bridge to The Space Gallery where you can climb onto the full-scale mock-up of the NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, more than 100 feet long and four stories high. The gallery also houses a Russian Soyuz space capsule plus artifacts from recent space flight ventures.

Two of the most popular exhibits are in the Airpark: the first Air Force One (used by Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon) and a Concorde. Stroll down the aisles, sensing their history, and as throughout the museum, there are docents available to answer your questions.

The web site has information about weekend lectures and special events and exhibits  including the acquisition of a 787.      www.museumofflight.org

Savor your journeys… real, imagined or virtual ..  near or far

 

Road Trip ~ Western Washington: Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, Orcas Island, Bellingham, Mt Baker, North Cascades National Park

I started my journey on the Olympic Peninsula at Port Townsend. It’s a cute waterfront town to explore with marvelous Victorian architecture, interesting local shops and good restaurants.

From Port Townsend, I took the ferry to Whidbey Island. There are several small towns to explore, my favorite being Langley, on the south eastern part of the island. Here, you will find neat local shops, including Moonraker bookstore (well worth your visit) and a great restaurant (The Braeburn) which is perfect for breakfast or lunch.

Drive north on the island to Deception Pass State Park on your way to Anacortes and the ferry to Orcas Island. I’ve stayed on Whidbey Island and also use it as a connection between the two ferries. If you have the time, it is definitely worth a visit or at least a luncheon stop.

Passing beautiful Deception Pass, take Rosario Road and Marine Drive (west side of Fidalgo Island) rather than Highway 20. Either route takes you to Anacortes, with the local roads being far more scenic.  

If you have time, explore Anacortes, enjoy lunch before boarding your ferry to Orcas Island. I’ve done this trip several times and depending on my schedule, I usually drive thru Whidbey Island as a connection between the two ferries and have a late lunch on Orcas Island.

Orcas is a magical place, a beautiful island any time of the year. From the moment you step on the ferry bound for the San Juan’s, consider yourself on “island time.” I’ve stayed several times at Rosario Resort and recommend it. There are beautiful grounds to walk about, a good restaurant on site and it’s only a few miles drive from the town of Eastsound. If you are lucky, you will see deer on the property as you explore the area. 

On this trip, I took a whale watching cruise (great fun and I’ll do it again) plus taking the ferry to nearby Friday Harbor. I parked near the ferry terminal on Orcas Island and was a walk-on passenger. The town of Friday Harbor is at the ferry terminal so no need for a car as you explore this picturesque town. Be sure to check out The Whale Museum.

Orcas is the largest of the San Juan Islands and it’s enjoyable to drive about and explore the island. Drive to the top of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park for a gorgeous view, stop at local pottery places, investigate winding roads and breathe in its beauty and serenity.  

Leaving Orcas, I took the ferry to Anacortes, walked about the Marina and then headed north via beautiful Chuckanut Drive to Bellingham.

On this trip, I used Bellingham as a base for exploring not only Bellingham but also the gorgeous Mt. Baker and North Cascades National Park areas. One rainy morning I drove to Lynden, a nearby Dutch town (terrific bakeries).

Favorite restaurants include:

When planning road trips, always be flexible. You may want to stay in a favorite place longer or completely change your itinerary as you meander along. Weather may also cause you to change plans and improvise. That is the joy and fun of a road trip.

Savor your journeys … past, present and future … real or imagined…. near or far …

Links to additional photos:

Photos ~ Orcas Island, Washington ~ Whale Watching

Photos ~ Whidbey Island, Washington

Photos ~ Mt Baker, North Cascades, WA

Photos ~ Chuckanut Drive, western WA

Photos ~ Anacortes Marina & Deception Pass, WA

Photos ~ North Cascades National Park, WA

Photos ~ Orcas Island, San Juans, Washington

Photos ~ Bellingham Park & Bellingham, western Washington

Photos ~ Gig Harbor, Washington ~ Feb 2020

On a beautiful crisp sunny, winter day, it’s marvelous to walk about Gig Harbor. A clear, sunny day in February is delightful as it’s so rare. After walking about, I stopped for a lunch at my favorite Italian Restaurant, Il Lucano   

I discovered that you can order from their extensive dinner menu at lunchtime, which meant a fabulous lunch of Caesar Salad, Veal Saltimbocca, White wine (Sicilian) and Cappuccino  … Fantastico!  Maybe we will have an early Spring?? And yes, that is Mount Rainier in the distance .. on a clear day, it is visible and very beautiful.

Savor your journeys … past, present and future … real and imagined, near and far.