The day of the fourth was very stormy at our house and all the fireworks in our area ended up being cancelled. Pensacola is about 3 hours west of here and we were just far enough away that it didn't even rain on us. Nice!
We left first thing that morning so that we could do some other things in Pensacola before time for the fireworks. The first place we went was the National Naval Aviation Museum. I didn't know how much the kids would enjoy this...but they all LOVED it! Parking and admission are both free, so that makes it even better ;).
The museum is packed full of interesting aircraft and various displays. There was a ton of hands on exhibits that the kids really enjoyed...I think it was these things that took it from interesting to fun for them. They got to sit in the cockpit, push the buttons, pull the levers, and even aim the guns. BIG fun!
Before leaving, we bought tickets and went to watch their IMAX movie "The Magic of Flight". It was about The Blue Angels, the navy's elite flying team. It was just so-so...the movie itself was pretty good, we learned some interesting things from it. The problem was a thread or something was apparently on the projector lens and it kept dancing around throughout the entire show...very distracting! We did get an awesome homeschool discount on our tickets, so I can't complain too much.
Nearly right across the street is the 1859 Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. We drove over there next to check it out and found out it closed for the day in less than an hour. The admission for the 6 of us would have been $30 and we didn't feel like we could get thirty bucks worth of touring done in that little bit of time, so we just admired it from the outside ;). It was very pretty...
We made one more stop before going to our hotel, Fort Barrancas. This fort is part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore...that means Jr. Ranger time :)! We had planned to just pick up the Jr. Ranger books for the kids to work on at the hotel and come back the next day to tour the fort. The visitor center was locked with a sign on the door saying that the Ranger would be back within the hour, so while we were waiting we walked down to the fort to have a look around.
It was so neat, we were the only ones there (that we saw) and it really made for a special experience. I could see the looks of intrigue on the kids faces as we walked the old tunnels. Imaginations were surely running wild :)...
|not sure what that look was for, hehehe...|
After a look around the fort, we went back up to the VC to get the kids books. The Ranger was there and told us about a guided tour that we could take of the fort the next day. The kids were all for it, so we left with plans to come back the next day to take the tour and turn in their completed books.
***I'm gonna stop for now, this is getting a bit long :). I'll be back soon to tell you what we did the rest of the evening...***