Tag Archives: Pima Air and Space Museum

My Western Trip~Part 1

7 May

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Bill Lites

Bill Lites

Being an airplane enthusiast, one of the places I had always wanted to visit, was the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. My friends all told me it was a magnificent place to see, and the aerial photos I had seen on the internet proved it. The museum itself is on 80 acres, and then there is what is called “The Bone Yard” which is another 300 acres of U.S. Airplane storage. Wow! I couldn’t miss seeing that.



So, I started looking in my Aviation Museum Guide for what other aviation museums I could manage to see in the Southwest, and that’s how I came up with “My Western Trip” route. Now you might think that makes for a long trip, but the way I look at it, once I’m in an area, I like to see as many different kinds of museums (not just aviation museums) as possible. In addition, I really enjoy the planning of a trip, and as a result of my research, my list of museums began to grow. Since my initial plans were to start and end my trip in Los Angeles, I wanted to include a visit with DiVoran’s brother and his wife Susan, in Vista, CA and our high school friends Jim and Charlene in San Diego. Then, while in California, there was the Edwards AFB museum tour I wanted to take. That tour was only given two days each month and had to be scheduled 30 day in advance. Once I selected a date, I had to work my travel days (from my initial point) around that date. So, you can see some of the many factors I had to deal with to make this trip work.



When researching rental car prices, I discovered that the same car rented in Las Vegas was $300 cheaper than that same class of car I had planned to rent in L.A. or San Diego. That savings would pay for most of my gas on this trip, so now my trip was going to start and end in Las Vegas. See how fast these kinds of trip plans can change. Knowing how hot it could get in the Southwest desert at times, I had planned this trip for the first part of April in hopes the weather would not be too hot. After much fine tuning of my travel itinerary, I was finally ready to go. I had never been to Las Vegas, and when we landed, my first surprise was that the Airport was actually landscaped with Saguaro cactus, Mesquite trees and Tumbleweeds. That made for a very unusual landscape theme.         


Then, on my way to Baggage Claim, I passed thru several areas filled with gaming machines, many of which were pinging away like pinball machines. The Baggage Claim area was surrounded with gaming machines and huge screens loudly advertising what was currently being feathered at each of the showplaces on the “Strip” that week.

 The rental car process went as smooth as a breeze, but then at the Downtown Grand Hotel, where I was to stay the first two nights, I had to thread my way thru a large Casino filled with all manner of gaming machines to get to the Check-in desk. I was overwhelmed by the whole commercial scene.



                                                                        —–To Be Continued—–



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