Monday, September 2, 2013

Military Mania

I thought this past weekend would be a stay home deal since the husband wasn't feeling great and I was sick last week. My sister in-law came to town. I didn't expect to see her since she hasn't talked to her brother in a year. We were invited to a family dinner on Friday. We all stuffed ourselves on great pasta and meats. 

Saturday they were going to the Camp Blanding Museum, so we tagged along. I have never been to the museum, even though it is not far from us. 

Hours of Operation: 

Open EverydayNoon - 4pmClosed on Thanksgiving & ChristmasClosed on Thanksgiving & Christmas

Behind-the-scenes tours of the historic space artifact collection are available by appointment. Call to schedule: (352) 256-8037 or (352) 219-2285. 

Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

Camp Blanding was established in 1939 as a training facility for World War II. It is currently a Joint Training Site for the National Guard and other Reserve Components and some Active Component training. 

The museum is inside what used to be barracks. It is filled with Camp Blanding and war items. The admission is free, but donations are welcome. They even have a small gift shop. We wandered around outside and looked at the vehicles and planes. Here are some of my favorites. 

I love amphibious vehicles. If I could I would own one. 

Tanks are always cool and they had a variety. 

This looks like fun to drive. We wondered what they were watering from the bowl underneath. 

I think I need a plane. 

A model of Camp Blanding in 1939.

Beyond the museum is the actual entrance. 

More tanks!

The big guns. 

Jeeps are even cooler when they come with an axe. 

Cool and old.

After the museum we went to Green Cove Springs in search of the thruster tank from the space shuttle. Months ago my father in-law saw on the news that the tank was coming to a space museum going into the Keystone Airport. We were like, oh my, a big time thing coming to little ole Keystone. 

Fri–Sun, 12 – 4 p. m.; Mon-Tues, closed; Wed-Thurs, by appt.

The father in-law and sister in-law had gone to the airport's space museum the day before. Although it is not set up they said they had a personal tour by a volunteer who knew about everything. He explained that the tanker was not at the museum because there was still red tape to deal with to get it there. The tanker had come down the St Johns River by barge and was sitting in Green Cove. 

We went to the location and were able to get a close up look at what got the space shuttle into space. 

This is HUGE!

The pointy top cracked me up. 

The father in-law told some people who drove by about the tanker and the museum. Yes, he is their PR person. Then we went down the road to the Military Museum. Yet another place I have seen but never been to. 

Museum hours: 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Thursday thru Saturday and

I didn't take any pictures inside. The museum is inside a Quonset hut. It has all sorts of things. The volunteers were helpful and friendly. It also had a small gift shop. 

I love the big trucks. 

They had all sorts of vehicles outside. 

Huge aquatic vehicle. 

A close up of the side. 

Huge tires. 

I wanted to walk the ramp, but I behaved. 

The mural on the building. 

Even though I was still coughing from my sickness and it was hot, it was an educational and interesting adventure. Plus we didn't have to travel far to find all of these museums.

I found the military museums more interesting since I have found out recently that I have multiple relatives who have served in the military - World War I and II, as well as the Revolutionary War. I found that my father's side of the family has been in the United States since the 1700s. Also they have lived in Pennsylvania in the same county up until my father. I will continue to do research and find out more about that side of the family. My husband is also researching his grandfather who was in World War II. 

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