The Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola

27 Sep


So I have a TON of belated pre-Tessa posts that I was working on / planning to write about / wanting to share. But a combination of having no internet access from my apartment for most of August, having my mother-in-law visiting for a few weeks, and finally the birth of my precious little princess has kept me from blogging.

So my next few posts over the next few weeks will most likely be “catching up” posts.

When Jonathan and I were making our list of “Cheap and / or Free Things To Do In Pensacola”, the Naval Aviation Museum was at the top of the list. Located inside the Naval Air Station where Jonathan is attending A School, the large museum is one of the world’s premiere air and space museums and offers free admission and free tours daily.


When my mother-in-law flew in from Washington State a few weeks before Tessa was born, we all made our first visit to the museum. And omgee, this place is frikkin’ HUGE. There is absolutely no way you could do this museum in just one day. I get all OCD about reading every plaque, and watching every interactive video and taking every tour when I go to museums… and it’s just not possible with this place.

There are more than 150 aircraft both inside and outside the museum. These include record-setting aircraft like the NC-4 flying boat, the first plane to fly across the Atlantic, as well as combat veterans, including the SBD Dauntless that flew at the Battle of Midway, two Vietnam MiG-killers, an A-7 Corsair II that logged missions over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm and the last F-14 Tomcat to fly a combat mission.

In addition to the aircraft, there are also more than 4,000 uniforms, flight gear, weaponry, medals and decorations at the Naval Aviation Museum. The museum is also home to the famous Navy Blue Angels.




Our first visit to the museum I was still on partial bed rest and Tessa was still a wiggle in my belly. Jonathan and my MIL both teamed up on me and made me rent a wheelchair for our visit. Since I didn’t FEEL like I needed to be off my feet, I felt like one of those obese ladies that take the motorized carts at Walmart. Ya know, the ones who don’t have a physical ailment – they just don’t feel like walking when they are perfectly capable of doing so? Yeah. That was me at the Naval Aviation Museum. Only I wasn’t super happy about it and I showered / wearing a bra.

Oh! But I did get to try astronaut ice cream! I had never had it before and it was on my bucket list. I don’t know why I waited so shamefully long to try this stuff. It was great! So, one more “To Do” checked off that list.. next up: Pet a penguin. (Don’t be jelly of my bucket list.)


On our second visit to the museum, Tessa was just four days old. It was her very first museum visit! Jonathan’s dad had flown in from Washington State to join us and we wanted to show the museum off. That, and I was really stir crazy and desperate to get out of the house! We visited portions of the museum that we hadn’t seen before, and we took a trolley tour that took us to the back of the museum to view extra large aircraft.




On both visits, Jonathan rode on a flight simulator with his mom and then his dad. It looks amazingly fun, and I was unable to partake in it both visits – first because I was preggers, and the second time because I was still wincing to walk post-delivery. But I will get to ride it SOON! I won’t be leaving Pensacola without having ridden that darn thing.



Oh! Oh! Oh! Here are some really freaking adorable shots from out two trips… the top photos are the visit with my mother-in-law Connie Jo when I was still pregnant, and the bottom photos are from the visit with my father-in-law Bob when Tessa was four days old! (I hate that I look pregnant in both shots, haha.)



Anyhoo, we’re planning on returning to the museum to show my dad when he flies in from California to visit next week. That was the ONE THING he really wanted to do when he was here helping us move in last month. And I’m sure we’ll make more visits in the future so I can sate my OCD educational nerdy side with some leisurely plaque reading and video watching. I’ll be Navy savvy before you know it, matey! <—-(Sailors say matey, right???)


3 Responses to “The Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola”

  1. Beckey September 27, 2013 at 4:05 am #

    I have been going to that place since I was little! I still can’t get enough of it! I’m so glad you, little Tessa, and your hubby are doing so great!

  2. Winding road September 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    I love NAS, especially the upstairs Main St. so fun to walk through

  3. meganlongman October 7, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    Thanks for finding my blog and liking it! I’ve just been having a random browse through yours and enjoy your writing and your stories. I wanted to say here: you’re supposed to still look pregnant when your baby is 4 days old! Tessa is beautiful. By the way, what is cosplay??

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