Oceana Airshow 2014

It’s been quite a bit of time since my last post. I am a bit sorry for that, but not really. We have had lots of things going on. We are back to our “other” home in Virginia. After being gone for several months, things need a good cleaning and OMG the mail needed to be sorted and addressed. The latter should be a torture tactic. Seriously, the amount of junk mail was insane (and I was in direct marketing!!), the trips to my neighbors with their mail (Oops!!) and the rest of the ‘regular’ mail.  Three USPS mail service boxes and numerous boxes from UPS and FedEx was just a daily workout in itself.  But that is all under the bridge, including the cleaning because nothing beats lying down to sleep in ‘your’ bed in ‘your’ room.

In other great news, our little Miss M has started her first ‘year’ of preschool. And she is doing great! Preschool is only M,W,F for three hours. It’s enough time to do additional studying, run some errands or run some miles without chasing a toddler. In fact, when I’m extremely lucky, I get to spend a cup of coffee with my husband, while he works and I study.  That’s ground coffee beans with hot water in a cup, not “coffee coffee”. If you missed that, it’s probably a good thing. Anywhos… Oceana Airshow….

After a year of ‘sea frustration’, the Oceana Airshow is back.

J and I have been attending this event since our first year of marriage or maybe it was one year before. Truly, that depends on if you talk to myself or my husband. Either way, that’s 10 or 11 years. Both ways it’s a good amount of years. He took me to my first one and I’m sure he will take me to my last one, too.

The Oceana Airshow has been our way of saying farewell to the Summer and happily welcoming Fall. Even if, the cooler weather doesn’t come for another several weeks.  There is only one other location we would want to be and that is mountain side.

Several years ago, when Air Power Over Hampton Roads was around, we welcomed the Summer with their program. Air Power Over Hampton Roads is the Air Force’s airshow. It was a great show, but I got to say the Navy has the whole parking and directing traffic very well-organized. During, the Air Power show, the B-2 bomber make a pass overhead and when the F-22 Raptor is active, you get to see that jet ‘slide’. I did not miss type. It slides, during a pilot directed move. It’s pretty freakin’ incredible.  Anyhow, both are pretty amazing to see. Maybe one day the show will be back or Oceana will have one or two of those ‘planes’ on the flight schedule. Either way, I’m glad to see the F-22 Raptor back in action, even though the man hours are high and costly to maintain.

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B2
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F22 — Raptor

Back to Oceana Airshow, I will get the complaints out of the way. After spending time working in conjunction with the USCG, USN and USAF’s Morale, Well-Being and Recreation (MWR) programs, I was disappointed to see that the USCG was not present at this event. They had no static display nor were they part of the show.  I am not biased towards the USCG, my family blood runs through the Army and Navy. It’s just the USCG does not receive enough recognition for their work protecting of this Country, its citizens and their work overseas. If you did not know, the USCG does work overseas ranging from humanitarian  efforts to security. Yes, I know they are part of DHS and not DOD.  I’m not sure if this is a funding issue, invitation, or something else.  And, well, that sums up my complaints with the airshow.

On to the noticeable changes, there are two main changes. First, there was a noticeable decline in vendors. What I mean by this is,  I found there were more company vendors present than vendors of purchasable items. Not just vendors that sold logo items, but the fun and unique items. In addition, the static displays were decreased. It is a little bit disappointing. The displays were mostly fixed winged planes.  Security has changed, which is somewhat nice to see.

This year, we passed on the preferred parking. Not the best decision, not the worst. Preferred parking gets you to a special lot that is closer to the main gate. Honestly, depending on your time of arrival and the parking pattern for that year, you may park close to the preferred parking area. However, we did purchase our Executive Sponsor Chalet (ESC) tickets. We have been doing so for about 5 years. The tickets are well worth the cost of $60. Your ticket price gives you the benefit of all you can eat and drink with limited wait in-line time, bathrooms in the ESC area, seating and most importantly, you have an enclosed area with a prime location called ‘Center Stage’. The enclosed area means you are accompanied with the other guests that pay the cost to be in this enclosed area and some of the performers in the show. You are given a wristband on entrance so you can come and go as you please.

We order our tickets usually a week or two before the event. We like to have a general idea of the weather for the event. You can purchase the tickets online, here.  Keep in mind that the tickets are non-refundable, but the money goes to the Navy’s MWR program. Also, purchasing your tickets day of the event may be problematic since there is only so many people allowed in the ESC area.

Will Call and the ESC entrance are in two different locations, but close to each other. I would say within a half a football field distance. I do not truly get this step up, but whatever. I would have thought the Corporate and ESC tickets/booth would have been placed in-between those two groups compared to those that select the bleacher and reserved are rather in the same location. We do not mind the walk, after 14 miles up and down a mountain, 50 ft on a flat surface is a walk in the park.  At will call, you can either pickup your  pre-order tickets or purchase your tickets to the specialized location. If you ordered online early enough, your tickets with be ‘snail’ mailed to you.  We have never waited in a line over five minutes to pick up tickets.

The Airshow is a wonderful event. The skills of all the pilots, sky jumpers, wing walkers and drivers are one of the best in their fields if not the best. Seeing them push the limits of their planes, their body and skills is quite an experience.

Whenever you can go to the Airshow, my advice is go. I give this as free advice, even if it is not your thing you maybe surprised on what you learn, the people you meet and most importantly you are supporting the MWR program, therefore supporting your military members and families.  Oceana is not the only location that this airshow takes place. You can find the locations of this show here. It is a great day for you, your family and/or friends.

We had some perfect weather for some great photos! The Blue Angels show was called short due to rain. Overall, it was a great time and M had a wonderful experience at her first airshow.

Here are some pictures from the current airshow and some past shows….

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F18F Superhornet 2014
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2014
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2014
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2014
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Sky jumper 2014
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Using our carrier at the event — windy day 2014
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Geico Skytypers 2014
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Wing walker 2014
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Wing walker 2014

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Above is Stage 1, Stage 2 then Stage 3 of awesomeness aka vapor 🙂

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Blue Angels 2014

Some pictures from the past….

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Above images in sequence, Blue Angels, having some fun planes 5 and 6.

Static Display
Static Display
Static Display2
Static Display
Static Display3
Static Display

Last but not least, the one and only… FAAAAAAAAAAAAT Albert!

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Fat Albert

Even though, the weather this year was not the best. I want to send a thank you to all the sponsors, supports and active duty personnel. Especially, to the military police and the crew that managed the ESC gates. See you next year….

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Trip to ME and NH

During my time at home, I decided to spend some time at my parents’ ‘other home’ in Maine. I came during the right time of year. The autumn color here is amazing, the yellows, oranges and reds are just wonderful. It makes morning runs breathtaking and more enjoyable. We did encounter some days of rain where the storm clouds engulfed our mountain, but the rain did not stay for too long. Here are some nature images from our trip. My favorite is the last one, I took it during my 6 mile run along the mountain.

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Vacation… in Maine

Yes, finally… our family has made it on vacation. Well…. I can’t say that we all have made it.. DH is still dealing with work. It is rather annoying to have him have to deal with emails and conference calls… but it does pay the bills. Tuesday will be the last day ‘on call’.  Anywhos, back to the good stuff..

We decided to hike up Pleasant Mountain or as skier’s call it Shawnee Peak. It is the mountain in the left view from the deck. Gabriel did well during the hike. He had some issues going down the mountain, which means we took more breaks and let him decide the pace.  But he was a happy pup going both ways. Abby was completely at home, never resting and wanting more. Tomorrow will be a day of rest for Gabriel. We need to make sure his ataxia stays at away… in a few days we will look at hiking a trail or two in the Kangana Mountains in New Hampshire.

I am sure that both Gabriel and Abigail will sleep well tonight. As the saying goes, a tired dog is a good dog. That definitely rings true for our Abigail, since she will always find thing to do…

Below are the hiking trip pictures…