On Hampton Roads

Yesterday, Jimmy, Justin and I had a fantastic day on Saturday to conclude our trip. I, however, did wear Justin out.

We started at the NASA Visitor’s Center in Hampton. This was a really fun place with all sorts of space and aircraft exhibits. While it does not have the same kinds of artifacts then the Omnisphere in Hutchinson, it did some other things extremely well.

They have a bunch of interactive exhibits that show the physics involved in air and space travel. Justin and Jimmy had a lot of fun (and I as well, though of course I was too cool to tell them that) playing and learning about the physics involved.

One of the highlights was the enclosed flight simulator that moved in all directions. The first time Jimmy and Justin went on it the simulator stopped about 30 seconds in and locked up, but they got it fixed and eventually they went twice. The first time Jimmy was in the pilot seat and decided to try a barrel roll which prompted a loud “Hey” noticeable to the people outside the capsule. Justin’s eyes were huge when the capsule opened. The second time Justin said he’d drive and took the pilot seat. This time was a much wilder ride, partially controlled by Justin, partially controlled by Jimmy, and partially chaotic because Jimmy kept changing who was the pilot. That was hilarious to watch from the outside as the capsule was flipping upside down and rolling and doing all sorts of things. I too took a turn and though I wasn’t as wild as them I had a lot of fun trying to skim the land, eventually crashing of course.

There was also a magic exhibit. This exhibit showed the math and physics behind the illusions of several tricks. Many of these exhibits were interactive and people could participate in them. They both thought this was fun.

Upstairs there’s more space exhibits, including exhibits on what is involved in getting into space and also colonizing the moon and Mars.

After spending nearly 4 hours there, we went down to Norfolk. We went through one of the many tunnels under Hampton Roads to get there. We went to see the USS Wisconsin and we were hoping for a harbor cruise, which fortunately we were able to do as well.

The Wisconsin was great, even though you could only wander around topside. She’s actually still in the Reserve Fleet so technically she could be re-commissioned and they keep the belowdecks in a controlled environment. Nevertheless it was amazing. Justin and I wandered around everything we could. Jimmy couldn’t because of his knees.

Then we lounged and shopped for a bit until 5:30 and the harbor cruise started. The cruise was fantastic. We all loved the cruise and I took a ton of pictures. We got to see a bunch of ships in the harbor and then went past the Norfolk US Navy base to see what was currently in port and there was quite a lot. 2 Nimitz-class carriers, CVN-75 Harry S. Truman and CVN-69 Dwight D. Eisenhower, another carrier CVN-65 Enterprise, and a slew of other ships. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyers included the Burke herself, the Winston Churchill, and the Cole, the same ship damaged in the terrorist attack a while ago. There were several Ticonderoga-class CGs as well. You couldn’t see them very well, but there were also 4 Los Angeles-class attack subs. Finally, there was a slew of support and amphibious ships. It was very very cool. I was in heaven. So were the boys.

After that, we made the drive home and ended the trip. We chatted for a bit but we were all tired and went to bed fairly quickly.

Today I’m at Vels’s house, in preparation for meeting with Dr. Richard Abels tomorrow. More on that later.

On the Road Again…

Well, I turned right around from Lilies and went on the road again. This time I headed east. I got to Ginger and Don’s on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Jimmy, Justin, and I went to the Rush concert in Raleigh, NC. From there we headed north and stayed at a hotel south of Richmond.

Thursday we were in Richmond for most of the day. I went to VCU Hospital to get antibiotics for what I think is Lyme Disease from Lilies while the lads went to the Museum of the Confederacy. They happened to be right next to each other. I went through the fast track check-in, a fortunate thing given that it still took 2 and a half hours to get a prescription for antibiotics. They boys, however, really enjoyed the Museum and the Confederate White House.

From there we looked for food near the Edgar Allen Poe museum. This was sort of an adventure as nearly every place was closed, but we did find a Dominican place. Jimmy and Justin were a little unsure of Dominican food but I really enjoyed it. Justin is more willing than Jimmy to try different stuff 🙂

After that we did go to the Poe museum which I thought was really fun. I think they liked it, but I think Justin will appreciate it more after he reads some Poe. I believe he’ll love Poe given some of his other reading habits, though he might have to grow into some of it.

Last night we stayed at a hotel in Williamsburg across from an Ichiban restaurant. Both of them said they really enjoyed such places and we had a very good time, though the poor cook had to adjust for my seafood allergy and their aversion to vegetables.

Today we went to Jamestown. This was fun and I really enjoyed the museum and the movie. There were plenty of archaeological tidbits to ooh and aah over, including textiles. However, the living history part was a little too packaged. I’m also enough of a Calontiri to dislike people in garb wearing mundance shoes, even if they look very close to period. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun and Justin had a blast running over the reconstructed ships. Jimmy didn’t like it as much because of the steps and ladders with his knee.

Then Justin and I went to the Yorktown Victory Center. This was very impressive and the living history here was significantly better. I tried to take a video of the guy blank-firing his musket a couple of times, we’ll see how it turned out. Rhianwen would have enjoyed looking at the tents, which I’d guess are Panther’s but not sure.

While we went there, Jimmy hung out on the beach looking at the girls. Strangely enough, he preferred that to a museum 🙂

Now we’re at a hotel in Newport News. We’ll try and do the NASA Center at Langley AFB, maybe the Mariners Museum, maybe the USS Wisconsin, and hopefully a harbor cruise. We’ll try and at least swing by Kitty Hawk, which is on the way back to Ginger and Don’s where we’ll end up tomorrow evening.

Sunday it’s up to Maryland and staying at Vels’ for a couple of nights. Monday is a meeting with Dr. Richard Abels. Tuesday is dinner and hanging out with Marty and his wife who I’ve never met yet. More before then.


Greetings all

It’s summer so it’s time for me to start posting again 🙂

I got back from Lilies last week and had a great time. I did some different things than I have ever done before. I taught 4 classes plus one of them a second time. I am told by Countess Fionna I taught more people than any other single teacher at Lilies. I did a class on historiographical aspects to research, which I expected to have 0 interest but actually had 6 people attending. On the other hand I thought I would have several people for my Beginning Chess class and no one showed up. I did a class on Wealtheow and Hildeburh from Beowulf, which again I did not expect much interest because it was sort of a dry academic subject but got 9 people. Finally, I did a class on Anglo-Saxon noble women and got 11 people but several people said they were upset that they missed it so I did it again for 6 people under my shade fly after Grand Court. I got good reviews, which I suppose I should expect given that I was talking about my area of specialty and I do teach professionally, nevertheless it was very gratifying to have so many people like Duchess Susanna compliment me on my teaching.

I also competed in the Rose in Any Medium competition. I wrote a poem in the style of Anglo-Saxon poetry in honor of the queens of Calontir. I didn’t win the competition, but came in a close second and both the winner and I got loot. Dammo did an incredible box with roses on it, documented it pretty well, and really showed his craftsmanship. I knew when I saw the box he was going to win because it was amazing. I’m quite pleased to have been in his league.

I did, of course, fight. I fought 4 out of the 7 days, with one of those days being cancelled by rain. I marshalled on 1 of the other days and felt that fighting on the day I taught 4 classes in a row was unwise.

My fighting was pretty good. I did well in the melees, breaking my polearm head on HRM Northshield :). As always, however, my biggest problem in melees is stamina. Hopefully, I will continue to lose weight and this will change.

I only fought 1 tournament, the Fyrd First Spear Tournament. I did very well in this tournament in several fights, and screwed up in the 2 I lost. Had I not screwed those 2 fights up, I might very well have ended up as one of the last fighters remaining. Since I fought the whole tournament with 6ft spear no matter what my opponent used I was pretty pleased. I’m somewhat OK with people not choosing to fight me with 6ft spear, as I’m not shabby with the system, but I was disappointed that no other fyrdmen chose to fight 6ft spear except when Frederick and Lucien fought me with spears. I do believe that the First Spear Tournament should be fought with spear alone, because that is our totem weapon. I also believe that fyrdmen should practice with spear because, again, it’s our totem weapon. I picked up spear when I became a fyrdman because I felt it was my responsibility to know that weapon.

Overall, though, the fighting was nice and smooth. Dirk was Marshal-in-Charge and did very well. Technically according to the book, I was in charge of Authorizations, but really it was Hrothgar who did most of the work. I did my share of marshalling, yes, but I got to fight more than I would have because of Hrothgar’s work.

The singing was great, and the companionship was great, and all the normal things were great. It was also great to see Mahault, Berend, and Adrielle. The only real bad thing from Lilies is I think I got Lyme Disease, but I visited a hospital and have antibiotics so hopefully that will clear that up.

OK, that’s enough about Lilies. Time for another post about the week since 🙂