An afternoon at the agriculture fair…
An afternoon at the agriculture fair…
I always want to come back and update product reviews months later, but life often gets in the way. Personally, when I’m researching a product I like to know how it’s performing after a long period of time. Bloggers often test a product for a couple or few weeks before reviewing it on their blogs. It’s the nature of the business. Companies understandably want a quick turn around.
Earlier this week, my sister-in-law, my two nephews, and my mother-in-law went along with me, Little J, and Hubby on a day trip to DC. Near the end of our visit, we stopped near some of the Smithsonian museums for a quick break. My SIL sat down on a low wall, and when I realized she’d pulled out a Halo Portable Battery Charger, it seemed too good of an opportunity to snap a photo and blog about it!
Electronics can’t replace love or human interaction, but they can often make life easier. The Halo company sent me several of their products last fall to review, including their stylishÂ flashlights, the scanner mouse (which was a surprisingly popular post!), and their pocket power chargerÂ model 2800. The charger my sister-in-law is pictured with in this post is like the 2800Â but a little bigger. It’s the Halo Pocket Power 5500, and itÂ may not fit into your pocket as well, but it has more charging capabilities than the 2800. I handed out several of the 5500s to friends and family for their honest opinions. One has even been able to charge her iPad with it! She did say that it took a lot longer to charge an iPad than a cell phone (hours longer).
So how have our pocket power chargers been doing? Fantastic! We’ve used them on trips like this when we’re away from electrical outlets. We’ve used our chargers in airports when all the plugs at the charging station are being used (you know what I’m talking about). It’s easy to slip one in my purse or the diaper bag. In this digital age, I highly recommend that everyone invest in a portable battery charger.
To update you all, Baby J and I are still here in Pensacola visiting Hubby, but we’ll be heading back up north soon. Hubby will be heading to Texas for a few more months of training, then we’ll all be reunited and move to the Baltimore/DC area together this summer. Busy, but fun times are coming! …Along with family outing posts about the Northern Virginia/DC/Maryland area.
Two Saturdays ago, the three of us visited the National Naval Aviation Museum on Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. This was Baby J’s first air museum, and he clearly loved it. I took dozens of photos of him and could not get him to stand still for most of them. They’re almost all blurry!
Museum admission and parking are both free. The guided tours and flight line trolley tours are also free! You do need to sign up for those at the information desk. Attractions that charge include the IMAX, flight simulators, and the Blue Angels X4D Experience. See the website for current ticket info.
You will need a valid ID to enter base and the museum. Concealed weapons are not allowed on the naval station, and you cannot carry a backpack into the museum. We did bring a small diaper bag that we placed in the bottom of the stroller. Also, you’re not supposed to bring food or drinks in, but nobody stopped me over Baby J’s sippy cup, and I did have some of his snacks along (no one questioned that).
Other than Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, the museum is open all year, from 9am to 5pm. The IMAX theater, gift shop, and cafe hours differ, so check online before heading out there.
The museum has more thanÂ 150 restored aircraft on display. The exhibits include Homefront U.S.A., World War II, Pacific Island, and Naval Aviation in the Persian Gulf. There are really too many to mention here, but you can find a list on the museum’s website.
It’s been years since I visited this museum, so it was really neat to see how it’s changed and grown. There’s an entire second building now (a hangar) dedicated to more “modern” aircrafts including an unmanned aerial vehicle and Marine One.
One of Baby J’s favorite places in the museum was the Kiddie Hawk play area. It’s modeled after the island of an aircraft carrier, completely with rope ladders, binoculars, periscopes, and more. There’s also a slide, but Baby J was too chicken to go down by himself, and people older than 5 are not allowed on the play equipment. =D
Baby J kept pointing at the air planes and yelling, “Oh, wow!” so I definitely think he’s ready for an air show! I’m really enjoying taking him to museums and attractions now that he’s getting older; seeing the wonder on his little face is an amazing thing.
There were raised areas here with steps, but ramps were always easy to find. We did have a little trouble locating the elevators for the Second Deck. We ended up taking an elevator up, but carrying the stroller down the stairs to get back down (I wouldn’t recommend this). There are (supposedly) two elevators from the First to the Second Deck. I should confess that we never checked for a museum map.
We went spent a couple of hours there total, but you could definitely spend more time if you read all the plaques, watched the movies, and perhaps visited the simulators. Baby J refused to sit in his stroller -he wanted to run everywhere- and he was starting to really lag, so we ended up calling it a day without seeing everything.
If you’re in the Pensacola area, I recommend spending a morning or afternoon at the museum. If the Blue Angels are in town, you can even head outside, sit on the available bleachers, and watch them practice overhead! You can usually see them Tuesday and Wednesday mornings for about an hour beginning at 11:30, March to November. After Wednesday practices, the pilots will often come inside the museum to sign autographs.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see them flying during our Pensacola visit, as the Blues are currently in California for some air shows. You can read the Blue Angel’s show schedule for more information.
Are you a homeschooling family? They have a distance learning program with on-demand video courses. Learn about air pressure, altitude, and more.Â The museum property is also home to the National Flight Academy, and registration is now open for their six-day educational summer camps.