Line Born Patience

A large portion of my Saturday was spent practicing patience, a skill I can always use a refresher course in. The morning started in this line:

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At the very end of the line

During this past weekend, it was projected that McGuire Air Force Base would receive 100K visitors per day for its air show: Power in the Pines. I’m pretty certain this number was more than accurate.

Having always lived only about ten minutes from base, I’ve never actually gone to the air show before.* Instead I always caught bits and pieces from our front yard where, despite the distance, we still have a decent view.

*Gasp*…I know, I know.

My other brother, Andrew, has been an airman for a few years now, so he told me that I was going this year.

I’d heard that the air show was a popular event, but I had no idea it was THIS popular:

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Some people decided that instead of braving the line to get in, they’d grab a lush area of grass and enjoy the event from the sidelines 

I anticipated a back up in traffic in getting there, but surprisingly at the time we chose to arrive (11 am), there was hardly any traffic at the McGuire entrance and it took us no time to park. (Arriving an hour later, it took Andrew over an hour to park!).

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The line to get in was what caused us civilians to have to exhibit more patience than many were prepared for on this sunny, warm day. Note the bus beneath the tail of the plane in the distance. In addition to the long line of those who had entered on the McGuire side of base, buses were bringing in people who had parked elsewhere on base. You can imagine the chaos of blending the two different groups together.

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Jon waiting happily in line

Still, we didn’t mind. There was plenty going on in the air to keep us entertained.

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Like the refueling flyby of this KC-10 and C-17.*

*I’m going to give you information regarding pictures in this post that means absolutely nothing to me considering that my knowledge of airplanes is ridiculously lacking.**

**Despite this, one of my secret*** dreams is to one day get my pilot’s license.

***Guess it isn’t so much of a secret anymore.

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Watching the C-130 Personnel Air Drop was especially exciting to me, though parachuting from a plane is definitely NOT one of my secret dreams. I will admit that with each parachute that was properly released I did feel a little more ease at the reliability of parachutes.*

*Am I the only person scared to death that if one day I absolutely HAD to parachute from a plane mine would be the parachute that would malfunction?

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It was after the parachuting that things started getting a little boring in line. Our section was getting ready to combine with the bus section and the order of movement for our line wasn’t very clear.

So instead of getting grumpy, we got goofy.

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It was at this moment, Lance looked over at me with wide eyes and said, in his best Mr. DNA impression, “Dinosaurs!”

If you have seen Jurassic Park, that should make sense.

If you haven’t seen Jurassic Park–goodness, WHY not?

As stealthy as the B-2 pictured below, I grabbed a quick shot of Lance and the would-be Dr. Hammond.

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Finally, we broke off into paired lines to wait for entry through the metal detectors.

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The lesson of this post is, if ever you find yourself headed to either a.) an air show or b.) an event with an expected turnout of 100K people, either go ridiculously early or expect to wait.

After a little over an hour in line, we were finally in a wonderland of military vehicles and aircraft. But you’ll have to wait until next post to read about all that…

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