McMinnville, Oregon August 20, 2022
Air Show With Friends
We have recently had the joy of reconnecting with several friends I have lost touch with over the years. Life, you know. One of these is my dear friend Doug, and his wife Rachel, or Rae as we call her. Doug has been like a brother to me since high school, when he played in a band with my step-brother. So many great memories!
We have spent a lot of time together lately, and on one of those occasions we spent the day in McMinnville, Oregon for the Air Show and Aviation and Space Museum. We visited the air museum with the kids many years ago and were surprised at how much it has grown and changed in the interim. There is now an expanded gift shop, a 3-D theater, a lodge, conference rooms and other spaces available for events. The museum can also boast a neighboring water park as well as an RV park. A little known fact about Mr. Slater is that his love of aircraft led him to flight school in his youth where he obtained a pilot’s license.
The Spruce Goose
I did not take any photos of the infamous Spruce Goose, built by American business magnate Howard Hughes, but that is the biggest (pun intended) reason to visit the Evergreen Air and Space Museum. Development of the Spruce Goose began in 1942. Because of World War II, steel and other metals were in short supply so this aircraft was built entirely of wood and still holds the record for largest seaplane, the largest wooden aircraft, and the largest propeller plane ever built. The museum has a very informative, interactive timeline and video on their website.
Air Hostess in the Sky
I know the boys were pretty excited about all the planes and space equipment on exhibit, but my favorite part was the “air hostess in the sky” uniforms. Look how fabulous they are! Bonus points if you know the song reference. I guess we refer to them as “flight crew” these days, but when you admire these vintage patterns, colors and styles- Air Hostess seems suitable.
After the air show and a stroll through the museum, we continued our adventure with a visit to downtown McMinnville and dinner at McMennamin’s Hotel Oregon. There is usually a McMennamin’s nearby on our trips, we even found one when we went on our Eastern Oregon Ghost Town Tour. All of our dishes were amazing, of course. This weekend was also McMinnville’s Dine Out festival, when streets are closed to allow restaurants to move seating outside and celebrate their downtown. It was a beautiful stroll beneath the trees and into the various galleries, shops and taphouses. The streets were bustling, every restaurant had a waitlist at least and hour long! Now that we know McMinnville’s downtown has grown into such an arts, music and food mecca, we would like to plan a whole weekend trip!
In 1999, McMennamin’s began celebrating the famous 1950 UFO sighting in the area with a UFO Festival. This event has evolved into a two-day, city-wide celebration of all things extraterrestrial. There are a number of participating venues. Now I am determined to return to McMinnville and enjoy a weekend of exploring the wineries, restaurants, shops and of course the UFO Festival! I hope we’ll see you there- happy glamping!