Sunday, February 9, 2014

USS Hornet--Alameda, CA

Come to the USS Hornet for the food? Of course not! That would miss the point. However, the food on the Hornet gives this blog an excuse to discuss the Live-Aboard program we enjoyed this weekend.

This food isn't up for grabs. Someone will serve this to you.
The boys and I went to the Hornet for a Cub Scout event and it all started with setting down our gear in the hangar for roll call. This was followed by a welcoming ceremony. We then went downstairs to pick out your bunk. Sleeping in the berthing area isn't for everyone and most of the parents I talked to this morning didn't have a great night's sleep. However, it's a Saturday night and you can make it up with a nap at home Sunday.

The mess hall
Then, there's a fire drill followed by chow! The meal isn't anything fancy--chicken teriyaki on a stick was the main event. But, Dylan loved the chocolate chip cookies and Tyler did enjoy the chicken. For the kids, soda appeared to be the only option. We couldn't find water or milk.

After dinner came the best part: the tour of the ship. There's something in here for everyone, whether you have an interest in engineering (the catapult was terrific), cloak and dagger (the combat information center or CIC will captivate you) American history (my favorite was the Apollo stop or good old amusement park ride (the flight simulator was my kids' favorite). The tour guides are stationed at different stops and a designated group leader is given cards for directions from one stop to the next.

The tour stops at 10:00 sharp. At this point you have a choice. You can watch a DVD about the USS Hornet, or you can listen to ghost stories. We tried the latter first, but it made the kids a little scared and some the adults, well, a little bored. So, we headed for the movie--it was very informative! You'll learn about the Hornet's role as a WWII aircraft carrier and of course the Apollo mission.

Breakfast the next morning was simple but filling and delicious. Everyone got bacon, eggs and pancakes. And, you could pick up yogurt, orange juice, hot chocolate, tea and other hot drinks.

The staff is clearly passionate about the ship and their love for its history is contagious. Every scout got a free admission for another visit. I'd love to go again and bring my wife, even if for just a day trip.

USS Hornet
707 W Hornet Ave.
Alameda, CA 94501
(510) 521-8448