Sunday, April 26, 2015

Cirque Du Soleil and Tucson

I really, really love Cirque du Soleil.  For those of you who don't know what it is, it is not a traditional circus.  There are no animals, no popcorn or cotton candy, no midway.  It is a story with acrobats with wild costumes, performed more like a play.  I have seen several previously and when I heard Varekai was coming to Phoenix, I knew I had to go.

They don't allow photos during the performance, so I could only take pictures of the stage before.  It was a great performance and if you have never heard or seen a Cirque du Soleil before, go see one.  They have traveling shows, like this one, as well as the permanent shows.  I believe there are five permanent shows running in Las Vegas, one in Miami, Orlando and I believe Seattle.

The performance was held in the stadium where the Phoenix Suns play basketball when home.  I think these basketball players are just a tad larger than me, don't you?

I spent a week in Tucson with Max visiting with Kenny and Charlotte, friends from California.  They had never been to Tucson before, so we played tour guide to some of the more popular places.  One of the first visits was to the Titan Missile Museum.  I got to open Blast Door 7 and it was easy, even though it weighed 6,000 lbs.  They even gave me a card to certify I moved than 6,000 lb door.

Here we are in the Command Post.  Look at all that old computer equipment.

I once ran a punch tape machine.  Wow, I must be really old.  I'm glad they haven't deactivated me like they did the Titan Missile.

Seven stories down and looking up at just the nose of the missile.  The entire structure is 140 feet below ground and the missile is 103 feet.

There were multiple layers of security when it was operational.  Nicknamed "tipsies", these scoop shaped units projected a doppler radar motion sensing beam which alerted those stationed below of intruders.

The missile here has never had a warhead, nor has it ever been fueled, and the doors are permanently blocked from opening more than halfway, allowing it to be displayed to visitors

The next visit was to the Pima Air Museum and the Boneyard.  

Oh no, Max is stuck out in space!

The Air Museum was like many other air museums I have been to before, lots of airplanes on display, both inside and out.  But the highlight of the trip was the visit to the Boneyard.  The Boneyard is really the grave yard for planes and helicopters which are no longer in use.  Some are maintained for parts, others are held in storage, just in case they might need to be activated again.  When I worked at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, I dealt with the Boneyard when we needed parts quickly land couldn't wait for them to be fabricated.  

Rows and rows of planes and helicopters.  Some have been here over 50 years.

Our last tourist venue was Old Tucson, which was a first for me.  It was originally built in the 1930s as a movie set.  In fact, it was just used for a movie shoot a few months ago.

Here are just a few of the buildings I remember seeing in popular westerns.

They have gunfights in the streets and dance hall shows daily.

Max's new Steam Punk hat.

Just a few of the many movies made at Old Tucson.

The Reno, originally built in 1872 and used in Nevada's Comstock Lodes before becoming a movie star.  Just a few of the famous people who have ridden this train are:  President Ulysses S. Grant, President Theodore Roosevelt, John Wayne, James Stewart, Kathrine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Clint Eastwood and Elizabeth Taylor.  The Reno has been in over 100 movies and television shows such as Rawhide, Twilight Zone, Tombstone and Wild Wild West.

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