Travelog: Touring the USS Alabama
…with a little kid…
Traveling and site seeing with a kid is an experience like none other. In fact the term ‘adventure’ is certainly appropriate and kind of takes on a different meaning. a la: Will we make it out of here without falling over the railing? Will we have a major meltdown on Aisle 9? I try to embrace the challenge though. After all, watching your child’s mind get blown far outweighs the tantrum risk. So with that mindset, we decided to take Ransom (Age 2.75) to the USS Alabama. We wanted to show his little toddler brain the biggest boat he’d ever seen.
This place is really neat and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through the Mobile area, with or without a preschooler. The main attraction is a WWII-era battleship that you can just wander around as you please and take it all in. Almost all the doors are open, with color coded tours, informational plaques, room labels, and the occasional uniform-wearing mannequin. Everything is as it was in the ’40s, from the dentist chair to the missile silos. (well, probably without the live ammo now.)
Really, its SO LARGE that its nearly impossible to see everything. Housing over 2,000 people during its service period, I mean can you imagine? That’s about the size of our TOWN. With Ransom in tow, we managed to see about 7% of the place, and that was plenty.
Deck hands of all sizes can try out many arrays of awesome brass knobs and gauges.
Everyone also has to try out the bunk beds.. its a requirement. I believe these were actually the infirmary bunks. One of the coolest things I heard all day: Scout troops (boy and girl both) can reserve the place OVERNIGHT for a sleepover. How amazing would that be? I need to volunteer as a chaperone.
Actually, being in the belly of the ship seemed to make Ransom a wee bit anxious. He begged to take every possible exit path out to the light. So after we finished half of the ‘yellow’ tour, out we went.
On the ship’s deck there are plenty of guns to play with and turrets to crawl in. In this photo I actually think Ransom is actually excited about being able to see 18-wheelers on the highway from here. FOCUS, child.
While you’re on the deck, you can climb all up through the center tower of the ship as well. I mean, WAY up there. Observe the location of the flags in the previous photo compared to the next.
Don’t they look so emo?
Although there were several mini-meltdowns and lots of white-knuckles on the railing, Ransom had a great time. And no one fell overboard.
And now for the ‘throwback’ portion of the post, here’s a shot of me and my then boyfriend touring the place in 2004. Aren’t we babies?