Fighter jets: Dead and Alive

So, our weekend was filled with fighter jets. This dead one parked at the Parque Tomas Palmares in Dorado.

I didn’t know the park had a closing time!

Except it was closed when we arrived. Boo.

And I spent all that tome talking it up to the kids

At least the park wasn’t surrounded by a wall!

The next day was the Air Show featuring the Thunderbirds!! (Cue AC/DC music here)

 We scored a very good seat on one of the old fort walls. Overlooking the ghetto. (Literally, it’s where the guidebooks tell you not to go in old San Juan.)

I was so excited to watch an airshow over water for the first time

But then the police came by and told everyone to get off the wall. So we did. And then 10 minutes later more people came and sat back on the wall and some of the people who had gotten off got back on. I was tempted to do the same but Trevor is an outstanding law-abiding citizen. So we stayed put on the grass.  And stared at a wall. Obviously, an airshow is in the AIR. But still, I was seething with the injustice of getting there early enough to score great seats then being superseded. The show began and I was so irate I made our whole family relocate.

Our new view after getting booted off the wall.

The show was so slow going we easily moved 100 feet east to a new spot and didn’t miss anything

The first act was a xxx that just flew back and forth. Then some police helicopters, Cessna and a police boat below. Not extremely exciting. But what I did like was the search and rescue helicopter. It dropped a rescuer into the water, the chopper circled over the city then returned to the diver who lit a flair.  If we hadn’t relocated our seats, we would’ve missed that demo.

My daughter was ready to leave before the Thunderbirds even came out.

Then there was a 20 minute demonstration by a cloaked Romulan bird of prey. Which was boring.

After a 20 minute pause…


Basically, the meat of the show were these guys. They fly their wingtips within an soda-can width of each other.  It was a fun show. But, airshow snobs that we are, it wasn’t anything that we hadn’t seen before.

And at the end, we couldn’t determine if it was worth it.  The sun, the crowds, the biting ants, the lackluster opening acts. I think we left our conclusion undetermined because we didn’t want to bad mouth the event, our efforts, our times, or our choice to attend. And if we hadn’t gone, we would’ve wondered if we shoulda gone.

It took us 40 minutes to leave Old San Juan with the traffic. This only aggravated our mixed emotions, so we soothed ourselves with 2000 calories delivered via Macaroni Grill and Cold Stone Creamery in Caguas.

…..later my massage therapist told me they don’t want people sitting on the old fort walls because they want to preserve them, not destroy them.  oh. make sense




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4 Responses to Fighter jets: Dead and Alive

  1. Britton says:

    I saw an advertisement for that show and thought about going. Since it is in San Juan it was a no-go. I am not a fan of the drive at all and in fact we haven’t been to San Juan since before we moved!

    Maybe next time they’ll do it in Aguadilla.

  2. notadolfojp says:

    If I understand correctly the Thunderbirds show in Old San Juan was scheduled in a hurry after their Daytona show for that date was cancelled. The opening acts consisted of whatever they managed to find in such short notice. To make matters worse the sky was overcast on the second day so they had to cut some of their high altitude maneuvers. I kept expecting the entire thing to get cancelled. Because of that it was kind of a crappy show.

    But I still enjoyed every minute of it.

    Watching 20th century military technology from 18th century city walls is not something that I’ll ever take for granted. I got there early so I took it as an opportunity to have some awesome eats and to do some sightseeing. I was able to avoid the traffic jams getting out of OSJ by cooling down with a beer (or three) at my favorite bar while traffic dissipated. Although I must admit that living in the area and not having to worry about children made everything a lot more relaxing.

    I would do it all again even without any airplanes in sight. (Although a show by the Blue Angels would be nice. Seriously guys, by the time you get here you’ll probably be flying old rusty F-35s.)

    About the dangers of La Perla, they’re highly exaggerated. The place became infamous because of a drug related assassination that was recorded by a security camera in the ’80s. At that time such videos were rare so the local media went crazy with it. But in reality tourists are told not to go down there because the people who live there don’t like it when their poverty becomes a tourist attraction. But I still wouldn’t recommend going down there at night though…

  3. Barbara Schutt says:

    I wouldn’t want to drive from Rincon either, Britton 🙂 Great photos, Laura.

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