Warbirds Away! Visit the Commemorative Air Force Museum in Mesa, AZ

Did you know we have one of America’s premier air museums right here in Mesa? The Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum is located in a large hangar at Falcon Field, just off the 202 at Greenfield and Mckellips. This amazing establishment is a working aircraft restoration and repair facility, and is home to an incredible fleet of restored military aircraft.

The volunteers here consist of retired military pilots, airmen and flight enthusiasts, and they maintain and fly a growing collection of aircraft from yesteryear: The B-25J Maid in the Shade, a SNJ, C-47 Skytrain/Dakota, C-45 Expeditor, PT-17 Stearman, and an L-16 Grasshopper. The flagship of the fleet is the fully restored and completely airworthy B-17G Sentimental Journey. There are few things more awe inspiring than seeing, hearing and feeling this warbird rumbling over your head at low altitude! The fleet is often seen doing flyovers at local events, or in formation over military funerals–a sight to behold.

When you enter the museum, you will see an ever-changing display of military memorabilia, such as uniforms, medals, weaponry and the occasional Jeep or cannon. You can also see firsthand project planes that are in various stages of restoration or maintenance. The real treat, however is going out to the tarmac and visiting with the warbirds themselves. Museum docents are available to share stories of their experiences in battle and guide you through the restoration process. Occasionally a WWII vet will even stop by to share his experience! You are free to wander; often times the planes are open for you to take a peek, or even climb aboard! Being inside illustrates the hardships and dangers airmen endured daily in battle.

Are you ready to step the visit up a notch? There are rides available in seven WWII era planes, including Sentimental Journey. All money from ticket purchases go towards restorations and the considerable expense of fuel. The museum is an educational non-profit 501(c)(3) organization run almost entirely by volunteers; all donations are welcome! Be aware that some of the planes leave in the summer to join in the nationwide Flying Legends of Victory Tour. Flying aboard one of these beauties can be the thrill of a lifetime!

Quoted from the website: “For the education and enjoyment of present and future generations of Americans, our fleet of historic aircraft recreate, remind, and reinforce the lessons learned from the defining moments in American military aviation history.” As we lose more and more members of our Greatest Generation, it is important to keep their history alive, and the Commemorative Air Force is leading the way. Please join them!

The Ultimate City Guide to Melbourne for Expats

During the Gold fever of the 1850′s, Melbourne transformed into one of the richest cities of the world. Maintaining the luxurious charm of the 19th century gold discoveries in the fields of Victoria, Melbourne still is one of the most liveable cities of the world.

This coastal capital of Victoria has abundant picturesque landscapes, nature and wildlife. With well preserved and thriving natural reserves, conservation parks and a history which gushes through the ripples of the Yarra River, it is not difficult to imagine what a trip to Melbourne would be like.

With so much to see and enjoy a thought like ‘What to do in Melbourne’ will never cross your mind. It would be a mix of history with a touch of nature wrapped in the vibrant culture and scenic skyline of this Australian city.

Take a look at this quick city guide:

Melbourne’s secret laneways

Melbourne’s Laneways have hidden magic reverberating throughout. It is a melting pot of culture, art, shops, bars and more. Head to Somerset place for a haircut or a pint of beer. The Tattersalls Lane is a foodie’s delight, the Crossley Street is brimming with trendy cafes, Presgrave and Niagara Lane are filled with artworks and street art, and Howey Lane is for the fashion forward.

Take a walk down the Yarra river precinct

The gorgeous Yarra river is the origin point of Melbourne. It is the city’s birthplace. Amazing Wine tours along the river, cruises to Flemington racecourse, the Dandenong range, and camping in Gembrook are a hit on every itinerary. The Yarra river colonnade has a surprisingly budget friendly serviced accommodation in Melbourne.

Enjoy the Music and Arts fest

The city has a culturally diverse music scene where even the streets bustle with busking and street performers. There are a lot of entertaining opportunities here for the art and music savvy. This winter, Melbourne music and theatre scene is buzzing with performances and concerts.

The Town Hall’s Grand Organ Concert is waiting for you and it is free. The celebrated classic, Wizard of Oz musical theatre is grabbing eyeballs at the Regent Theatre, it is on till 29th July. Those who are interested in arts and exhibitions can discover contemporary and modern art at the MoMA, organised by NGV, it is open from 9th June till 10th October.

For one of a kind experience head to the Art House, where the Rabble has organised a live installation on the journey through childhood and adulthood under the theme ‘Lone’, from 8th till 17th June. Those who like history can explore the Melbourne museum exhibition on ‘Vikings beyond the Legend’, it is on till 26th August.

Absorb the beauty of Australian landscapes, wildlife & natural reserves

With a rich coastline along the southeastern ridge of Australia, Melbourne has an extravagant natural treasure. Millions of years old, the 12 Apostles at the Great Ocean road are a magnificent collection of Limestone cliffs that form a garland along the Victorian coastline. Princess Margaret Rose Cave is a limestone cave in Mumbannar. It has beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Take a trip to Phillip Island to catch delightful glimpses of Penguins, Koalas. A camping and canoeing tour of the Murray river is a great way to explore the rich fauna, and sandy beaches of the southern coast.

Some of the famous national parks in Melbourne worth a visit are the Mungo National Park, Dandenong Ranges, Great Otway national Park, Wilsons Promontory and many more.

Hangout at the best Beaches and coastal beauty

The vast coastal side of Melbourne has plenty of wonderfully laid out beaches and coastsides. The Gippsland beach runs to a whopping 90 miles and is the world’s longest beach. The Mornington Peninsula has beautiful sandy beaches where you can enjoy a sunny day of Golf, wine, hot springs and surfing-The Sorrento, St. Andrews, and Fingal Victoria are the best.

Aboriginal Victoria cultural tours

Take a trip into the Australian culture and heritage by visiting the area inhabited by the first people of Australia. A heritage walk in the Royal Botanic Garden will familiarise you with the Kulin nation. Learn the history of Birrarung Marr with the cultural walk of the Koorie Heritage Trust. Wurundjeri cultural fix and Six Season’s Culture tour by Brambuk at the Grampian National Park are great too.