I hate to sound pathetic, but it was actually a pretty rough time. Have you ever experienced a day when everything seems to go wrong? That can describe my day at work today. I got up early...5:30 AM for a 7:15 AM departure to Las Vegas with Big Boss and two additional passengers. We never know what to expect with him, and today was no exception. The passengers showed up with no bags, so I figured out pretty quickly we would be returning that same evening! I had packed my normal week bag and had lugged it all over before loading it into the airplane! Better safe than sorry! The flight to Las Vegas was only 45 minutes, but we got held up for 20 minutes on the ground in Phoenix during the morning rush. It was unfortunate because Big Boss had to be at Caesars Palace at a specific time, but he handled the delay well (there is nothing the pilots can do about it but wait!). As we got closer to Sin City, being bounced around the entire time, we heard wind shear alerts for our runway. Loss of 20 knots, followed by a gain of 15? Yikes! Wind shear is a sudden change in wind direction or speed, and it makes landing a little more fun and challenging. It was Terry's leg, and he handled it like a pro. It was sure bumpy! Yeehaw!
After landing and getting a cab for the passengers, I hung out at the Atlantic FBO. When our stomachs started growling, Terry and I decided to hit the Strip for some lunch. We found out that P.F. Changs was in the Planet Hollywood Casino and was only about ten blocks from where we were! So we hopped into the crew car and wandered around inside the casino and mall until the restaurant opened. It was so windy and cold! There were lots of people exploring the Strip, but they were bundled up in jackets and hats. I am rather proud that I, the Phoenix girl, wasn't wearing any of that! Lunch was delicious...honey seared chicken from their lunch menu, which also gave me some hot and sour soup and white rice. We split the chicken lettuce wraps to begin our meal. I was so hungry! John "made" me Chex cereal at 5:30 that morning, but it had been way too long! The Chinese food tasted great.
We headed back to the FBO and waited for the call to return home, keeping a close eye on weather in both Las Vegas and Phoenix. Believe me, returning home in the same day is pretty abnormal for us. It was nice! But an estimated 4:30 PM arrival in Phoenix got side-tracked when they decided to put a ground stop at Sky Harbor Airport. That means nothing takes off or lands! Which meant we wouldn't be given clearance to leave Las Vegas until the ground stop ended! On three separate occasions, with engines started and ready to taxi to the runway, we were told a new ground stop had been initiated, and we would have to wait yet another hour. Big Boss arrived at the airplane at 3:30 PM, and we weren't able to finally take off until after 7:30! It was a frustrating evening, being delayed because of the weather in Phoenix. The valley was experiencing high winds, which naturally results in dust storms that lowered the visibility. I love being based in Phoenix, but the controllers are certainly not used to dealing with weather since it is only experienced five times a year! So they practically closed the airport and made us wait. We finally touched down at Sky Harbor at 8:30 PM. On the north runway, of course, because that provided a much longer taxi to our base hangar! When we shut down at Swift, an airplane was starting up next to us and created lots of noise, preventing my passengers from walking to their cars and finally heading home. It was like that all day...little things went wrong that all added up to be pretty entertaining (or annoying, depending on how tired you are when you look at it)!
I was exhausted by the time I pulled up in my driveway. After reading scriptures together with my husband, we crawled into bed. Waking up early makes John have a long day, too. But he was glad to have me home, and I was glad for the day to be over!