I don't think I have ever battled so many storms in one week! Typical summer fashion is to have thunderstorms, but why do they conveniently pop up every time I want to take off or land? Phoenix so rarely deals with weather, and all of the airliners bound for Sky Harbor Airport last night were put into holding to wait for the storm to move out. That requires the big ol' airliners to fly in circles until the weather passes, or until your lack of fuel makes you go somewhere else. It's really bad when one of the best-weather airports in the nation is on weather delay! Luckily, we were able to sneak into Gateway-Mesa Airport last night before everything shut down. It was nasty! And earlier that day, we were delayed getting out of Teterboro by three hours because of the nasty thunderstorms (proof in pictures above) that decided to rain on our parade. It was certainly a day of arm-wrestling with Mother Nature. It is still up in the air about who won.
During a stop in Gary, Indiana (don't you LOVE the Music Man), I got a special treat. Unfortunately, I had to miss out on attending the Oshkosh Airventure this year, the greatest airshow in the world (not biased opinion but fact). In Gary, the airshow came to ME! While waiting for my passengers to return, I got to enjoy the Team Oracle aerobatic flight team practicing a run for an upcoming airshow. One of my favorite pilots is the head of that team, Mista Sean D. Tucker. In fact, I used to have his posters (autographed, of course), on my wall. It was fun to see them while waiting. It made the open wound of missing Oshkosh not sting so badly!
Terry is a fan of buffets, and there wasn't much selection for restaurants in Gary. We ate lunch on a boat! It is a casino, and they get away with gambling by lifting the boat gangway from the hotel, thereby making it floating and not connected to any Indiana property. Obviously, the highlight of the meal was the chocolate-dipped strawberries. I love when they get all crunchy on the outside as the chocolate hardens!
We continued on to the east coast, one of my favorite trips. Unfortunately, I didn't really get the chance to explore any of the towns we visited this week. I hate when transportation is an issue! Next time I think I will just try out the city bus in Philadelphia so I have no worries. I wonder how hard it is to obtain a concealed weapons permit, as I would surely need one in the "City of Brotherly Love!" Such a great/scary place to visit, and so full of history. I happen to love history. Philly is a town for that!
Later in the week, we went to Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, which is the corporate airplane hangout for New York City. The area is home to three huge international terminals for airliners, Newark, La Gaurdia, and JFK. Unfortunately, Teterboro is seen as the red-headed stepchild when it comes to priority. When weather moves in, they only allow four airplanes in and out of Teterboro per hour in order to keep the Big Three airports operating. I know, I don't think it's fair, either. When you have fifty airplanes trying to leave Teterboro each hour, that lineup of waiting-to-depart airplanes can build up pretty quickly in an afternoon of crappy weather! One simply doesn't mess with weather. It has a way of winning every time.
Fun week. I flew some from the left seat as Captain, and that felt great. I love my job. For some reason, I missed John more than ever. Maybe I just had too much free time on my hands to think about him. I am home now and making up for lost time by making him some cookies.