Saturday, September 5, 2009

Is It Tough In Here?

I am finally home, after a long, busy week. There is no doubt that this was the busiest week I have ever experienced at this job. It was fun, but it was exhausting!

On Thursday morning, we departed Hartford, Connecticut for Millville, New Jersey. They were having motorcycle races there (yawn), so the airport ramp was packed with airplanes of racing fans. I am glad I never got into that! Millville was the first defensive airfield built during World War II, and some of the original buildings still stand! They had a free museum honoring WWII soldiers. I love looking at old stuff like that. They even had an early Sperry Trainer, which was used to train pilots in the good ol' days to fly using the airplane instruments. While waiting for Joe to return from their trip in town, we ate at Dotty's on the airport. I had a delicious chicken salad sandwich, one of my favorites. When they got back to the airplane, we took off to Baltimore so Joe could attend some meetings near Washington D.C.. I love this place but have never had time to really give it the attention it deserves! Someday, I will get to visit the Smithsonian and the Air and Space Museum! After a few hours in Baltimore, we took off towards Teterboro, New Jersey. I love this place! And the weather was an improvement from two weeks ago when we got stuck for three hours! Joe decided he wanted to go to Florida, leaving at 9:30 PM. Everything was closed and made it impossible to get a rental car! Luckily, as he was stepping onto the airplane, he changed his mind to fly to Nashville instead. I have killer toe muscles now because I am always on them with Joe. He never knows for sure where or when he wants to fly. We just have to be ready and flexible for changes, because they happen several times a day. We arrived at Signature Flight Support in Nashville at 11:00 PM.

Friday was an odd day. We were at the airport by 9:30 AM in case he showed up to leave that morning. After three hours of waiting, he arrived at the airport and requested a peek at his road atlas to decide where to fly next. They needed to get to Meeker, Oklahoma, but the closest airport was 15 miles away in Shawnee. Joe and Darrell were only going to be gone a short while and were on a time limit of when they wanted to arrive in Phoenix. The fuel truck ran out of fuel while filling us up! So I got to wait another half hour while they put more fuel in the truck so they could finish fueling us. We took off at 5:00 PM local time for a two-hour flight back to Clifton Airport in southern Arizona. The airport is tiny and doesn't have any instrument approaches...all visual. It took me back a few years! After dodging some thunderstorms from Clifton to Phoenix, we finally landed around 6:00 PM (a record to land that early with Joe).

In addition to flying nineteen cities, I didn't sleep well all week. By the time I got home, I was dead! It was a Killer Week!

Phoenix - Clifton - Denver Centennial - Provo - Ogden - Renton - Greybull - Oshkosh - Milwaukee - St. Louis - Cincinnati - Hartford - Millville - Baltimore - Teterboro - Nashville - Shawnee - Clifton - Phoenix

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Middle of the Week

This is the first chance I've had to sit at my computer and post something all week. It has been so busy at work! On Monday, we visited six different cities! It has been lots of fun, but too busy to keep updated online.

Early Monday, we flew from Phoenix Sky Harbor to a mining town in southern Arizona to pick up an additional passenger. Then we flew to Centennial Airport in Denver, one of my favorite locations. We even had a chance to visit Park Meadows Mall while there to grab some lunch. A sign of the times: I grabbed a BBQ chicken wrap at Red Robin while we were waiting for our passengers, and I was the only customer in the entire restaurant during the "lunch rush." It just meant I had more Bottomless Steak Fries, so I am not complaining. The food industry has been hit hard through all of this!

After Denver, I got to visit my home state of Utah. We went into Provo first, and the visibility was terrible because of the smoke from the California fires. After an hour on the ground there, we continued to Ogden, where I got an ice cream cone from Farr Better Ice Cream while walking around the Ogden LDS Temple. Because it was Monday, I couldn't get onto the grounds for some decent pictures. But I had never visited it before, and it is always so nice to be close to a temple. Late that evening, we ended our first day adventures by flying to Renton, Washington near Seattle. It's such a great city, but I am never there long enough to explore any of it! Some day...

Tuesday started out with a flight to Greybull, Wyoming. There are several World War II war birds at Greybull that are being extensively restored by a specialized group of airplane wizards. You should see some of the airplanes they have brought back to life! While Joe looked around, we ran into the town of 1,800 people to grab an A&W hamburger for everyone on board. Greybull is always a fun fuel stop. I just love seeing airplanes, especially some of those immaculate yet ancient giants. It isn't something seen every day. After a few hours, we continued on our trip to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It was dark when we arrived, but the magical feel of Oshkosh Airventure still lingered. I was a month too late to see the thousands of airplanes covering the entire airfield! I love that airport, but our stay was short. After an hour in Oshkosh, we flew twenty minutes south to Milwaukee for the night.

Today has been fun as well, and busy (there is a recurring theme this week!). We left Milwaukee to St. Louis Lambert Airport at around 1:00 PM. Before we left, Terry and I tried a new Mexican place called El Fuego. It was so yummy! After getting full on the delicious chips and salsa, they brought out my "lunch portion" burrito. It took four people to carry it out! Needless to say, I only could handle a few bites before I boxed it up for Terry to take home. Luckily for him, the airplane baggage compartment acts as a freezer during each flight, getting as cold as minus 70 degrees at altitude (I learned the hard way not to put makeup in that suitcase!). After St. Louis, we flew north to a small airport in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our last flight of the day was to Connecticut to Hartford. What a beautiful city! Boston Center was quiet on the radio, so I asked a few questions about their facilities. They have over 330 employees in the Center, and as many as 150 are on at any given time. Fascinating! Hartford has a tiny runway (less than 4,000 feet usable) surrounded by hills, trees, a river, and power lines. To add to the fun, we flew in there at 9:30 at night! It was great! With Joe and Darrell, we drove all over town trying to find some place to eat and finally had to resort to the drive-thru at Wendy's.

Tomorrow holds a whole new day of adventures. When Joe is in the airplane, we never know what to expect next!
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