Friday, August 5, 2011

San Diego Way

I flew this week! We left early Wednesday morning for an hour-long flight to San Diego. Rather than going to the big international airport, we were a little further inland at Gillepsie Field. I had never been there before, and it was fun dodging a giant mountain right next to the approach end of runway 27R. I'm just glad we landed in the daytime so I could see it properly!

Since Big Boss said they wouldn't be back before 3:00 PM, we had an unusually leisurely day in San Diego. We borrowed a crew car and ate a delicious breakfast at IHOP. Eating out for breakfast is one of my favorite things to do in the world. All the calories were listed by the items, and they had symbols to make it easy to find healthier options. I found some wheat blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs for under 600 calories. It was so delicious and hearty! Perhaps food just tastes better when someone else is footing the bill?

After breakfast, we went back to the airport and walked a few blocks to the San Diego Aviation Museum. It was incredible, and $Free.99! I spent two hours walking around the airplanes. After just a few minutes there, one of the workers made the mistake of asking if I had any questions. He then happily showed me around for the rest of the time and had lots of fun stories to recount about the airplanes. I really love aviation museums, but even more when they are so close to the FBO that I can walk! I took lots of pictures, of course, and eagerly listened to his animated versions of how each airplane arrived at the museum. 

The best part about visiting museums is that I usually see something I've never seen before. This time, it was the Ryan X-13 Vertijet, and only two exist! This particular one in San Diego is on loan from the Smithsonian, so it must be important! The X-13 was the predecessor to the well-known Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) jet, the Harrier. This airplane had a special launching pad to get it airborne rather than being able to go vertical completely on its own power. But for early 1960s technology, not too shabby!

I also got to see the cockpit of a Boeing C-97 Bomber, which stole a lot of design aspects from one of my favorite airplanes, the B-29. I love that era of aviation. Standing in the cockpit made me reflect on what this particular airplane had seen in its lifetime. It did smell of throw up, so I felt badly for the ones who had been flying it!

In addition, the museum housed a F-14 Tomcat. Since their decommission from service in 1996, the government has been destroying F-14s in shredding machines to prevent the wrong countries from getting their hands on them. Crazy! It's always one who ruins it for everyone else. These planes are SO COOL! Seeing a F-14 in-person and so close was a real treat. I guess they found a homeless guy sleeping in the engine air intake one morning. Apparently everyone likes it!

Five hours late, our passengers arrived at the airport around 8:00 PM. They sat in the lobby and discussed their day while we patiently waited to find out where they wanted to go next. It was quite a surprise when he said we were headed home! We all brought luggage that morning, so I'm pretty sure this wasn't the original plan. But who's going to complain at a chance to sleep in her own bed? Not me, I say!

Though it was only out for one day, it was a whirlwind and full of airplanes galore. I don't know what more one could possibly want from a day at work!

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