We saw this coming eventually. I knew that I would actually have to leave paradise and return to reality. After six days in heaven, it was time to pack my bags to head west. Pardner.
This was the hotel lobby. Can you see why it is so hard to leave this place?
We took a taxi from the hotel to the airport, which took about twenty minutes. We passed some pretty views, and I got to see all of the downtown points of interest from an air-conditioned car. I’m glad that I saw it on foot, too.
The ramp was full of other airplanes. I am sure their pilots struggled with a tough week in paradise, just like me. This first one is a Westwind, then a Citation, and then a Hawker.
But, just like she always is, my Phenom 300 was the prettiest girl at the dance.
The beautiful custom interior was added just a few months after the initial purchase of the airplane by the first owner of Gladys (we are the second owners). Everything in this cabin is custom and definitely a step up from the original interior. I approve.
Thanks to the heat/humidity combination of St. Thomas, this ice was melted before we even took off. It kept the drinks cold for the first few hours of the flight, and I had some thirsty boys on board!
They were also hungry, so I made sure to stock the airplane well before we left Scottsdale. We have chips, pretzels, crackers, cookies, and Teddy Grahams. In drawers further down, I have granola and breakfast bars, chewing gum, and almonds in four flavors.
This airplane is a flying snack section of Target!
Goodbye, St. Thomas Tower! Thanks for answering my stupid questions. And thanks for not making me park at the fire station.
This is a cool old Convair airplane, which dates back to the 1930s. It was parked on the ramp, and I don’t know if it is flyable. I love old airplanes and wish I could have peeked inside this one.
Just to the right of Convair is a rather large and probably expensive yacht. Nice!
We were cleared for takeoff and were soon in the air. With an incredible view. While performing the After Takeoff checklist, I was able to snap this picture over one of the Caribbean harbors of St. Thomas. Are you sure we can’t stay? Forever?
Here we are in the turn towards Florida after departing Runway 10. Can you see the runway in the distance? Or are you too distracted by the gorgeous blue water to care about a bunch of concrete that lands airplanes?
Goodbye, St. Thomas! I will miss you, until we meet again. (Fingers crosses that we meet again…)
It’s going to be a while until I see tropical paradise from the sky like this. Arizona doesn’t even remotely resemble this, you know? It was a real treat to experience the Caribbean this month. I’ve never been, and now I’ve been twice in three weeks.
Not too shabby!
We’re getting close to Florida after a few hours of flying. They turned us right off the arrival to prepare to land at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport just north of Miami. Just like a few weeks ago, we need to clear Customs here before we can fuel up and head further west.
Well, hello, Miami Beach! Aren’t you pretty! I remember visiting you with family fifteen years ago before heading through the Everglades and then to the Keys.
In fact, I was in Miami when I first heard Will Smith’s “Miami” song. Is that cool or what?! Maybe your measurements of cool are different from mine.
Gladys recovered from her inspection by the Customs agents. It is similar to what normal airliner travelers experience at the TSA Security inspection line. Plastic gloves were slapped into place.
She felt violated. I will just leave it at that.
I stuck with the airplane while she got fueled. Then I cleaned out the trash and wiped up an exploded soda in the ice bucket. That was fun.
We love Banyan Air Center at KFXE. They always treat us like royalty. And, like you guessed, I don’t mind that at all. Here Gladys is hooked up to the free Ground Power Unit. When you buy fuel, you get the GPU for starting the engines.
And we bought lots of fuel!
Our passengers were carted over to the café on the other side of the Banyan ramp, so they didn’t get to enjoy this beautiful lobby. By the time we were fueled and paid, the passengers were back from their lunch and were ready to continue on our trek home.
This is the customer service desk at Banyan. These people are wonderful to us.
This was my view of the Banyan FBO from the back of a golf cart. We had time to order lunch to-go from the same café that was feeding my passengers, so we went to pick it up.
Since I had very little green food all week in St. Thomas, I opted to get a spinach Mediterrean salad with artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. I always carefully eat olives in case the pit is inside. These had the pit inside. Who has time for that?!
I love artichoke hearts. They could be considered one of my favorite vegetables.
Gladys, let’s go home. I know we have to make another fuel stop in Texas before we can get there, but let’s head out.