It’s always a much longer flight home when leaving a week-long vacation in the Caribbean. We had so much baggage and people on board that we needed another stop after flying over the Gulf Coast to Texas.
Goodbye, Fort Lauderdale! You are pretty, but only to visit for a short fuel stop.
There is always lots of air traffic coming in and out of the Miami area. It is in the top-five for busiest airspaces in the United States. It was nice to leave the hectic Florida skies to fly over the eerily-quiet Gulf of Mexico.
Here is a typical Texas thunderstorm. We were going to land at Midland for fuel (right underneath this little storm) but decided to stay a little further south to avoid such a lovely little buildup.
Thunderstorms always win. Always.
Our quick turn for fuel in Texas was so quick that I didn’t even have time to take pictures! As always, the folks at Ranger Aviation were super speedy. We had a GPU and fuel in our single-point port within fifteen minutes. With the wide-open airspace at San Angelo, we were soon departing towards the west yet again.
Goodbye, San Angelo! You have such nice air traffic controllers and such wonderfully-quick fuel service. We will be back!
I am so blessed to see the most incredible views from my office. I love the clouds and can even make shapes out of some of them. That usually happens on the longer flights…
This particular cloud looks like a giant cotton ball. Am I good or what?!
We are definitely getting closer to home, since the landscaping is drastically changing underneath. This doesn’t look tropical at all!
We are getting warmer! This is a view of Chandler Airport on the south side of the Valley of the Sun.
Hello, Phoenix! I missed you, believe it or not. You don’t have any humidity, and that helps my love for you remain strong.
This is a view of Arizona Mills Outlet Mall from the air. I only get this wonderful view of one of my favorite places to shop because they fly us directly over Sky Harbor Airport on our approach to Scottsdale. That keeps us out of the way of arriving and departing traffic while we head just north to land.
This is a view of Tempe Marketplace right by Arizona State University. I show you this because this was our “five-mile final” when landing at Sky Harbor. We usually had to maintain a speed of at least 170 knots until this landmark. It is really lit up at night and easy to spot, and, since there is no water here in the desert, it is also easy to find during the daytime because it’s a huge man-made lake!
Wow, you didn’t know that you were going to get a shopping tour from the air today, did you? This is the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall, which is my favorite mall in town. Even if I buy nothing, you can’t beat the people-watching at this place. And it’s next door to Sprinkles. Though I try really hard to not get one every time I visit this general area of town.
This mall is home to my favorite store, Crate and Barrel. It’s a fun place to be.
Now that we are past the main Phoenix airport, we can begin our descent to Runway 21 at Scottsdale. The airport is at the base of these mountains in the distance.
Hello, Scottsdale! You are so pretty. And dry. Pretty dry.
Let’s turn base-to-final for landing on Runway 21. We get close to these mountains, so I am always glad when we land in the daytime.
Mountains, just like thunderstorms, always win.
Well, hello, Scottsdale Tower! After five months of being based here, you finally didn’t have to ask where we were parking! I finally feel included in your elite club.
What’s the secret handshake again?
This is Gladys’ cousin, the Phenom 100. Isn’t it cute? Isn’t Gladys way cooler?! This six-seat airplane parked right behind us on the ramp.
We love our line guys, by the way. They can’t be beat!
After a month of having this lovely little 61-pound addition on board, we can finally put Life Raft back into our storage locker. Since we won’t be flying over large bodies of water any time soon, we can save the space and weight by putting him away.
It gave me warm fuzzies knowing he was on board, but Life Raft deserves a break in the closet.
Doesn’t it feel great to be home, Gladys? And you’re not even dripping with condensation here, like you were in the past three stops. It always feels good to come home.
Especially with a killer tan.