Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quick and Easy Trip To Van Nuys


Some of these pictures might look familiar to you, since I do this trip a lot. We go to Van Nuys at least twice a month right now! And I like it.

Gladys was pretty excited for this trip. She probably realized that she would be bringing home yet another ottoman for my house. I didn’t even realize this yet, but I had high hopes.


Soon we were taxiing to Runway 21 for takeoff. We flew the Scottsdale 7 Departure on our way to California this morning. It just keeps us out of the way of Phoenix traffic.

And then, we were immediately on an arrival into the busy LA airspace. This is a short flight for us…only about an hour.


We quickly climbed to FL330 with only two passengers in back. Gladys is a superstar rocket!


We passed some pretty storms, but I knew that these would be trouble later if they kept on building. We lucked out with decent weather on both flights today.


And we even flew near Edwards Air Force Base, which is famous for its “extended” runway into a dry lake bed. They can land things here that need four or five miles of landing distance…like test airplanes for supersonic flight, space shuttles, etc.


And then, we flew over the mountains to descend into the Los Angeles valley. LA has several airports, but Van Nuys is usually the closest to where my passengers have meetings.


We arrived! It’s always hard to take pictures on final approach because I feel a little guilty. I try to pay attention to the flight and not at how awesome a runway looks from five-hundred feet!


You know that I went here for lunch. Man, I love this place. But I try not to go when I’m on the road because it is also Hubby’s favorite place. It feels weird enjoying it without him.

And I really enjoy it…


I got my usual…the fried zucchini. If you haven’t tried this at The Cheesecake Factory, then give it a shot. Invest the $4. You will not regret it.

In fact, you will realize that it has to be ordered every time you’re at this restaurant from now on! They are that good!

I sometimes order fried zucchini at other restaurants but am always disappointed. This stuff is simply the best I’ve ever had!


And their Margherita Flatbread Pizza is another favorite of mine. I ate just one slice of this and took the rest home for Hubby to enjoy. I forgot that the Factory Grande Burrito is what he prefers from this place! Not some lousy pizza (his words, not mine).



I bought an ottoman. At a wonderful store.


And then I spent a few more hours doing something that I love…hanging out at an airport. Lots of airplanes land here, so I kept busy watching all of that goodness.


This is the mini version of Gladys, the Phenom 100. As you can plainly see, Gladys is superior in every way. Like…it’s a real airplane!


Look how big my engines are! A Phenom 100 can’t even compete with this kind of power!


Soon we were on our way back home. Meetings were quick and easy, but typical California traffic made our passengers an hour late for departure.

I feel bad for people who drive in that every day!


We waited for a few airplanes to leave and arrive before it was our turn to take off on Runway 16R.


And we’re off! Goodbye, Van Nuys. See you in a few weeks!


I grabbed some really fun photos on the flight home. For once, it wasn’t hazy. And I am still trying to play with the settings on my camera to figure things out.


A little accidental sunburst action for you here! Gladys has mighty fine-looking winglets.


And this was the extent of dangerous clouds on the short flight home. So we were easily able to miss them entirely.


Soon, the Valley of the Sun was in sight. Here is Luke Air Force Base, where they fly F-16s and have a killer air show each year.

Or so I’m told…I still haven’t been! What is wrong with me?!


When we usually come home, it is hazy with visibility only about eight miles. I loved that today was clear blue and a million. You can see the entire Phoenix valley from here!


Here we are landing on Runway 3 at home. It always feels nice to come home, no matter how long I’ve been gone.


And Gladys looks particularly beautiful in the evening sunlight. We are buttoning her up for a few nights in the hangar!


If this is what I’m taking home, then you know that it was a wonderful day at work.


We landed just after a killer rainstorm blew through, apparently. So they ran a test truck down the runway to check for debris and braking action. This Gulfstream was on the taxiway behind the truck.


The End. Of Gladys. For today.

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