Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ohio to Arizona in High-Flying Style


After an unexpected stop in Columbus, and then finding out that we didn’t have to return to JFK to pick up some passengers, we leisurely grabbed some lunch before getting on our way.

El Capitan wanted to eat at some Indian restaurant, so I had him drop me off at one of my favorites on his way.

I love Panera Bread! Why aren’t they in Phoenix?!


Have you had their freshly-squeezed lemonade? It’s pretty good. I usually get it without ice since it is cold already. Who needs ice to water things down?

This was my last unhealthy trip for work. I don’t drink my calories now!


And I won’t even give this the credit of being mentioned, except by photo.

I used to really love cookies with M&Ms, though. If you must know.


I think my brain was leaning towards trying to be healthier, because I ordered a salad for lunch. It had grilled chicken and avocado, which we all know makes everything better.

Holy smokes, I love avocado.

My side dish was the complete opposite of healthy! But their mac and cheese is to die for.


It’s must be a white cheddar macaroni and cheese. judging from the flavor and color. This stuff is just pure heaven. I crave it when I can’t get it.

At least…I used to crave it! I’m sure it tastes nasty now!


I love how they include a piece of chewy-in-the-middle bread with a crunchy top.

My love for bread hasn’t changed. I still really enjoy the stuff. But I’m making better decisions in that arena, too.


The Panera Bread was located in an awesome outdoor shopping mall in a nice area of Columbus near the airport.

Why they decided to make an outdoor shopping mall in Columbus, Ohio is beyond me! It was late February and freezing cold!

But the Pottery Barn was fun. For some reason, they had a bunch of Spring stuff out. It felt a little early for that…especially when I stepped back outside into the cold wind.


We got a Brio gift card for Christmas, and someday, when I’m home from work, we’ll get to use it! Seeing this Brio reminded me that we need to go out.

You hear that, Ann? We need to go use that card that you and Ted gave us!


Can you believe that I didn’t eat at The Cheesecake Factory?

I wandered through that Crate and Barrel next door. It was one of the nicest (and biggest!) that I’ve ever visited. And I’ve seen my fair share, since it’s one of my favorite stores in the whole wide world!


The old-fashioned telephone booth is pretty cool, too.

But so is everything else about Columbus. If it wasn’t so dang north (and, consequently, cold), I would consider living in this town!


With a full and cheesy belly, it’s time to head back to the airport to head home!

It feels so weird just taking our own sweet time and leaving whenever we wanted. Is this what it feels like to own your own airplane?

Ooooooooo…Guy like. Who’s Guy? Click this link. You will like it.


This King Air had the number-one spot for departure today. We were placed next to him. I was glad, since it was rather chilly and I didn’t want to be any further from the door!

What a cry baby. But it is in the seventies at home, so twenty degrees just isn’t sitting well with me at all.


This sign cracked me up. This isn’t the first-class that I usually think of when flying! Don’t you love local advertising?

Speaking of local mega companies based here, Columbus is home to NetJets, DSW Shoe Warehouse, Victoria’s Secret, Bath and Body Works, and The Ohio State University.

They get really funny if you don’t emphasize the “The.” Believe me, I know from experience.

I came here for a few days back in college when I was president of the UND’s Mortar Board Honor Society. I came to Columbus for training, and the locals let me know pretty quickly the proper way to address them. In fact, they got pretty offended of my ignorance in such pronunciation matters.

Funny, huh?


Anyway, we were empty in back and ready to leave. Let’s get somewhere that has palm trees!


We passed lots of snowy fields on our way back to Arizona. After such a cold few days in JFK and Columbus, I was ready to thaw out for the weekend!


we crossed over these plains of the Midwest as we got closer to home. Soon, we started to see some giant mountains outside the windows.


We haven’t done this arrival in Phoenix for quite a while. With how our shortcuts worked out, we flew just south of Hubby’s hometown! So I waved at his folks and took a picture for him.

Just fifteen minutes later, we were landing in Mesa. It takes almost three hours to drive the same trip! Yuck!


We weren’t officially heading home today but to Mesa Gateway for some maintenance. We know that we will not be flying for a week, so it was perfect timing to take Gladys in for some fixes that had become available from the Embraer Service Center.

That’s something with such a new airplane…they are still designing ways to debug what we pilots find!


The city came into sight, and the beautiful Superstition Mountains were in the distance. Willy Gateway is on the far southeast side of the Valley. My car is still about an hour drive away after we land!


Willy Gateway used to be Williams Air Force Base. They did lots of bomber training here for World War II. The runways are huge as a result. The “short” one is 10,000 feet long!

Can you see the runways? There are three of them. We were cleared for the visual approach by Phoenix Approach Control to the right runway, but I asked Tower for clearance to land on the left side since it would reduce our taxi time quite a bit.

Normally, they can do it with no problems. Not today! We were swapped to land 30C and received long-rollout approval to exit the runway near our service center. Fine by me!


I was so excited to be here today, because they were prepping for a static air display of some neat WWII airplanes.

This is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress Bomber…the one with the giant “A” on the tail. This type of airplane is most famous for being the one that dropped the atomic bombs on Japan. Of course, we all know that particular first airplane was named the Enola Gay after pilot Paul Tibbetts’ mother.

How do you think she felt about having an airplane named after her that would forever go down in history?

Anyway, this B-29 Bomber is the only one still flying. I heart it! And it’s huge!


After a long drive back to my home airport in rush hour traffic, I picked up Pearl and headed home. After three crazy busy weeks on the road, I’m looking forward to a few days at home with Hubby!

Hi, Pearl!

What a great overnight trip to JFK and Columbus. I love how exciting my job can be!

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