Last weekend, I was planning to come back to Florida from my Kentucky visit on a commercial airplane. I was ready to lug my big red suitcase to the airport, wait in the long security line to halfway undress for the people with the sensory wands, and then try not to breath in other people's communicable diseases while in flight. But alas! I found a better way.
My wonderful brother and pilot, Brian, offered to fly me home! Brian asked Carrie and William to come along for a short stay in Florida. I was thrilled! We took our time Sunday morning, getting ourselves packed up. We had a leisurely drive to the uncrowded, small airport where Carrie, William and I sat in the lounge drinking lemonade while Brian checked the weather and did all the the preflight preparations. We loaded up the plane, a Cirrus SR22, a few minutes later and were taking off shortly after. What a difference from the airline chaos!
Once we were airborne over Louisville, I looked back to see how William was doing on his first flight at three weeks old (I know that sounds young, but it's perfectly OK. Brian kept an altitude of 6,000 feet or less so his little ears wouldn't hurt). He was sound asleep on his mommy's lap with his adult-sized headset on. Too cute! Kentucky law doesn't require a carseat in a small airplane, but we set it up in the seat for him anyway. He was much happier on Carrie's lap.
I sat in the co-pilot's seat and watched the radar for thunderstorms. It was neat to hear Brian talk to the air traffic controllers along the way. We diverted around several storms and landed in our town of Milton in just three short hours. Mike arrived as we landed. I was so glad to see him and my sweet Junah after being apart from them for a week. We all jumped in the Escalade and were at our house five minutes later. Can't beat that!
We spent the next two days at the beach, out to dinner and touring the Naval Air Station. William enjoyed his first vacation (as far as we could tell, anyway). Thanks so much, Brian, for bringing me home!!!
I must say I feel lucky to have so many aviators in my family. Mike's Dad, Lee, has been a pilot for many, many years and he has flown us all over the place in their plane. He even let me fly it a couple times (only once we were airborne - not sure I could master the takeoff and landing parts, ha, ha). Mike and all three of his brothers are pilots as well.