Unfortunately our summer schedule has been so busy, there really hasn't been any opportunities to take a trip and fly somewhere. I try to at least once a week, work and weather permitting, to go fly. I usually take off and climb out towards the west over downtown Jacksonville and then turn north over Jacksonville International Airport. I'll cruise that way for about 15 mins or so then turn back to the east and head for the coast.
Descending all the time, I'll cruise home along the shoreline at about 1500' enjoying the views from all around. This little jaunt usually takes me about an hour and is good exercise for the plane and me!
Last week, Abby attended the Tremaine National Dance Finals and Convention in Orlando. Unfortunately I could couldn't head down with them because of work. Luckily the work schedule slowed enough that I was able to hop down there and see Abby dance on the only day she was competing. I was so glad the Papa Ken flew out from Shreveport to join the girls for the week. I was also excited that Grandma & Grandpa Nelson, who were in town selling at an event, were also able to come see the family and watch Abby compete. I had a great time entertaining Mary in the hotel/resort pool and play area. She finally got a little brave and tried the water slide and........loved it! Surprise, surprise!
It's only a three hour drive to Orlando, but I despise that drive! So lucky me, I flew down on Tuesday morning before the afternoon thunderstorms had a chance to fire up. I was surprised that during the short 1 hour flight I was given 3 re-routes from ATC, but what surprised me most was the amount of traffic called out around Daytona Beach. Most about the traffic was maneuvering, non ATC participating (think VFR instructional flights) planes that were doing so at IFR cruising altitudes. That didn't make sense to me. Oh well, after flying through the swarm around Daytona, I was vectored around Orlando a bit then put on a nice long, straight in approach over Disney World to Runway 15 at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (KISM).
Papa took me back to KISM Thursday morning to fly home. I kept the plane with Kissimmee Jet Center during the stay. Their fuel was the least expensive at the airport at $5.40 per gallon and as long as you bought at least 10 gallons there were no tie-down or handling fees charged. Not a bad deal. Upon departure I was vectored to the west then north for a bit before being turned on course for home. My takeoff took me over Disney World again. The parks look so much smaller from the air than in person!?!? The cumulus was already starting to build, but the main area of weather at the time was safely well off to the west near Gainsville.
As I got closer to home, some of the cumulus clouds started to build past my cruising altitude of 7000'. Since I was flying alone, I decided to punch through a few of them instead of asking for permission to make slight deviations in order to avoid them. After the second one I decided the few seconds of bumps in the clouds really was uncomfortable so I was given permission to deviate to the east as needed. I made it home without incident and knew I had enjoyed the easy way. My poor wife still had to endure the jam packed schedule and one more sleepless night before loading up and driving home the next day.
We don't have any big trips planned in the near future, but hope the weather cooperates so we can fly down to Treasure Island near St Petersburg, Fl at the end of the month to enjoy a week on the beach with Grandma & Grandpa. In the mean time, the plane's annual inspection started yesterday. I'll gladly accept donations from my sympathetic family , friends, and followers! ;-) I hope y'all are having a great summer!