One of the best parts of this particular trip is that I’m re-connecting with friends and family.
Today I headed over to Fort Myers to stay with my nephew Matt and his wife Maya and get to meet my grand nephew Ethan for the first time. Ethan is 3 and the cutest little kid, also the splitting image of Matt.
I’ve always wanted to go flying with my nephews and today I got the chance. Matt took me flying in his Giles 202, aerobatic plane, it was totally AWESOME. I wish I had a stronger stomach and could have flown for longer and done more aerobatics, but Matt took care of me. We did a bit of sight seeing plus a couple of 360s, a loop and 6 barrel rolls, too friggin fantastic.
Now the funny part. Matt starts of saying “ok ready to go… I’m just going to put this parachute on you. If anything happens open the seatbelt, I’ll blow the canopy and just push out, and pull this cord immediately” Alrightity erm. So I get in and no, not one seatbelt but an over the shoulder and round the waist strap in seatbelt and then a 2nd one across the waist. Then I look in front of me and there is a sign saying ” Passenger warning. The aircraft is amature built and does not comply with the federal safety requirements for standard aircraft…..WTHECK have I agreed too
But no in all seriousness my nephew is a damn good pilot and I loved every minute. I didn’t think the pictures I took would come out, but some did. I unfortunately didn’t take any video footage of the roll as I was enjoying the experience too much.
Matt lives in an airpark, which was a totally new concept to me, but pretty cool. Basically a small suburb where the residence are all pilots or aircraft mechanics etc. The suburb sits directly alongside an airport. The houses all have hangers and access either direct or near to the runway. I asked Matt how the people without direct access to the runway get their plane there and he explained that the roads are basically all legal taxiways so they just drive their airplanes along the road to the runway. For this reason the stop signs are all low so as not to be any obstruction / danger to the planes.
My accommodation which I loved and has a really comfy bed so I slept very well.
I wish I could have stayed with Matt and Maya for longer, however I need to head up north and ensure I get to Memphis to see my brother. I’m going via Savannah as I’ve always wanted to go there and will take a 2 day break there. I started the trip thinking I’d keep off the major toll roads as the secondary roads are often more interesting. However it soon became apparent that in this huge country this would not work as it’s just slow going. I must say though the American interstates are awesome. There is no traffic and often up to 5 lanes. so I’m just cruising along on Vince and enjoying the ride. It is super hot though, another reason to stick to the interstate as it’s not so bad when you keep moving at 115/125km/hr (75miles) And as Paul pointed out I dress for the slide not the ride (meaning I wear a bikers jacket and full face helmet. I just cannot bring myself to do the American short sleeves and open face helmet…freaks me out)