Did I mention I’m off work next week – all 7 days of it – till Monday, Sept 16?! It’s called PTO, “paid time off”, the absolute best way to be out of work! My decision to take the week off was rather hastily made. I woke up a few days ago at my normal 5:11 a.m. and cringed once again at the darkness. Have you noticed the days are getting shorter – it’s darker in the morning and getting dark much earlier in the evening. Summer is coming to an end and I’m not ready for it. And I had PTO to use up so I figured, “Why wait- get in your S7 and fly somewhere – anywhere!” IMG_4589

The Women In Aviation “Airplane Wash” looked like a tremendous success today!

So my week-long adventure started yesterday, flying from Indy KMQJ to the Midwest LSA Expo at KMVN, Mt. Vernon, IL. I didn’t arrive till after 5:00 pm and I have to say, it didn’t look like a whole heck of a lot was happening initially. There were a few vendor tents set up and a few LSA aircraft displayed but the crowd was light at that point. The FBO kindly hosted a BBQ for everyone with music by “the next best thing to Jimmy Buffett this side of Key West”. IMG_4553 He was pretty darn good but we needed some airplane noise too! It turned out to be a great time to check out their 1500′ grass strip. Nobody flying but me and I had a blast shooting touch & goes as the sun started to set. IMG_4578 Today, Saturday, was a fabulous day at the Expo with LOTS of people flying and driving in. The sun was shining, the wind was light, and there were people who just looked like they would love an airplane ride. This local Mennonite family surprised me when I saw them ALL inspecting this beautiful Highlander. Mennonite – airplanes – is that even possible? Troy Woodland, designer of the Highlander aircraft, was there showing it off and demonstrating short field approaches & landing, but at this moment the airplane was quietly parked on the ramp. IMG_4581 There was a young mother and father and what appeared to be their 7 children. (SEVEN!!) I was curious about them because they were so interested in the airplanes and I assumed flying was something their religion would forbid. I’m so happy I struck up a conversation with them because they were a truly lovely family and I learned so much; it is the Amish who cannot drive cars or fly airplanes. The Mennonites do drive cars and both the men and women can fly. And what I thought was 7 children turned out to be 6 children and the children’s 19-year-old teacher. I offered the family a ride in my S7 and the young lady, the teacher, jumped at the chance. She told me when we were flying that her father is a pilot and she’s learning to fly in a C172. How great is that?!! The Mennonite father also has his PPL/COM/INST ratings.IMG_4593 Sure am glad I went to Mt. Vernon, IL. It’s a beautiful airport with a wonderful restaurant and lots of friendly locals. Stay turned, you’ll be hearing a lot more about this centrally located airport very soon! So what’s up for tomorrow for me? My next stop is Tullahoma, TN to visit LLT pilot Sharon Tinkler and her Luscombe at her airport home!! Get ready Sharon, here I come!!

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