Sun'n Fun '99

For all of you that missed Sun'n Fun, here is a story about my adventure……………
By Andrew Anderson

        "Andrew. Let's go, we're already behind schedule." Dad said.
        My dad is really anxious to go on this trip. We are going to Florida to Sun'n Fun. I got out of bed and put on some clothes. Then I went down stairs and got some cereal, Raisen Bran. After that I got my bags and took them to the car.
        " Say good bye to your mother and sister." Dad said.
        " Bye Mom and Ashley!" I said. I gave Mom and Ashley a hug and a kiss good-bye, and out the door we went.
        Anyway, I am Andrew Anderson. A normal 12-year-old at N.C.E.S middle school in Canaan CT.
My dad has a Piper Colt. The airplane number is N5856Z. This will be my first time in a two-seater for this long of a trip, and it was going to be a long trip. My job was to be the navigator. I was to navigate us to Sun 'n Fun. I had six maps to get us there and each of them had a line to were I picked was the shortest and easiest way to go. I was honored for my dad letting me be the navigator. When we got to the airport dad told me to unpack the car and put everything in the plane. After that my dad got the checklist and checked every thing off. Then it was flying time. Tick, tick, tick went the propeller and then it started up. We taxied out to the end of the runway and then my dad said,"Clear!" and we were off.
        Over the trees and mountains we went. Our little Piper was cruising down past New York City because we had a good tail wind. I could see Empire Sate building and the Statue of Liberty out of my dad's window. I also saw a little bit of the Jersey coastline. I wouldn't like to go swimming there. Too many needles, and trash on the beaches. You don't know what's down there! Actually the Jersey shore is not that bad anymore. The government has really cleaned it up. Sorry for getting side tracked. Now I'm just east of Philadelphia, PA. After the big buildings of the city, came the tip of New Jersey. There is nothing but wilderness there. Miles upon miles of trees and one little airport called Millville Municipal Airport. That was were our first stop was. My dad came in for a landing and parked the plane next to another one. We fueled up and got a cup of coffee and me a Dr. Pepper. Then we were off. I would recommend visiting the airport because the folks down there have a really neat museum. It was 10:30am when we went over the Delaware Bay and I was getting hungry. Our next stop was going to be in an hour and one half so I decided to catch some shut eye.
         When I woke up my dad was saying,"We're here Andrew. Time for lunch."
        We had just landed at Salisbury, Maryland got up of the plane and went inside with dad. I ordered chicken tenders with fries and a diet coke. My dad ordered a cheeseburger and a garden salad. I also bought a bag of WOW fat free potato chips for a snack later. My dad and I got back on the plane and headed for Norfolk, Virginia. I hate it when people call Norfolk, Norfork. Crossing the Chesapeake Bay was scary because I thought we were going to crash into the water. When I finally saw Norfolk, I was very happy.
        My dad, Noel, stopped at a place were he first learned how to fly. He flew a Piper Colt in 1960. I think he stopped here because to get gas and because it was a kind of a special place for him.
        For every kid that goes to Florida with your dad, there is nothing past Virginia. No cities to look at, no land forms to look at, nothing. It's as flat as a rock and if you're going 50 miles per hour ground speed, it takes forever. Except when you get into Georgia.

        We found a place to stay in Sylvania, Georgia. And I'll tell you, our stay there will not be one to forget for a long time. More later……Part 2 Follows


A Days Inn And Florida

By Andrew Anderson

        '' Dad, there's no one here! Where are we going to sleep?''
        '' I don't know. Let's worry about that when we're on the ground."
         My dad circled around the airport a couple times and came in for a crisp landing facing a beautiful Georgia sunset. We had landed in Sylvania Georgia. He taxied the plane to a spot and turned off the engine. There was a sign on the gate of a fence that said " Plantation Airport." When I got out of the plane, I was so amazed by how hot and humid It was. I got my bag and dad locked up the plane. We sat there for about five minutes until a Cadillac drove up and a man stepped out. He was tall and tan with brown shaggy hair.
        '' Be parken here for the night, I see''. He said (The man had a really weird accent.)
'' I guess so.'' My dad said. " Hop in. I'll give you people a ride to my shack, and get you a car overnight.''
The man gave us a ride to his house. On the way he explained about the airport and about himself. He was the owner of the airport. When we got there he let us borrow the car and told us the route into town. We had to bring back the car by eight in the morning.
        The car was a "boat". The thing was huge. It was a nice drive into town. When we got to the hotel, we unpacked our luggage and went to get a room. The lady gave us a key and we went to our room and the door wouldn't open. So we went back and got another room, which was supposed to be non-smoking, but when we came in it smelled like cigarettes. The third time the room was dirty with the TV on and the sheets messed up. The fourth time we finally got a good room. Dad and I both took a shower. It was 8:30pm and we hadn't had dinner so dad and I went across the street to get some McDonald's. Don't ever go to the Sylvania McDonalds. The "restaurant" smelled like road kill and the employees looked like they were drunk. One of them looked like David Letterman with an Afro.
They were so disorganized. People's orders were mixed up and meals weren't right. It was a big giant mess! She had two speeds, slow and extra slow. It would take 10 minutes just to put your order down.
        " Would you like fries with that?" Come on!!!!
On the staff's break, they would all hang around smoking inside the restaurant. When somebody in the back needed more staff to help because there wasn't enough, the argued over who was going to go help.
        After I had my meal, which stunk, we went back to the hotel. It was about ten o'clock, and my dad decided to take a cold shower and went to bed,'' Andrew, don't stay up to late. We have a big day tomorrow.''
        " O.K. dad.'' I said. I fell asleep shortly because all that was on the TV was not very interesting. News, The Mystery Channel, and Weather was all that was on. I dozed off and went to bed.
        " Andrew. It's time to wake up. It's 6:30. We have to hurry if we want to make it to Lakeland before the airshow!'' Dad said.
        '' O.K. O.K. let me wake up first.'' I said from underneath my pillow.
        I got up and packed up all of my clothes into my bag. Then I made sure I had my pillow and everything while dad went to the bathroom. He had all of his stuff ready before I did so he was all set.
        " Do we have everything?'' he said.
        " Yes." I said.
        On the way to the airport we stopped by Dunkin' Donuts, and got donuts, coffee, and a diet coke. When we got to the airport, my dad returned the car and refueled the airplane. While he was doing that, I loaded up our entire luggage onto the plane. Then dad and I took off. It was very windy up at 1500 to 4500 feet. Dad and I were going at about 45 to 60 ground speed. It was weird because you normally think off planes going faster than land vehicles, and there we were at three thousand feet, having cars go zooming by us on the interstate.
        '' Andrew. Do you see were it gets flat all of a sudden? That is the Okefenokee Swamp. That means that we're almost in Florida." My dad said.
        Soon enough we came up to this GIAGANTIC swamp. There were just miles upon miles of this swamp in each direction, and not an airport in site, I would feel sad for any flyer that had to make an emergency landing down there. Mud, labyrinths of winding rivers, and crocodiles galore.
Miles and miles of flatness gets dull after awhile so I decided to snooze.
        " Hey. Wake up. Lake City is right there, our next stop." My dad said.
        He dropped us down for a smooth landing. There was a sign that said" Welcome to Florida, The sunshine state"
        My dad parked the plane, and asked a worker there to refuel it. It was 12:05pm and they were serving free lunch at the airport, so we decided to eat. I had a Pepsi, hot dog and chips. My dad ate a burger, fries, and a coffee. While we were there, dad and I went to the bathroom, and checked up on the local weather. It was sunny with a chance of rain in the late afternoon. Dad and I decided to get a move on to Plant City before the rains came. Dad taxied the plane to the runway and requested permission to take off. And we took off. It was 12:30 It was only two more hours until Plant City And then ten minutes from Lakeland. The reason why we have to stop at Plant City is because that wind at 3000 feet made us slow, so now we can't land in Lakeland. We had to find a place to stay until the airport is reopened after the airshow. I was sleepy and decided to go to sleep. (I slept a lot through this story, Haven't I.)
        When we got to Plant City, it was 2:00pm. We had actually lost some time. When my dad parked the plane a van came up and gave us a ride to the main terminal. There we met other people that were in their way to Sun 'n Fun too. While we were there my dad ordered a pizza. Dad and I met one guy named John from Anchorage Alaska. He flew a Grumman down to Florida. He told us about how he and his buddy flew down here and all about their trip. He also showed us on his lap top computer how he bought this airplane from the Navy and how his friend and he restored it. The pizza came and we shared it with him. It was pepperoni and cheese. After dinner he showed us his airplane. It was beautiful inside and out. It looked like a war bird with the US star and painted gray. The inside had a nice wooden finish and all the instruments were in tip top shape. After that it was time to go because the air show was over.
So we said," See you at Sun 'n Fun!'' John started up his twin engine and we started up our single. As we took off over to Lakeland I thought of our plane adventure down here and all the adventures to come. As I end my story I would like to say if you are planning to go to
Sun 'n Fun 2000, I hope to see you next year.

Next will be a separate article about the Things not to do and do at Sun 'n Fun. Plus What to do if your bringing the family .