Sun n Fun 2002

This was a remarkable week for Michelle and I. The best part was finally getting to meet and fly with a cyber friend, daily phone call rv'er Paul Stratman. You see Paul and I got started on these things at the same time and we found each other early on via the web. It was a daily ritual for he and I to talk in the evening, each in our basements, pouring over plans, trying to figure out what to do. We were in exactly the same place in the building process for a couple of years. It was great to have a guy working on the same stuff at the same time. We became great friends and he flew into Atlanta, from Kansas City, on his way to SnF. He Spent the night with us and we got to just talk plane stuff. Our first time meeting each other, it was like seeing an old friend. His wife Jana was great and her and my Michelle hit it off from the get go. So together we headed off to SnF in formation, with another rv friend of mine Bob Goodman, a Subaru powered rv-4 (he took 1st place SnF 100 race for the 160hp class 2002).

First, the weigh in of baggage. 135LBS. No Problem. UGGHH!! We got it in.

Next we leap towards SnF with Paul leading the way. I just can't tell you the grins on our faces

seeing each others plane together in the air for the first time. Was just one of those once in a lifetime moments neither of us will forget.

Next we land, mid day Saturday 4/6 at SnF. Course I have no pic's of that since I was busily flying and Michelle was busily navigating making sure we turned left at the peach tower. The arrival was uneventful for us, but again, another once in a lifetime memory. We set up camp, cracked open some wine, and the four of us just relished the moment together. We had arrived at SnF, first time for all of us in a plane, and in our own garage built planes no less, together with our new found friends. What could be better?

Here is Michelle's fav. plane on display, a Stinson

Sunday morning it was off to the showers and we were treated to a display of balloons going off.  Cool.

We tooled around the show Sunday. I bought a couple of parachutes and the 4 of us bought matching rv shirts (see pic below). After the airshow, we packed up and headed for my dads in Ft. Lauderdale for some home cooked meals, a real bed, and a Jacuzzi.  Here are some shots of SnF as we left. Planes, planes, planes everywhere.

Monday we were off to Key West. As we left Ft. Lauderdale, we had some terrific views.

 As we left Ft. Lauderdale, we had some terrific views. We followed rt1 hwy all the way to Key West

It was windy. 26kt sustained. Made tie down and cover a bit challenging

We rented mopeds, tooled around, had some great food, drinks, and of course sunsets.

After a couple of days, we got ready to leave for home. Here is what Paul looks like when he leaves his master switch on and has to pull the battery for charging. "Paul are you OK in there?"

On the open water north from Key West we were met by a Cessna 310 who got a big kick out of us and snuck in for some formation flight. We got a kick out of him too!

We topped off in Plant City and had to say good-bye to our good friends Paul and Jana as they headed west. I just don't know how the trip would have turned out with out them. We had such a great time sharing our planes and experiences together. We already have SnF2003 penciled in and no doubt next year will be even better. Thanks Paul and Jana, from Michelle and I, for making this trip such fun!!! As we departed Plant City, Michelle said, a bit teary eyed, "I am gonna miss them." And we did.

 See you in Waco P&J.