If it could've gone wrong, it did.
Woke up at 7:45. Headed out to the airport with Chelsea and the guys. Nothing like fitting six people into a Ford Focus!!!
I was pretty excited to be flying with Chelsea...but I'm not sure she could've said the same! She's an easy-to-talk-to gal, but after I started the airplane, she kind of became quiet! So much so that I asked if she was nervous as we were taxiin'! She certainly was! Awwwwwww!!!
Well, we took off Runway 8 and headed up north to see if we could work. The boss had called this morning, and I was supposed to be in Daytona Beach between 11:00 and 12:00 for my maintenance. No worries. Well, maybe one. The problem was I could work! The skies were AGAIN clear enough to work! This never happens here! I think I spent the first six days not flying anything! And now all I do is fly! Crazy! Oh, well...I started a flight plan.
It's not the most exciting of flying, and I certainly wasn't over the most exciting of areas. Trees, a seldom-used runway, and a rocket-launch area. Yeah, it turns out the earth opens up for the rocket...it was pretty neat to see from the sky...just kind of crazy to think about an entire rocket down underneath the earth...and whatever else was down there. The earth sure does make a good hiding spot.
So Chelsea and I flew an hour's worth of work. Clouds were in other flight plans, and I needed to be in Daytona Beach in an hour. So I pointed north.
We flew at 2500 feet. I love flying lower. You can see so much. Lots and lots of orange trees. I think Chelsea eased up a bit, although it wasn't until hours later that she told me she was feeling pretty sick while doing the sharp turns in my work! Sorry, girl!!!
I let her fly a bit, although she didn't like that too much. Buuuuuuuuuuut I guess she felt pretty comfortable with me flying...because she FELL ASLEEP!!! Yeah, she sure did! Silly girl. Of course, I had a hey-day with picture taking, but she wouldn't learn about that until several hours later, either!!!
We saw Cape Canaveral on the way up there...that was kind of neat. I would love to watch a shuttle launch someday.
Landed up in Daytona Beach, dropped the plane off, and we were out of there! I grabbed the company van, and we headed straight for the beach. I drove on the beach, but we were desperate for some food. We couldn't find anything there on the beach, so we settled for a greasy Starlite Diner. Just sat and talked.
From there, we headed back to the beach where we just parked...and napped!!! I'm serious! We had brought our swim gear and towels, but it was chilly!!! It was only 62 or so and windy...so we stayed inside. I tried to sleep on the floor in the back, but I never really could fall asleep. Chelsea had to pee like mad, and she let me know it, so I didn't stand a chance of sleeping anyway! After a little bathroom break, we came back and tried sleeping again! I was pretty tired. I think she was, too...although I think she actually fell asleep the first time, so she was more awake than me. I just wanted 20 minutes is all. Just 20. That would take me through the rest of the day...but it never happened. I never could fall asleep. I hate it.
Well, from there, we headed to Burlington Coat Factory so she could shop. We went in for a coat, but oddly enough we looked at wallets and shoes, too. I can't even tell you the last time I went shopping with a girl...I had completely forgot that's how they operated. I make a beeline path straight for what I want, then head straight out. Not so much here. I also saw perhaps the most attractive female while shoe-shopping. Hmm, maybe I should do this more often!!!
While in the store, I received a call from our mechanic. "Andy, you have a bad jug. We're not going to be able to get you out of here today."
3:36 P.M. I don't think I'll forget it. I couldn't even bring myself to tell Chelsea yet. I let her know about the call, but I told her to enjoy her shopping...she knew it was bad news, but I refused to tell. Man, I wanted her happy!!! This trip was NOT going as planned AT ALL.
Before we left, I let her in on the news, then completely focused on how to roll with it. She needed to be back in Ft. Lauderdale by tomorrow for a flight out. I had no airplane. The flight was 2 hours long...I could only imagine how long it would take to drive. But I knew that was our only option. I needed to find a rental car.
But not before I was needed elsewhere...
My company was repo'ing a couple of airplanes. A flight school had failed to make payments, so we were taking them back. ha! They needed me to fly one of the two back. I said ok. They drove us down to the airport, and Chelsea and I hopped in. It was a very nice 2006 Skyhawk SP with the G1000. It had been some time since I used the G1000, but I managed to get it up and goin'. And yes, it did take awhile!!! I had flown these back at my old flight school, but that was over a year ago! It's crazy how much you can forget in such a short period of time. Not good!
It was pretty funny, too. I had no idea how far away we were until I punched in our destination. 8.2 miles. haha. Take-off, land. And that's about what it was, too! A VERY quick flight. But I did enjoy the glass screen again. Those are pretty nice.
Landed at Daytona Beach, then headed for Enterprise. A Dodge Avenger later, Chelsea and I were off on our 4-hour journey. It was 6:00. <sigh>
But ya know what...that car ride was probably the best thing for us. It gave us time just to talk. And that we did. About everything. That's probably the greatest thing I enjoy about her...we can talk about the nitty gritty. It's not always easy to get there, but given time (thank you, 4-hour car ride), it usually comes out. So we talked about our families, our upbringing, our likes and dislikes, about having to meet a certain image, being fit, how we felt about ourselves, about tithing, about relationships, mission trips, about getting out of comfort zones, and on and on. I loved every bit of it. She is young, but she is just solid on the inside. I'm learning that that inside stuff is just so ever important. She's a pretty special young lady. I still feel like she is holding out on some stuff, but we just never have the on-going, CONSISTENT times together. I think that's key in order to get to know someone. But we scratched the deep...and I was glad for it. I really hope we helped each other out. It's just good to talk genuinely with someone. To listen, to be heard, to sharpen each other with words.
We rolled in at 10:45 P.M. Not all too late...but I was still tired. We hit up the hot tub for one last night and were joined by a middle-to-late-aged woman from Kentucky. She seemed to have a pretty simple life...and she was in love with Florida. This was just special to her. Sometimes I wish I was simpler...that these hotels and beaches and temps were just as special to me. I'm just given so much that it's sometimes hard. I hope I never come to expect it.
I called and e-mailed Sandy to see if I could see her, too, before I went to bed. That turned out to be a terrible move, as she completely took it the wrong way. I really am not sure why, but she is incredibly mad.
Went to bed at 2:30 A.M. With girl problems.
Hang on. <sigh> I know my life is unique, and with this job, you always have to expect the unexpected, but today I just feel like I got a bad deal. I sometimes wonder if there aren't higher powers involved. The fact that the 100-hour fell on a day she was here. Although it really didn't...but how it had to be early due to the holidays...it was MOVED to the day she was here. Really? Unbelievable. The fact that the ONE 100-hour with a major problem in my 1.5 years with this company is THIS ONE. How this 100-hour was NOT at my current location, but how I had to relocate for it. How the 80-degree temps are now 60's. How a day on the beach was actually not as desirable. It's just...well, I just don't get it. It's not like one thing went wrong...the whole thing had to crumble.
When it rains, it pours. I told Chelsea I'm tryin' to roll with the punches, but c'mon. This is ridiculous!!! But with all of that said, if these are the worst of my problems, then I guess I have a pretty good life. I need to remember that. I just wonder if she has any regrets about this trip.
And I think that's the thought that kills me.