Sunday September 23rd
We got to sleep in a bit this morning since I planned for a 11am departure from Newport News - Williamsburg(KPHF). We were showered and packed ready to meet Susan for breakfast. The ladies asked where I wanted to eat and my response was that I was making no decisions except for Pilot In Command (PIC) decisions today. They got a chuckle and said Cracker Barrel it is, which was fine with me. CB was packed, all the church folks must have hit the early mass because 'everyone' was in line. I guess we waited about 30 minutes and that was ok for us, some of the other folks didn't handle the wait as well. I'm not sure how people can get up in the morning and be so darn miserable and treat the folks around them so nasty.
I made a call to FSS for and updated briefing and the Grand Strand (KCRE) wx was clearing. We said our goodbye's to Susan and promised to be back to visit and catch a show in December, it didn't make it any easier for my Bride. As much as I enjoy flying here for us to visit it pains me to see the sad face Mary has when we have to leave.
Rick Aviation provided good service and had 679er fueled and ready for us to go. We will be back again and be sure to use Rick's. Pre-flight completed and engine fired up we made our call to the Newport News Tower. After the initial contact I announced our intentions; Good morning Newport News Ground, Archer 28679er at the North Ramp ready to taxi with information X-ray, VFR to Grand Strand. Tower approved our taxi to runway 7. Mary and I were off in no time as we climbed out on the downwind for 4500'. Once cleared to to switch to Norfolk Approach I advised 3000' climbing 4500. Approved by approach we were on our way tracking the CVI, ISO then CRE VOR's. Very hazy this morning and a cloud layer about 4800-5000' best described as few.
(<- Lake Waccamaw)
From Norfolk Approach we were handed off to Washington Center, Wilmington Approach and finally Myrtle Beach Approach. Good company, extra eyes with only three traffic calls. Mary, the sleeping princess managed to wake up when she heard the words "looking for traffic,679er". It was funny she would pop up ask position and scan the sky. She actually made one contact before I saw it. The call to the Grand Strand tower went smooth, despite all the bad write ups about the grouchy guy that works there, maybe it wasn't him. I had all my ducks in a row as they say, TPA was dead on 800', my calls were short, correct and clear noting current ATIS information and my intentions. I reported midfield left downwind as instructed followed by a clear to land(ATC didn't say r/w 7) I responded clear to land runway 7 for 679er. We taxied to Ramp 66 and followed the "follow me" golf cart. James got us parked and helped with baggage and hooked us up with the ladies inside for a rental. While we were finishing up the paper work James brought the car up and loaded the baggage, great service. The ladies at the desk were really nice to deal with and made us feel like regulars.
With our Ford fusion now ready to go we headed for the Dunes Village resort. Hmmm...no map but I can find this place, I know typical man. Honest it was easy, follow the coast and read the hotels, we needed to get to 52nd street. Once checked in we changed and headed to the beach. We spent a good amount of time in the ocean, more then I have since a youngster. I headed back to our room to shower and catch some football while Mary caught some Z's and sun poolside. Good timing as I got dressed Mary walked in and we quickly got ready for dinner.
We took advantage of the rental and went exploring. We were actually searching for the Palace Theatre but I could not find it, yes, I know,why would a man ask for directions. I didn't ask because the main objective was to find a place to eat which we did at the Liberty Tap Room. Good food but the bar was really noisy which took away from our hopes of a quiet dinner.