Memorial Day is upon us and with that, the start of summer. Foremost on this holiday weekend is the special time we honor our men and women who serve in the armed forces. A special thanks to those who provide us the very freedom to spend time with family and friends.
Saturday was a day to relax and we did just that. Mary and I watched a movie (man on fire), went grocery shopping and headed to my brothers house for a cook out. We had a fun time and enjoyed perfectly cooked fillets along with lobster tails. Surf and turf, what a way to start the weekend.
Sunday was a planned day of just hanging out. Mary is back to work and as we all know that first week can be hectic. We were happy to get a few things done around here and maybe run out for dinner, a quiet weekend to unwind. I on the other hand really wanted to fly this weekend but everyone was either out of town or doing the family cook outs. I had stumbled upon a post on the AOPA forum by Ted (JuggyJet) for a lunch run to Cape May, NJ. I decided to see if Mary wanted to go for lunch and see a few friends that were flying in, it was a short hop, she agreed.
We were off to the airport around 10:30 making a stop for bottled water since I left a case in the truck and it was warm. As usual not much life at Wilmington but we uncovered 08Romeo and completed the pre-flight. I called clear prop and got the fan turning which helped keep the temps under control. Once we removed the Bruce custom Heat Shield Interior Reflectors it starts to get hot quickly.
I picked up the ATIS and taxied out for a south east departure. Runway one four straight out with a slight course correction to steer 153 degrees had us pointed to the tip of south Jersey. We had a nice tail wind and enjoyed ground speeds of 135 - 140 knots. Timing was great as we announced and entered the left down wind for two eight crossing midfield. There was a Grumman inbound and a Bellanca. The Bellanca was Ryan and Kathy but at the time I didn't recognize the Grumman tail numbers. Once we taxied in and secured the plane the Grumman was directed to park a row in front of us, it was Anthony from the Pilots of America forum! Ryan and Kathy taxied in and got another front row spot and we waited on Ted and Susan's arrival.
Anthony had plans to visit family the rest of us were heading in for lunch at the Lobster House. We had to take two taxi's into town since there were six of us. I knew this day was going to be fun when the ladies headed to one cab and the men to the other...I was already laughing. Of course once we were in and the doors closed the men, in unison, said off to the bar! Kidding, we were all flying home the same day. Our cab driver wanted to play mind games and had us each take a turn repeating phrases, I was told I don't play nice.
We ate outside enjoying the perfect wx taking advantage of the take out menu, it was different but the food was good and we had a blast. We each had lunch and split a few orders of steamed clams and calamari between the group. Following lunch we all decided to take a cab down to the Washington Street Mall for Ted's ice cream and some shopping. Cape May rescued its downtown and in 1971 the city closed Washington Street to traffic between Ocean and Perry Streets, filled in the street, placed park benches everywhere, and planted the newly created walking mall with trees, shrubbery, and flowers.
With ice cream in hand, yes I had a double dip of butter pecan, we strolled through the outdoor mall. Once reaching the end of the street we turned to the east and walked towards the ocean following Perry St. It was a nice stroll taking in the Victorian homes, now mostly bed and breakfast locations, along with all the sights and smells of the shore. Yes, Jersey shore Delaware beaches. From Perry Street we headed north along Beach Ave., the beach was filled with umbrella's and it seemed every hotel with an outside pool or bar was crowded. The group turned left on Ocean St., heading west and back towards the outdoor mall. We all made a stop in the pet friendly store Whiskers then hiked the last few blocks back to the corner across the street from Our Lady Star of the Sea church.
We all walked through the gate to the Big Sky FBO and checked in at the desk. A few of us purchased water from the vending machines just inside the main hangar and the group had a last call for nature stops. We said our goodbyes and each headed out to our planes. Ted and Susan were first off followed by Ryan and Kathy and Mary and I were last to head out. The favorable tailwinds coming south east were now headwinds as we were heading north. 08Romeo was making 105 knots but it was fairly smooth visibility was great. I did tune Millville radio so I could monitor for traffic. I heard a flight departing to the west so I advised of my position, altitude and direction of flight. Once clear of the area I switched to the Wilmington tower to monitor traffic and pick up the current ATIS wx. I was directed to report a straight in for runway two seven, why I don't know, since we were south east. As I adjusted my course to comply the tower came back with a straight in three two report the NJ shore line, I acknowledged. Not my best landing, actually kind of flat with a bit of a skip, enough to count it as two maybe three. I roll out full length and exit taxiway kilo to Red Eagle. We are sunburned, hot and ready for the air conditioning. 08Romeo secure we head out to the SUV and head north to the house.
I headed straight to the showers, Mary followed. Now refreshed, We enjoyed a nice plate of fresh fruit; strawberry's, cantaloupe, cherry's and grapes along with some crackers and a fresh container of our favorite, Brie cheese. 1.5 in the log book and a fun few hours with friends. Time to relax!