Perfect Weekend

I had the most perfect weekend.  Mike and I were planning on participating in the 99’s BINGO run.  It’s something I’ve wanted to do for years.  The bad news was that it was on the same day (Saturday) as a Transport Canada Safety Seminar in Welland.  On a bright note, the weather pooped out Saturday so the BINGO run was moved to Sunday.  Mike and I drove out to Welland and joined about thirty other piloty folks for the seminar, which was presented by Transport Canada’s Brenda Frame.  I must say, it was the most enjoyable TC seminar I’ve ever been to.  Brenda made a topic that could have been very dry, quite enjoyable to listen too!  So glad we were able to go.  After the seminar, they did a draw for door prizes.  A few years ago when I went to a fly-in at the Welland Airport, one of the door prizes was a nice big case of aviation oil.  A friend of mine who is also on the executive of our Recreational Aircraft Association, said that the case of oil was HIS!  He was just so sure that they were going to draw his name.  I’ll never forget the look on his face when they drew mine instead!  Tee hee!  I’ve never seen such a cute pout before though.  I took off soon after him to fly back to St. Catharines.  As I was entering the circuit, I said over the radio “Sorry, I would have been here sooner but this case of oil is really weighing my plane down!”  We’ve been laughing about the incident for years – the whole RAA group knows about it.  Well, at the Transport Canada seminar this past weekend, there were three door prizes – half cases of oil.  I actually said to him that I wanted him to win (so he would quit pouting).  They called the first ticket – not one of ours.  The second one was his – yea!  I was happy for him.  Mind you, I was even happier for myself when my ticket was called third!  Tee hee!

What a great day!

Mike and I were both thrilled to see the weather was perfect on Sunday, which was the rain date for the BINGO run.  We took off from St. Catharines in Vyctor around 8:20.  Our first stop was Burlington to purchase our BINGO cards and draw balls for the “B” column.  You could purchase three additional balls at each airport, to increase your chances for winning – we decided to do so.  We had a nice, quick flight into Burlington:

Another plane from St. Catharines wasn’t far behind us.  It wasn’t a race – you just had to visit five of nine airports on the list in order to get your card stamped.  We all had to meet at the final airport, Lake Simcoe, by 2:30 for the draw.  We had tons of time.

We met up with a joint owner of the plane that came in after us, at the Burlington Airport.  We purchased our cards then headed back to Vyctor to head to airport #2, which was Brampton.  Here, we would get our “I” column stamped.

This airport was much more busy.

We were actually here last month for an RAA event we arranged.  Once we purchased our additional balls and got our cards stamped, we headed out to the plane.

Part way there, I mentioned that we had about four and a half hours before the draw in Lake Simcoe.  We decided to head back into the Brampton terminal and have breakfast to kill some time.  Kinda glad we did as I was getting a tad hungry.

After noms, we hit the skies again and flew to Oshawa (another airport we were at recently).  On the way there, we passed Canada’s Wonderland.  I haven’t been there in many years:

The Oshawa Airport was in our sights shortly after:

We chatted with the folks who were working the BINGO table.  The one woman mentioned how she owned a Pitts for over twenty years and participated in aerobatic competitions.  It’s something I’ve considered doing, but haven’t got up the courage.  She mentioned the one for this year is in Chatham.  I’m certainly going to look into it!

While we were in Oshawa, I decided to check my fuel.  I was shocked at how much I still had left – about 90 litres.  We did the conversion of gallons (as I knew my plane carried 26 gallons) and it worked out to 98 litres.  Hello!  We did not fly all that way with three take-offs, and only used 8 litres!  That was really weird, but rather comforting!  I knew I still had over half full tanks, but that was really surprising!  We decided we would fuel up during our next stop, which was Greenbank Airport – a grass strip.  I love landing on grass, so I was really looking forward to this one.  On the way there, we flew directly over Buttonville Airport, which will be closing soon (I really don’t get why.  I just found out this morning, they are opening an airport in Pickering because Toronto needs another one.  Hello – then leave Buttonville open!  Whatever):

We were able to spot the grass strip at Greenbank, and came in for a landing:

We couldn’t find a sign to get a pic, so Mike found the name of the airport on the gas pumps:

As I walked toward the BINGO table, a woman approached me and asked if I was Elizabeth.  She said she saw my picture in the COPA magazine, when I won an award the other year:

Kinda neat!  She introduced me to her husband and we stood and chatted for a bit.  I then asked if I could get fuel there and they said yes.  Problem – I’ve never had to pump my own fuel for my plane before.  Jeff was so nice and offered to show me how.  He said the pumps and credit card machines were comparable at most airports.  This was going to be a good lesson for me:

Success!  Thanks again, Jeff!

After giving Vyctor a drinky-poo, we headed to our final destination, the Lake Simcoe Airport.  The flight over Lake Simcoe was very picturesque:

I was really surprised to see this, and soon realized it was the Barrie Flea Market, which we used to go to when I was a kid:

And the airport was just up ahead:

The terminal building was very nice:

It lacked signage though:

We were a little early for the draw, so we decided to sit and have a coffee and butter tarts.

Of course, Donkay joined us on the trip.  You can see little Vyctor in the upper right corner:

They were a little behind with the draw, so we were worried that we would have to leave much later than expected to head home.  On a bright note, we won a few of the first twelve prizes, as we had quite a few numbers on our cards.  I was so excited that Mike won the air to air photography.  He said I could have it to get some sassy pictures of my plane.  I’m so excited – thanks again!  We also won $100 worth of personalized business cards and two Emergency Locator Transmitter recertification certificates (needs to be done once a year and costs about $80).  Yea!  The most we could win was four prizes, so there was no point in sticking around.  It was really nice to chat with the fellow pilots though, some of whom we met at previous airports.

It was a nice clear flight back to St. Catharines.  Here we are heading by Toronto:

Within about an hour and fifteen minutes, we were home:

It was an absolutely perfect weekend!  I still can’t believe how well I did energy-wise.  We left at 8:20 and got back to St. Catharines after 5:00 – total of six airports.  Wow!

Today’s symptoms:  Needless to say, I’ve been very pooped the last couple of days, after my busy weekend.  Worth every second though.  Today was a bit worse than yesterday – had a really bad headache (although I think is mostly sinus related) and tons of MS aches and pains all over, including the dreaded MS hug.  Tomorrow will be better!

Posted by Lizzy McFly at 6/11/2013 8:25 PM

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