Month: September 2018

PEI Trip – Final Day

We woke up bright and early on our final day and had some breakfast. We packed up and headed out to the plane soon after and said our final goodbyes. As with all trips, it’s a great experience but it’s nice to think about being home soon. Unfortunately, we had a strong headwind the entire route. I think it added at least an hour on our final ETA.


Confederation Bridge:


There were some cows sunbathing and splooshing in the water:


And the Chocolate River:



Our first stop was in Frederickton, New Brunswick. I had been there many years ago, when I spent four months in Canadian Force Base Gagetown.



This guy was just taking off:




After filling up, we headed out toward our next stop, which would be St. Georges, Quebec.


We flew around some cute, little rain shower on the way:



We met up with a couple other planes from our group and all decided to order pizza.  Yum!

Our next and final pit stop was Cornwall, Ontario.  Once we filled up there, we were finally on the final leg home.  Oshawa, here we come!

The sunset was very pretty:



After flying 2635km over the last four days, we could see our final destination – Oshawa Airport:


We fairly quickly tucked away the plane and transferred our baggage to our cars.  I still had an almost 2 hour drive home!  I made it with no issues and was so glad I could see my kitties again!

What an amazing adventure.  I still can’t believe I survived!  I knew I would need at least a couple days to recover, but I’ll get more into that in the next blog.  I will be doing one on various things from the trip that I haven’t mentioned yet.

Today’s symptoms: Feeling kinda blah still.  I think my body is still recovering from the trip.  A few days ago, I started getting bad nerve pain in both of my lower legs.  I’ve had things like this before, but it’s never been 24/7 for three days.  I’ll have a little chat with these new symptoms  before bed and advise them that they are to be gone from my body by the time I wake up tomorrow!  Hmph!

PEI Trip – Day 3 Continued

So continuing with my last blog about day three, we had done a spot landing competition in the morning then I had to head back to the hotel to rest and recover for the next day.

There was an antique tractor and car show going on at the airport.  I got to watch a few of them drive back and forth pass my window:




I spent the afternoon chilling in bed while writing the previous blog, sorting photos and watching TV.  I was looking forward to meeting up with everyone the next day to hear about their adventures around the island.

I slept well that night but unfortunately woke up feeling as bad as the previous day.  Bummer.  Cheryl and I went and had breakfast, then back to the hotel.  I can’t remember where she was going for the day, but I was going to chill in the room again.  It wasn’t long after she left to go out that she came back and said we were going to head into the town of Victoria, about thirty minutes away.  There were some nice shops and restaurants we could visit, but only had about two and a half hours for travel and touring.  I took some of my pain meds, which also help with my energy (as I usually feel at least a bit more energetic with less pain) and we hit the road.  This was near the entrance of the Summerside Airport:


Then we made it to the picturesque town of Victoria.




There were two nice shops that we sauntered through – well, not too slowly as we were short on time.  We then decided on lunch here:


As I mentioned before, I don’t have a big appetite when I’m feeling cruddy, but I did have about half an order of the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had.  They had an amazing house mayo to go with them.  I was also hoping to attend the banquet that night, so wanted to save some room for that.  We all enjoyed our food and the ambiance of the restaurant.  On the wall above us, I thought at first that they had a picture of Pinky:



Before leaving the town, we visited Victoria’s Glass Studio which had some really nice items.  I saw so many things I wanted to buy!

We drove back to the hotel and Cheryl got ready for a music performance a few people were going to.  I got into my comfy clothes and climbed back into bed.  I was determined to be conscious enough for the banquet, which was being held at New Glasgow Lobsters Suppers.  After taking something else for the pain, I joined a few other rally participants and we headed out to the restaurant.  We passed this well known brand (yum!):


After about a thirty minute drive, we arrived at the massive restaurant and waited for everyone else.  We sure had a nice view while socializing and nomming:


As I’m not a big seafood eater, I decided to order the steak. It was very good!  I had such a good time and so thankful I was able to attend.  Once we got back, Cheryl worked on the flight planning for the next day.  I can’t remember if I helped at all, and if I did, it was very little.  I think it was after 11:00 the last time I looked at the clock.  The next thing I knew, it was after 3:00am!  I fell asleep sitting up chatting with Cheryl!  That morning she told me that she said my name a few times and when I didn’t answer, she came over and turned off my phone!  Tee hee!

I will go into the final very long day of this most unreal journey!  Stay tuned!

Today’s symptoms:  I’m really physically paying for the trip, which I knew without a doubt I would.  However, it’s still hard to grasp the effect something like this has on me physically, once the symptoms hit.  I’ve been in bed or on the couch for most of the time since I’ve been back.  As with all of my “Today’s symptoms” blurbs, I’m certainly not feeling sorry for myself.  Rather, trying to educate people on this disease – especially for those who are around others with MS.  My headache has been far worse than normal, I’m very weak, the fatigue is the worst it’s been in quite a while which makes it hard to physically and mentally accomplish even everyday tasks, my nerve pain is far more severe and widespread and I generally feel flu-ish and blah all over.  Again, expected but still hard to deal with.  Mind you, totally worth it!  The pain and fatigue are just temporary – the memories and new friends from this adventure will be with me forever!

PEI Trip – Day 3

Good ol’ day trois!  Unfortunately, my body wasn’t too happy with me on this day.  I figured this would happen after two very busy and long days on this marvelous adventure.  I was able to make it out with everyone in the morning for the activities.  However, I felt very run down and sickly – pretty much like I had a fairly bad flu and very fatigued.  Still so happy though because this trip has been amazing!

We had a few things planned for the morning, including a spot landing competition.  We were the first to go, so Cheryl took off and headed around the circuit to land.  Soon after this plane landed, the pressure was on Cheryl to have her main wheels touch down as close to the line as possible.


Cheryl turned final and did a great first touch down, not too far after the line.  Full power applied as we took off again for attempt two.  She did great!  It was obviously a short flight but we still got to have a lookie at more wonderful scenery:


The float plane took off soon after we touched down for her try at spot landing:


After the competition, we had a steak, muscles and potato lunch.  I’m not a fan of muscles, so I passed on them.  As for my appetite when my MS symptoms get to this point, it’s like having the flu – no appetite.  Sucks because I don’t eat out a whole lot and would love to pig out whilst here.  Plus, there are no calories when you’re on a flying trip (because I said so!).  I couldn’t finish the small breakfast I ordered and wasn’t able to fully partake in BBQ.  I did have half of a yummy baked potato and a slice of watermelon.  Yum.  The best part of the BBQ which was hosted by COPA Flight 125, was meeting all the great people.  The conversations I had were so fascinating.  I met up with some people that I would love to keep in touch with.  Also, we met this lovely couple who wanted to see some of the various events going on that day.  The wife said that she would never get in a small plane.  Well, I don’t think she expected what happened next.  One of our members has a sweet Aircoupe and was in need of fuel.  Soooooo…..she asked if this nice lady wanted to at hop in and taxi over to the fuel pumps.  Here is a picture of someone who said she would never get in a small plane:


I spoke with her husband while they fueled the plane and he said their kids would never believe this!  I gave him my card and asked him to send me an email.  I would love to share this picture with them!

Back at the BBQ, almost all of our group was milling around, so we were gathered together for a group shot.  Check out this fine looking group:


We unfortunately don’t get to keep the adorable pooch!  Cheryl and I had enough animals in the plane with us.  If you ever face a situation where you think it will only happen when pigs fly, well I’m here to tell you they do:


As you can see, Donkay has had the the opportunity to make some new friends!

After everything was wrapping up, everyone headed out in some rented cars to either travel into town or hit the beach.  I’m afraid I had to bail out and go back to the hotel to recover for the rest of the day.  Before walking back to our nearby hotel, I snapped a pic of a cute plane being towed by a van….I’ve never seen this before:


Then Cheryl and I took each other’s pic at the same time:


It was a little sad and disappointing to head back to the hotel while watching everyone go out to spend the day doing this and that.  However,  before I even agreed to do this rally, I was pretty sure I would be spending day three feeling lousy.  Totally worth it though!  I’m pretty sure tomorrow is going to be better, as I had a lengthy pep talk with my body today.  I really would like to spend some time seeing at least a few sights around the area.  I also need to fine a place where I can get some things to bring back home as souvenirs for some of the joyous peeps back home.

Today’s symptoms: Well, as per above, feeling really cruddy today.  Lots of nerve pain, bad headache, fatigued and just head to toe blah.  I must admit, people who know me know that I seldom look and act how I feel.  This in itself is draining (as it actually does take some effort).  But at the same time, I feel even worse when I allow my symptoms to show because it makes it much easier to focus on them.  Besides, who wants to be around someone that is constantly moaning and groaning and making everyone around them know every symptom they’re experiencing at the time.  It’s taxing for others to have to deal with such a person.  Mind you (and my mother would likely agree with this), it’s taxing to deal with me regardless as I can be a bit of a wacko!

PEI Trip – Day 2

The plan for the second day of our journey was to have brekkie then hop in the planes for a 9:00 departure from Ottawa.  We lucked out with the perfect weather.  There was a bit of a head wind, but only about 5 km/hr.  With a loaded plane (gear and gas), we took off and headed for PEI.

Not long after leaving Rockliffe Airport, we passed over the nearby Gatineau Airport:


Our only stop before Summerside, PEI was Riviere-du-Loup Airport, about halfway through our five hour flight.  The scenery was pretty neat and quite a change from Niagara:

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I’ve never flown over a lake upon a hill:


It felt like it was only a 45 minute flight, but after flying for over two hours, we arrived at Riviere-du-Loup Airport:


I think we were the first plane to land, which was great because we could watch all of other folks come in.  Everyone fueled up then eagerly headed into the terminal to stretch our legs and have some lunch.

We heard a jet was on it’s way to do a low and over of the field.  Needless to say, we all ran outside to check it out:



Once we all nommed and discussed the next leg of the flight, it was time to head back to the birds and fire them up.

Soon into our flight, we passed by Quebec City – Bonjour!

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I snapped this pic on the way there.  Of course, Donkay was with me.  This picture looks like one of those old 80’s portraits because of his reflection:



Pretty close, eh?  Tee hee!

The second leg of the flight seemed shorter than it actually was too.  I think part of the reason is that for the 99’s Gold Cup Air Rally, we have a bunch of questions to answer during our travels.  This is what I focused on quite a bit while Cheryl was flying (and while I wasn’t – she let me take control a few times.  Yea!)

Alas!  We arrived in PEI!


I’m not what type of sea-creature traps these are, but wow:


Coming in behind us was the float plane in our group:


And then we came upon our final destination – Summerside Airport:


This would be our home for the next three (or more depending on the weather) days.  Nice flying, Cheryl!


Aren’t we adorable in our awesome flight suits?  Hehe!

We had the plane fueled for the spot landing competition in the morning.  While waiting for the fuel garcon to finish up with the previous plane, Cheryl had me pose with this stunning background:

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Everyone was quite weary, but we all headed into the hotel restaurant for a nice dinner and chat about our flight.  Afterwards, some of the group congregated in someone’s room for some more socializing and to wind down.  My body wasn’t quite up for it, so I just went to our room and prepared for a much anticipated sleep.

Yesterday’s symptoms:  I had to take some of my wake-up pills during the day, as expected.  I did quite well and the nerve pain was at it’s “normal” level – still painful but not the worst I’ve experienced.  Can’t complain about that!  Headache was “average” too. 

Today is actually day three of the trip, so I’ll try to catch up.  The blog entry for today’s events won’t be quite as long, as the excitement of the last two days caught up with me (again, as expected).  Stay tuned, my friends!

PEI Trip – Stay Tuned!

I had an amazing day today.  I would love to share it right now, but I’m beyond pooped.  So, please check back in tomorrow for the continuation of this amazing adventure I’m having.  There should have been an exclamation point after that last sentence.  I’m too tired to stretch my finger all the way up to the “one” key.  Seriously – look at it.  It’s way up there in the upper left hand corner of the keyboard.  Exhausting.  (see…one should have gone there too.)  Good night.


PEI Trip – Day 1

Well things didn’t start off too good this morning.  When I crawled out of bed, so did my phone and smashed the screen.  Fortunately, it’s still working and the glass isn’t loose, so it should survive over the next few days.  The next issue was the weather.  It looked fine around St. Catharines and I could see across the lake to Toronto perfectly.  However, looking at my aviation weather app, things weren’t too good.  My buddy from the Flying Club was up for a flight and sent me this:


Nice wall of clouds.  Dang.  So the plan was to fly Vyctor to Oshawa to meet up with my Air Rally partner, Cheryl.  Since I couldn’t fly, I ended up driving.  Not nearly as fun!  It’s all good and the main thing is we were set to head out on this epic journey.

Getting things ready:


The weather was great where we were, so there were not issues flying to Ottawa to meet the other Rally folks.

As you know, I have Donkay as my flying partner.  Well, Cheryl has stuffed piggies.  We named this one after my cat Pinky:


Farewell, Oshawa Airport!  (Sorry for the blurry pic):


It took us a little over one and a half hours to get to Ottawa.

Had a tough time pushing her plane back onto the grass.  We did it though!


After I regained consciousness, we wandered over and met up with the other Rally-goers who had already arrived.  We had a complimentary BBQ, which was really nice.  You can see the pure joy in Donkay’s face:


There was an old cockpit of a military plane sitting near our gathering spot:



One of the members of the group was kind enough to drive us to our hotel.  We’re both sitting here, typing away and planning for the big day tomorrow.  In the meantime, Mike texted and said that he was over at my place, tending to the critters.  Now despite my last blog where I said you wouldn’t be seeing pics of the cats for a few days, well…..guess what?  You’re in luck!

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There you have it!  Life is good.  I will try to do another blog tomorrow.  It’s going to be a very long day though.  There are about ten planes in the Air Rally, and we’re all taking off around 8:00.  We then have one stop about half way to PEI.  It’s about a four and a half hour flight in total.  I just hope my fatigue doesn’t cause any issues.  Paws crossed!

Today’s symptoms: I’m so happy I’m feeling quite good.  I had to take a few wake-up pills throughout the day, but other than that, things are good.  Bad nerve pain in my hands again.  It looks like it’s a symptom that is here to stay, as I’ve been dealing with it for many months now.  Like we used to say in the Army, adapt and overcome!  That I shall!

Epic Journey!

I’m doing something I never thought I would do, and I’m very excited!  I was asked to participate in the Gold Cup Air Rally through the Canadian 99’s.  Holy smokes!  So, if weather permits, I will be flying to Oshawa tomorrow morning.  I’ll meet up with my flying partner, who is a joint owner of a beautiful Cessna Cardinal.  We will take her plane to Ottawa.  That is where we will meet up with the other roughly 25 participants of the rally for noms and instructions of the rally.  The next day, we’re flying all the way to P.E.I.!  I’m very nervous because of my fatigue issues from the MS.  Fortunately, the pilot of our journey is very experienced and being super accommodating regarding my symptoms.  It would crush me to have a negative impact on my partner due to my (annoying) health problems!  I’m so determined though and very excited about this adventure.  I will try to do daily posts of the trip!

Today was interesting.  Jan, Mike and I headed out to London at 6:00am, for my neurologist appointment.  This doctor specializes in cognitive issues with MS.  I spoke with the doctor, who is very nice, about the symptoms I’ve been experiencing.  I did about an hour and a half of testing, with another friendly staff member, then we were homeward bound.  The 9:00 appointment time was perfect as we missed rush hour traffic both ways.  Sweet!  I have to go back in a few weeks.  If the weather is good, maybe either Jan or Mike will join me again and we’ll fly in.  The airport is about 15 minutes away from the hospital.

Since you won’t have the pleasure of seeing any cat pictures over the next few days, here are some to keep you going for a bit:





I did this for Mike:


And my favourite socks, all packed for my trip:


Stay tuned!!!

Today’s symptoms: I took some pain medication that helped me have decent energy today.  I did very well in the morning but started crashing rather soon into the afternoon.  Mike and I just chilled for the rest of the day and I finished packing.  Pain today was average with the joyous nerve (crushing) pain in my hands.  C’est la vie!

Quite the Reflection

I can’t believe August is over already!  The Labour Day weekend went well.  We were going to fly to Brampton for brekkie, but the weather had other plans.  It was fairly clear over Niagara but a low wall hung between us and our westerly destination.  Sooooooo…..we decided to just do a short local flight, and caught this neat image of Vyctor surrounded by a rainbow on a cloud:


Then I showed him the “snap-roll on top of a loop” maneuver I recently taught myself, then we headed down to land.  Breakfast at Timmies wasn’t quite as good as it would have been at the Brampton Airport restaurant, but it was still yummy.  Pumpkin muffins are back – woot!  And, I tried to apologize again to Donkay for almost losing him forever (see previous blog), and I bought him his own birthday cake Timbit:


For dinner that night, we decided to splurge:


We were so hungry and ate it all!  Ok, not really.  We took advantage of the deal they have on right now.  Buy a large and get up to five mediums for $5 each.  We nommed half the large between us, froze the other half and remaining mediums for future mealage.  Ohhhh baby:


As you can see, Abby and Mya joined us (as usual).

Pinky and Zim weren’t too interested:


Had a nice visit with a couple of the parental units on Sunday.  We unfortunately had a funeral visitation to attend on Monday.  We ran into quite the storm on the way home:


The rain was epic.  Everyone slowed down to under 40 km/hr on the QEW, which was nice to see so many people driving appropriately for the conditions.

Back home, we just chilled, played Forza on the Xbox and watched a great movie called Radius.  Whilst getting ready for bed that evening, my phone in the living room room started making some weird noises.  It turns out, my secretary wanted the new work day asap:


So that’s it for now.  Nothing too exciting going on.  I’m just hoping to get through the almost 90 degree weather they’re predicting for tomorrow.  Yuck!

Today’s symptoms: I was feeling fairly good for most of the morning, then my energy started crashing. Although it didn’t go as low as it normally does, it started decreasing a bit earlier.  I guess that’s much better than an early, fast crash, so it’s all good.  My sleep issues seem to be coming back a bit.  During a seven month long bout of insomnia, I typically wake up just after 3:00.  It seems this has started up again, but I seem to be able to fall back to sleep within an hour.