Friday, January 19

{CoffeeShop Family Flying Circus Adventures} Chapter 13: Our First Overnight Flight, San Antonio!

March of 2016 we bought a little 1970's 4-seater Piper and we have had many fun flying adventures.  Interested in reading more of the {CoffeeShop Family Flying Circus Adventures}? PrologueChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3,  Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7Chapter 8Chapter 9Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12Entire Series (newest posts first).

A special thanks to my husband Paul who flies the plane and edits all our videos. Please subscribe to his Texas Gooney Bird YouTube channel if you are interested in following our adventures. It would make his day!


This flight was back in October. I was hoping Paul would get his video finished before I posted it, but he didn't have time. So I decided to go ahead and blog about it. :-)

It was a beautiful weekend in October and Paul had to go to an overnight conference in San Antonio. We were all ready to drive there, but the weather was too perfect and we decided to take our first overnight trip in the Gooney!

We packed all of our bags and headed out.

Get your hands on the yoke Pilot Paul!

It was the perfect day to be in the air.

And before we knew it, we could see San Antonio in the distance!

We flew into the Stinson Airport and were very impressed.

And imagine how excited we were when we looked out of our front windshield and saw a huge B-17 parked right in front of us!

It was our lucky day and the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Madras Maiden" was there! We really wanted to go fly in her, but it was just too expensive for all four of us. Don't get me wrong, it would be worth every penny, but we would have to sell our plane and one of our sons to pay for it. ;-)

But simply getting to walk up to a historical marvel like this B-17 is amazing.

But I certainly would have loved to be up there!

We rented a car and checked into the Crockett Hotel, which is right next to the Alamo. This was our first time staying there and I was very impressed. It was in the perfect location, very clean, and historical.

We walked over to the River Walk and grabbed lunch.

Then we drove to the Mission San Jose and saw the famous Rose window.

This mission is certainly worth the very short drive from town.

I immediately regretted not bringing my real camera.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect, cool and sunny.

I didn't want to leave! But it was getting late and the kids were already hungry for dinner.

The next day Paul went to his conference and the boys and I visited the Alamo.

A cannon expert was there and we learned everything you would want to know about cannons. It was really fascinating!

Then we had Mexican food on the River Walk. We really love Mexican food. Any restaurant that starts you off with big bowl of chips and salsa won't disappoint.

After lunch we explored the River Walk. We always go to La Vallita, a small Mexican village right on the river. Unfortunately we had just missed the Day of the Dead celebration.

But we still got to see many of the beautiful decorations.

The boys and I had a great time and got a lot of exercise.

When Paul was finished with his meeting we headed back to the airport. When he was refueling the plane I had some time to read about the three Stinson sisters who were all pilots in the early 1900's. Katherine Stinson was especially impression and really before her time.

But it was time to go home. Paul had to be at work the next day and we don't like to fly after dark.

Does this kid know how lucky he is?

It was clear and beautiful up there.

Until it was not.

"Paul, is that a line of clouds ahead of us?"

Paul is working on his IFR, so we don't fly into clouds.

And I am always ready to freak out about something.

Paul is a great pilot and very cautious and he reassured me we were going to go around them.

He spends a lot of time reassuring me.  I am a nervous flyer.

And we did manage to go around the clouds and we got home safely from our first flying overnight trip!

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  1. Beautiful pics from your trip back in Oct. Love the old mission! Quick question, you stated that, "Paul is working on his IFR, so we don't fly into clouds." Can you explain what IFR is and why he can't fly into clouds? Thanks.


    1. Thank you Lisa, it was a great trip and perfect weather. IFR rating is "Instrument Flight Rules" and is when a pilot can fly the plane simply by looking at the instruments and not looking out the windows! During training they make you put on a hood. It is apparently very intense.

    2. Oh wow. Now that would be intense. Guess you won't be in any of those plane trips will you? Hee...hee...
      Thanks for the explanation Rita. I'm assuming that at some point he will be able to fly into clouds when he is done this training?


    3. You are right!!! He goes with an instructor. He did say it is very intense. I find it hilarious that flying is his way to relax because it often is the reverse for me. ;-) And yes, once he has his IFR training finished he can break through the clouds. It really is worth the extra training so we won't get stuck at some airport if a few clouds roll in.

    4. I had been wondering that. Especially on your overnight trip. I had been thinking, 'what would have happened if it had clouded over during the night unexpectedly'. I guess you guys would have been stuck! Yeah, it certainly wouldn't be my way of relaxing either!!! -L.

  2. I am enjoying your posts! We just bought a piper Dakota! I just got my faa medical back yesterday after not having one for 10 years. My hubby is a pilot too. Love seeing your more recent post on CAP - we have an active chapter near us that I think my kids will get into when they are old enough. You should take some flight lessons yourself! Knowledge conquers fear! :)

    1. We looked at a Dakota, they are so nice! But we were worried it was too much plane for our family at this time. And Archers are so much easier to find! I love that you both are pilots! And I completely agree, I would be less fearful if I had experience. I plan on taking lessons, but just haven't gotten to it yet. But I think you have excellent advice! And we love CAP, I hope Imp joins too. What an amazing organization!!!


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