Friday, July 30, 2010


A has discovered his dream vacation place. It's a lovely little two bedroom in Costa Rica. He did't choose it due to the location, cost, or activities, but because we can stay in this:

And really, what self respecting pilot wouldn't want to stay in a recycled 727? Admittedly, it does look like a pretty awesome place. The view of the balcony and the view OFF the balcony:

The master bath, complete with exit door:

More pictures of the "hotel room" here. All this can be yours for only $500 per night ($400 in the off season). And as a perk, they even have a second airplane turned into a restaurant/bar!

What more could a pilot want?

Oh yeah, how about an income that would allow one to take leisure vacations to exotic locales such as this one? I'd settle for one that allowed us to afford to take a vacation anywhere right now. Still, Costa Rica is now on our list, right after all those other things that cost money like a house on the river, a few motorcycles, a boat, college savings for our children and all the other places we'd like to travel to.

Monday, July 19, 2010

How the other half lives

It's been several years since I've visited California or even been on an airplane at this point. I won't be traveling this holiday season, so I jumped at the chance to spend a week with my parents in the mountains prior to flying Kidzilla home from his summer. Then I went through the process of buying tickets.

The way I've always acquired tickets is something like this- log on to the company website (or call if it was prior to internet availability), pick my flights and list for them. All in all, it took about 10 minutes. I could list whomever was flying for each flight. Easy-peasy.

Since we don't have our benefits back yet, we had to go the route of the masses and book a ticket through an online site. Super PITA! Initially we were given such great options like a "Delta" flight to CA that consisted of 4 separate legs, each on a different Delta Connection carrier. And of course, A has his airline preferences and vetoed flights by certain carriers as well (let's hear it for the brotherhood of ALPA pilots!). Wading through all of the flight parings offered, on all of the different airlines was time consuming to say the least. And surprisingly, it was cheaper to fly on different airlines for trips there and back. It took about 45 minutes to book a single round trip ticket for me. We figured it would be easy to book the same flights home for Kidzilla as a one way trip. Except for the part where you can't book a ticket online for a minor traveling without an adult and there was no way for us to link my flight with his. We ended up having to call Customer Service who couldn't do an override. They had to cancel my trip all together and then we had to rebook the entire trip as two one way trips, which of course cost even more money. Overall it was a nearly 2 hour process just to get a round trip for me and a one way for Kidzilla. I sure hope it's worth it.

It's also that time that comes every other year for us, the biennial CFI renewal. Anyone who went through the process of actually becoming a Certified Flight Instructor will remember the challenge and not want to let their license lapse if they ever have the slightest chance of flight instructing again. Since A intends to teach both Kidzilla and Babyzilla to fly one day, he (I) suffer through renewals. Which means I get randomly subjected to such interesting tidbits as "did you know that the human eye can only focus to 5 degrees of center for each eye?" Uh huh, yep, great, thanks for sharing. I also get to (suffer through) enjoy hearing a run down of all the recently occurring preventable accidents as well as a litany of new security measures. Nothing beats being trapped in a car with A for three hours during renewal time. Thankfully it's done now and I am off the hook for another two years.

We are staying in Jax for a long week so I can enjoy the central air and community pool. It's heaven. We have no couch here, just a few armchairs, so I dragged a twin air mattress downstairs, loaded it with pillows and dubbed it "the divan". It's wonderful. We have no TV or internet service at our place, which is not so wonderful, but I guess we all have to make trade-offs in life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How it is

The day after I finished my summer classes, I fell into a pit of lethargy. I wake up around 9 am, spend the day eating, reading and watching movies, eventually heading back to bed around midnight. I have others things I could be doing, but I'm just not interested. We do try to stagger out of the house at least once a day, but the heat is so stifling that it's just miserable. Maybe I'm just making up for having worked so hard for the past year.

Kidzilla's been gone to California for the past 2.5 weeks. It's quiet here without him, that's for sure. We've talked to him twice since he's been gone- once when I told his dad it was time for him to call and once when he wanted to know if his Lego magazine had come yet and could we please send it. I guess we're setting the "you never call your poor mother" precedent early on...

I feel like I've been saying it forever, but A is thisclose to going back to work. All the paperwork was submitted to the Aeromedical office who reviewed it and then sent it on to the FAA for approval. He's passed his first class medical exam. Now we are just waiting to get some kind of medical ID number to identify his case so we can send in the results of the exam and actually have the two sets of paperwork meet each other on the right person's desk. Without the ID number, paperwork would go to one desk, the exam to another and it would take some kind of monumental episode of critical thinking uncommon in government bureaucracy to link the two files. Or so we've heard. But we do get weekly updates on the case status from the Aeromedical office, which is nice.

I'm torn between wanting this to just be over already so we can get back to life and not wanting A to go back to work because I'm so used to him being around all the time. He alternately delights and irritates me, which makes it hard to settle into what I want. But then again, lately we've been together 24/7, which is hard on any relationship.

Yesterday we watched a Michael Moore film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Surprisingly, it touched a bit on pilot salaries and had interviews with a few regional pilots. Usually I'm able to keep up on when things like that are mentioned in the media but this was unexpected. I'm glad to see it was put out there, again, because every bit of exposure helps make the case. I can't say that I agree with ALL of what Michael Moore stands for- if you take a loan against your house and default on said loan, my sympathy for you is minimal, even if the house has been in your family for four generations because you signed on for the risk ...- but I am with him on the corporate greed and government cronyism issues.

The couch and a nice cold piece of watermelon are beckoning.