Category Archives: Personal Log

Leavenworth Winter 2019

Ever since 2014, our family of 4 loads up way too much luggage and sets off on a multi-day flying adventure. Each morning, after I’ve been appropriately obsessive about understanding the weather, we open up an aviation chart, look at airports an hour or two away, and pick a destination. We stay in hotels and B&Bs, eat out a lot, and experience the special features of each town we find ourselves in. The first year, the summer of 2014, we found ourselves one morning on our way westward to from Kalispell to Coeur d’Alene. The sky was an unbroken blue, the air as smooth as glass. We were fairly high up, crossing over the Rockies on our way from Montana to Idaho. And we heard giggling. Our two children in the back were making faces at each other, giggling unceasingly for over an hour. And so the trip was forever called GiggleFest.

Rocky MountainsHappy Passengers

Since then, we’ve flown a new edition of GiggleFest more or less each year. It has given our children an unparalleled opportunity to see things from a new and special point of view. The time we’ve spent together as a family is invaluable. In 2015, it was in the summer again. In 2016, it was in the spring. In 2017, it was in the early fall. In 2018, our calendars got away from us, and we didn’t get to GiggleFest until December. Our plan was to fly to Boeing’s aviation museum and Uber into Seattle to the Science Center, but the weather didn’t permit a safe flight. So we just drove the whole thing. We counted that as the start of GiggleFest 2019, just a ground-based version. Then in early January, we flew a more traditional aviation GiggleFest. Despite all the flying technically being in 2019, I convinced myself it was really just an extension of GiggleFest 2018, and thus we had maintained the annual GiggleFest tradition.

Pacific Science CenterThe Dalles at Sunset

Well, this year our calendars got completely away from us, but late December had an open schedule, and it looked like we might be able to squeeze in a late GiggleFest then; however, the weather didn’t cooperate. And alas, we had to again settle for a ground-based family adventure. We decided on Leavenworth.

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Rosario Resort and Eastsound

Both my wife and I had a particularly stressful week last week. Long days at work, not quite getting done everything we needed to each day, not sleeping well at night, not feeling like we had much time together as a family. It all added up to a bit of extra frustration. Thursday night, late, after both children begrudgingly agreed to stay in bed, we found ourselves plopped on the sofa downstairs. It was at that point I blurted out, “Want to hear a crazy idea?”

I don’t remember exactly what my wife said, but it was something like, “Yes,” so I suggested we make an impromptu flight up to Orcas Island and stay overnight at the Rosario Resort, which is about half-way down from Eastsound (the town) along Eastsound (the eastern sound of water made by the coastline of Orcas Island).

View of Orcas Eastsound

We decided to make the decision in the morning so I’d have a chance to check the latest weather forecasts. Friday morning arrived, and after a detailed weather check, we decided to make the attempt. I’ve flown to Orcas Island a couple of times before, and I’d taken the family up once to Eastsound (the town) for a day trip. But this would be our first overnight there.

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To Portland and Back Again

Owning an airplane comes with some advantages. Given that it’s February, it’s that time of the year when I need to meet up with my CPA to work out the details of filing 2015 taxes. The trouble is my CPA lives in Portland. So earlier this week on Monday, I flew down to Portland in the morning, then flew back later in the afternoon.

This in an of itself is not particularly interesting. It’s a path I’ve flown a few times before. But this time was probably one of the strangest flights I’ve ever been on. Let’s start with the flight track, which as you can see is quite predictable and normal-looking:

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