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Provincetown, Islip, and New York

Flying the Edge of America

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We had a very lazy day in our hotel today. We ate another great lunch and dinner in Providence, swam in the pool, and worked out in the gym. We are really looking forward to flying to Provincetown tomorrow. We find that once we stop in one place too long we get board quickly; this is the price we pay for being nomads.

Friday, August 15, 2008: Provincetown, Massachusetts

Ptown airport.

Rain storms swept through Pawtucket early this morning, a chap at the airport told us that it was the most rain he had ever seen fall at one time. It is very odd weather compared to what I am used to, all very localized; we had no rain at all in Providence while it poured in Pawtucket.

The flight to Provincetown went well in the respite we found between storms. We glided over the green, green landscape of Rhode Island before encountering a bit of the Atlantic Ocean separating us from what is known locally as Ptown. As we left the land behind us we soon found ourselves surrounded by hazy blue waters and hazy blue skies; which merged into one hazy blue view. Then in the distance Cape Cod appeared before us. The cape has a strange hook at its end and the airport lies on this odd formation. As we drew closer we noticed perfect concentric waves on the water radiating out from the tip of the cape. It looked the same as dropping a stone into a pond. We never really found out what this was or what could cause such an odd phenomenon.

Ptown Flight Video

After landing 51-Juliet my good friend Jackie met us at the airport and whisked us away in her car to downtown. It was so good to see Jackie as it had been 10 years since we had last met. We soon found ourselves at her home in Ptown where her mum and dad greeted us. I had not seen Jackie's mum or dad for 10 years either so it was really good to see them again and to find them so well. We shared a laugh or two and some stories about our adventures then headed out for lunch with Jackie.

Ptown is a cross between, the Castro and Sausalito districts in San Francisco, Mackinac Island in Michigan, and Key West in Florida; very colorful. After a wonderful lunch we walked to the pier where we boarded a boat bound for whale watching. After a short and pleasant cruise we found the whales feasting on krill and small fish. I have never been so close to a whale before and it was a phenomenal experience. The only thing in my experience that was remotely like it was watching elephants feeding and walking in South Africa. Both creatures are enormous and both move so gracefully and in slow motion.

Whale Video

Only too soon we were back on dry land in Ptown, checked in to our bed and breakfast, eating dinner with Jackie and her parents, then wandering down the main street observing the now extremely colorful nightlife. That evening the thunderstorms that have been following us since we left South Dakota found us again and filled the evening with lightening, thunderclaps, and pouring rain. What will the weather bring us in the morning for our flight to New York?

Saturday, August 16, 2008: Islip and New York, New York

Commander pilots.

Once again the gods of randomness granted us a break from the awful weather this morning; enough to allow us to fly from Ptown to Islip in New York on Long Island. The flight took us over Martha's Vineyard, Block Island, the Hamptons, and many other wonderful places before landing us in Islip.

Also the weather really cleared up so the views were better than we had expected. Once on the ground we were greeted by five fellow Commander Owners who soon directed us to their hangers for parking. After meeting and being greeted by everyone we went for lunch. We all shared flying stories and ate a New York deli lunch which Sven generously paid for.

Sven, who is known as the Yoda of the Commander aircraft group, organized the event for us and so Julia and I would like to really thank you Sven for doing this. We really want to thank all the other Commander pilots that met us too: Brian, Bill, Frank, and Bob. See you all at the Commander Fly-in weather permitting.

Islip Flight Video

Lady Liberty

After a pre-flight briefing Bill offered to fly his plane with us through the Hudson River corridor. This flight is something I have dreamed about doing for many, many years and spent hours on Computer Flight Simulators flying virtually.

The real flight was one of the most amazing flights I have ever made. We had to fly at 400 feet at times to avoid intruding on JFK airport airspace and then the experience was enhanced by flying in close formation with Bill's airplane. We passed close by Elis Island and the Statue of Liberty, and we flew so close to buildings on Manhattan that my GPS collision alarms warned us of imminent collision. Thanks Bill for taking the time to make this an amazing flight!

Hudson River Video

Just to top the day off, after taking a cab into New York, we met up with David for dinner. We were really lucky to see David twice on this trip, once in Providence and then in New Your. Thanks David for giving us such a great first night in New York City.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Julia in her New York abode.

The sun was out in full force this morning. After breakfast we walked to Time Square and tried our luck at buying tickets for a Broadway Show. We managed to get two tickets to see Young Frankenstein; which is now a Broadway Show of the Mel Brooks film. Julia was extremely happy about this as the film is her favorite movie; she watches it on a regular basis.

The show was really funny and followed the film closely; but it has a different ending. After the show we ate lunch at a New York deli, very yummy. Then we walked to and through Central Park for three hours. We visited the John Lennon memorial along the way and found a small band of locals performing his songs. One can only wonder if John would still be here if he had stayed in England, or if guns were not so prolific in America; but you know what they say: "if my grandmother had balls". I am he and as you are me and we are all together.

New York Video

For Maeve St. Patrick's Cathedral.

We were so tired after our walk we could only manage walking to the restaurant next to the hotel for dinner.

It was a bit expensive but the food was superb if a little too large for our requirements. Julia ordered the pork loin and received half a roasted pig. The waitress, not knowing we are both Americans and quite used to the enormity of food portions, said welcome to America when we commented on the portion sizes.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The happy band.

We visited with Julia's friend from Brown this morning, Kate. We got to meet Kate's new baby Alex who is extremely cute. Julia and Kate caught up and we shared some of our travel stories with her then left to visit the Frick Museum. Alas, on Mondays in New York all of the museums are closed so we walked down Madison Avenue window shopping on our way back to the hotel. It was very hot in the city this day.

At dinner Julia and I met up with my old friends Susan and Munish. I had not seen them for a long time so we had lots of catching up over a very excellent dinner in the Meatpacking district in New York. Susan and Munish thanks for making Julia and I feel welcome. See you when you get to California next.


Trip stats

Obama: 16

McCain: 3

Undecided: 2

Miles Hiked: 144

Miles Flown: 5,615

States Visited: 17

Towns Visited: 28


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