Friday, September 18, 2009

Niagara Falls

The syllabus called for instrument approaches to a strange field. I had never been to Niagara Falls, so we flew from Ohio to Niagara Falls International Airport, shot a couple of approaches, then circled the falls several times for photos before returning home. It was one of those awesome moments when I couldn't help but think, "This job is SWEET!"

High above Lake Erie

The home field.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Alpena, Michigan

In August, our squadron went to Alpena, Michigan for some incredible flying over the great lakes and some awesome summer weather.

Coma and his meal. The purple worm lure works like magic, whether it's in California or Michigan.

Fuel and Fish

We spent a day at Mackinac Island. Access to the island is by ferry or airplane and once on the island, there are no motorized vehicles allowed, which means there are many bikes and pooping horses in the street. We rented bikes and rode the 6 miles around the island.

Inside one of the many fudge shops on Mackinac Island.

Chester and Coma

Ditch wears his favorite shirt with pride.



We did some flying too. Night flying is scary, but night vision goggles turn night into day, so no worries.

We took a day trip up the coast of Lake Huron. Big Country and Chester rode their man-mobiles.

Yes mom, I know they're not wearing helmets....I forced them to ride at 10 mph for about 100 yards so I could get this shot. They insisted on going helmetless.

The summit of the lighthouse. Fog, Francis, Fuel, Big Country, Ditch.

Chester and Fog on the coast of Lake Huron.

Dutchies can't ride jet skis.

Coma goes big.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Roof, the Roof, the Roof is on Fire!

On August 17th, lightning struck our apartment building, igniting a fire that burned the roof off the entire apartment building. Due to the damage, the building was demolished and carried away in dump trucks later that week. Thankfully, Chance got himself and Jess (our dog) out safely. After calling Luc at work, Chance went back into the apartment and saved 2 hard drives (that contained many photos) and our camera. He shot most of the following photos as he and the other residents watched the fire spread from one unit to the next. Cassy and I arrived in time to see the fire department ripping into our apartment with high pressure water from their hoses.

Since the fire, we've gotten tons of support from family and friends. Thanks to everyone who offered assistance, sent gift cards, and helped us move into our new apartment. We're thankful to have such great friends and family.

Here are some photos from the start of the fire to the end of the demolition project.

Our apartment is the top left. The balcony leads into the living room, the master bedroom on the left, and the spare bedroom on the right. As Chance was shooting this photo, he was telling me over the phone, "Dude, they're spraying high pressure water directly into my bedroom!"

These are the punks who caused so much water damage to our apartment.

Thousands of gallons of water used to fight the fire weakened the wall and required this section of the building (our unit) to be demolished the following day.

Cassy was bummed because the one outfit she owns at this point, "Isn't even that cute."

Lindsey and Lauren lived in the apartment below ours. Our living room fell through theirs and into the first floor. They didn't have renter's insurance.

Let the demolition begin!

A cross section of our master bedroom. Not nearly as private as it used to be.

Chance surveys what's left of the building about 10 days after the fire.

If you click to enlarge this photo and look very carefully, you can see my favorite spatula in the wreckage.