January 21st: My new folding bike. Mark and I had agreed that buying a Tempurpedic was going to be our joint anniversary present to each other this year, but he was a cheater and bought me an extra present! He'd been thinking about getting a folding bike for himself, so to see what they were like before picking one out he got one for me. It's pretty sweet; it only weighs 30lbs and folds up small enough to fit in the back of my airplane. I can't wait to try it out around the airport!
January 22nd: Restaurant Week in Fredericksburg. Today was our actual anniversary (9 years already!), so we decided to take advantage of Restaurant Week and go out to dinner. We went to Bistro Bethem in Fredericksburg, and everything was fantastic! I was feeling adventurous so I tried the veal sweetbreads and also had shrimp and polenta. Mmm...tasty food...
January 23rd: Departing AVC. I had a day-long cross country planned with one of my students with the intention of doing short field operations at Lawrenceville (LVL) as well as tower controlled field landings at Charlottesville (CHO). Well, we got the cross country part of it right but strong winds and moderate turbulence threw our original plan out the window. We started at LVL, did a go around, then I demonstrated a short field landing and realized in the flare that I had a tailwind.because the winds were swinging so much. With the moderate turbulence we decided to skip CHO since it's so close to the mountains, so we eventually wound up hopping over to Mecklenburg to grab another airport passport stamp while we were in the area. At least we got in some good VOR tracking on the way back to Warrenton.
January 25th: Frozen bubbles. Did you know that when it gets below freezing, you can blow bubbles and they'll freeze? I saw this somewhere online, and since it's been so cold the past few days I figured it would be a good time to see if it actually works. It does! The trick seems to be getting the bubble solution cold (but not freezing) before you start. Stand someplace protected from the wind, blow a bubble, and catch it on the wand. You can actually see the ice crystals forming on the surface, and when it pops you wind up with little bits of bubble shell. It was pretty cool!