Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sun N Fun, or Cross Keys Reunion?

A few rain showers were moving through when we woke up the next morning, so we dawdled a bit after breakfast before making our way back to Lakeland for another day at Sun N Fun. The weather was really nice by the time we got there, though! Dave and I started out by wandering back through the hangars and buying a few things. The shopping spree was interrupted by some loud engine noise outside... the F-22 did a bunch of high speed passes.

Pretty much everyone dropped what they were doing to watch.   :)

Dave wanted to stop by the QB hangar to see if he knew anyone there and grab lunch. It turned out I knew a whole pile of people there that was like a Cross Keys reunion!!

So many NJ buddies...what a nice treat!!    :)

One of the best parts was catching up with my friend John P. He's always been one of my favorite people in aviation and has been a fantastic mentor...if it wasn't for him, I might not be an air traffic controller right now. I didn't know he was going to be there, so it was really great to spend some time catching up with him. I hadn't seen him in years! It was really nice to see Jean and John, too...I've been to Florida to visit them a couple times before and keep in touch with Jean through Facebook, but it was great to see them in person! Jean's brothers Albert and John were there, too, as were the Rosses and a number of other NJ friends that I'm sure have slipped my mind. Dave was impressed that I knew so many people...we had almost taken over the entire back deck of the building!   :)

Everyone eventually drifted off to check out various airplanes and such, so Dave and I went to stake out some good seats for the afternoon airshow.

Mission was nice and shady under the B-17 tail.   :)

The Golden Knights started off the airshow again, this time with a tandem skydive...

...and lots of individual jumpers trailing smoke.

A Stearman and a Pitts flew a routine together...

 ...and my favorite goofy plane flew again in the Warbird Review.

These guys were driving around the ramp, blasting oldies.   :)

The AeroStars flew their Yaks.

Ribbon cut!

And bonus...Patty Wagstaff walking right past us as they pushed her airplane back on the ramp.

Julie Clark in her T-34.

Matt Younkin in the Beech 18 is one of my favorites.   :)

The Aeroshell guys ended the show again. It was another really good airshow, plus I spent part of the time catching up with my NJ buddies as they wandered by.

Dave and I hung out at the end to see the Flight of Honor come back. They had flown up to DC first thing in the morning with a plane full of veterans, spent the day touring the monuments downtown, then came back to a fire hose salute and a big cheering crowd at the end of the day. It was pretty cool to see them all come out of the plane.   :)

During all of that, I bumped into Francis!! He used to work in my area at Potomac until he transferred to Orlando a couple years ago; we even used to be on the same crew. It was really nice to catch up with him!

Dave and I eventually wandered back to the car (managing to talk to a random WWII vet along the way, which was really cool), then made our way back to the hotel. It had been a really great day of catching up with so many friends...I couldn't have asked for better!

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