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Travels with Bill By Bill Ewing

Stayed in the Crown Plaza last night in Phoenix leaving the camping van in their undercover garage for 5 weeks until I return. Very nice

after camping for a while. Texted friends and relatives, took a nice long hot shower, and watched the planes on base and turning final for runways 26 left and right and I guess runway 27. Fun to watch so graceful. It is a miracle those big birds can fly. Then went to bed early so I could arise at 4 AM to get ready for the airport ride. Took the shuttle at about 5:30 for flight AA0570 from PHX to RIC departing at 7:30. No problems with security.

Met a little widowed woman 82 years old sitting next to me in Gate 18 heading to Philadelphia. She had been visiting her son. She said this was her last trip, very stressful. She said her son said that is what you said last time, and she grinned. She was a group 5 and I was group 6 so she boarded first. After getting into my 18B, I noticed that she was in front of me in 17C the left window seat. As time went on a younger woman approached and said to her I have seat 17c and showed her the ticket. One could tell the older lady was obviously in the wrong seat and was visibly disturbed but the kind younger woman said no problem I’ll just sit in your 16C. Good for her! So far, this flight is very smooth, the flight attendants and Captain have been very courteous, and this flight is packed full. I am sitting between a very pleasant older woman to my right and a Middle Eastern gentleman who is sleeping thru this flight so far with his hoody turned around backwards over his face.

Could not play my Amazon Music. Doesn’t work in airplane mode. Tried the offline Amazon Music mode, but got error saying my memory was full and it is near full, but it worked on the road. Oh well all is not lost as I tried the IPhone Music app and it works well only I don’t have 3 hours’ worth loaded. Thank goodness, for these newer hearing aids as I’m playing music at high volume (due to jet noise) through blue tooth so not to bother my seat companions. Everyone seems content now that we’ve been served beverage and snack. I just ate my apple and had water. Still very smooth air with lots of people sleeping. Well you guessed it, its bathroom time now and who has to go first? Me who else, so my little lady lets me out and on returning, she is standing there in the isle waiting for me, but wait my window companion had gone too. I didn’t want to tell her what to do so I gently suggested this would be a good time since the back laboratories were both open and she said good idea. Worked out great, as we were both back in our seats before she returned. It was good to stretch our legs as we have been in the air about 2 hours.

Boy that Sandy Patti can sing . Martina McBride does it great too.

Well Rhonda you have done it to me to by inspiring me to write about this small part of my trip. I have never done this before to this extent. Thank you, thank you, it sure makes boring sardine can flying go by so much faster. Thanks

just caught a little nap and was awakened by flight attendant bringing us our last refreshments. Got my water again and passed my rundown companion his orange juice. We talked a few minutes about the differences from east coast to Phoenix weather especially the humidity. He is a very pleasant fellow flying to Connecticut for his work. Pilot has just reduced throttle for we are due to land in about 30 minutes. As I was passing the empty cups to attendant, I asked my lady companion if she lived in Charlotte. She said she and her husband were returning home to Myrtle Beach after visiting her son in Scottsdale, AZ for Thanksgiving. Before that, they had just returned from a trip to Australia and New Zealand (her husband said they had been gone

7 weeks and he was ready to go home. She said it was great. It was a guided tour. As we were waiting to deplane a couple in front was talking about triathlons the gentleman said no more for him for his knees are now not fit for running. At that point, the little 82-year-old lady said I am too old for that stuff. Then another woman said she knew a 94 and a 92-year-old still participated every year and they always finished and she added they were not the last to finish either.

Well now, I’m headed to E24 to catch AA5372 to RIC, which is 61 minutes away. I walk at a pretty fast pace and get there well before boarding begins. Guess who was already there, the couple on the trip from Phoenix where the gentleman with bad knees. Is it a small world or what? I asked them how they made it so quickly. The lady said we just walked fast. Well we are lining up for takeoff now on 18L. There is another American Eagle in front of us.

I am right over the back part of the wing and his flaps are partially down, we’re off at 2:29 we’re up 500 or so flaps still down a little, now they are up at probably 1000 or so

That’s Charlotte down there. What a beautiful day to fly. Heading looks like NE from looking at the shadows on the ground.

• What’s really strange is the couple talking about the triathlons are sitting right in front of me as in the last plane. They are headed to her mothers home in Williamsburg ,Va. We must be at altitude for pilot is backing off on power slightly.

This flight is only 45 minutes long. Oops just remembered to put this phone in airplane mode. Maybe that’s why one engine coughed-- just kidding. And there is the James River

It’s 2:58 and decent has just begun. Wow we just flew over my house on the Swift Creek Reservoir. Flaps are fully down now we must be over the fence. Yeah touch down at 3:14 now braking hard. Another great day!!!

Bill Ewing

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