Friday, August 23, 2013

Let me see what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars

At our B&B in New Hampshire, Nick saw a brochure for biplane rides. Spoiler: he talked me into it.
You can't tell I'm twitching hard, can you?
Specifically, this biplane. This wooden-propellored, cloth-winged biplane named Francesca.
Flown by a charming, skilled pilot named Phil.
So Nick saw the brochure, and his eyes lit up, and he immediately said, "Please please please oh please would you go for a ride in it?"

To which I responded, "I think it's best that one of us is still alive to take care of the kids." And other things along those lines.

But I thought he was talking about a sea plane ("bi" standing for ability to land on ground or water, naturally), and I figured that if all went terribly, well, they'd just land in one of the lakes and we'd be fine.

Which I told Nick on the way there and he was all, um, no, not so much.

But Phil was very reassuring, and he promised not to do any flips. So, there we were.

Since the wings are covered in cloth, you have to get on in a very specific place, and in a particular way. Lest you step through the wing.
It's easier for the first (larger) person. But we squinched in just fine. Phil sat behind. We all had on headphones with microphones.

It was spec. tac. u. lar. It was actually quite relaxing, oddly enough. And the view was extraordinary.
I didn't take a lot of land photos because the wind was really strong and I was afraid of dropping my phone and killing some poor soul below. Which, you know, would be bad.
But the experience was tremendous.
In fact, halfway through the flight I said, "If you want to do a flip, I'd be up for it."

Alas, he couldn't with two passengers.
If I do it again, however, I'm wearing a scarf.


  1. You thought it could land on water because it was a biplane...Oh Lisa. That's even better than a misheard lyric.

    Glad you had fun. If you enjoyed that, and are looking for something to read, allow me to suggest The Cannibal Queen by Stephen Coonts. Although he normally writes fiction, this book is basically "How I spent my summer vacation flying my '42 Steerman biplane around the country and touching down in all 48 continental states." Very Kuraltian.

  2. Oh, FoggyDew. I'm not proud.

    That sounds really interesting! Thank you! I will put it on my list of books that I intend to read (hopefully within five years).

  3. wow! you are my hero. i would have been way way way too afraid to get on that little thing, but i bet it was amazing once you were up there.

    1. Aw, thank you! It was amazing. So amazing. I would not have done it if Nick hadn't coaxed and if I hadn't felt totally comfortable with the pilot.

  4. That looks so amazing! And I'd be afraid to wear a scarf because of fear that it would fly off and somehow wrap around the pilot's face and blind him, and then we'd crash.

    1. Argh! I hadn't thought of that! I do think of Isadora Duncan every time I wear a long scarf. I think I'd just wear a small square scarf, folded in triangle and tied VERY tightly!

  5. You took a risk and did it ever pay off. I love this.

    1. Thank you! Yes, Nick was a huge risk, but he's panned out nicely, hasn't he? :)

  6. You're so brave, what a fun adventure! From the photos, the view is spectacular.

    1. Thank you, Heather! Was so scary to say yes and to take off...and then once we were up it was magical.


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