Today was a rough day. We lost one of our beloved family members. Taz was our little co-pilot dog that took to the sky's today. You will be missed.
We hope you have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. And we are looking forward to sharing all kinds of flying adventures with you next year.
Twas a couple days before Christmas, when all through the hangar
Pipes were breaking, thanks to a %*&#* brand spanking new defective furnace.
Just a couple weeks back, Brian and I went down to Florida for my brother's beach wedding (congrats Eric and Nicole Recker!). During our trip, one of our must-have stops was to Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight in Polk City. So we dedicated a full day with fellow enthusiasts Tim & Lori Greif (my sister and brother-in-law) to check it out. We had heard some pretty cool things about the place, but we weren't prepared for what we saw. Wow. After seeing his awesome collection and innovative designs and trying out a few av-tivities, we've elevated Kermit to demigod status. Hey, the guy's got great taste.
Here are some highlights:
We walked through the immersion environments, which included a journey from early flight through World War II. Our journey began by jumping out of an airplane (OK, not literally, but it felt pretty darn close) and landed smack dab in the middle of a battered WWI battlefield, where we luckily found cover in some holes and barracks. Huffing it to the next big war, we joined some aces in the pilot briefing room (albeit the Colonel didn't acknowledge Brian's ideas for the bombing raid), and things cooled down on the snowy WWII tarmac where a B-17 Flying Fortress was getting some quick battle repairs by a couple grunts.
After having our senses filled, we ran like children to and fro among Kermit's massive collection of airplanes. If I remember right, he is up to 160 planes, with about half of them stored in Polk City. This means that pretty much any vintage plane you can think of, you'd probably find here (Brian's favorite was the Sunderlander, I was in awe of the Gee Bees).
Taking a break from walking, we hitched a ride on the tram tour through hundreds of engines, parts, even airplanes in crates. It was like we were on the set of a real-life Indiana Jones movie. It was so COOL.
They were even hopping Stearman rides, which we passed up (you see, we can go a week without flying).
After a full day, we ended our visit at the Fantasy of Flight restaurant, talking about what we each enjoyed the most. The food tasted even better when we caught one of the cooks - yes, it was the man himself, Kermit Weeks (seriously!). Without a doubt, this was one of the very best stops in the country for aviation enthusiasts.