Archive for the ‘Wisconsin’ Category

Look to the Skies

Monday, July 30th, 2012

We returned to Oshkosh on Friday evening and arrived just in time to see the sky lit up with black smoke, helicopters in the sky as well as several military planes and jets!  Paul was at the airfield watching a reenactment of Tora, Tora, Tora,!  It was very loud.  When Paul gets home he informs me that they will be performing the same show on Saturday so I didn’t miss anything!  Great!  I am not a fan of bombs but his excitement in infectious so I spent Saturday afternoon watching lots of planes bombing the runway right in front of me!

Saturday evening was the best of the show for me.  They had an evening airshow complete with fireworks shooting off the wings of planes.  It was just to beautiful to watch so no time for photos!  There were planes flying in formation with extra lights that looked like an UFO and planes with Roman Candles shooting out of the smoke stream and then they shot fireworks off the wings!  Spectacular and something I had never seen before.

If that was not enough, they had a full fireworks show following the aerobatic show.  The show ended with a wall of fire that ran down the runway!  Very cool!

Chicago, Chicago, Chicago

Friday, July 27th, 2012

First stop is for some Chicago deep dish pizza.  Giordanos served up a traditional deep dish pizza with lots of cheese, sauce and Chicago sausage.  At Chicago Pizza and Oven Grinder Co.  we had the most amazing antipasto plate complete with meatballs, and sausage balls.  If that wasn’t enough we also had one of their Pizza Pot Pies!  This is a pizza made upside down and then they flip it at your table!  The sausage here is the best.

Between eating amazing pizza we toured the city.  We traveled to the John Hopkins Tower for cocktails in their Signature Lounge above the city at 96 floors up you have a 360 view of the Chicago skyline.  The cocktails were good but then their was the visit to the ladies room!

Floor to ceiling view of Chicago!

If I would have known how good this view was we would have hit the ladies room first!  Chicago has so many wonderful buildings and sites that we took the double decker tour bus ride and really got a great view of Chicago.

Tallest Bldg in Chicago, Sears Tower. I thought the top of Rainforest Cafe was an interesting focal point for my photo!

Chicago River

City scape as view through Cloud Gate, the silver peanut sculpture in the center of Millennium Park

Chicago at Sunset

Oak Park and Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture has been on my must see list for many years now so this trip was perfect for the short drive out to Oak Park.  We spent a couple of hours just wandering through this quaint village and enjoyed seeing some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work in the area.  His family home is here as well as many homes he designed or remodeled in the early 1900’s.  Many homes here were designed by other architects although you can see the Wright influence in many.

My favorite! Arthur Heurtley House,
Just down the street from the Wright family home,

Amazing, this home was built in 1902!  The style is definitely timeless.

Moore House

Thomas DeCaro House

Many different styles with features that are truely Frank Lloyd Wright.  This is a beautiful neighborhood and only 20 minutes from downtown Chicago.  Suburban lifestyle only a train ride away from all the excitement.





Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Paul has been talking about Oshkosh 2012 for about 2 years and we are finally here!  The EAA AirVenture 2012 officially started today and it is at least as big as they say.  According to the town of Oshkosh over 900,000 individuals attend during the course of the week.  AirVenture runs from July 23-29 although if you want to get a good spot to camp you need to arrive much earlier.  We arrived last Tuesday and got one of the last electric camping spots!   We are camped on the EAA property and it is still a 1.5 mile walk to the runway where all the action is!

Not only is their a huge camping area then you have the pilots that fly in and camp under their wing!

Buy a plane and then camp in a tent!!!

The sky is littered with planes; more than 10,000 planes fly into Oshkosh for this week.    Arriving on Tuesday,  we spent several hours sitting on the runway watching planes land and listening to the tower directing traffic!  The planes land one after another and exit the runway into the grass so the next plane has room to land.  Then there are the mass arrivals.  This is where large groups of the same type of plane land at the same time.  There are two runways  running along side one another and a taxi way that they use for the third runway for these mass arrivals.

Single landing, but wait! Here comes another

Two landing on the same runway



Yep, the third one is the first one and he is on the taxi way.   Sitting here watching and listening to the tower I am stressed!  I can’t imagine those guys in the tower or the pilots!  The guys in the tower sound so cool, they welcome almost every pilot in between telling 3 others where and when to land!

All week I kept hearing that the RV’s were going to have their mass arrival.  I had lots of ideas about this!  I am thinking a big club of RV owners are going to arrive parade style to the campground or better yet, get to taxi the runway.  I was finally set straight when I asked where do the RV’s arrive?  RV’s are not RV’s, they are a style of plane!  What?  Why would they choose that name and confuse me?

Richard (Van) VanGrunsven’s is a guy that like the Wright Brothers built his own plane and then offered his kits to other pilots and today it is a huge group of pilots that fly RV’s!  They had a mass arrival that was very cool as they come into the fly space in formation, do a couple of fly overs and then land in mass!

RV’s Flying!

Breaking off to line up for the landings

Taxi off the runway

And then they taxi together

Today was the opening of the show so we spent several hours (well actually I spent about 1 hour before sweat took over!) wandering the booths looking at everything aviation you can imagine. At 3:30 each day of this week long show there will be an airshow!  It seems that all we have seen so far was just the pre-show and arrivals!  The airshow was spectacular although it was about 98 degrees and of course you are not in the shade watching!

Opening ceremonies

We saw some spectacular aerobatic performances and more formation flying from the performance team of RV planes.  The air show was about 2 hours and they have one each day with all different performers!  Because today was opening day they had a concert with the Steve Miller Band!

Just like the old days! I was sitting so far back that I could only see with binoculars or watch the big screen!

The music was good and the sunset was an amazing backdrop.  It reminded me of concerts of my youth except most of the attendees had grey hair, were sitting in lawn chairs and sipping a cold one! (water or pepsi!)

Pat and I have opted to skip a part of all this excitement and head for Chicago for a few days!  The guys are worried that we are going to miss something, not me!  I am looking forward to lots of air conditioned relaxing and some great Pizza!