Saturday, August 8, 2009

The birthday surprise that didn't quite happen...

Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
Today we celebrated Air Boss' 40th birthday a day early. Knowing that the man was a bit down and sad about entering this new decade and also knowing that he's drooled over every helicopter (from the dinky R-22's to the Coast Guard HH-65's and everything else in between) that's flown overhead, I decided to surprise him.

I booked an hour of helicopter flight time (complete with CFI and fuel) on a 2-seater earlier in the week. While he was out of the house, I scrounged around the rest of our packed boxes (yes, almost 9 months after moving, we STILL have boxes yet to unpack) to find his flight stuff (headset, log book, pilot's manual, maps, etc.)

I told 'Shroom and Lolli about Daddy's surprise and they were excited. They proved to be worthy confidantes as they stayed true to their promise to me not to tell Daddy (even though Air Boss asked them what the surprise was).

This morning, I blind-folded Air Boss and told him that we were going to take him somewhere special for his birthday. Lesson learned: next time I try to surprise him with an unknown destination, I better blindfold him tightly, spin him around until he's just about to ralph, and then thrown him in the TRUNK of the car.

That guy was tracking my every turn! He had asked if we could stop by Starbucks before going wherever we were going. I had time and there was a Starbucks (or three) on the way. I had wasted so much time taking detours, finding curving roads, driving over the same set of railroad tracks (and speed bumps) just to throw him off that there was no time for Starbucks. He could track the direction I was driving simply by feeling the sun on his body (trunk--I tell you).

Needless to say, we eventually got to the airport and Air Boss finally took off the blindfold. While he guessed that we were headed towards the airport, he had no idea that his surprise included flight time.

If you ever wondered if you could "over surprise" someone, well the answer is: yes.

I think Air Boss was touched, overwhelmed and a bit apprehensive of getting behind the T-bar of the R-22 after a 4 year hiatus. In the end, Air Boss postponed the flight time with the hopes that in the near future (after much studying and brushing up on his procedures and check lists), we would ALL go out in an R-44 and buzz around LA.

Without a blindfold on.

Happy birthday Air Boss. You're lousy with surprises but you can navigate much better with a blindfold than I can with a GPS! =)

Old familiar cockpit