My trip started on January 7th. Yet another flight aboard a good old ERJ145 from ALB-PHL. Surgery consults. On the 10th my wife and I decided it was time to take a vacation. Its been a stressful many months. So, to start. It was off to ORF to visit her son and grandkids. Some 1sts on this trip. Two of them being my 1st ride on a CRJ-900. Slightly larger than the 145, 2-2 configuration and 3 more rows. About the same length of flight, we actually spent a grand total of 36minutes in the air. I quickly noticed a more powerful take off than the 145. In fact as far as jet airliners go, the most acceleration down the runway I have yet to experience. Along with getting airborne considerably quicker. Leaving PHL. There was no surprise at the captains announcement of a turbulent takeoff as it was a considerably windy day. It was bumpy. But I had expected more actually. Once above the clouds for the solid 10 minutes of cruise it was quite smooth. Similarly turbulent landing, but not anything I hadn't experienced before, including the previous 30 minutes at takeoff.
Landing at ORF I will just say I really like this airport and it was my 1st time being there. Very clean, modern and convenient. Comparable to ALB, slightly larger and they handle the nearly 3x volume of pax compared to ALB very well.
After a couple of enjoyable days with my stepson and grandkids. Which always puts my wife in a good mood for obvious reasons it was off to SFO with a layover at DEN. Starting the journey with what appeared to be an aged United A320 to DEN the flight was unremarkable. Smooth pretty much the whole way including takeoff and landing. We were sitting on the wrong side for viewing the beautiful mountains surrounding the area but landing is always my favorite part of flying. At least when you're not rocking and rolling all the way down through heavy clouds which we weren't. DEN is another airport I like and have had layovers there a few times. A 2 hr delay due to maintenance on our next plane from earlier in the day, the times and gate get getting re announced as we enjoyed a nice meal with a great view the mountains and for me, landings and takeoffs. I secretly and silently judged them through casual conversation with my wife.
Another 1st for me, was the next leg of our trip aboard a 757-300. I have been on the 200 several times but never the 300. It really is quite a long plane. One would think the planes would be switched as the DEN to SFO leg is shorter, but this flight was booked solid, every seat. Great views coming in, and especially those last seconds landing in SFO over the water. Although delayed 2hrs, we were in by mid afternoon got our rental and off to our hotel, the OMNI in downtown S.F. I highly recommend this hotel if you don't mind being away from the airport.
A week spent in California, which included visiting an elderly aunt and a cousin I hadn't seen in 30 years in the tiny little town of San Andreas. it is part of the 50% if not more of CA that could be any other state. Being that I had lived in SJ before, It was no surprise to me, I had seen plenty of the other CA that people who are not from there generally do not think about or know it exists. Spent the last few days driving the coast up through Daly city, showed my wife where I used to live in S.J. Where I worked at the menlo park division of the Pao Alto VA.
Now the fun began... the weather in the east coast was showing a massive storm bearing down. We ended up staying just a few miles from the airport, and we were willing to take a penalty to catch the flights the day before. United gave them to us without penalty. BUT.... it was too late. Re booked for the red eye, we spent the last day at Pier 39 and riding around on the cable cars. went to the airport and that flight also cancelled. checked back in as we now had a flight to Dulles the next day then up to ALB. Another 1st, a nice transcon flight aboard a 777-200. I had never been on one before. It had been a long time since I had been on a two aisle wide body. I did definitely enjoy the 777. Was able to catch a couple hrs of a nap and spent the rest of my time as usual nose pressed against the window and tracking the flight. All the IFE stuff doesn't mean much to me, the window is my IFE, other than to track the flight. for awhile we got some good tailwind an had a ground speed well into the 600mph range. at an altitude of 38,000ft. As was expected, ALB was closed down so we rented a car and headed back to Gloucester va to wait out the weather. by the time United got us a flight back to ALB, they gave us alternatives to other NY airports and newark that did us no good as our car was at ALB, The problem getting us back to ALB was previously booked solid flights. Now only 2 days away from another scheduled Philly CTCA trip, which entailled having an MRI done, and getting the surgery team put together, we opted to shelve the Dulles to ALB flight and CTCA flew me from ORF. Yet another 1st if you can call it that, the flight from ORF was a CRJ-700. Not a whole lot of difference between that and the 900, although by then I was in the whatever just get me there mode, so I wasn't paying close attention.
Finally flying home on yet another PHL-ALB aboard a ERJ 145, I've come to know the landmarks of the flight, I don't need to know how long in the air to know where I am or how much longer to go, I can just look out the window. The landing was quite turbulent, and it was obvious we were in a good crosswind and our female pilot did an awesome job crabbing it in. She squared it up nice for touchdown. Anyone who has experienced a significant crosswind landing probably knows the feeling of touching down and then the plane veering around on the runway a bit to square up.She got out of the cockpit to stretch her legs before heading back to philly or where ever they had that plane scheduled next, I am assuming philly, so I spoke to her briefly and she said she enjoys the crosswind landings.... I wouldn't have thought those to be enjoyable from a pilots perspective. Maybe a challenge not to have to go around?? but she was very pleasant, and generally it seemed like the landiing had put her in a good fun mood.
I know many of you provide flight numbers and even tail numbers of the planes, unless you guys really want that as a specific rule, my life has been a bit chaotic as of late with all of the doctor and clinic stuff. They had to check out a bile duct that showed up funny on a scan but its fine. A colonoscopy (another trip to PHL a few days after getting back from vacation) showed that I have no other areas of cancer in my colon. Yay for some good news. Surgery will be in about a week. One more ride in a ERJ145. I have come to like it and the little 45 minute trip. I won't miss the reasons for it, but I will miss the little plane and the nice quick flight. I definitely still prefer the 777 lol. but I definitely will miss the 145.