Flying in Arizona.

Okay, maybe not flying flying, but as close as you can get besides free-falling from an airplane.
My big sis Bekie has been skydiving for 30 plus years and as been on all sorts of teams and traveled the world to join in skydiving competitions. That's her below, the farthest to the right.

Bekie flying with her skydiving team

She's so in to skydiving that she moved to Arizona to be near the biggest hub of skydiving (since AZ has the best year round weather for it). She works as a pediatric nurse in Phoenix where she owns a condo, and then she bought a house 5 minutes from the airport in Eloy. 
I've visited her before and did the wind tunnel about two years ago. Let's just say I was not that coordinated and the instructor didn't dare let go of me cuz...well, hello Plexiglas wall.

I thought it would be something the boys would really enjoy for a mini affordable vacation, plus get to spend time with my sister, so off we drove to Eloy in the hottest time of the year for Arizona. Yeah, the time most residents are scrambling to leave on take a milder vacation someplace else. 111 degrees outside? I defy you. Okay, maybe not. It was hot. Not gonna lie.

But timing, ya know. June was the only time all our schedules converged to give us time off.

And the guys loved LOVED the wind tunnel.
The boys were naturals at it.
Even I was pretty good the second time around. I could stabilize myself this time and not wing off out of control so that's something. 

And even Bekie took the opportunity to learn new tricks since she's not that great at flying on her back. This is her working on that skill below. 52 and looks great. 

Bekie in the Wind tunnel

Clover Autrey flying in the Wind Tunnel

 That's me above. I'm holding my own position without anyone holding me in place. I impressed myself.

Kyle flying in the wind tunnel

Kyle above, twisting and turning as though he's been doing it for years. Show off. And Tate's below looking like he's about to sprout wings.

Tate in the wind tunnel

Anyway, if you're out in Arizona between Tucson and Phoenix stop in at the wind tunnel at SkyVentureArizona   They were great.


While visiting my sister in Tucson, we just had to go to the PIMA Air and Space Museum since all my guys are "plane guys".

Note to travelers: Don't hit Arizona in July. It's hot, really really hot. Even though the museum yard boasts more than 250 aircraft, we pretty much stayed around the ones in the 3 huge hangars where the fans were blowing. What? I'm not an idiot. Go ahead and walk around the acreage beneath the blazing Arizona sun in 110 degrees. I'll wait for you right here in the air conditioning.

It was fun to watch the way everyone wanted to take on the museum. Bekie and Pat strolled along with the guided tour, listening to the old aviator's every word.

Pat in his Happy Place
Kyle & Sam

Tate and the Wright Flyer
 The guide was too slow for the boys, so Kyle and Sam wandered around, climbing into the planes they could and pushing buttons, and then running ahead to the other hangers. Bekie seemed a little disappointed that the boys didn't want to listen slowly to the guides, until my guys pointed out to her some of the aircraft by name and capabilities. She just got a big dose of how this younger generation soaks up info they're interested in within nanoseconds like little computers, before zipping on to the next thing.

Tate wandered around the planes by himself, giving me the look as I lagged behind, trying to sneak his picture. Mr. Grumpy Poser was not tolerant so most my shots are of his back side or blurred as he caught me and streaked away. Rotten child. His focus was less on the planes and more on the technology.

During the first hanger tour, the boys and I were hungry and bored, waiting on the "tourists and the guide" so we schlepped into the little cafe and ordered fries. Whoa, they had good fries. We went through 3 of the 4 boxes before Pat and Bekie were finished with their tour.

F 100 or maybe F150
Then we went into the WWII Hangers. Now, these I really enjoyed, mainly because I'd just written a story centered around WWII and am planning on extending that into a series, so I took a lot of pictures. This seems as good as place to store them for research so bear with me for a second as I go photo crazy:

Fieseler Aerial Camera

Hawker Hurricane. Look at at all the Swastikas along the edge. 

Summer Navy Flight Suit in Guam

P51 Mustang WWII 

Tate looking through the scope to drop a bomb

Bomber Escort

WWII ammo

Bomber Bay doors

DC 3 (I think)

Mounted WWII machine gun

WWII Bomber side view
Crew used to crawl through this tube to get one from end of the bomber to the other. 

WWII Mess Kit

Nazi Paraphernalia 

Flight Jacket WWII