Monday, May 21, 2012

The Gardener's Big Airplane Adventure

The Gardener's Bucket list just got a big check mark earlier this spring when he was able to fulfill one of his aviation dreams~~ 

My birthday gift to the Gardener was a 1 hour plane ride in a vintage warbird aircraft - an AT6. For a pilot and aviation enthusiast like my husband -- this was a dream come true.  Few pilots have the opportunity to see one of these vintage planes up close, let alone ride in one.  The Gardener was able to actually fly the plane AND to experience acrobatic maneuvers during this experience.  (yes ladies -- I scored big points with this birthday gift for my husband!  And, I just gotta say - that the look on his face when he opened the envelope was -- priceless!)  

The plane is located at the Peachtree DeKalb airport near Atlanta.  Our little 3 year old grandson  lives there.  Mason loves airplanes as much as his Papaw - so we made this outing a special day for the guys! 

 The airport is home to an exceptional World War II aviation themed restaurant - the 57th Fighter Group Restaurant.
The grounds are designed to resemble an early 1940's French farmhouse.  There are actual vintage war relics incorporated into the design and we used them to take photos with our sweet little guy.  (be sure to check out the link to the restaurant.  There is a great slideshow with lots of photos there.) 

Mason thought this was "way cool" to be able to sit and stand on these relics.  He was NOT however, too crazy about the fact that his gb wanted to take lots of photos!  Getting him to sit still or stand -- was no easy feat!  

 Mason -- look at gb.  Mason -- give gb a smile.  Mason--
(he was having nothing to do with my camera!)  So funny!!

  (Isn't he a doll?)

After the picture taking session-- it was time for the
 BIG adventure!

 The North American Aviation T-6 Texan was a single-engine advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces, United States Navy, Royal Air Force and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II  and into the 1950s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The USAAC designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces, the Harvard, the name it is best known by outside of the US. It remains a popular warbird aircraft.

The outside dining area of the restaurant.  Mason and I waited here while his Papaw went for a ride in the plane.  (you can see the reflection of the plane in the windows of the restaurant.)

 The pre-flight check

and off he goes~

(the video is just actually the plane starting up -- its a whole minute of the plane just getting ready to take off.  I wanted to make it shorter, but I don't know how to edit the video - LOL!!) 

 Mason was in charge of watching the sky-- waiting for his Papaw to return!

 Mason saw his Papaw coming over the horizon before I did.  He started yelling - "here comes Papaw! Look gb - here he comes!!"  

The Gardener is all smiles!

 waiting for his Papaw!

The pilot of the airplane (Odie) was nice enough to let us take photos of Mason and his Papaw with the plane. 
Mason was SO excited!  

(just in case you want to make someones dream come true!
In addition to the AT6 experience, they also offer biplane rides.)

My two favorite guys had a big day with their airplane adventure!  Mason is about to have a really big adventure of his own-- he is about to become a "Big Brother" later next month when his new baby sister arrives! Of course - I've been busy knitting for our new little grand daughter -- I'll share pictures of those items here in a bit!

Don't forget -- you have until the 27th to enter my nest giveaway.  AND -- at the bottom of that sea turtle post is my Vera tropical giveaway-- a lovely Vera Bradley purse and beach towel.  You can enter there as well!  2 giveaways at the same time-- not so good planning on my part!! LOL!

Coming up next--
a little shabby chic surprise!  MY next big thing!



Bead and Needle said...

He will love you forever for this, even if he already did! What a FABULOUS birthday gift, clever girl! I LOVE the photos of Mason at the fence, with the plane on the runway - too precious. Happy Tuesday, Vicki - Tanya

Neesie said...

I bet you made his heart soar! How wonderful to arrange such a fantastic pressie.
He's a lucky fella ;D

What a special memory you've created for those two...Priceless!
Mason is such a sweetie (although he probably won't want to hear that).
Have a terrific Tuesday xoxo

Joyful said...

What a fantastic gift for your Gardener! Your grandson is such a doll :-)

The Magical Christmas Wreath Company said...

What an incredible gift, I think my chin would have hit the floor when opening that gift too.
Now, when do we see the pictures of you wing-walking?

PoetessWug said...

How exciting for him! :-) I would have enjoyed "flying" through the restaurant menu instead...just saying! LOL

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

An absolutely wonderful birthday gift for The Gardener!! And, a super fun day for Mason, too!! You did good, girl!! LOL! Can't wait to see what you've been knitting for Baby Girl. blessings ~ tanna

Lululiz said...

How on earth are you ever going to top this one? WOW, what an amazing birthday gift. I bet he is still grinning. Lovely photos of your young lad as well, he is a cutie.

SuZeQ said...

WOW - now that's quite the birthday gift. Way to go! Just glad you didn't give that to me!!!! I'm NOT a flyer - someday I'll tell you all about my adventure in the sky. Happy Birthday, Dan!

Susan said...

What a perfect idea for a gift. As much as I enjoyed the pictures of the plane, Mason stole my heart..what a cutie. Enjoy your Tuesday. Once again thanks for keeping up with my blog, you are so sweet.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Now that was a GIFT! Last year I gave my hubby three bags of mulch. He had mentioned that one of my gardens needed to be refreshed, and being the attentive wife I am, I gave him his wish. I would imagine your husband was a little more grateful for your thoughtfulness. Can't wait to hear what he gets you.

Julie Marie said...

Oooh Vicki... how fabulous!... I love the vintage planes as much as the guys do... my daddy was a WWII vet and a Colonel in the Army and planes were a big part of my growing up... Jack is a pilot as well and flew the police helicopter before he retired as a police officer for SLCPD... we love the Confederate Air Force too!... Hill Air Force Base is just to the north of us, and they too have a wonderful museum of old War birds... Jack and the gardener would get along great!... love all of your beautiful photos, I must show Jack... and how cute Mason is posing by the plane... so happy you made the gardeners dream come true... you should go on a ride too!... my favorite era is the 40's... and I get so sentimental hearing stories like this, looking at those beautiful old airplanes... listening to the Big Bands... I should have been born 100 years before I was... much love to you, thanks for sharing!... xoxo Julie Marie

Lois Evensen said...

Wow, what a super fun day!!!! Good birthday present choice!

sophie...^5 said...

This is so very cool Vicki...The Gardener and Mason must have been beyond themselves. The aviation topic is so interesting as father flew a Spitfire during WWII over North Africa and with his unfortunate death when I was 2 years old I never had the opportunity to learn about all his stories. I do have his flight log book and this helps a bit. I am so glad for hubby to take that flight. Give his a high 5 for me...Ron

Dorthe said...

Wow dear Vicky, what a fantastic day, for both the big and the small boy :-) You gave your "big boy" a wonderful gift.
And the photoes of Mason are truly showing the sweetest little fellow-

Hugs and love to you.

yaya said...

What a great gift giver you are! Yes, that would be a point scorer. Your Grandson is beautiful..I know he's a boy, but beautiful seems to fit him! He reminds me of my brother's Grandson...same hair cut! Now the question is: How to top this gift?

Mereknits said...

Mason is a doll and so are you for thinking up such an amazing birthday present for your husband.

Carole said...

Yes big points for you on this gift. I have always wanted to fly a plane though as I get older I seem to be more chicken about things that in my youth I would have jumped at. Love the previous post with the sea turtles. You two have the best time.


Mosaic Magpie said...

You are so thoughtful. I love it when someone really thinks about the best gift to give. What it is that person would really want. You did that and got the gift of a lifetime! Way to go!
Mason is a doll.

myriamkreativ said...

Hi my dear friend,
arrgh never ever in my life one qould get me in one of those planes.... I would get cazy!
But swimming with the sea turtles like you did ... that is one of my not yet fulfilled "once in a lifetime dreams"! Aret they beautiful creatures. I love them.
Hugs and a wonderful evening

Anonymous said...

Boys and airplanes! We used to go to an airshow every year when our boys were small. They loved those planes! He will remember that day for ever in his heart!

Julie Whitmore Pottery said...

Oh I'd love to go up in that plane, were you tempted? And what is that dark pink flowering tree!

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Dear Vicki
Oh that is such a special present for your husband - he would be "over the moon" with excitement!!

We have a good friend who is very involved with the New Zealand Warbirds Assoc. and mad about airplanes especially WW2 vintage. A few years ago they bought a Catalina in the States and our friend flew it home only to have an accident, mid ocean - he was lucky to survive.
He started his flying in the RNZAF.

LOVED the photos of your darling little Mason too!
Such a beautiful post dear Vicki.

Shane x

Esme said...

Mason is getting so big. He is a doll. This looks like such a fun experience. Would you do this? Any time you want to join me let me know with company I can sample more we would be eating and chatting the entire trip.

Jim said...

Now this will be a day that Mason will always remember! Pilots are a special breed all their on! Ron's Dad was part of this 'club'.
Great photos Vicki!

Tammy@T's Daily Treasures said...

Well I don't know how you top a gift like that. I bet Mason was just as excited as his Papaw even though he didn't get to go up in the plane. Didn't even know a place like that existed in Atlanta. Very cool! (Though I am afraid of small planes so you couldn't get me in it.)

The sea turtles in Barbados were beautiful! Hope you have a great week. Tammy

Sharon Lovejoy said...

My dear Vicki,

We ALL need tick off our dreams on our bucket lists. Wonderful, and even more wonderful to see your handsome Mason on board. Love it.

Sending a warm hug across the miles,


Patty C. said...

Looks like a fun time :)

Vintage Sandy said...

Vicki, what a wonderful gift and Mason is definitely a DOLL!

Diane said...

What a fun and unique birthday have me thinking "outside the box", for my hubby's next birthday...very cool indeed!!!

Anonymous said...

Fun day for the guys!!! I have seen these planes at air shows, but to ride in one would truly be amazing! :)

maggiegracecreates said...

my friend carrie works at the 57th -- love that place. Glad you had a great time.


Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

For Danny's birthday, he flew the biplane here in Marietta/Atlanta and loved it. He's hoping to get his son to do it with him at the end of this month.

Erica said...

I did the same thing for my husband's birthday last year! He took a ride in a biplane and loved it! (he's previously gone up in a B-17 bomber that sadly was crashed and destroyed last year)

Thistle Cove Farm said...

How fabulous for both of your "boys", Vicki! That looks like an amazing day, full of wonderful memories for everyone.