We flew down to Lakeland, Florida for the first time ever to attend Sun 'n Fun. Its kind of crazy that we've never been before, since we have done Oshkosh like 7 times in a row. Seems like something always came up in April that would cause us to delay SnF for yet another year. We got to the airport around 10am to launch and discovered a dead battery, which delayed us for a couple of hours while we got a bite to eat and visited a nearby park. I had drained the battery a little during maintenance I had previously done, plus I think we have the tiniest bit of parasitic drain on the battery. I need to track it down. After some charging, we hopped in the plane and off we went.
Once we launched, we had nice 20kt tailwinds and a pleasant 2 hour flight down there. We climbed up high and Lucy came up front with me and had some stick time. She did great! I asked her to "go that way" as I pointed to the right, and then to the left. I had to remind her to be GENTLE for pitch control though as mom was in the back going "OK thats enough!" lol.
Since we wernt familiar with SnF, we didnt realize they dont typically allow arrivals until an hour after the airshows, so we diverted to Bartow field nearby. It was a nice pit stop and Lucy chowed on some popcorn as we hung out in the FBO. Finally we made it into Lakeland and it was a non-event. I was instructed to land long on the 'orange dot' and I did well to hit the mark, which is always fun. We parked, setup our tent, found something to eat, walked around a little bit, and enjoyed the night time airshow. Lucy sat in my lap as we watched the fireworks and lights on the airplanes. We called it a night pretty early after that since we were all tired. It was a little chilly! We bundled up, but I think the wind was more than we expected. I kept waking up and putting the blanket back on Lucy, but I think she slept great all night and wasn't bothered by the cold one bit.
The next day we explored the area a bit more and let Lucy play on the bouncy castle area. They had a really neat two story slide shaped like a NASA shuttle. We ate some junk food, checked out some war birds and vintage singing, lounged around our airplane, and just enjoyed a really sunny and relaxing day. There was a really great home builders hospitality tent in the area we were camping and they had food, drinks, and good company. We found out our good friends Dan and Janell had flown in with their Bonanza, so we met up with them later in the day and decided to join them for a campsite cookout they were doing at their plane. They got a bunch of groceries and we enjoyed a wonderful meal with them. Lucy crashed in Brandi's arms once the sun set down. We sat around chatting for a while longer and I really enjoyed all of it. My watch tracked a lot of steps we took that day, but it didnt give me any credit for the several miles that I carried a 40lb toddler! I should add a new workout mode to my watch perhaps. We were beat by the end of the long day and slept super well that night.
We woke up, ate some breakfast, and began to pack up the tent. We left the area for home and enjoyed a nice flight back with about 9 kt tail winds home. I love it when we can get tailwinds both ways!! It was a good trip. Smaller scale than Oshkosh, but still a lot of the same type of fun and experience. Lucy was wore out on the flight home from all the excitement lol.