This past weekend was Aaron’s birthday. We made plans for me to spend my weekend (which is currently Tuesday & Wednesday) in Knoxville. Early Tuesday morning we were easing into our morning routine. Aaron was cooking breakfast and getting ready for work. I was sitting on the couch hugging the portable heater and watching the CBS This Morning show.
We decided to rent the flying club airplane and fly to another city for his birthday dinner. Some of the city options we were choosing between were Asheville, Nashville, Savanna, Chattanooga, & Charleston. Ultimately, we chose Charleston. Aaron has taken several customers to the area and knew of a great restaurant by the water.
The flight to CHS was pretty uneventful. It was overcast. We dipped in and out of the cloud layers with very little turbulence. I was so excited to see all the C-17 upon landing. There were so many clustered together they looked small.
I did zero research into the history or landmarks in Charleston. Usually, I have a list of things I want to try to see. Aaron was nice enough to be my tour guild. Before dinner we stopped by the Pineapple Fountain at the Waterfront Park. You can add my picture to the thousands of other people who have taken their picture in front of the fountain. It is very beautiful and southern. After walking around I fell in love with the charm of the city. It’s a mix of very old historical buildings and new developments.
After visiting the Pineapple Fountain we walked over to dinner at Fleet Landing. We sat outside by the water were we ate chilled oysters, local fresh fish, and sweet tea. Since we couldn’t have a local beer or craft cocktail; we opted for dessert and they did not disappoint. Aaron is a Key-lime pie connoisseur and their key-lime pie got his stamp of approval. Which is a huge deal. He was skeptical as to whether it was made in house (it is); the jury is still out as to if it was made with genuine key limes. I opted for a local favorite; Huguenot Torte. It was like an apple pie without the apples. Candied pecans and vanilla ice cream on top. I ate every bit of it. Excellent!
After dinner we casually strolled around the historical city market. We stopped to read the historical markers outside of many of the buildings. We joked about the guided tour we took in Georgetown where the guild read from her phone the entire time. We felt like the only people in the city. Maybe it was because it was Tuesday or maybe because the Democratic debate was being hosted in town that night. Either way, the beautiful weather and quietness of the city added to the charm of discovering the city.
Walking out of the FBO the ramp was packed with jets. Our little Cirrus was tucked in the corner looking out of place. We did out preflight and set off for TYS.
This is when our casual date night turned into an adventure. We took off from CHS, climbed through the clouds and leveled off. This is when we began to show a high oil pressure reading. We made the decision to divert to Summerville Airport (DYB). The last thing we wanted was to be in IMC, over the mountains with high oil pressure.
Stuck in the middle of nowhere at midnight is not how we thought the night was going to go, but luckily there was one lyft driver working in all of Summerville. He works as a train engineer most nights and drives on his days off to get out of the house. He was our saving grace. If he had not been working, we would have had an uncomfortable night of sleeping in the airplane.
We used hotel tonight to find a place to stay. The next day was spent letting people know where we were and getting maintenance to look at the airplane. It was clear the plane wasn’t going to be fixed that day. So we rented a car and began the 5 hour drive back to Knoxville. Our road trip was filled with singing songs from the early 2000s, reminiscing about driving on the Audubon in a Fiat 500, and making plans for future travel.
Driving home was not as glamours as flying. I could not wait to change out of these clothes. I snapped a quick picture in the rest stop. Its like an airport selfie but with smelly bathrooms and truckers.
What was suppose to be to quick afternoon trip turned into a journey. Although things didn’t go as planned I had the best time. Happy Birthday Aaron! This was one for the books.