Airplane

Kenny's Cafe by the San Jose Airport

We flew down to San Jose for some work stuff this morning and thanks to a killer tailwind we got here with plenty of time to spare. We thought we'd grab a quick lunch before our meeting, so I pulled up Yelp on my iPhone and searched nearby restaurants. We decided on Kenny's Cafe. It was close to the airport, the ratings were good (4.5 out of 5 stars average), and there were 65 reviews (soon to be 66).

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Kenny's is about a mile from Atlantic Aviation and easy to miss. A "mom and pop joint/hole in the wall" description was accurate. We were a little on the early side of the lunch window and there were only two other customers seated when we walked in. We were greeted by the very enthusiatic and friendly Kenny, who welcomed us warmly as first time guests. The walls and ceiling are covered with photos of Kenny's very valued customers, and he is proud of the number of regulars he's collected in the two years he's been open.

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We asked what was the best, and he came around in front of the counter to show us three photos of happy customers with their food (or in one case, their empty bowls). All three of us opted for the bibimbap, which Kenny said was one of their specialties.

SO DELICIOUS.

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The bowl was filled with tons of fresh veggies around a small ball of rice in the middle, spicy pork (there are several other options...salmon, chicken, etc.), then topped with a fried egg dipped in spicy sauce. It was fantastic. 

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This is not the kind of place I'd ever choose to go to by looking at the menu first. For instance: bibimbap, BBQ burgers, Philly cheesesteaks, Hawaiian rice bowls, breakfast burritos...it's ALL OVER THE PLACE, right??

By the time we were finished with our lunch, the place was completely full with a solid line of customers still ordering, and a growing pile of take-out order boxes behind the counter waiting to be picked up. The guy next to us said Kenny's BBQ burger is the best he's ever had and his whole family comes here for it. Someone else on Yelp swears by Kenny's jalapeno breakfast burritos. Seems like there's something for everyone, but it's actually all good! 

Kenny came over when we were half way through our bibimbap bowls and asked if we liked the food (OMG yes!), and then he took a photo of us (with his smartphone). We will definitely be back to see Kenny (and our photo, on the ceiling).

Oh yeah, and here's an iPhone photo from the plane of our tiny shadow down on the clouds:

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My Mom Flew the Plane!

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We took off late this morning and flew the Cirrus to Kelso, WA to pick up my mom for a flight up to Orcas Island for lunch. My mom has been flying with us a couple times, but she's not so much of a flyer, normally.  She's only been in the Cirrus once when we first got it, and before that she flew once with me in our previous plane (an Aerocommander Lark, kinda like a Cessna 172) after I got my pilot's license (because really, how could she not? I got a PILOT'S LICENSE!!!!!) I think the whole-plane parachute that comes with the Cirrus is a great feature for people who are bit scared about flying.

Anyway, look at this -- (L to R) Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood, on the way to Kelso:

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Here we are coming into the San Juan Islands:

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Approaching the runway at Eastsound on Orcas Island:

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Parked and ready to head to lunch:

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There's a nice public path from the airport right to town:

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We had lunch at the Madrona Bar & Grill. Right there. Right out there on that little top deck:

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With this view:

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All three of us ordered the halibut fish & chips and it was...well...it was fantastic. My mom is the one who originally told us about the Bandon Fish House fish & chips (our favorite, still) but we all agreed that the halibut fish & chips we had today were right up there in the top 5. Pretty cool! 

After lunch we walked around Eastsound a bit, in and out of a few shops, checking out the bay, etc. We had such a nice day and the weather was just perfect!

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Leaving the San Juans:

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On the way home, after we took off from Eastsound, Kevin showed my mom how to use the stick and rudders to fly the plane, and she flew us all around the back side of Orcas Island and then pointed us toward home. Did you catch that??? SHE FLEW!!THE PLANE!! She was super smooth and seemed perfectly calm, and...kinda like she LIKED it!  It was so cool. (You've come a long way, mom!!!) :) 

Mount Rainier off the wing on the way home:

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Traffic, high, no factor (and I was totally zoomed in, don't worry):

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The Lewis & Clark Bridge, across the Columbia River, just before we landed back at Kelso to drop my mom off:

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We had such a great day with my mom, and it was fun to fly over several of the spots where we'd recently spent time in the Airstream (Port Townsend, hi Kerri!, Hood Canal, Victoria...from a little bit further away).


Orcas Island with Tiffani and Deke

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Today we busted out the flying RV to go say goodbye (temporarily) to two of the coolest people we know. Tiffani and Deke are moving from Whidbey Island to North Carolina, and although we're happy for them, we're bummed for ourselves. We love these guys!

We flew up to Whidbey Island to pick them up and take them flying (and we got to see Kyle again, too! -- Kyle stayed at our house for the several weeks we were in Italy, but we only got to see him for two days when we were home before he headed North.)

Taking off in Portland (this is what happens in photos when the prop is going around):

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The flight up to Whidbey was incredible. We could see Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson all at the same time. Crazy!

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Mt. Adams behind Mt. St. Helens, off the wing:

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Flying into Oak Harbor. This runway is 3200 feet, but look how narrow it is...it's only 25ft wide (with a 1.6% downward slope the direction we were landing). It's there, right off the wing, running perpendicular to the shoreline (Tiffani took this photo when we came back, so I'm cheating and putting it out of order):

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We were greeted enthusiastically at the Oak Harbor airport by Tiffani and Deke and Kyle. See the three of 'em there? (This photo was taken after the waving and jumping up and down had stopped):

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"Take Tiffani and Deke flying" was still on our "Things To Do with Tiffani and Deke" list and we're SO happy we got to do this before they left! It was a blast!

We headed up to Orcas Island and parked in the grass area for visitors at the Eastsound airport. Kevin and Deke talking planes:

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We walked into town and decided on a spot called The Madrona Bar & Grill (no idea how the food was going to be, but they were waterfront, and that's what mattered). Turns out the food was quite good!

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We took a quick self-timer group photo (nice reflection in the wing!) before taking off for a bit of sightseeing around the San Juan Islands:

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Tiffani and Deke each got some front seat time with a bit of flying. I think they dug it. (I'm sure of it, actually.) Eastsound Airport on Orcas, right off the wing:

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We had such an amazing day with wonderful friends, good weather, beautiful scenery, and not enough time. We dropped Tiff and Deke off back on Whidbey Island and flew home, talking about our next across-the-country Airstream trip that will include North Carolina. We DO still have that whole upper right corner of the United States to explore!

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