Saturday, August 25

Rocky Mountain Air Show

On Friday three of our crew remained at the airport to attend briefings and hopefully to move the airplane to a better position as we were at the absolute end of the flight line and a spot that would be closed to the public during the actual air show. Some sort of mix-up had made us lose our original planned spot.  The remaining crew members headed to Boulder and beyond for some sightseeing and a great lunch in Niwot.The flower beds surrounding the outdoor patio of the restaurant also contained vegetables used in the preparation of the food.
Everyone was back on site by 4 P.M. This was the debut of Sheryl's stewardess uniform and judging by the reaction, everyone loves a girl in uniform. That evening was a VIP event, air show demonstration and fireworks display.  The plane was moved to the VIP area and open for tours for about two hours until the air show was to start, then it went back to its original position. With the ramp was closed to the public to allow the fliers to move their planes in and out, our work for the evening was done.
 Dinner was the Macaroni Grill, where we were seated in a private curtained alcove.  This made for an atmosphere very conducive to conversation and to a totally enjoyable dining experience.A fine time was had by all.
Saturday morning, the four pilots and two stewardesses left the hotel at 7:30  to prepare for a media flight at 9:00. Because the engines do not develop as much lift at higher altitudes, we first had to remove a lot of gear, like our tent, table, tee shirts, signs to make the aircraft lighter.  Then we opened the plane for tours briefly and were surprised at how many people came through at that early hour and remote location.  This is a large well attended air show with a lot of different acts.

 We had ten passengers on the flight, three of whom were new members. They were awed by the up close view of Rockies as well as the sheer uniqueness of this flying experience.  This was a very happy and appreciative group. Upon landing they rushed to buy tee shirts which we sold right out of the boxes on the edge of the ramp as we had no time to prepare. Meanwhile we had developed quite a long line of people clamoring to get a tour of the plane. Some of the crew started the tours while some scrambled to get our sales table set up. Deanna and Marti arrived in the nick of time to take over sales while the remainder of us handled the crowd, and in less than an  hour we had about $400 in sales. In that short time we sold as many tee-shirts as we have at a two day event.  Unfortunately, the ramp was closed down after that hour for the air show to begin. The crew spent the remainder of the day on improvement and organizational tasks while also watching the air show.
We departed the airport early with the goal of getting into Bonefish Grill before it became too crowded.  Everyone had been talking about their famous Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer.  We managed to arrive just as they were opening.  Peggy had called ahead and we were treated like royalty. The manager even came out and said he had turned down the air as he noticed some of us had sweaters on. There  really is something to this Rocky Mountain High stuff, folks. We enjoyed an excellent, though light dinner due to the early hour.
We were surprised upon returning to the hotel that Happy Hour was just starting. Soon, the remaining air show participants began arriving and before long the whole dining area and lobby was crowded. This was a real treat for everyone as there is little time to visit between teams when the show is underway and the pilots all enjoy talking to one another and comparing their rides.
Then we heard that the restaurant across the parking lot was having a party for anyone staying at our hotel and the gang all went over to see what it was about. Turned out they were serving free food, with folks paying only for beverages.  They did not make a good initial impression though, not wanting to serve Gene because his driver's license expires this year, the last week of this year, and carding the Lemons who were not drinking because they were sitting with people who were drinking. (and guys, we are all in our 60's) Of course we were all too well fed to want to eat and so everyone returned to their rooms shortly after dark, a real record for the crew.
Though it was disappointing not to show the plane all day, we made a decent amount of money and were able to finish the day without being exhausted.

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