Camping at Sun N Fun

Once we arrived at our parking spot, as directed by no other than our very own CAP cadets and EAA volunteers, we set about setting up our camp site. When I camped at Fon Du Lac, WI with Daniel last year for Oskosh, he corrected me when I said we were camping. Pointing at the soft bedding, the steaks cooked perfectly, the generator running quietly keeping our portable freezer and food cold, he explained that we were “glamping” instead of camping. I’d never heard of glamping, but I’ve come to understand that I was being mocked. Since Daniel has spent his time in the sandbox with the Army, I deferred to his judgement.

But I was not ashamed! Instead I took glamping as my own and vowed to improve upon it even. Why are we sleeping in sleeping bags when they make blow up mattresses? Don’t we own a tent around here? Is it big enough? Maybe we need a bigger one? A screened in porch maybe?

In the end I decided most of my gear was already glamping worthy. I only needed to replace my old blow up mattress, which couldn’t be patched any longer. Fortunately Amazon sold one designed for grandma to come and stay the weekend. It was 21″ tall and a queen size. It needed sheets and blankets. Any maybe a duvet cover. I’m not sure what a duvet cover is, or what it covers, but we probably needed it.

So I’m setting up all my glamping gear with Spork’s help. I really haven’t said hello to neighbors, looked around, etc. I have the generator out and running, cooling down our food for the week (we’ve been flying all day) and charging my cell phone which had died on the trip down. As I’m bent over setting up a chair or something, I hear the unmistakable sound of radial engines behind me. I pop up, turn around, and am greeted by the sight of a red ball of a sunset, not quite turning the sky pink yet but getting pretty close. Splitting the big red ball is a wing that is attached to a Boeing B17, the airplane that my father flew 52 missions on during WWII. The airplane is coming straight at me and at this point I realize that we are just off the end of the active runway meaning the airplanes are coming over our heads just a few hundred feet off the ground. It looked like this.

B17 at sunset
What reality looked like

It is an epic sight. Of course my phone is plugged in and I cannot get it unplugged and turned on before the plane has roared just overhead and is landing. Fortunately my awesome neighbor Ken later catches a shot to give an idea of what we saw.

B17 on short final to 9R at Lakeland during Sun N Fun 2018
B17 on short final to 9R at Lakeland during Sun N Fun 2018

This was day one, hour one of Sun N Fun. This was going to be awesome.

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