Kraig is such a hard guy to get presents for, since he's a man of few wants and doesn't have any expensive hobbies you can add shtuff to each year (hobby goodies seem to be my speciality! LOL) And a book or a tie just doesn't have the same magic any more (well, at least I don't think so!). In years past, I've tried to wow him with gift offers for neat things like flight lessons, but he never gets around to redeeming them, so this year I was bound and determined to get him something for Father's Day that would blow his socks off, right here and now! ;-D
So while I was desperately racking my brain, it just so happened that I spotted a small ad in our newspaper about a historical plane exhibit coming to Seattle over Father's Day weekend. Now, Kraig really loves anything historical, especially relating to military stuff—I swear, I think he's watched Saving Private Ryan at least 20 times. I start to think...hmmm...this would be great to take him to see these—and then I got really excited when I read further down and realized that they would be giving a limited amount of rides on the actual planes at the end of each day! What made it even cooler was that one of the planes was the type his Dad flew in WWII as a B-24 bomber pilot—so you have to agree—isn't this the "perfect" gift for Father's Day?!? (I would have loved to have had Ray, his dad, come and fly with him too, but his hearing and health prevents him from ever flying again.)
So, I grabbed the credit card and made a reservation as fast as I could. And boy, was he surprised when we got there and I told him he was getting to actually fly inside one of his favorite planes! The look on his face was priceless—it really made me happy to see him so touched and excited about his unexpected adventure. To say he loved it would be an understatement—I think he was still floating on Cloud 9 when we went to visit his dad the next day to tell him all about how he got to explore every inch of the plane and feel what it was like to fly in it. Ray was thrilled for him as well, and shared some neat stories with us about his days as a pilot—it's amazing what those crews had to work with back "in the day!"
Here's some pics Kraig took while enjoying his unique flight experience. He said some spaces were so tight, he could barely squeeze through them, and there were places where only a scrap of fabric kept you from falling out of the plane. (eek!)
Can you imagine cramming into this tiny gunner's turret, dangling below in the belly of the plane, with just a tiny safety clip keeping you in place!??
I learned that this plane is the last of it's kind still flying, so I'm so glad the girls and I were able to give Kraig a gift that was as unique and special as he is to us. Boy, it's gonna be hard to top this one next year though! LOL