When we were teenagers (with trucks, gotta have trucks and then you have it MADE), every September we drove out to CFB Shearwater in a caravan for the air show. Mostly it was a day of walking around bored watching the boys check out the static displays and dehydrating myself into a chapped lather because there would be exactly four portable toilets that would feature lineups so long you might still be there the next fall, if you weren't careful. It was $20 a truckload to get in, and it was an endurance day. But I was always so uncharacteristically excited by the noise and aerobatics, and waited patiently for the planes to take to the skies.
Then the children were born, Shearwater stopped putting on the air shows and well, we found other things to do. We also moved and the Prairies never seemed to know if they wanted to do air shows or not. It was the decade that saw us boarding a lot of planes but rarely watching them fly.
Fast forward to 2010, and we see the listing for an Abbotsford air show.
(Now to begin, no one really knew much about Abbotsford, only that on the map it was out at the other end of the Fraser Valley and that's fine, we're always on the road because this whole lower mainland is spread out like peanut butter on toast and I have doubled the miles on my car since we moved here.)
2010 came and went in a blur and I regretted not investigating this air show until I saw the ad in the paper last Wednesday and realized it was back! We didn't miss it! Come hell or high water, this is what we're doing on Sunday. Which is today!
So we loaded up the children and off we went.
Firstly, $100 a carload means we have hit the classy air show, or something. Times sure do change. Also, pilots don't speak down to me anymore because I am not a surly, giggly teenager, I am someone's mother now, and someone (times two) is climbing through their cockpit/helicopter/parachute so the pilots answer all my questions very patiently. This also might be due to my husband's sometimes-pilot status (recreational only) and the guy that actually owns a whole airplane (Satan) standing nearby, but I prefer to assume that my cute blonde good looks bring all the pilots to the yard (like a milkshake only without the milk. Or the shake. Or anything...okay, moving on.)
I finally got to meet Julie Clark, who has flown in every air show I have ever been to. I declined the funnel cakes near the stands because they were larger than my head, and also completely flat and really...weird looking and it just looked like 4000 calories I would be trying to pawn off on the boys later. I did have a Lemon Heaven lemonade and I caught on quickly. The first cup featured an ENTIRE lemon in it, with hardly any lemonade. The second time Ben went and he came back without the lemon, but with a lovely large thingie of lemonade that was gone in ten seconds. Who puts a whole lemon in a glass? The Lemon Heaven people, that's who.
I also mistakenly visited a (will remain nameless) booth serving poutine. Mistakenly, because yuck. Ben was thrilled with his but Ben never has any standards when it comes to poutine. In fact, give him a raw potato, a packet of fake gravy and a block of cheese and he'll pantomime the whole tequila routine, sucking the cheese, lick the gravy and then swallow the potato whole and declare it to be the Best Thing Ever, but he also eats lip gloss and steering wheels so really, he isn't one to go to for food recommendations. Next time I'll pack a picnic, since the whole "No Coolers" sign by the parking field turned out to be a total and utter lie.
The show was amazing, however, and there were loads of washrooms available (very important when spending eight+ hours at an event) and everything cost an arm, leg or a child so I am completely out of cash and also! burnt to a little crisp again because the sun came out but I was having far too much fun and so I never pay attention to my skin until I am pink and sore all over and Lochlan starts making that face that warns of future painful to the touch lobster princesses but he is also really red tonight so what the heck does he know? Also? Bastard ate a funnel cake.
And I am still jealous.
We learned all our lessons for next year as well. Leave earlier to get there earlier to get a good spot and bring chairs. Bring the cooler. Chips would be good. Sunscreen, sunglasses and hats are necessities and always, always ask questions.
Suspend adulthood, cheer, clap and wave, you uptight fuckwads, and whatever you do, dream about flying.
(Ben took a picture of me taking a picture of the Harvard. What a cute little plane)
And funnel cakes. Dream about the funnel cakes. Next year, I'm getting one. 2012. Be there or be horribly, sadly deprived.