50 is just a number & Helicopter


April 5 – 6 2016

In February I turned 50, half a century old.  I remember when I was younger thinking 50 was old, yet when I look in a mirror…I don’t see an old woman.  Weird, I see someone who has been through many trials and tribulations but not weathered, not old, just living.

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Ready for take off

Over the last few months I have been rehabbing my broken leg from last October 2015.  At 50 I am “forced” to worked out like never before to regain my strength, stamina, flexibility and lose weight.  Numerous PT sessions have gone by and now I have hired a personal trainer to carry on my rehab.  I am shocked to be honest as to how bad my body and leg suffered from my motorcycle accident.  I never thought 6 1/2 months later I would still be rehabbing, in some pain and experiencing swelling.

I will carry on working out as much as my body will handle and look forward to starting a new job in Connecticut in good shape.  As for my birthday present from my beautiful partner?  She thought since I like adventures why not head up to Westchester County, NY to spend a night at the TarryTown House Estate on the Hudson.

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TarryTown House Estate

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The precursor to my helicopter flying lesson and then an actual flight.  I have grown up in NY, Long Island to be exact but I have never really explored this beautiful county called Westchester.  In just 2 days we were able to drive around quaint towns like Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, Chappaqua, Rye, Purchase, & White Plains to name a few.  This area of NY consists of beautiful villages along the Hudson River, what appears to be extreme wealth, mansions, fancy cars and very nice people.

IMG_1392IMG_6877 We arrived in the pouring rain which eventually let up.  The drive went smoothly around NYC.  No motorcycle this time.  Too weak to ride long distances.  We caged it this time which wasn’t too bad considering the weather.

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Spent some time looking around Tarrytown in the rain, had a great cup of coffee at Coffee Labs Roasters.

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Learned a little about roasting beans from the master.

Had a nice dinner at the Inn, went swimming in the pool and spa.  Neither one of us brought our bathing suits so we stripped down to our t-shirts and undies.  No one was around and we got to relax by ourselves.  See at 50 you still can be spontaneous and have fun.  😉

We had a lot of time to sight see before my flight so on this day we played tourist.  We both decided to see the Hudson, Tappan Zee Bridge, parks and more towns.  We even hikes up the Kensico Reservoir.  Only 300 feet but for me and my leg it was a good work out.

 

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Although it was freezing out with the wind chill it was beautiful as well.

One last stop before my flight lesson had to be the Hillary and Bill Clinton’s home in Chappaqua, NY.  We found their house which was completely gated with secret service cars parked outside.  The house is well protected by evergreens which made it hard to actually see.  A secret service dude pulled up while we were there.  He said nothing to us and proceeded to enter the property though the side gate.  I was very tempted to do the same but was afraid I would be arrested so we just took a selfie and left.

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After fooling around, sight-seeing and playing tourist we headed over to Westchester County Airport for my how to fly a helicopter lesson and flight.  I was excited at this point to fly and it was a near perfect day to add this to my “bucket list”.

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Looks confusing and it is

I learned that when flying a helicopter there is really no time to sit back and relax.  Your eyes, hands and feet are always doing something.  A little like riding a motorcycle but more intricate. 30 minutes to learn and then off to fly.  We took off and flew over Connecticut’s shoreline.  I never knew there were little islands off the coast of Stamford.  Beautiful views, trying to keep the horizon level, listening to the traffic control tower, keeping my elevation around 1500 ft all the while looking around at the beauty of the Long Island Sound.  The Cyclic Stick is like a joy stick from a video game.  So sensitive to touch which took me about 15 mins to get used to using.  Controlling a helicopter takes coordination and a delicate touch.  I know I would get better at this if I took more lessons.

My instructor was awesome and he said it took him a long time to get used to flying.  Next some pictures and videos of my in flight trip.  It was amazing to be honest and would do it again in a heart beat.

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Above Connecticut

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taking control

After the flight we drove home.  One of the best birthday presents ever and although we were only a short distance away from Long Island it felt like we were a million miles away.

7 Comments

  1. RichardM says:

    Are you going to continue beyond the first lesson? I took a crack at it while working on the big island of HI a long time ago. The pilot that we hired learned that I was a student pilot and gave me a quick lesson while we were using the helicopter for work. I found it very challenging compared to a Cessna.

    • advgrrl says:

      I found it challenging too. I have flown a Cessna and it’s much easier to sit back and relax a bit. Helicopter whole other story but I would do it again and again. Love the feel of being in control and thanks for the b day wish

  2. RichardM says:

    BTW, I forgot to mention it in my earlier comment but Happy 50th!

  3. A belated happy birthday to you. My 50th was quite subdued compared to your chopper lesson. Maybe I was in denial LOL

  4. Kevin Brent says:

    50? You’re still a kid yet! Happy Birthday!

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