Just one pilot's attempt at taking an interesting picture every trip, often with a story to go with it. Come along for the ride.

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Friday, November 23, 2007

3 Day San Juan Newark "Canal Street with Kimmie"

The ability to trip trade can make all the difference in the world sometimes. I called up another FO (Jeff) who was kind enough to trade with me for his identical SJU/EWR trip that departed one day later than mine. This made it possible for me to attend my wife's U.S. citizenship ceremony. We've been married for 15 years, and she's always had a British passport with a U.S. green card, but now it's official, she's a citizen. The trade also allowed me to layover in Newark on the same night as my sister Kim, a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines. We planned to get together in Manhattan for some shopping, so I was especially excited for this trip, even with the early departure and the flight time of more than 20 hours over the 3 days.

As is typical in a small base like Boston, I had flown with the Captain, Mike S. before. Mike drives from Vermont and since this trip left so early in the morning, he had to leave his house at 12:30 a.m. to drive the four hours to Logan. It made it much harder for me to complain about getting up at 2:30 a.m.

Typically our early morning departures either have just one leg or they are a turn. This one however was the beginning of a very long trip. The first day had us going from Boston to Miami to Aruba to San Juan. That's nearly 8 hours of flying. After another mexican dinner and some good sleep, we left the next day for Antigua then San Juan and finally Newark, NJ.

Flying over St. Kitts, I thought it would be cool if there were an astronaut out there who could blog freely. I figured this picture taken from a 757 would have to suffice.

In orbit (over St. Kitts)

But after landing in Aruba, I realized this BA 777 was the closest thing to a space ship that I would fly:

British Airways Boeing 777 in Antigua

I left Mike to go with my sister to her layover hotel since we planned to go into town early the next morning. When we woke up on Monday morning, it was snowing pretty heavily in Newark. We were both excited to get into Manhattan though, so we jumped on the NJ Transit train at Newarks Penn Station and zipped into the city with another Alaska flight attendant who was going to visit her friend.

Kim and I went straight to B&H Photo which is a HUGE store that is full of great gadgets. This place is nearly the size of a grocery store, and unlike most places, it's staffed with nearly 200 employees. If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend swinging by. It was pretty crowded even at 9 a.m.

With my favorite place out of the way, we went to Kimmie's stomping ground, Canal Street. This place is full of Chinese knock offs which would normally bore me to death, but my sister made it fun. Kim Wien Wong, as we like to call her, knew some of the shopkeepers by name. In fact, I think she may be too friendly with them as she wasn't completely brutal in her negotiating tactics. She was sure that no one was showing us the good stuff because I looked too much like a cop. Finally some guy led us to a loft in a back alley for some handbags. Kim didn't find anything she needed but hypothetically, I could have bought some poorly encoded, movie theatre filmed DVD's of The Simson's Movie and Dan in Real Life for $3 each. Hypothetically of course.

Before heading back to the hotel to get ready for our evening departures, we stopped in the Apple Store in SoHo to pick up a few accessories. I've managed to turn Kim into a real tech geek in the past few years, so she was right at home.

Kim went home to Seattle on Alaska and I flew down to Miami and then Boston.

I was surprised how many passengers have been asking about the airways that are being opened up for the holidays on the east coast of the U.S. It seems like a lot of hype for such a small tweak to the system. On the way home, we heard Jetblue ask: "Center, is the George W. Bush super highway open yet, we'd like to get a direct to Hampton if we could and break it in." ATC told them it wasn't scheduled to open until Wednesday though. Nice try JetBlue.

CA Mike passing the sunset by...


Eddie said...

Great report Kent. I haven't been out at MIA lately, since security has been beefed up for the ElAl flights. They dont take kindly to spotters like myself. However, I've been making quite a habit of going out to FLL. So send me an email when your flying in, and I'll try my hardest to get some pictures of your amazing landings.

Blue skies,

Joseph S said...

I really like that George Bush superhighway comment from that JB pilot. It reminds me of the time that I heard an American Airlines pilot say "John Wayne, Disneyland, Orange County, Richard Nixon, whatever tower this is, American ready to go 19R." Great report, that last picture is great.

Neil said...

Great report Kent!

Jamie D said...

When i saw "Canal Street" i thought you meant in Manchester Haha! If your not familiar: http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=canal+street+manchester

Kent Wien said...


I've been to the Manchester Canal street a few times, and yes, it's very much different from the Manhattan version!

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kittitianhill said...

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kittitianhill said...

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Grew up in Alaska, went to high school and college in Washington State. Commercial pilot since 1990.

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