Archive for April, 2010

Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2010 >> Hang Gliding

This last week I had a great opportunity to go to the Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park in LaBelle, FL.  You can look at the pictures posted here or check out their blog.  I took three tandem lessons with Steve Larson.  I also got a rare chance to take a tandem flight a mile high up with Jonny Durand.  We were towed up by a Dragonfly (i.e. tug) and dropped off above some huge puffy white clouds.  You could not see land in any direction, it was so gorgeous!  While we were flying above the cloud, we saw our “Glory.”  This is when a rainbow that is in a complete circle has our glider shadow in the center of it.  It was breath taking!  It was so amazing.  We flew about a 30 minute flight and enjoyed the clouds and watching our Glory.  We also worked on S turns and figure 8s.  Jonny Durand is the #1 ranked Hang Glider Pilot in the World.  You can see him fly the Morning Glory in Australia by clicking here.

Jonny Durand and Me


I was also very lucky that Jeff Shapiro asked me if I would like him to take me up on an instructional flight.  He is one of Wills Wings World Team Pilots.  We had a rough launch and landing, but a very informative instructional flight!  I was the most at ease on this flight than any other tandem I have taken.

Jeff Shapiro setting up his Wills Wing T2C Glider (I love this glider)


This entire week was full of learning experiences for me as well as for Matt.  I had a spectacular time and met some really neat people.  I can’t wait to see them all again in the next competition.  Good luck to those in the Flytec Race and Rally!  I am sure wishing I was there.

Overall at the end of the week Matt got 4th place in the Sport Class.  He also beat his personal best glide.  His new best is 31.5 miles!  Go Matt!

Below is a picture of the gliders staging for take-off.


The truck packed with me and 6 others



How to Train Your Dragon

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2010 >> Movie Mania

how_to_train_your_dragonWhile I was at the Rob Kells Hang Gliding Competition at the Florida Ridge Air Park, a bunch of us went to go see How to Train your Dragon at the Imax 3D.  It was a very cute movie with some awesome flying scenes in it.  Check it out if you like to fly!

Easter in Washington, D.C.

Posted by: Frances

April 26th, 2010 >> Holidays, Outdoor Activities

April 2 thru April 4, my mom, sister, Rachel, Michelle, and I went to Washington D.C. for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  It was so wonderful to see all of them!  I miss my mom and sister a bunch and wish we could see each other more often.  The Cherry Blossoms were so gorgeous!  We took hundreds of pictures as usual and all of them were so good, it was hard to choose which ones to post.  We went to the different Memorials and Monuments as well as the Capitol and White House.

harriet-michelle-rachel-jackie-francesThis is my mom, Michelle, Rachel, my sister, and me


My Mom, my sister, and me


Rachel, my sister, and me (Totem Pole)

So… I loved everything we went to see and take pictures of and the great memories we made.  One that stood out the most to me is that Rachel can not stick her tongue out without raising her eyebrows.  This was hilarious to watch her try to hold down her eyebrows as she stuck out her tongue.

My most favorite part of this vacation other than seeing everyone and the SNEAKY confetti egg fight we had, was going to eat at the restaurant Matchbox!  They have the most fabulous food I have ever eaten.  Between the 5 of us, we ordered about 9 dishes each of the two times we went to eat there.  My top two favorites were the stuffed french toast with cream cheese and rum infused syrup and the waffle sandwich with pruscetta and gruyere cheese with rum infused honey mustard.  WOW, WOW, WOW! Highly recommend! Everything we ordered was just mouth watering.  You can find the menu here.

Here is a picture of the first day we went.  All the food we ordered is not on the table yet.