Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Crabs!

No, this isn't some on-line confession to a horrible VD. As if I were some drunken sailor. Puh-lease.

As previously reported, Mother Nature conspired to abort the original plan for early May: To hop down to NOLA and take in what was appropriate described as the best Jazzfest lineup in years. Even if we could have circumnavigated the horrible thunderstorms that were predicted to be blowing through the area, who wants to spend the better part of two or three days on the infield of the Fairgrounds -- surely to be a mudpit by then??? So, we scrubbed the trip.

But Mike Hotel was mine, and so it was time for the proverbial "Plan B." Hmm, where to go. Hey, I know, let's go have some crab cakes for lunch. My original travel companion, S, was game, and so we her friend, W. So, we jumped into the plane, filed (almost) direct to KMTN, and off we went.

S had flown with the IFR Pilot once before, back when he was a newly minted private pilot. And even though W had never been in a light aircraft before, she confessed that she was looking forward to it.

Travel time was just a couple of hours from KBKL, and we had CAVU weather for 95% of it. Here's a couple of obligatory in-flight shots of the flight crew and pax:




Inbound to KMTN, a Falcon was hot on our tail. Just as we turned final, the tower instructed us to remain west of the final approach course, make a right 360 for spacing, and cleared us to land #2 behind the Falcon. Jeez, those jet guys get all the first class treatment... :-)

Anyhow, we landed without incident, and other than having to wait inordinately long for clearance to back-taxi, we made it to the FBO. Whereupon, we experienced our only real hiccup of the day - the IFR Pilot forgot to make advance arrangements for a rental car. And they had none available on the field. OK, we'll just cab it down to the Inner Harbor. We have a lovely preview of downtown Baltimore as we sped down the interstate highway:


When prompted, the driver gave us a primo recommendation for a luncheon spot: Legal Sea Foods. Given that S and the IFR Pilot both share this occupation, we thought it a good omen for a great lunch. Especially when we realized they had outdoor seating that was just PERFECT for a spring day. See for yourself:


We promptly occupied the one remaining outside table, and proceeded to order more food than you can shake a stick at. This included three different soups (I was especially fond of the Clam Chili that S ordered), and perhaps that most delicious crab cake I have ever had. Loads upon loads of delish lump crab, and very little bread crumbs. In addition, some "adult beverages" were also procured for the non-crew members. S particularly enjoyed her sangria. I've got the evidence to prove my case, ladies and gentlemen of the jury:



Dining outside is always a favorite activity, as it allows vast amounts of people watching. It's an amusing spectator sport. You get to sights like this:


Hey dude, nice hat.

Anyway, after eating way too much, we took a walk around the Inner Harbor. More obligatory pictures:




After traipsing around the Harbor, we found our way into Little Italy. On the advice of the man behind the counter at Velleggia's Casa di Pasta (from which the IFR Pilot purchased the most delicious Lobster Ravioli, which he cooked up for dinner the next night), we found our way to the nearby Vaccaro's Italian Pastry Shop. Whereupon, even more calories were consumed:


For the gourmand challenged, that's 3 mini cannoli in the foreground, with a bowl of Amaretto gelato on the back right and some mini creme puffs on the back left.

To work off some -- but certainly nowhere near all of the calories that we wolfed down -- we hiked over to Camden Yards. Ladies, strike a pose please!


With that, we cabbed it back to MTN. Hilarity ensued when the IFR Pilot tried to fuel up and the ground cable detached itself from the reel. Great, just my luck. With a bit of assistance from the line crew, we straightened out that snafu and launched into the Wild Blue Yonder.

Initially, our routing to the west was pointing us right into a mass of developing storms. But, an opportunely-requested "any chance direct destination" met with a favorable reply, and a turn to the northwest kept us well clear. Not even a drop of rain on Mike Hotel. A couple hours later, after a spectacular overflight of downtown Pittsburgh, we were home, safe and sound.

Truly, a great way to spend 5.1 hours in the air!

25 comments:

k said...

Sounds (and looks) like it was a nice trip! And you had to go the extra mile to include that first-sentence link....

But no mention of ADIZ -- surely worth just a note?

IFR Pilot said...

ADIZ was a total non-event. Per the FSS specialist, as long as we were IFR, we were covered for the ADIZ, so I took the lazy way out and instead of figuring out VFR procedures, just went in and out IFR.

phil said...

Looks like Mike Hotel has a plush interior. Is that little window on the captains side designed for aerial photography or just to cool off?

Dave Starr said...

So funny, I read your blog to keep up with your flying activities and we always wind up learning about food *smile*.

It has been a while since I ate at a "Legal Seafood" outlet ... I used to make frequent business trips to KBOS and gained many a pound there ... I now live about 7,337nm from there on an initial heading of 346, but I have always been fond of "Legal". Glad they have branched out to other cities. For a chain restaurant organization they do a darn fine job ... glad the trip was fun.

IFR Pilot said...

@Phil: That litle side window is for air circulation on the ground. It is specifically labeled, "Do not open while in flight."

@Dave: Thanks, I enjoyed writing about food as much as flying. Sometimes...

Ash said...

Great pictures!

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The Asian Badger said...

Nothing like jumping in your own aircraft for an eating trip. Looks like the IFR pilot's profile is going to match mine pretty soon!

Nothing like it, though. Thanks for sharing the story.

Anonymous said...

Any chance you looked at the VOR/DME approach for KMTN? Rather interesting.

Should you head to the Bal'more area again, much better crap cakes could have been had just the other side of the bay at a little convenience store just off the Bay Bridge Airport (W29 I believe)property.

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