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John_Cillis

I love flying to Socal

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In 1992 I remember one real life trip, I helped raise my nephews, my brother was on temp work disability from an accident when they were young.  I decided I'd take my two nephews, Joey and Bobby, on their first airline flight to Socal, so I could take them to Disneyland.  But I did not like telling them in advance knowing they would get too excited, since I had taken them before, and I knew they would not rest well before the trip.  So I just told them we were going to spend the day in Frisco, I was living with my parents at the time and my brother dropped them off there, secretly putting the suitcase he had packed for them in my station wagon and burying it under some blankets.  I left for San Francisco and my nephews were mildly excited at the surprise that day, since they thought I was just going to stay with them and have fun with them on my Packard Bell PC Flight Simulator, which they liked to watch.

When I crossed the Bay Bridge (fondly remembering one section we crossed was built in Napa where we left from, to replace the section that fell in the 1989 earthquake which me and my nephews felt during the World Series), I pretended to be stressed by traffic (actually I did not have to pretend, traffic was always dicey exiting into Frisco) and told my nephews we'd have to go to the airport to park, and take the bus back up, since it seemed like there might not be any downtown parking (which did happen during the workweek many times).  When we got to the airport parking, the first airport parking lot I came upon where my Dad and I always parked when we took our separate business trips, I asked my oldest nephew, age 12, sitting up front to open the glove compartment (my other nephew was 10).  I asked him to pull out an envelope I'd left there and open it saying I had tickets for the muni or something like that.

He opened the envelope and stared at it, and said, "No Uncle John, these are airline tickets--wait OUR  NAMES ARE ON THEM!"

I pulled off one of my many famous vacation surprises, which I also applied to my daughter some twenty years later when it was her turn to drive or fly to Disney.  We flew Alaska Airlines in the bulkhead row they gave us, which was just exquisite like first class for me with its legroom.  We had the same row flying home a few days later.

I love aviation and moreover, I love surprising children with aviation as a means of getting somewhere they dream of going.  By the time my daughter was thirteen I had taken her on about ten airline trips, one international, several to Orlando and Socal, and one to Hawaii for her thirteenth birthday, with her last trip with me in 2013, by that time she was outgrowing Disneyworld and it became our last trip, and we surprised her with Universal Studios.

My daughter is at Northern Arizona University now, like me she wants to follow in my footsteps and be a world traveler, however her interest is in the US Government's Foreign Service which I know she will achieve given my own and my family's strong background in government service in our careers, my ex wife included.  I plan on flying her either to Orlando or Socal again when Disney's Star Wars land opens, or maybe I will surprise her and take her somewhere else--maybe across the pond, she wants to see London and I can swing us some Britrail passes for ten days there or so.....  Hmmmm

John

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