As some of my more astute readers pointed out in the comment section two posts ago, I had a birthday on Friday.  I turned 23.  I didn’t announce it for two reasons:

1)  I don’t like obligatory “Happy Birthdays.”  That’s not to say I don’t appreciate being wished a happy birthday—in fact, it’s one of my very favourite pastimes.  It’s just that I don’t like making people feel obligated to say the words.  I even went so far as to change my actual birthday on Facebook so that I wouldn’t have a whole slew of “Happy Birthday, Camille!”s from people who don’t comment on my statuses any other time during the year.  You know?  Sure, be my Facebook friend and stalk me all you want in secret, but if you don’t say anything to me for 364 days, I don’t suddenly expect you to guiltily wish me a happy birthday just because you saw on my wall that 200 other people already did.  {I don’t think I have 200 friends, so that might have been a lofty example.}  I don’t like feeling obligated to say it, so I tried to relieve other people of the same social pressure.  {That said, thank you very much to those of you who did go out of your way to wish me a happy birthday.  I appreciated it.}

2)  I was trying to be a bit less of a diva than I’ve been in years past.  Begging for comments can be very fruitful in some cases, but I didn’t feel up to the birthday rejection of not getting as many as expected.  Plus, they’d all just say, “Happy Birthday!” and then where would we be?

Anyway, it was my birthday.  {I’m not telling you this now so you can wish me a belated happy birthday—HOW CAN I MAKE IT ANY MORE CLEAR THAT I’M TRYING TO BE HUMBLE?}  And even though I didn’t expect my readers to acknowledge it, I had high, high hopes for my husband, Poor Kyle.

I always have high hopes for Poor Kyle.  It can be a very bad thing.  Luckily, this year, he delivered.  Phew! His very soul was in peril.

It started off poorly for him, though, when he was out of town on the morning of my birthday.  Thankfully, he got home just in time for a celebratory dinner at my favourite Italian restaurant (Coco Pazzo, for you locals—highly recommended), and a leisurely stroll through the mall where we bought a much-coveted beach dress and a knife sharpener.  (Weird items to want for one’s birthday, I know.  But what can I say?  There’s no room in my life for dull knives.  Haven’t got time for ’em.  When I need tomatoes sliced, I need them sliced NOW.)

The next day, he sacrificed a beautiful-day-for-playing-golf to take me on my birthday surprise…

We went flying.

Birthday AirplaneIn this plane.

Of course, in retrospect, I can see the trip in the sky was really more of a present for Poor Kyle than me—he got to sit in the cockpit and take over the controls—but that’s okay.  I can share my birthday joy.  {See me being NOT a diva?}

Poor Kyle has been talking about taking pilot lessons for about a year now, and finally we looked into it enough to take a little introductory flight.  It was fun.

Customer ParkingWe got to park here, because we were the customers.  Poor Kyle swore that the next time he went, he’d get to park in “PILOT PARKING.”  Okay, dear…

Airplane Headphones

Once inside the plane, we got to wear real-life airplane headphones.  They allowed us to hear the pilot (he’s on the right, above) communicating with the control tower.  “Alpha Charlie Delta, this is the pilot requesting permission for takeoff.  Plan is to circle above the city at 4500 feet.”  “Alpha Charlie Delta, this is traffic control.  You’re cleared for takeoff on Runway B.”

Poor Kyle Takeoff

Poor Kyle thought it was neat, even before we left the ground.

Camille Takeoff

I didn’t care about that so much as I cared whether I looked HAWT in my goofy earphones.  (I’m not a diva…I’m not a diva…)

CockpitThere’s the cockpit.  [Does anyone else feel uncomfortable saying the word “cockpit?”  I think being an English major has started to corrupt my formerly pure, untarnished mind, because I’m thinking of all kinds of off-coloured remarks about why they call it a “cockpit.”  Stupid filthy Renaissance literature.]

Pilot TakeoffHere’s the back of our pilot, Mr. O’neill.  I couldn’t figure out why he needed his nametag on the back of his shirt—must be a pilot thing.  Anyway, I trusted him the minute I saw him because he was sporting a pair of Ray Ban™ Aviators.  He was official.

Fire ExtinguisherBut trust or no trust, I was still relieved to see a fire extinguisher within arm’s reach.  A tiny little plane was how NieNie met her demise, after all.  One can never be too safe.  {I suppose if one wanted to be really safe, one wouldn’t climb in tin-can airplanes in the first place…  There’s a thought…}

Poor Kyle in the SkyAs we took to the skies, Poor Kyle was pensive.  “I could do that,” he thought, observing the Pilot O’Neill’s every move.

Airplane RideAnd while Canada is about to make my life miserable in a few short months, I must admit it is stunning from the sky.

Golf Course from SkyThere’s the golf course where Poor Kyle could’ve been teeing off.  He swears he made the better choice.

As the flight went on, I decided to conduct a scientific experiment.  I formed a hypothesis that Poor Kyle’s smile would get bigger with every minute we stayed in the plane.  I gathered my data…

Poor Kyle in the Sky

Poor Kyle Takeoff

Poor Kyle Dimple

Poor Kyle Flying…and saw that my hypothesis was, indeed, a valid theory.  Observe the deepening of the dimple on his right cheek, culminating with the enormous grin he flashed when the pilot finally let him take the controls.  I love my husband.

Poor Kyle's Hand on Controls

I love that I didn’t even feel scared when his hands were on the controls—his, and only his.  I trust him with my life in a thousand different capacities, and he’s never once given me cause to fret.  He’s a good man.

Then I got bored with all the science and mushiness because I hate science and mushiness, so I  looked out the window some more:

High Level Bridge from SkyThis bridge is neither the tallest nor the longest bridge in North America, but it is the tallest AND longest in North America.  See if you can work that out.  If not, don’t worry—neither could the engineer who built it.  He jumped off it the day it was unveiled, because he was certain it wouldn’t hold.  That was 100 years ago.

Fall Harvest FieldsYou can see the very abrupt line between urban sprawl and rural…sprawl.  We’re farm folk up here.

Cow?  Horse?

When it was time to land, I took a moment during our descent to reflect on the nature of cows.  It was poetic and possibly the most brilliant thought for which any human being has ever used her brain, but I have completely forgotten what it was.  I can’t remember now, because I’m too distracted by the awful smudge on our lens—we’ve really got to get that cleaned.  It’s caused me to lose my grasp on the answer to The Question of the Universe.  All because of a spec of dust.

…Then again, maybe that is the answer to The Question of the Universe: A spec of dust.  It’s so deep…  So profound…

Okay, I’m stopping now.  We had a really lovely time and I turned 23.

Camille + Poor Kyle Go FlyingGood job, Poor Kyle.

And good luck beating it next year.

About Camille

I'm Camille. I have a butt-chin. I live in Canada. I was born in Arizona. I like Diet Dr. Pepper. Hello. You can find me on Twitter @archiveslives, Facebook at facebook.com/archivesofourlives, instagram at ArchivesLives, and elsewhere.
This entry was posted in Canada, It's All Good, looking back, Married Life, Overall Good Things, photos, Poor Kyle, Recreation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Flight

  1. wait you’re only 23? i didn’t realize i was getting so old (almost 25). happy late birthday!

    and you are crazy for getting in a small plane. i will never. ever. too many tragedies with family members and friends. glad you’re still alive :)

  2. Katie says:

    So sweet. So, so sweet. What a great present, Poor Kyle!

    (P.S. This is a nonchalant happy birthday, Camille….)

  3. Holly Janeen says:

    and the humblest person award goes to… CAMILLE.

    well, i must say i am impressed with PK. and i am now convinced that i should do this for Jeff’s birthday. i think he would love it :)

  4. Cristin says:

    As the wife of someone who is working on his pilot’s license, let me give you this advice: Get life insurance. It helps me sleep at night.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have to admit, I had flashes of NieNie go through my mind when Mom told me you were riding in a plane for your birthday. I’m glad you are safe and sound. I do have to admit that I would LOVE if PK or Flint knew how to fly because that would make our flights to Canadia more tolerable; I’d rather have my son scream in a confined space where only family members are present instead of 88 strangers who are shooting eye daggers at me the entire 3-hour flight for not getting my kid to SHUT UP, ALREADY! Anyway, I’m not sure the pros outweigh the cons, yet… I’ll have to think on it.

  6. Sounds like you really enjoyed your surprise on your birthday.
    I always want to be surprised for my birthday, but everybody I know doesn’t like surprises so they don’t bother.

  7. DeAnna says:

    Southern Alberta really is beautiful from way up there. Great birthday gift, PK! And 23, seriously you have a lot of wisdom in your young years. I may only be 3.5 years older, but that seems like a lifetime.

  8. TeamHaynes says:

    Oh my! What a marvelous birthday present! I hate to admit that I once used to love flying and now I’m a fearful flyer :( I still fly though! Even if it is with xanax and white knuckles, I shake and cry my way through it. Overcoming fear is interesting.
    Anyway, I just have to say I laugh every time you say hawt. I just think its so funny!
    What a breathtaking view! Once I’m up there I don’t really have a choice but to love the view. Such a crazy feeling being scared and blown away by God’s beauty He created. I have a feeling some time in my future I need to visit Alberta and experience it myself.
    The evolution of the smile was great. I actually prefer birthday gifts that are for more than one person. Totally humbling, and it keeps giving!
    I would say that figure is a shadow. It looks too small to be your plane but it has that shape.
    Looks to me like a wonderful day! Kudos to PK.
    (I was not trying to rhyme!)

  9. Whitney says:

    Wow what a fun present. Although I would be such a wimp and probably couldnt do it. Glad you are safe. I cant believe we are getting to be this old. its crazy how time flies.

  10. Very cool birthday gift. Learning to fly is on my “some day” list.
    But thanks; I will never be able to hear the word “cockpit” in quite the same way.

  11. Christal says:

    aww what a great birthday and a great husband!! oh and happy belated birthday ha ha You know you love it lol!!! Love the quebec video Darren and I just watched it! hope all is good ttys

  12. OOOO you look super cute!! Love your hair andy our shirt!

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