The Best Two Bucks I Ever Spent

This week we went on a field trip.

After being sick all week, I wanted to get my poor two-year-old out of the house. He was going stir crazy anyway and it was time for some fun that didn't include ripping up book covers and dumping out entire boxes of toys just to hear the noise.

So we went to the airport.

Sounds fun, huh? I only live about 20 minutes away from it and as soon as we were getting off the exit and a plane was flying directly overheard about what felt like 10 feet above us, I knew I made the right choice. I heard a tiny excited voice coming from the backseat and gleeing and clapping and I was pretty sure it was gonna be a good time.

The boy loves planes. Loves them. Any transportation, really, like garbage trucks (and recycling trucks as he corrected me last week) and diggers and construction trucks and cranes, all of it. But he loves the airplane. The noise it makes. The wings. The air. The fact that it can go all the way to Taiwan.

So I thought maybe we'll go sit on the observation deck and watch them take off and land for a while and see if he likes that. And that's just what we did, only it was pretty cold out there and there actually wasn't that great a view, and besides, that's where all the smokers go, so we took it inside. I was starting to think it wasn't going to be that great at all, but hey, at least we got out of the house.

We wandered around to find a place where we could see the planes best, and after making a few stops we found the spot and it was money. A little tiny alcove surrounded by windows and decked out with chairs and I wheeled in the stroller carrying my one-year-old and let the older one run right up to the window and watch the planes. From where we were you could see the gate where the planes were parked and the runway was right behind it, so you could see the planes take off and then watch them as the went up up and away into the quiet blue beyond.

And a few minutes after we got there, a pilot walked up to us and gave him a shiny Delta airplane pin and that was about the greatest thing in the world (second only to seeing Daddy walk in through the door of course) and he put it on and wore it so proudly and couldn't believe that he met a "real pirate." Because "Pirates fyes panes."

And the pilot was sitting there for a while after he gave him the pin, studying some papers and eating a big shiny red apple, which also thankfully didn't go unnoticed by my two-year-old who now believes that all pilots eat apples and therefore it must too follow that he must eat "big apple" too just like the pilot. Which is alright by me, that's for sure. I could think of worse examples to follow.

And then a few minutes later, his other favorite thing walked up, a little two-year-old girl (I'll post another day about his affinity for chicks and his ladies' man ways...) and for the next hour or so they watched the planes together running excitedly from one window to another to follow its takeoff and pointing and squealing and jumping up and down.

When it was lunchtime and you could actually see the system breaking down, the tiredness beginning to set in and signs that the experience was coming to a close, we went back to the car, drove out of the parking lot where I gave the lady at the little window my two bucks for parking and thought, that was just about the best two dollars I've ever spent. And she said, "Thank you," and I said, "No. Thank YOU."

If you're looking for a cheap date with the kids and you live near an airport, I'd say take the trip. It's well worth the money.
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  1. I keep meaning to take Elliot to actually SEE the planes. We went once to pick up a friend and he was just so excited to be at the airport. He talked about it for a week. 'I went to da airport to pick up Aunty Diane'

  2. Tom and I used to do that when we lived in Portland, go hang out at the airport just to watch the planes. It's entertaining even for big kids like us. How perfect about the whole pilot with the apple thing. Very awesome. Glad you had such fun!

  3. That is an excellent idea!!! We live about 30 minutes from the airport and my grandparents basicly live in it's backyard. So, even if we didn't go to the actual airport we could probably visit great grandma and grandpa and watch the planes fly over their house! Another thing to look forward too as my son gets older! Thanks

  4. that is exactly how my love for flying got started! i think you may have a future pilot on your hands. i can show him a thing or two someday!

  5. I, just so happen, to live within 3 miles of our airport...I may just have to give this a try....what priceless entertainment!


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