Flying with Frodo.

Thing 1 and I headed down south on Friday for his college visit to Indiana State University on Saturday. It was a 5-hour drive so we didn’t get to our hotel until about 10:30 p.m. The hotel wasn’t bad, it was a Travelodge, but I’m not sure I’ll stay again. It smelled heavily of smoke in the hallways  (even though there were signs up that said No Smoking), though our room didn’t smell of it. The room was clean, but the sound of traffic was so loud it made it hard to sleep. But, seeing as how we were only there for the night and checking out at 8 a.m. and it was cheap, like I said, it wasn’t bad.

It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been to the campus, and honestly I couldn’t remember anything about it. I had only been there for a week for Girl’s State.  The campus is really nice, though. It’s situated in town with roads going through, so it’s like it’s own little town. He gets to stay in one of the new dorms, except it’s only a freshman dorm so he’ll have to move next year.

 The rec center is awesome!  You can see here more about it. We walked around a bit in there too. Since the pools are inside, he can swim all year. It was quite busy there, so it gets a lot of use. 

 He is set up for the 7-day/2-meal-per-day meal plan where he’ll get lunch and dinner each day, all you can eat, plus he can eat out once a week. The meals are figured by credit, and if he has any credits left over at the end of the year, they go on his Blue Card (student ID which is like a debit card), and then he can use that as spending money.

He’s going for Professional Aviation Flight, and when checking out other schools (like Purdue), Indiana State had the best program. You get the most ratings starting with your private license, then commercial, then your CFII which is your Certified Flight Instructor Instrument.  You also get multi-engine ratings, aerobatic flight and tail-wheel. In addition you can also receive certifcations in ocean flying (where you spend a week over Spring Break at the Bahamas flying over the ocean), mountain flying, multi-engine instructor, float plane, and glider.

While we were down there, we checked out the airport where he’ll be doing his trainings.  An instructor there happened to be available, and imagine my surprise when I saw it was Frodo!   Seriously, this guy looked exactly like Elijah Wood. Same hair, same eyes, same face shape, same smile…it was weird. I didn’t want to stare or anything, which  I’m sure he gets that all the time.

Frodo gave Thing 1 a tour and even  his first flight lesson!  I wanted to be sure this was something he really wanted to do, and since he’s never flown before (as a passenger, yes, but not as a pilot), I didn’t want to invest the money and then discover on his first day of flying that he was scared out of his pants and didn’t want to do it (which has happened to students before).

My heart leaped up into my throat when I watched them take off into the sky.  A little while later, I saw the contrails as they flew around clouds.   They were up for about forty minutes and then landed.  I went ahead and got Thing 1 a flight record book so he could have his flight time recorded. He’s going to need it anyways, so it made sense to get it now.

After we left, this was our conversation between me and Thing 1:

Thing 1:  Do you know who he reminded me of?

Me: Frodo?

Thing 1:  Yes!  I didn’t want to stare at him, but I was, like, startstruck the whole time.

Me:  You got to fly with Frodo today.

He also explained to me how flying isn’t easy (well, duh), there’s a lot you have to pay attention to (again, duh), but he loved it. Frodo also said Thing 1 caught on pretty quick and did really well.

In June we have to go back down to the college for his Orientation. We’ll be making a trip back to the airport as well for more flying and to get his flying schedule set up for the year. It turned out to be a fun and exciting time.   Now, Thing 1 can go to school tomorrow and tell his buddies that he flew with Frodo.


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