An Aborted Flight To Catalina Island Lands Us Instead In Hermosa Beach
We were an hour late for takeoff due to a pilot keeping my friend’s plane for an hour past his scheduled rental agreement – I can’t stand it when people have zero consideration for others – and by the time we got airborne, clouds had covered the area.
We were scheduled to fly from the South Bay Aviation airport in Torrance, CA, to Catalina Island’s (locally) famous “Airport in the Sky” for its (locally) famous Buffalo Burger and Buffalo Milk cocktail for stories and videos on PubClub.com and Midlife Road Trips.
On our way, we were going to fly over the Manhattan Beach Pier for an aerial view of the Manhattan Open AVP, the “Wimbledon of Beach Volleyball.” There were three of us: myself, pilot and plane owner Rob Devers who flies customers around the Southern California skies (and as far away as Las Vegas), and PubClubette Ashley.
But as soon as we got airborne in Devers’ “Captain America” Cessna, clouds covered the air. We could not see anything below us – not the Pacific Ocean, not the Manhattan Beach Pier and heck, not even Manhattan Beach.
So not only could we not buzz the AVP, but the Rob aborted the trip to Catalina.
Rob is an experienced enough pilot to land pretty much anywhere in any condition – he flew the big refueling aircraft in the Air Force so this is like driving to the grocery story for him – but as he pointed out, going in through the clouds would deny us the spectacular views of the Los Angeles and Catalina coastlines.
I was craving a Buffalo Milk, and Rob was bummed, but Ashley simply said “when life gives you lemons, get champagne!”
So we did just that; three bottles in fact!
We took it back to PubClub.com World Headquarters on The Strand in Hermosa Beach and popped cork after cork after cork. Instead of landing at the Airport In The Sky, Rob joked that we “landed” on The Strand.
While there, one of my friends from the Long Beach Grand Prix randomly stopped by, which was interesting because just two days earlier, Toyota announced it was pulling its sponsorship of the Grand Prix. So we had something to talk about of a timely nature. He’s also a Texas grad and agreed to serve as PubClub’s correspondent at this fall’s Red River Rivalry game between Texas and OU. That’s always been a Bucket List item for PubClub to cover. Perfect!
Eventually, Rob had to leave but Ashley and I stayed on the deck drinking champagne until well past sunset.
We had a lot of fun – a lot of unplanned fun – and Ashley was absolutely correct: “when life gives you lemons, get champagne!”