PEDREGAL: To Brown Field, San Diego, California

San Quintin Bay, Baja Norte, Mexico

We've survived the ten days with no broken bones or major owies and are all strapped snuggly into N51895 awaiting takeoff.

For you instrument people.

45 minutes later and Ensednada is socked in.

Except for this itty bitty hole between mountains and marine layer.

Yup, it's a go.  And, down we go.

And we pop out over Maneodero farmland.  (Where we made our forced landing a few years ago after an engine failure, but that's a story for another day.)

And we're checked out of the country and passing the Ensedanda Harbor where the cruise ships dock, among other ships and boats.

And 50 minutes later it's brown TJ.  Not much to say except, well, it's TJ, ya know?

Crossed the border and do our steep turn-drop to enter final.

Hello Brown Field, so aptly named. (But not on purpose)

For those that like flying, a little final approach photography!

Here we are in the customs box awaiting a custom officer.  Both girls had chewed tiny holes in the bottom of their water bottles during the flight, amongst other wild child behavior.  Nothing that marred the interior of the plane, thankfully, and nothing that endangered the flight. Please note the horns growing out of the tops of their heads. They'd been slowly emerging over the previous ten days.

Poppy is a few minutes late picking them up so I allow them to eat the treats given to them by General Calis at the Ensenada airport.

First Flight is a favorite Fixed Base Operation of mine. Like many FBO's, it resides on the other side of a time warp, where the air smells of musty wood and everyone moves and talks slower.  Sounds seem muffled, and the remarkable gift of being completely present in a moment is mine as I watch a bi-plane take off and disappear into a blue, cloudless sky. 

Of course you understand that moment happened soon after poppy and the munchkins drove off for Arizona.  It could just as easily been delayed shock setting in.

This is great.  The Airframe and Powerplant mechanic's tool cart.  With his San Diego beach hat.  Those "in the know" could pinpoint the location of this photo at least to Southern coastal Cal, right?

PEDREGAL: Ten days with the munchkins

San Quintin Bay, Baja Norte, Mexico

Brain Cupcakes.  We also made Edible Eyeballs and were on track for making Night of the Living Bread but couldn't find hummus down here.

Prepared for any emergency.

Are we still "Off the grid" if we truck our water in?

An old box of Christmas cookie mix and decos they found the pantry.  Thanks to whoever brought this down last year!

Papa G and Haven demonstrating the scuba diving signal for "all is well".

Papa G and the girls.

I did not know you could eat, um, drink? watermelon through straws.  Children are our greatest teachers. Of really important stuff.

A pizza joint at the Globas, the weekend market in Cardenes.  Haven, Leeannette, Pizza dude and Nanny.  NANNY?? Hell yes I hired some help for their stay - do you think I'm an idiot? (Don't answer that...)

The Globas, where you can find anything you want. If you look hard enough. And if you don't mind second hand. (Lots of new stuff too)

Lupe shows off her very excellent cake decorating skills.  Just returned from one of her classes with cupcakes for the girls. Well and me.


The Circus! The Circus! I'm more excited than the girls. I do so love Mexican circuses.


This circus was more safety conscious than most - they've erected a barrier that at least makes us FEEL safe.

I'm taking votes.  Is this irresponsible grandparenting? Yes, we touched their tails. No, there was nothing between us and them. Yes, it was totally awesome!

Leeannette and Princess Candy, whose feet never touched the ground the ten days Lea was here.


PEDREGAL: The Trip Down

San Quintin Bay, Baja Norte, Mexico

When I arrived in LAX from China, Guy was there to meet me - as was Leeannette, age six, and Haven, age four.   Unfortunately my flight was two hours late, which meant Papa G had been at the helm for three hours.  I'm not lying when I tell you his hair was standing on end.  He had just located them in a gift shop after a (very brief) separation that happened while he was on his hands and knees cleaning up the Starbucks hot chocolate off the floor that one of them had spilled.

Here is Haven in the airplane watching the terrain as we make our way down to Ensenada from San Diego.

The cockpit of the Cessna 172

This is what a solid marine layer looks like in Southern California and northern Baja, Mexico from the air.  Very sunny up top, quite cool and gray underneath.

Nana has gifted the girls with a chopstick set complete with carrying case from China. They can barely wait to take off to try them out with their apple slice snack.

Coming into Ensenada to clear customs.  Looking inland over farmland.

We're turning to left base, looking at the mountains located east of the water.

El Cipres Military Base, which they share, often reluctantly, with the civilian aircraft.

We're over the town of Mandeodera,  located just south of Ensenada, and headed west toward the ocean.

We touch down and the windows open, flooding the back seat with a gale wind.

Note the water bottle, sucked in on itself from the air pressure changes.   

El piloto.

No photos allowed on base, so we've had our papers stamped and we're off again.

One of my favorite parts of the flight is just taking off from here, and seeing this long beautiful expanse of beach with the City of Ensenada north of us.