It was a beautiful day to fly so that's what I did. I arranged for a friend and his 7 year old son to meet me at a small regional airport 20 minutes from my home base of Crystal Airport.
Now this flight contained a series of planned and unplanned "firsts". I carefully planned my flight but forgot to check for TFRs (temporary flight restrictions) until I got to the airport. Then I realized that the Vikings were playing at the Metrodome and my departure from Crystal Airport took me very close to that TFR. Also, the airspace from Crystal to New Richmond has multiple types of controlled airspace that has to be carefully avoided or prudently managed with radio work. So, I called up Minneapolis Approach (at the "big" airport) and got a transponder code that would allow me to plow through everything as long as I was in contact with them. It was much more painless than I anticipated and it reduced my workload considerably.
The second "first" was having someone meet me at a distant airport. I did some careful research and found the most likely place to meet them (self serve lounge at Griggs Aviation). I landed and found them hanging out at a picnic table nearby and we loaded up.
One cool thing we saw was a Republic RC-3 SeaBee airplane right in front of us on the taxiway. I guess that was also a first...I've never seen one in person before.
We cruised around St. Croix county and the little guy picked out his house and his grandma's house and even found a buddy's house. He definitely seemed to be having a great time. Eventually we headed west and picked up the mighty St. Croix river and followed it north. Then it was time to return to New Richmond.
We landed uneventfully and my passenger disembarked. I then flew back to Crystal. As I was on short final approach for 14L, the controller switched me to 14R which was odd but somewhat amusing. I managed to keep my stabilized approach and make a decent landing - ending a very good day of flying.
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