This was my first flight to the area of Miami and I have to say that it is damn busy. There are so many lights around that its really hard to find and distinguish an airport. The only way I was able to find the airports were by spotting the aerodrome beacon but even that didn't help me orient myself for a VFR approach around the runway.
Gas prices are pretty steep these days. We filled up at $3.99 at the self serve as compared to $5.65 at the FBO (Miami Executive). Of course there was no Belgian Coffee or leather recliners to sit on, but hey, got to save the school some money and be wise about things right? I filled up the Seminole and got ready for my flight. Taxiing was fun as it was my first large airport to 'wander' around. I mean, the instructions were pretty simple, but I really had to mentally be aware of where I was on the map while moving on the ground. I wish that I could just taxi around large airports with different instructions to help myself learn how to navigate larger areas. I'm looking forward to going to Savannah, Georgia tomorrow.
I climbed to 8500' for my cruising altitude and was able to maintain 155 ground speed. On the way back home, I had a chance to skirt a cloud layer while on a local IFR clearance at 6000 feet. That was awesome because we just kept popping in and out of it at that altitude. I also got to see a rather long streaking shooting star! That pretty much topped off the trip. I did try to take pictures and stuff, but my point and shoot can't handle the longer exposures like an SLR.
I landed pretty smoothly at X47 which reminds me that I heard another pilot at Opa Locka tell the tower to, "Clean up the grease on the runway." I just thought that was waaaay cheese. For those who don't understand that lingo, greasing it means touching down at an optimum setting. Another way to describe it would be a 'feather-like' landing. It does feel good when you touchdown and barely feel the wheels touch, but come on, that's just cheese. Of course, if it was his friend or something in the tower, that would be more of a camaraderie type deal, but no. =)