As the summer comes to a close, and a chill develops in the air, one should be able to look back at the past few months and (hopefully) say they enjoyed themselves, relaxed, and traveled! Whether it was a quick jaunt to the beach or a FLIGHT to a destination a little further away! Seeing as this is a flying blog, I will not be talking about my day trips to the Newport beach’s, I want to amuse you with my adventures for a delicious meal and the flight to get there! Keeping it summer themed, I felt that Block Island (BID) was a pretty “Summer – like” destination. Let’s head down to BID and see what it has to offer!
As most nice August days start, there was a comfortable air in the early morning with very little wind. Our Cessna 172 (38W) was preflighted, fueled up, and we were ready to depart. Audra and I have become very good with a routine when getting ready to head out on a flight. She helps untie the aircraft, and plug in the headsets as I do the thorough walk around! This blog has helped us get up flying more together! So anyways… we took off on Runway 32 and departed on the crosswind leg towards Providence (PVD). PVD Approach Control is always so helpful and kind to any type of aircraft moving through their airspace. A quick request later, we were passing over the city and already had Block Island in sight! There wasn’t a bump in the sky and it was pretty much hands off flying the whole way there. 30 minutes into the flight, we were setting up for a crosswind entry for Runway 28. The pattern was busy, so we were # 3 for landing behind a Bonanza and another Cessna 172. We extended our downwind leg to give the Cessna enough time and as we were doing so, we caught sight of a really cool beach club right on the water! Hmmm….do we eat at the airport and then the beach, or spend the whole day in town??
After we touched down, we decided to use the most recommended taxi service ‘Vin McAloon’s’ and head into town! The taxi ride was a quick 10 minutes for about $8 and he dropped us off where we requested, Ballard’s Beach Club! Pulling up to the club, it looks as if you need a membership, but that is not the case! Head onto the beach, grab a spot along the surprisingly long beach and start relaxing! The best part about this, and seeing as it is a trip to get food, they take your order as you are laying in the sun and bring it to you! I have never had that experience before, and I must say, it is incredible! I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with fries, and Audra ordered an awesome Chicken Caesar salad wrap! They offer anything from soups and sandwiches to lobster 13 different ways!!! (I know when Matt hears about this he’ll be flying down to try Ballards out for himself!) The menu is extensive and the food is beyond exceptional. Many people take advantage of this service on the beach, but there are others who pack a picnic lunch! All up to individual preference. You also have the option of walking along the pier into town where there are many restaurant and shopping options.
Yes, this is different than any airport restaurant excursion, but sometimes the very limited summer weather should be enjoyed off airport. There’s really no better way to enjoy a sandwich and fries than when sitting by the water and watching planes approach to land directly overhead the beach club! Any pilot would love this. After spending the day on the island, and wandering through town, Audra and I called up Vin and he picked us up at the beach club 15 minutes later! BID was still very busy when we got back, and Cape Air’s new Islander (aircraft) was loading up for its flight back to the mainland. Very interesting aircraft to say the least! We took off right behind it on RWY 28 and were headed direct 1B9 shortly thereafter. A very favoring tailwind got us on the ground in Mansfield 23 minutes after departure, and our day was finished! A long day in the sun, and enjoying great food called for a relaxing movie to end the day…
Block Island is about 10 nm off the coast of Rhode Island, and offers pilots and their passengers a great day! Bike and scooter rentals, beach outings, and great food for all to enjoy! If you do want to stay at the airport, there is Bethany’s Airport Diner. From 6:00am – 3:00pm enjoy a delicious home cooked meal and a great atmosphere. But I recommend heading off airport and enjoying what Block has to offer.
-Fly Safe, MRoberts1B9