The Cessna 172S that awaited Vaughn's Jaen Villalvir; below, Jaen with
fellow Vaughn student Daniel Turner.
Jan. 10, 11 a.m.: Waking up to a sunny day and a temperature of 65 degrees was thrilling, considering the 20-degree weather in New York City. Tuesday continued to improve as we drove into San Marcos Municipal Airport. I was elated when I saw the myriad of aircraft lined up and waiting to be flown, and was greeted by a cheerful, smiling flight instructor, who said: “Go preflight your aircraft.”
Walking dutifully over to the new Cessna 172S, I realized I was accomplishing my childhood dream. We flew up in the air and performed the maneuvers that I had worked on in the simulator. We ended the training day by studying, followed by a hearty dinner at Gordo’s Burgers. (By the way, the burgers were affordable and made with the restaurant’s own homemade recipe, which was delicious.) The football fans in the group watched the game on the restaurant’s television and the food enthusiasts such as myself were occupied devouring the messy goodness. We ended the night in our hotel room and used the additional time to call our families and loved ones, who are motivating and cheering us on from home.