It is not every day that you get to do something that is truly amazing and makes it so difficult for Levi to stop smiling, last Saturday was no exception to that rule. It involved a return trip to Canberra, but the 7 hours of driving was more than worth it. The day started off like any other, Levi up at 5am and taking swan dives from his pillow landing unceremoniously on my stomach. Feeling a little tired, I pleaded with him to play quietly which, oddly enough, he obliged. So when I finally crawled out of bed at 6:30 for a 7am departure, I was feeling a little more human. It was through the magic hole in the wall for a few hash browns and a cup of coffee for me and the wheels were in motion for an amazing day.
The road was loaded with police and flashing lights, so Levi was in his element as he madly played spot the police car for the start of the long weekend. That aside we made good time and adhered to the speed limit and arrived in Canberra with time to spare. Levi still not knowing what was going on, apart for the brief discussion that I had with him on the way that we were going to look at a helicopter, was blissfully unaware. I am sure if he had an idea he would have been more willing to let Nathan L’s lego aeroplane go. So with much disgruntlement, I packaged Levi into the car and we made our way out to Hall to catch up with Nan and Pop who had grabbed the little guy some ear muffs that would fit and a special booster seat so he would be comfortable for the ride. They were also going to play an important roll in capturing the experience on video.
So after a long discussion, basically from Sydney at 7am, about how Levi wants to ride in the helicopter ‘to help people’ (because thats what helicopters do) we arrived at the hanger. Levi was quick to spot the helicopter and given the close proximity and lack of fences, he shot off like a rocket to check out the helicopter.
As Nathan L and Pete got the helicopter ready, doing all the pre-flight checks, we got some time to apply the all important sunscreen and I had to convince Levi that we were not going for a ride whilst he was staring intently at the helicopter. Finally, we managed to get close enough where Levi was able to jump in the back seat, and from that point there was no getting him out. As he bossed everyone around, he was quick to put his ear muffs on and started demanding that Pete and Nathan get in so we could take off and start helping people. I had to break his little heart and explain to him that helicopters are very expensive and it is not everyday that you get to get a flight in one, and then the rotors started to spin. It was from that point that his little mind was blown, he had finally worked out that this was real and he was going to go and help people.
With a smile from ear to ear, the skids left the ground and we were off. Off to Goulburn for a quick run. With his face planted firmly on the window, he watched the cars and his face only left the window to give me the brief thumbs up, and point out some of the sights. Upon landing at Goulburn airport, his mind was even more blown away as we were greeted with planes taxing everywhere. With a brief wave and a good-bye to our ride, it was off to explore the airport, only stopping briefly for a sausage sandwich with some pilots who were putting on a barbecue.
Before we knew it, the time for playing in the hangers was over and our little trooper was happy to run back to his helicopter to continue helping people. As he rounded us all up, and ushered us back to his transport of choice, we quickly embarked and it was off. Again, with his face pinned to the window and a smile from ear to ear, he didn’t let me down as he turned to me and gave me a huge thumbs up again. What made his trip more enjoyable on the way back to the hanger, was that he had worked out how to open the window, and to prove the point, he proceeded to ask me as we flew over Collector, if he could post his water bottle out the window. Needless to say, the intercom in the cockpit was filled with a firm “No” and the water bottle quickly disappeared into the bag.
Upon returning back to the hanger, Levi was a little reluctant to disembark, but with a little coaxing, and the promise to check out a dead lizard and a dead brown snake, he was quick to show his true boy nature and hurriedly jumped from his seat into my waiting arms, but not before a quick photo shoot.
A special thanks to Allen for letting us borrow his helicopter, Peter Montgomery and Nathan Le Nevez for arranging and flying us there and Nan & Pop for sorting out the booster seat and special ear muffs as well as getting some great footage of us coming and going. It was an amazing day with Levi still talking about how he helped people in the helicopter.