I would never consider myself an airplane enthusiast. However, I can remember being a child and looking forward to seeing the planes go by and finding a trip to the airport pretty exciting. Even as an adult, I think the coolest intersection to get stuck by a red light is 63rd and Cicero. If you’re lucky, you might get the feeling a plane is about to land on you, without that unwanted crushing feeling.
As much as I have enjoyed the sights and sounds of airplanes, nothing compares to the thrill of the Chicago Air and Water Show. It wasn’t until I moved to the city did I realize how cool this event really was. And even then, I watched from afar, not wanting to deal with the crowds.
I finally attended my first show in 1998 (give or take a year). My sister and I brought my nephew and nieces. We planned so well. Parked the car right by the beach the night before the event, packed with everything we were going to need for the day. Then we took the bus over the morning of the show. It was perfect! Up until the time it started raining (all of about 20 minutes into the show) and the event was cancelled for the day. To say the least, I was very disappointed.
My second attempt came in 2007. I took my parents. It was going to be an enjoyable day at the beach. But wouldn’t you know it, it rained. We were able to see a little more than 20 minutes, but before it could really get going they cancelled the show. At this point I was convinced that there was some kind of supernatural force that did not want me watching the Chicago Air and Water Show.
Four years later I was willing to give it another try. However, I was going to do things a little differently. My two previous attempts ended in cancellations, so this year I was not going attend the “Official” Air and Water Show. I was going to check out “practice day”, on the Friday before the big weekend. I thought I could trick fate and guess what, it worked! We had the most beautiful day. Bright blue skies, warm temperatures and the best view on North Avenue Beach. My husband kept an eye on the kids playing in the water, my Dad sat back and enjoyed the show, and I snapped over 700 pictures.
This year I was hesitant in going. I was going to be on my own with the kids and I wasn’t sure if I could do double duty. Keeping one eye on them and one through my camera’s viewfinder, seemed a little tricky. However, I knew if I didn’t go I would be kicking myself every time I heard the planes go over the house. The thought of missing out on some great shots was more then I could bear. So I packed the kids up and we headed to the beach. Once again, practice day was the place to be. A beautiful day, a reasonable crowd, a bigger lens and I didn’t lose any children. It was truly a picture perfect day!
I thought I would share a few of my favorites from the day.
The Heritage Flight – P51 Mustang from WWII and F4 Phantom from Vietnam
If you would like to see more, you can check out my video on YouTube.
The 54th Annual Chicago Air and Water Show was absolutely AMAZING! Can’t wait until next year!!
Come Fly With Me, Come Fly, Come Fly Away