So we went to see MC's sister yesterday. Normally a 3 1/2 hour drive, even with our modern interstate system, but only a 1.2 hour flight.
A quick preflight (I keep the plane ready to go most of the time, but still, do things the right way and one can prevent issues in the air) and a check of the weather via 1-800-WXBrief, and we were off. A quick stop at VPZ for fuel (less than a total,of 15 minutes from pattern to departure), and we were on our way. Called for flight following from South Bend and settled in on course. It was a nice flight. Smooth. A layer of clouds at 3500 feet, but we found a hole and went up to 5500 for the trip up to KLAN. 133 knots ground speed. The forecast was for clear skies at KLAN and that is what we found. We got a "Straight In" approach and landing. Really helpful controllers at South Bend approach and Great Lakes approach. The Lansing folks were bored, but were professional.
We spent a few hours, had some lunch, walked around the river area, and before I knew it we were back at the airport ready for departure.
Took off, turned on course, and climbed to 6500 feet. Over the southern edge of Great Lakes airspace, we hand to climb to 8500 for the cloud layer to stay VFR, but that was no big deal. We had good ground speed too...148 knots . Did see a (I think) Stearman biplane going the opposite way at 9500 feet with a Sonex as an escort. Had to be cold in the Stearman....our OAT was 42 F...he had to be cold.
A gentle descent at the airport of arrival, and a decent landing with the wind at 4 nearly straight down the runway.
2 and a half hours of flight time rather than 7 hours of driving. Makes for easy visits. Less tiring too.
It's what I learned to fly for. I'd have been doing more except for the Covid Lockdowns, but hey, I got to enjoy it yesterday.