Wild Child came out to play today to take Vern and I to breakfast at Chalet Suzanne, just north of the Lake
Wales area. The plan was to meet friends and fellow pilots Aaron and Trish Schneider for the famous breakfast featuring broiled
We had 0830 reservations so departure in Wild Child was scheduled for first light. We have
found Wild Child to be quite fun to play with but she is certainly not the speedly little traveling machine like
Wild Mama. Our 72 mile trip was slated for nearly 45 minutes but with the short soft field at Chalet Suzanne, we
figured that Wild Child would perform perfectly.
The air was cool and very smooth this morning with unlimited visibility. Patchy fog meandered through the low lying areas
where the stream and rivers snaked through the farm fields while the light haze accentuated the brillian morning sunrise colors.
Spotting the airstrip was a bit of a challenge. We had all the landmarks but the lush green runway blended so well with the
surroundings that it was not readily apparent that it was our intended destination. We circled the field and called for a
landing on 36. Losing sight of the airfield, I cut the base leg way too close and had to do a right 360 to get some space
and lose a bit of altitude. I dropped Wild Child
into a hard slip and dropped right out of the sky and onto the end
of the runway before the up-hill
rise and rolled to a stop neatly in front of the gazebo as instructed.
The Chalet is a very large complex with the
restaurant, receiption are, lush gardens and grounds, swimming pool and hotel area. There is also museum, antique shop
and the soup cannery that lies next to the runway. In short order, Aaron and Trish arrive in the Mooney and we head off to
breakfast. We have beautiful table that overlooks the lake and that is set with hand made plates from the ceramic shop on
the premises. Breakfast was scrumptious: the broiled grapefruit with a brown sugar topping, rich scrambled eggs, a cinnamon
roll, bacon and pancakes with berries for a topping. Just enough not to adversely impact our useful load.
out across the grounds and came to the court yard area. It looked like a story book scene and I half-way waited to see Hanzel
and Grettle pop out from the inside of one of the rooms. Each of the rooms has its own unique charm and decor and most were
open for the 78th celebration as a way to entice the dining visitors to come back for a cozy night at the Chalet.
"soup-meister" gave us a tour of the cannery and we sampled the asparage soup and the mushroom soup made right there
on the premises. The mahinery for the canning dates back to the 1950 and is the ORGINAL EQUIPMENT used in the process: no
computers, no automation of todays factories.
We loaded up on savory soups and sauces and took a quick peek at the ceramics, watching the crafts-lady hard at work with
her newest creations. We soon bid farewell to the story-book setting and mounted our winged steeds for the trip home, past
Bok Tower, the highest and most scenic spot in the area, boasting THE most spectacular views. I hate to tell them that our
view from above is better!