Welcome To Oshkosh

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In the next few weeks, I will find my three sons eagerly setting up a tent in my living room. I will witness smiles on their faces and listen to the laughter our whole neighborhood will be able to hear. They will talk about their favorite Warbirds and tell stories about how many miles they must have walked, how many wonderful people they met, and how they can’t wait to do it all again! Yes, they will pack their bags, help load up my car, and we will drive 360 miles to one of the most magical places on Earth… Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

You will find us somewhere in the Camp Scholler arguing with our tent as we try to pitch it. You will find us soaked from that one big thunderstorm that seems to happen every year. You will find us walking mile upon mile looking at all of the sights and you won’t find us complaining about how our feet hurt until we return home. We will ride a beautiful pontoon around the seaplane base. We will visit our favorite restaurants we frequent just once a year. We will watch sunset after sunset and we will be smiling, laughing, and even crying when we leave looking forward to the following year… counting down the days until next time.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin… a town of approximately 67,000 will welcome us with open arms, but we won’t be the only ones. We will be surrounded by 500,000 of our friends. Friends from around the globe that we haven’t seen in a year. Friends from around the globe that we have yet to meet. For one week, Oshkosh becomes the little town with flying problem. For one week, Wittman Regional Airport becomes the busiest airport in the entire world. For one week, you can land your plane on the green dot, the red dot, the blue dot and hear those famous favorite three little words “Welcome to Oshkosh!” And as you pitch your tent next to your airplane, you will fall in love. EAA AirVenture becomes your second home.

Your days will be filled walking through the most friendly crowds as you look for that perfect spot to view the daily airshows to catch your favorite performers. You will attend the many forums and watch the various demonstrations that are offered. You will visit the museum and find yourself surrounded by historic airplanes. You will find yourself walking to the Fly-In Theatre to watch a favorite aviation movie outdoors or your may find yourself as part of the crowd at one of the outdoor concerts held in the plaza. You’ll find yourself admiring homebuilt aircraft and you’ll wonder if you could build your own. You’ll sit next to a child who is in complete awe of the night airshow and watch their face lights up as bright as the night sky filled with fireworks. Yes, you’re at Oshkosh.

Who am I??? I’m just a rookie. A girl with a camera looking for that perfect spot to shoot a few thousand airplane photos. A girl from the little town of Waynedale (population 1,076) who dreamed of studying the seas as an oceanographer who instead found herself flying in the air and on the runway shooting airplanes and writing for a magazine. A girl who has always been afraid of flying. A girl who has only been to EAA AirVenture three times and falls further in love each time she’s there. A girl who gets goosebumps when I pull my car into the campground and hears those famous three little words “Welcome to Oshkosh!” I smile and I know I”m home.

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