I'm writing this nearly two weeks after the fact, but I wanted to document that it had happened. This was my first cross country flight post-license, and first with a passenger! Nirmala and I flew down to Salinas for lunch. I had landed at Salinas twice before during my training, so I was pretty comfortable with the airport.
We went to SQL to pick up N54JA, but when we got there, I overheard the receptionist (that's not the right word, but I'm going with it) on the phone with someone, saying that they were stuck in Half Moon Bay after the fog had rolled in. Which airplane? 54JA. She was saying, "Well, someone else has the plane, and I can't really cancel..." Meanwhile, I was outside thinking, hopefully these crosswinds don't get worse! So upon hearing this, I went in, and cancelled it.
It turned out that 222MF was available at Palo Alto, so we drove down to PAO, got 222MF, and after a little trouble starting her up, we took off toward Salinas!
This flight reminded me of my long solo cross country, in that there were patchy clouds out there that I had to avoid. But this time my comfort level was much higher, given that I'd done it before. We flew down at 5500', and everything went great. I remembered everything, including the leaning on the way down. My landing was a little bit hard due to a high flare, but not so bad.
The lunch was quite good! The sandwiches were big, and the curly fries were delicious. And the price (not counting the flight itself, of course) was very reasonable. Recommended!
So we headed back for Palo Alto, this time at 4500'. Some more cloud avoidance on the way back, but again, nothing too bad. We reported over SLAC, entered a left pattern for runway 31 at PAO, landed, and went home!
Hopefully the first of many!