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FSExpo 2024

What an incredible adventure! On Friday, June 14th, I wrapped up work early, thanks to my amazing boss, Kev, who knew I was off to the USA and let me leave ahead of time. Still sporting my Bristows uniform, I hopped into my car and embarked on the seven-hour journey to pick up my Wingaman and brother Marcus.

Originally, Helen was supposed to join us on this epic trip, but she had to stay back to support our daughter Chloe, who was gearing up to run for England. With my wife unable to make it, my courageous brother volunteered to accompany me on this exciting adventure.

The 7-hour drive from Cornwall to Nuneaton went off without a hitch. Marcus was in great spirits upon arrival, and I quickly caught up with his family. The following day, bright and early at 0800 hrs, we set off for Heathrow Airport in London. The two-hour drive was a breeze, and everything went smoothly. The journey from the UK to Las Vegas was surprisingly exciting and fast. Despite flying in cattle class, we had plenty of space, delicious food, and ample entertainment to keep us occupied during the 10-hour flight.

We landed at Las Vegas Harry Ried International Airport at 1930hrs on Friday, and after a 3-hour airport journey through security, we finally got our hands on our Hertz rental car. It was a Ford Expedition Max, a 7-seater for just the two of us, to our amazement! Almost brand new with only 4000 miles, this vehicle was equipped with many cool gadgets that entertained us for days. Marcus was particularly impressed with the auto drive feature on the freeway – just set the speed, and off it goes!

Our first stop was the Strat Hotel, boasting a tower with a breathtaking view of Las Vegas. Around midnight, we savoured our first beer while capturing stunning photos from the top of the Strat Tower. I vividly remember the intense heat at midnight, nearly 30 degrees, with a strong wind that felt like a giant hair dryer. The sheer size of everything and the immense energy consumption of Las Vegas left me in awe. The city's dazzling lights were a feast for the eyes, creating a mesmerizing spectacle at night.

Day 1 was incredible as we checked off two major bucket list items: the iconic Hoover Dam and the breathtaking Grand Canyon! These monumental sites left us completely stunned. The Hoover Dam showcased an extraordinary display of engineering prowess. After exploring the dam, we ventured to the Grand Canyon and experienced the thrilling skywalk. The vastness of this natural wonder, coupled with the tourist tax, was simply mind-blowing. Arriving just in time for the sunset made the experience even more unforgettable, a moment that I hope will forever be etched in my memory!

What a fantastic night it was! We stayed at a cosy motel in Boulder City and stumbled upon a charming little bar for dinner. Sitting there, we couldn't help but admire the entire town from the outside bar. The streets were adorned with countless American flags proudly displaying the slogan Make America Great Again. The sheer abundance of flags hanging from every fixed post, billboard, and house was a sight to behold, showcasing the town's incredible patriotism!

The next day was filled with excitement as we embarked on a six-hour drive to San Diego. Our first stop was the USS Midway, and oh my, it left us speechless once again! The sheer size of the aircraft carrier was mind-blowing—nothing like the tiny versions we've seen in the UK. Everywhere we looked, something was fascinating, and the ship and its paraphernalia were immaculate. What an unforgettable experience!

Then came the legendary Top Gun bar! After a few beers to soak up the nostalgia, we took photos and returned to the Hard Rock Hotel. The Hard Rock was the least impressive of everything we did over the two weeks in the USA. It was just Meh!

As I posted photos on Facebook, a very old friend from Brunei phoned me to ask if we were here in San Diego. 10 minutes later, I found myself chatting with John Hattox. He was a true gentleman who showed us his local bars, and it was so extraordinary to catch up for all the years since we last saw each other.

The next few days were spent in Los Angeles, seeing Universal Studios and Hollywood. Another bucket list item was checked off, and we had so much fun. From the fantastic rides to seeing all the old film sets, it was just a feast for the eyes and mind.

Wow! What an incredible journey the first five days have been! Every moment was pure magic, from entering the venue to capturing breathtaking views, taking photos, and exploring. But now, it's time to head back to Las Vegas for the main event: FSEXPO 2024!

When I thought things couldn't improve, the expo blew me away with its sheer scale and energy. The multitude of vendors showcasing their cutting-edge equipment and software was mind-blowing. With many seminars and workshops to dive into, every moment was filled with excitement. Meeting Capt Bob and Sebastian from Mobiflight was an absolute highlight!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to connect, share stories, and capture moments with me. Your enthusiasm and passion for building sims were truly inspiring, and I felt deeply grateful to have played a part in your journey.

A special shoutout to Hanne and Jeroen from Prosim, the incredible FSElite team, and the fantastic individuals - Martin, Matt, Graham, Chad, and James. Your warmth and friendship made this event truly unforgettable, and I can't wait to reunite with each of you again!

What an incredible Expo experience! WinWing blew us away with their fantastic announcement of a new product lineup, including the unbelievable 737 FMC CDU priced at just 129 dollars! It will be a monumental achievement if they pull this off, and their product offerings will soar to new heights. With many thrilling projects in the works and a dedication to providing top-notch yet affordable products that rival DIY options, WinWing is a game-changer for all flight sim enthusiasts!

But wait, there's more! Part 1 of our adventure was just the beginning. We had another five days post-event to explore San Francisco and cruise along Route 1, the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway. It's a picturesque drive with the ocean on one side and mountains and forests on the other. Stay tuned for Part 2 of the video to catch all the excitement!

Our trip was an unforgettable experience that Myseft and Marcus made the most of. We cherish every moment as we know it will fly by. I savoured every bit of the journey, taking it all in with a light-hearted approach.

Here I am, recounting our incredible trip in this blog post amidst the daunting task of tackling the 3321 emails awaiting my response. I've replied to the first 1000, but it's been a solid five days of nonstop email action. If you're waiting for a reply, rest assured I'm working through them all. The email struggle is real—for every two I answer, another one pops up, seemingly multiplying in numbers!

I make it a point to respond to every email out of respect, even the hundreds requesting freebies.

Those who caught our social media posts this week might have a hint of the big things brewing at the sim. But shh... I'll spill the beans in a future blog post when I have more to share! Secrets, secrets!

Until the next blog, Karl Out!

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HI Carl, Great blog from your trip to the USA.

Best regards.

Frans FSweekend

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