My life is a tale as old as time... Girl Meets Boy With Airplane. Girl Marries Boy. Girl and Boy Discuss What to Do With the Panel. Boy Makes Purchases. Girl Meets Panel. Y'know, that old chestnut... Last year: "Honey, I want to take a year-long sabbatical from the university, fly to the Lower 48, and spend 12 months flying all over the place visiting colleagues," I said. "I support that wholeheartedly!" says my husband. "Is the 172 sufficient for your needs?" "Well, almost," I reply. "I'll mostly be visiting urban places, so I'll need ADS-B Out. Other than that, the 172 is great just how she is!" "I've been looking at an ADS-B unit that also comes with an IFR-certified GPS," he says. "It's called the GNX375. Let's install that one." "I don't know... looks expensive," I say. [Like I said... tale as old as time.] "Can I come with you on your sabbatical?" he asks. "No. I'm going solo." He looks dejected. "But what am *I* supposed to fly?" (Somehow, we are still married.) Two weeks ago: The 172 goes into the shop, to have the GNX375 installed. "This'll be enough of an upgrade to last us a while!" I'm thinking. "It would've been nice to have a second radio, but I guess that'll just have to wait." Today: I show up at the avionics shop to pick up the plane. I bring along a young man who is my first graduated PPL student; he'd done all his training in this verysame plane and passed his checkride in it last month. The avionics guy seems eager to give me a tour of the new toy. As we walk out to the plane, he idly mentions something about the G5. "What G5?" I'm thinking. "Are you sure we're talking about the right plane?" I open the door and look in. There's the new GNX375... But below it is another screen, bigger than the first one. "What's all this then?" I ask the avionics guy in confusion, "This wasn't part of the plan..." Turns out, it's called a Garmin Aera 660, and it's another GPS, whose screen can kinda/sorta sync to the little one on the 375. Below that is *another* box. My pulse rate goes up again. "What's this thing?" "New Nav/Com," says the avionics guy. (GNC 255). "And check out the G5!" he adds proudly, pointing at the spot where our troublesome sticky DG used to be... The avionics guy is clearly enjoying himself, a little too much. "He made me promise to take note of the look on your face," he said, referring to an earlier clandestine conversation with my husband... We fire up the master switch, and start playing with the buttons. Traffic. "See that blip there? That's that guy who just took off over there." And it's hooked into the intercom, so it'll yell at us about hazards. "Wow!" says my former student. Weather. "This'll show radar?" "Yup." And who knows what else? An HSI on the G5 of course. And a heading bug, which I've missed having for years. (Sometimes it's the little things!) "You'll never have to mess with this, it'll always show magnetic heading." "No more sticky knob?" says my former student. "Nice!" Synthetic vision -- whaaaat? We have that?? The avionics guy starts talking about AHRS. I nod and pretend I know what that is. We hit a button, and are looking at a little depiction of the view out the window, including a tiny little tower in the distance! My former student is dumbfounded. So am I. The new Nav/Com talks to the GPS's above it, so it knows what the frequencies represent ("Merrill GND"). And you can *listen* to the standby frequency. (Hubby got me my second radio after all!) Dollar signs flash before my eyes. A 3-word text arrives from my husband: "You like it?" I chuckle. "I'll kill him *later*," I tell the avionics guy. I have always tried to fly on the cheap, and I have never seen or touched anything remotely like this... We go over the basics of operating the transponder and direct-to navigation with the avionics guy. How to plumb the depths of the features of all this new tech will take a long time, especially the IFR-able stuff, since my last (and only) couple hours of actual were logged in 2005. I put my former student in the left seat and we fire up for taxi. "It's got a clock!" he notices with glee. (The little things, again!). The anticipation of glory is palpable. At the hold short line, our engine runup does not go well. There's a shaking that feels like fouled plugs, but not according to the mag check, and efforts to clear it are not working, and it just feels "different" from the fouled plugs that we're used to in a way that's hard to explain. "I'm not liking this at all," says my former student, "I don't think we should fly." Yup, I'm thinking to myself, I trained this one good! We scrub the flight. So glory still awaits.