This is super embarrassing and hilarious but, it was a good experience. After practically getting 100% on the written test, I expected to nail my solo cross-country flight and came a bit short of that.
What does "practically" getting 100% mean? Well, I got 2 wrong for a score of 97. But, strangely, that's because my study guides had those 2 answers wrong -- my CFI let me know that only the FAA knows the private pilot exam answers and there are publishers, like Gleim and ASA and Jeppesen, who might have a couple discrepant answers here and there. So had I gotten the subset of questions that were not discrepant, I could have gotten 100; and that's what I keep telling myself. ☺
What does a "cross-country flight" mean? Well, it doesn't mean a five day trip across the nation (which is what everyone thinks initially). Rather, it's flying over a total distance of 75 or more nautical miles to two different destinations to a full-stop landing. At least one leg of this cross-country must be over a total distance of at least 25 nautical miles (46 km). So, it can be done in a 3-hour round trip flight.
Although my first solo cross-country flight was enjoyable, I had a few hiccups. As you can take a listen (you can hear me at 1:33) to the audio clip that was archived at LiveATC.net -- beware pilots: they record EVERYTHING .. LOL --, I thought I was lost and it turns out that I was right next to the Ocala airport that I was looking for! *smacks forehead*
What's next? Studying hardcore for the oral exam and practicing all of my maneuvers in preparation for the all-day checkride with the examiner, which, if I pass, gets me a private pilot certification. Just thinking about it makes me forget to breathe!