I started taking flying lessons in the summer of 1997 at the Palo Alto Flying Club, in Cessna 152's like the ones pictured below. My instructor was Kathy Croft.

Here is a picture of me after my very first lesson, on July 9, 1997 (the plane is N5550L):
Mike w/ C-152

I first flew solo on September 5, 1997, in N747ZP. Here I am right after that session:

Below is me right after getting my private pilot's license, on December 20, 1997 in N4781B. Click here for some thoughts on this milestone:

After getting my private pilot's license I started training for my instrument rating. I switched to Cessna 172's and then (after I decided the radios in the 172's were hopeless) to Piper Warriors. While Kathy was still my primary instructor, I also flew regularly with Liz Daffin. My experience with the instrument practical test is detailed here, and here is a picture of me right after passing (the plane is N8171V):

On October 24, 1998 I first flew in instrument conditions (in the clouds) without an instructor, in N8312H. Taking pictures with nothing to see isn't very interesting, but I did take this one (there are many more pictures of the trip to San Diego and Palm Springs - see the link from here):
Solo IFR