CNN, Coca-Cola, Jimmy Carter, Real Housewives of Atlanta, peaches… Georgia is known for many things, but never adventure. Yet in a condensed area, you can cross off countless bucket list items and find unique adventures around every corner. Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it! I’ve planned the ultimate adventure weekend with dream-like activities lined up one after another. In only two days, I will ride in a hot air balloon, perform aerobatic stunts above Atlanta in a biplane, swim with whale sharks, and zip through trees on a canopy tour. My name is Lesley Carter and I am an adventure addict, but I’m not signing up for prevention meetings just yet. My addiction is to life; some people jump off of buildings and bridges to end their life, but I jump off of them to live mine.
“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Saturday morning, beginning at 7am, we will take a hot air balloon flight with Balloon Atlanta. (I found them through Great American Days, where you can find more than 6000 amazing experience gifts for every budget, taste, and occasion.) From our lofty perch, we will see Lake Lanier, Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, the Atlanta skyline, and the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountain ranges.
Biplane Rides Over Atlanta will bring us back to the sky at 12pm for an aerobatic adventure where we can rediscover the magic of the open cockpit. My last biplane flight was one of the greatest adventures of my life so my anticipation increases by the second for this part of the day. Who wouldn’t want to hang out in the sky, turn completely upside down while being suspended by a seat belt, and spiral in controlled chaos toward the earth before leveling off again?
4:30pm is the most nerve-racking part of the day. We will Journey with Gentle Giants at the Georgia Aquarium. It is the only opportunity in the world where we are guaranteed to swim with whale sharks, manta rays, and more! We’ll suit up and snorkel in the Ocean Voyager exhibit with thousands of amazing animals for the experience of a lifetime! Considering I have a fear of small, colorful, pretty fish, swimming with the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate will be a challenge but, in the words of Bill Cosby, I’ve decided that “I want it more than I am afraid of it.”
As if Saturday isn’t enough adventure for even a junkie like me, we are finishing off our weekend with a North Georgia Canopy Tour. Our 3+ hour tour includes 12 ziplines, two sky bridges, three nature walks, and a rappel. Our weekend of adventure will conclude with a thrilling finale – a 695-foot dual zip over the Hilltop Pond in front of the Observation Deck.
Darren and I have been living life to the fullest and completing every imaginable bucket list item along the way, but this will be the most adventure packed weekend to date. Even our last minute Alaska weekend last year doesn’t compare to our upcoming journey in Georgia.
Stay tuned for photos, videos, and the story of my life.