Are You for Real? Darren’s Jetpack Flight!
I’ve had a Bucket List for years, but I’ve never created something with definite times. In the last year, I’ve been to 7 countries, got married, got pregnant, went sky-diving, bungee jumping, paragliding, base jumping, rock climbing, sailing, cruising, canoeing, canopy touring (zipping), jet skiing, windsurfing, dog sledding, helicopter touring, rappelling, trapeze swinging, caving, kayaking, and swimming with beluga whales and dolphins all with a bucket list in mind and an open heart.
My husband and I consciously thought about where we’d like to live in the world, chose southern California, quit our permanent positions, sold everything we owned, packed the car with what was left, and moved across the continent to our dream location. We want to live a life of fairy-tales with attention to every spectacular moment along the way.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
– Mark Twain
Beluga whales are the gentle giants of the sea and at SeaWorld San Diego, I had the opportunity of a lifetime to interact with these beautiful creatures. Between 12 and 14 feet long and weighing about 2000 pounds, belugas are roughly twice the size of bottlenose dolphins. These attentive animals played and interacted with their surroundings and us, seeming almost more timid than I felt. SeaWorld is one of only six facilities in the world to host beluga whales, and through the Beluga Interaction Program, I got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in the water with these playful creatures. It’s one thing to see them twirling about behind a giant plexiglas tank, but it was a whole other world to have all 2,000 pounds wading in front of me, begging me to reach out and play. Continue reading
Have you ever stood in the window of a massively tall building and looked down only to worry about the horrific fall if something were to go wrong? The Stratosphere Las Vegas Hotel & Casino brings those nightmarish thoughts to reality. Atop the 1,149-foot-tall Stratosphere is a controlled free fall Sky Jump similar to base-jumping. Connected by a cable while wearing my snazzy jumpsuit and harnessed to the edge of the observation tower, I lept, or if you were actually there watching me, I closed my eye tightly and fell, off of the platform and prayed that the guide wire would keep me from slamming into the tower’s cement columns 855 feet below. With a view like no other, I fell from the top of Vegas!
I sat… wide-eyed, mouth dropped, as I watched them gracefully do the impossible, their bodies fitting together like puzzle pieces. They glided through the air with an elegance and movement that I’d never experienced before. The Aerial Straps Duo opened Cirque du Soleil’s IRIS with an atmosphere of light and shade as they soared, suspended from a single or double strap. They took off high above the stage and landed with grace and fluidity, delivering the performance of a lifetime. The show could have ended then and there and I would have felt that the tickets were well worth their price, but three more acts, in particular, took my breath away, brought tears of enjoyment to my eyes, and made IRIS the most amazing production I’ve ever witnessed. Continue reading