Skydiving Take II, Newport (RI)
I left San Diego on Friday night, embarking on a long red-eye flight over to Hartford, Connecticut, with a super early - more like ‘in-the-middle-of-the-night’ stop in Atlanta, Georgia. I made it eventually, having a giddy reunion with my dear friend Aly who I last saw last year.
We have been going on over 9 years of friendship at this point, and made it through all the different stages of life: high school, college, first (or second) job, boyfriend(s), you name it. And all that with a huge Atlantic Ocean in-between most of the time. In fact, we have only grown closer of friends, which I am absolutely grateful for. We just clicked, hit it off, and she has been one of my handful of best friends ever since. I guess distance does not really matter when it’s real, true and honest.
So, fast forward, after a big mug of coffee and PB Jelly for lunch, the skydiving place called and told us we could come in 2 hours early as the weather was supposed to be alright then. Up to that point it wasn’t even clear if we could even jump that day, as it was so overcast. But we were lucky (or whatever you want to call it, haha). I also really wanted to “get it over with” as I had set my mind to it already and it really needed to happen now.
A few bathrooms runs later (hey, I am just being honest, my/our nerves were going bonkers), we were fitted into our harnesses and waiting for our instructors. Pat, a good friend of Aly and her better half Jason (who decided to keep his feet on the ground) was jumping with us. It was even his first jump! Ahh, I only remember our first skydiving adventure too well!
Jason caught me, I admit it (and there’s photographical evidence), trying to calm myself here. Boy, yes, I was SO nervous when I saw how freaking small that plane was, unlike the one we jumped out of a year go in San Diego. URGH! For some reason, the size of this plane got my heart rate going through the roof.
The plane was, in fact, so small, that Pat - SO SORRY! - could not go up with us but had to go by himself. FIRST! Oh goodness. I actually hate waiting.
However, we didn’t have to wait until he was all the way back on the ground, safely, but got to go up in another TINY plane, where we were literally squished in.
We met our instructors, took a few pictures, and then it was time: time to leave the ground.
The countdown was on. We were gonna do this. “No backing out now. We’re in this together. Just breathe. I wanted this. We both wanted this. WHY? Doesn’t matter, we wanted to jump once more - west and east coast. Last one. Just try to enjoy it. It’s gonna be a-mazing. Here we go.”
One last picture before takeoff (don’t be fooled by fake smiles, mine more than Aly’s actually, haha).
I let the pictures speak for themselves now. Expect some pretty hilarious ones. The prettiest I’ve ever been - wicked witch!
And, ready or not, we’re taking off.
Up in the air we go. The pilot was wearing a parachute himself, by the way. Just saying.
My adrenalin level was so high, that I didn’t not feel like myself anymore and actually tried to calm down. Seriously. The view was awesome, though.
Aly was sitting right by the door but she played it off fairly well. Boy, this plane was a little rat hole.
We chit chatted with our instructors who seemed very cool, and I made sure they knew what they were doing. (At this point, our lives were legit in their hands, anyway. No, I don’t think I am being too dramatic at this point, as I think it’s pretty accurate to say that.)
10,000 ft, here we go - and now keep the ridiculous pictures going. Too good not to share with you, I swear.
So, the scariest part of all - and that’s actually now the inside joke - was the little platform attached to the plane. YES, we had to step on it and YES, I was forced to take a picture with my instructor before I was allowed to relax by…just falling. Bahaha. SERIOUSLY, the wind was blowing so strongly that I could barely keep my feet on this little platform. I was terrified! I mean, I don’t even know why, as we were gonna free-fall anyway. But I think it’s because you try to NOT jump, are actually not allowed to before standing on the platform, so it feels like some kind of James Bond movie you’re in - with SO MUCH FEAR OF HEIGHTS!
SMIIILE - or whatever that is.
…and then voooom! We fell.
Let the funny faces begin. I proudly present to you: my most attractive self.
All the love high above the ground.
Superman -woman, wooohh!
Hihi, probably one of my favorite photos. My nose looks ridiculously huge in that picture.
Just screaming a little more. No one hears it anyway. Looks like I am enjoying it. So weird, I must have been so high on adrenalin that I can’t really remember this moment.
After about a 35 second fall, the parachute opened. Luckily. I got to enjoy the view. WOW!
Cheesin’ a little more and being able to navigate that thing - more or less.
Eventually, both Aly and I (and Pat long before us) made it safely to the ground. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE, once more!
Jump number two is in the books.
BOOM! We really did it!
After having taken care of Aly’s almost-ripped ear (she had a little bit of a panicky face when I told her that her ear was bleeding and earring was not where it was supposed to be; I tend to be overly dramatic), we needed a little bit of down time and get our heart rates down. We drove to a beach nearby (ahh, I cannot recall the name of the little town, it was something with “hills”) and walked around for a little bit, inhaling the fresh, crisp air.
They also showed me Taylor Swift’s House. But honestly, I was so high from our jump that this was sort of secondary.
I got these two cuties on camera shortly before it died on me.
New England is exactly what I thought it would be: beautiful, quaint, charming. Well, judging by the first impressions I had gotten.
I had to stop and take a deep breath. I forgot how different the east coast is. The air is rougher, the wind crispier. Loved it. There’s the northern German in me speaking.
We made burgers for dinner and had wine. I was crashing hard when we were back at Jason’s house, but absolutely happy. The overnight flight was already worth it.
I slept like a rock that night, but I am glad this Saturday was so action filled as I would have fallen asleep in the afternoon otherwise. This girl is not functioning without her solid 7 hours.
Here is to a lifetime of friendship - whether it be flying up high, or with both feet on the ground. However, from now on hopefully without an ocean in-between…