In July Nate asked me if I had plans on September 29. Evidently he is more of a planner than I am. He was planning a Grand Adventure to celebrate my birthday. He kept it a secret for the next 2 months (secret from me; he managed to tell every member of my family, his family, and all our co-workers) and kept me guessing.
The day finally arrived, and we headed west. We drove to Tooele, and then Nate made me close my eyes for the last 1/2 mile of the drive. I really really like surprises, but this had been going on for SO long and I really wondered if I was going to die before he told me I could open them. I know that sounds dramatic but it is true.
He FINALLY said to open them, and there in front of me was this sign: Skydive Utah!!!!! This sweet man of mine pushed me out of a plane for my birthday!!! I had guessed a lot of things but had been giving him far less credit than he deserved.
And then they called our name and it was time to get ready. We met our tandem instructors Sam and Alec (side note about mine: when we were waiting I heard this big, goofy looking guy laughing this big hearty laugh. I said to Nate "Something about that guy doesn't inspire much confidence..." Guess who introduced himself as my tandem instructor when we walked over? Yep, Karma.) and they strapped us into our harnesses. They were fun and goofy and made it such a fun experience. Once we were strapped in it was just a few minutes till they said "There's our ride!" We ran out to the tarmac and hopped into the tiniest plane I've ever seen.
There were a few other jumpers in the plane besides us, and it was crazy how quickly this little toothpick airplane gained altitude. The door of the plane was open till it got too cold, and then they shut it till we got to 13,000 feet. At 11,000 feet Sam finished strapping our harnesses together and gave me a 30 second run down on what was going to happen. Next thing I knew the door was opening and the first 4 guys had jumped.
All the sudden I found myself standing on the threshold of an airplane, holding onto nothing but the shoulder straps of my harness, and watching the ground zip by below me. It was the most unreal feeling I have ever experienced. I could hear Sam saying something about Ready 3-2-1 and then we were falling! We did a little front flip and then evened out falling flat on our bellies at 120 miles per hour...talk about a rush! It was so crazy to see the Great Salt Lake and the mountains and the fields from that viewpoint, and so loud with the wind! We free fell for 60 seconds till we reached 5500 feet, and then pulled the parachute. Nate was much more brave and they flew down in a head dive for a while... Once the chute had caught us and we were steadied, we just cruised around spiraling slowly and calmly towards the hangar, and the next thing I knew he was telling me how we were going to land. And the next thing I knew we were safe and sound back on solid ground. The whole experience took less than 5 minutes but was worth every second.
I love this man of mine who plans such fun things and takes such good care of me. It is always an adventure with our clan but this was definitely one for the books.