My incredible husband earned his private pilot license in July. With grad school, moving, and all things pertaining to everyday life, we haven’t made it out for our first flight together until this very day. Let me tell you – it was well worth the wait! (more…)
When I was fifteen, I was told about a 4,000 lb. bronze statue of Christ that stood several nautical miles off of Florida’s coastline. I thought it was a silly notion to place something so sacred 27-feet underwater, where it stood essentially elusive and remote. When I discovered that it was an established dive-spot the venture immediately jumped to the top of my bucket list. (more…)
Spanning 86,416 acres, the Guadalupe Mountains rise to it’s highest summit, Guadalupe Peak. Guadalupe Peak Trail is a strenuous hike with a 3,000 ft elevation gain, ultimately rising to 8,749 ft. making it the highest point in Texas. As we approached the mountains from New Mexico, a monolithic wall rose from the desert terrain of West Texas. (more…)
Enchanted Rock has been on my destination list since I moved to Texas. It took me four years to make my way out to the lovely, quaint German town of Fredericksburg, known for the German cuisine, boutiques, warm B & Bs, and the most famed, Enchanted Rock. (more…)
Hang gliding in Maui proved to be the highlight of our trip! We arrived at the Hana airport to meet Armin, an FAA-certified flight instructor and tandem hang gliding pilot, who was going to be teaching us how to pilot a motorized hang glider, commonly referred to as a “trike.” The aircraft featured tandem seating (much like that of a motorcycle), as well as dual control from front and rear seats, and a backup ballistic parachute system, which acted as a way to insure our safety. The micro-light aircraft featured a hang gliding wing and weight shift operation, very much like a traditional hang glider, but was powered by a reliable 912cc 4-cycle Rotax aircraft engine. This type of trike offered comfort and convenience, allowing us to enjoy more flight time high above Hana. (more…)
For our third day in Maui we decided to drive the famed Hana Highway (aka Route 36/306). This winding, 52 mile (84 km) drive proved to be an arduous, but rewarding trip. It runs from Kahului to Hana; the daring travelers can continue on past Hana and explore the backside of Mount Haleakala (as we had). Well known to travelers, the “Road to Hana” made National Geographic’s “Drives of a Lifetime” list and topped Travel + Leisure’s list of “America’s Most Scenic Roads.” Writer, Jerry Camarilla Dunn Jr. explains, “the drive is a cliff hanger that strains many a driver’s equanimity.” One might ask, what is the reward? “The modern world seems distant,” says Dunn, “everyday cares fade into a papaya-colored sunset, and tensions simply blow away in the trade wind.” I concur with that statement wholeheartedly. In fact, every worrisome or nagging thought became a fleeting moment on the Road to Hana. (more…)
By June the adrenaline junkie in me was restless again, so I decided to take a piloting lesson at Vertex Aviation Group. Believe it or not they let me pilot a Robinson-22, which is a two-bladed, single-engine, light utility helicopter. After my pilot went over the design, controls, and checklist with me, he allowed me to take off and even work on my hovering skills. Of course he piloted most of the flight, but I felt surprisingly competent for my first take-off and landing.
In Miramar we found the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. We started our day with a bit of adrenaline as we headed to Adventure Park Ziplining Tour in Puntarenas. This was the longest zipline tour in Costa Rica, with a total of twenty-five zipline cables over eleven waterfalls. Fortunately, we had some great guides – they often encouraged us to let go of our riding saddles while we were ziplining and also demonstrated some stunts. After riding a few basic zipline cables, I decided to try some stunts myself, including a flip off of the platform. The view from the canopy was breathtaking.
We left the wilderness of the jungle and drove another three hours to the coast, Punta Leona, Puntarenas. We had a rental house that we were going to use for the remaining duration of our stay in Costa Rica. Mario and Nilla’s boat, lovingly named after her cat, Balloo, was docked at Punta Leona. We made plans to sail to Tortuga Island, fish, and snorkel for a while. Tortuga Island, named after its turtle-like shape was expected to have white sand and clear water, so I anticipated prime snorkeling territory, but we could not have anticipated what was yet to come.
I wanted to start off my travel blog with a bang, so why not start with skydiving? My husband, Alan, and I went to Skydive Spaceland in Rosharon, TX. This organization would later set the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of tandem skydives in one day at one location on September 27th, 2014. An interesting point I should note, is that they accomplished this world record title while raising money for the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation. Their event raised more than $48,000 for CCRF!