I have never been so scared in my life! That is not an exaggeration for entertainment value.
After we were done flying high, we got on the road to head home. We hopped onto I-4 for a quick stint before hopping off on a back road to take that home. This plan was perfect to me, this plan didn’t involve I-75!! I was happy about that.
We were about 30 minutes from home on the back road and traffic was starting to get backed up. The Doctor decided to hop onto I-75 south bound (it would only be for a few exits). This would have us home in 10 minutes.
Oh joy! I was not looking forward to this, I was enjoying our cruise on this back road. Time to get on the beast, AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
I swear people on this interstate were going over 100mph. I merged on and got in the far left lane. The Doctor and I got separated from each other. Normally that is fine, no biggie, but for some reason I panicked a bit. I was going 95 mph (keeping up with traffic). Cars were passing me, AT 95 MPH!!!!!
I have jumped out of a plane, rode a motorcycle up multiple mountains in Costa Rica as well as other crazy things, nothing scared me more than this ride on I-75. Luckily, it was only 10 minutes but it scared me. Words can’t express the happiness that overcame me when I finally got off the exit ramp.
I would be happy never riding a motorcycle on I-75 again. However, over Christmas, The Doctor and I took I-75 to get to my Uncle’s house. That ride, no fear, no issues, no being scared!!! After a bumpy start, I conquered the beast!
Time to fly!!!!
The butterflies were going strong. Not the nervous kind of butterflies, the excited kind of butterflies. We walked in the front door and signed in. There are computers set up off to the side where you sign in and enter your information. Once we were done with that, we walked over to the counter to sign the release forms and hand over our Groupon tickets (seriously, Groupon. If you aren’t familiar with it, check it out).
We had to wait until our scheduled time so they said we could go up in the observation room while we wait. We walked up the stairs , very curious as to what was awaiting us (in the above picture you can see the stairs in the background).
It was a really cool set up. On the side of the glass we were on, you could watch the people in the wind tunnel. On the other side of the glass were the people who were waiting to go into the wind tunnel. We could see them and they could see us. You can see in the picture below the view from the observation room.
When that group completed, they called our group back. There were 10 of us total in the group. The instructor took us back into the staging area to get our suits and go over the safety instructions.
The safety instructions included a video to watch and go over hand instructions that we would need to know since we wouldn’t be able to talk to the instructor while in the wind tunnel. Questions were answered and we all felt safe and ready to go. INDOOR SKYDIVING here we come!
Since there were 10 of us, we would rotate our turns. The usual time is 2 rides of 1 minute per person, The Doctor and I had 4 minutes between the two of us. We did 2 rides of 2 minutes. We don’t mess around!
Watching the groups before us go, it didn’t look easy. Most of the people didn’t “fly” very well. They needed the help of the instructor to keep them in the proper position and up in the air. If you don’t stay in the right position, you will glide to the bottom of the wind tunnel. Some people “got it”, some people didn’t.
It doesn’t matter if you get it or not, its fun either way!!
The Doctor was the first one on deck! He stepped into the wind tunnel and started to fly. The minute he fell into the proper flying position, a huge smile came across his face!! He got it right off the back! His two minutes were up, from here the other people had their minute rides.
I was last in the group, which worked out perfectly. As you finish your turn you come back into the sitting area on the opposite end from where you entered. Since The Doctor was first, he got to sit next to me as we waited for my turn.
I fell into the wind tunnel and was off!!! So amazing!
I discovered if you turned your head in a certain direction, you would start spinning in that direction. I liked this! I would get a good spin going to the right, then the instructor would stop me. So then I would spin to the left for a bit. He would stop me again. Not sure why he kept stopping me, I was having a blast spinning!!
The funniest part is that you are in the 120 mph wind tunnel with the biggest, stupidest grin on your face…laughing. The problem with this is spit comes out of your mouth and since your hands are helping guide you/keep you in position, it makes it very hard to wipe it off. Not to mention, you have people watching you from all angles. This only made me laugh harder and the drool come out more. Quite funny!
The sensation is like the real thing but totally different. The feeling of weightlessness is the same but having no one strapped to your back and getting to move around on your own was awesome. Also in the wind tunnel, you can guide your self to the bottom by lowering your head. When you raise your head again, you rise higher. You can’t do that jumping out of the plane.
The best part of the whole experience was toward the end of your last ride. With about 45 seconds left, the instructor signals the guy in the wind control room. They increase the speed of the wind as the instructor grabs onto your arm and leg. He proceeds to spin the two of you way up high in the wind tunnel, then back down to the bottom. As soon as you get to the bottom, he spins you back up to the top. He does it one more time before you step out of the tunnel.
That last part was amazing! I was giggling (and drooling) like a silly little girl.
When we had all completed our riding time, we were brought back into the briefing area to change and receive our certificate of completion. The Groupon deal we got also gave us a free video and pictures from the experience.
Check out my Flickr page for more pictures.
The way home back to Tampa this day involved the scariest ride of my life! Check out Ifly Away – Part III – The Scariest Ride of My Life
2011 was quite a year. There were so many fun, adventurous moments. Moments filled with laughter, moments filled with tears. Overall I look back on 2011 with wonderful memories and a sense that I lived it to the fullest.
Looking ahead to 2012, I see the best year ever. So many things that will be taking place, I’ll share those as they come along, can’t give too many spoilers away Here’s to you 2012 and all the amazing times that lie ahead!
2011 in review. There were some first time experiences:
And of course, continuing all the things I already love:
Peace out 2011!