Monday, April 29, 2019


(Reworked from several old posts.)

While in Acapulco I went parasailing.  I took off from (& was supposed to land on) a raft.  I missed the raft & landed in the water.  I could swim pretty well by then & I could float.  I was wearing a life vest & the water, which I had softly “floated” into without a splash, was the same warm temperature as the air.  This must be what it feels like in the womb.  The guys on the raft were yelling, “Don’t panic--we’ll be right there!!” & I was peacefully calling back, “I’m fine.  Take your time!!”

My first attempt at hot air ballooning happened about thirty plus years ago.  My friend Helen & I were in the Napa Valley on a wine tasting vacation.  They were offering balloon rides for about $10.00.  Helen was afraid & declined, but I'll try anything.  (If it were possible, I would have been on the space shuttle!!)  The morning I selected was very windy.  I was first into the big square basket.  Another dozen or so people got in.  At that point there was a huge gust of wind, toppling our balloon & basket. In my direction.  On me.  I was at the bottom of a heap of people. Very uncomfortable!!  Our pilot then decided it was too windy to fly that day & I agreed.  Some other balloons had taken off earlier.  You cannot really steer a balloon.  One of that morning's flights ended up landing in a swimming pool.  Score: Balloon 1, fishducky 0.

About five years later, Bud & I were in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Our son Matt was assistant travel secretary for the San Francisco Giants.  We decided to join him & his new wife to see the Giants' spring training.  My daughter-in-law Linda & I wanted to go on a balloon ride while we were there. Our husbands weren't interested.  We had a much smaller basket this time.  It probably would have held six people but the only ones aboard were Linda, me & the pilot.  We flew early in the morning.  It was clear & sunny & the wind was calm with just a breeze.  It was marvelous!!  I have a fear of heights, but I didn't feel it there.  There was no real feeling of speed because we were moving at exactly the same speed as the wind.  It was dead quiet & we were floating above the fields, the cattle & the people below.  There is no feeling I can think of that would match it. Score: Balloon 1, fishducky 1 (& I'd love to make that 2)!!

One thing I had always wanted to do was to ride in the Goodyear blimp.  Somehow my son Matt got a pass for one person.  He knew I would kill him if he used it instead of giving it to me Because he loves me so much, he offered it to me.  I accepted.  I got to fly in the co-pilot's seat, although I didn't get to work the controls.  I remember that it had huge foot pedals, which were the rudders for turning right or left.  I don't remember much else, except that I loved it!! 
Matt would have liked it, too.

I've been in various planes, from a 4 seater to a private jet to a 737, but my favorite flight was the zero gravity one I took for my 74th birthday.

This is me the first time I started to float.

Here are the lyrics:

Up in the air junior birdman, Up in the air upside down, Up in the air junior birdman, Keep your noses off the ground. When you hear the grand announcement that your wings are made of tin, Then you know that Junior Birdman, has turned his box tops in. For it takes: 5 box tops, 4 bottle bottoms, 3 coupons, 2 wrappers, and one thin dime! B-i-r-d, B-i-r-d, B-i-r-d-m-a-n Birdman, Birdman, Birdman Buzzzzzzzz!

If you can keep your feet on the ground & your head in the clouds you must be very tall----fishducky