What adventure will it be?

Why does everything always have to be an obsession with me? Everything I do turns into this over-the-top, meet the extreme obstacles event. I did it with my college education, with running, and now this Bucket List Challenge. As my obsession grows, so does the cost of the adventures that I want to take part in. I really should have kept my job at the YMCA to help pay for some of these adventures.

After our whitewater rafting trip last month, I decided to make July the Water Adventure Month! We are two weeks into July and I have endlessly researched water events. Yet, I have not solidified which adventure I will take part in.

First, I checked into scuba diving lessons with Chesapeake Bay Diving Centers. I am a certified scuba diver (of sorts!). I achieved my qualification through IDEA while stationed in Puerto Rico. However, I have not been on a dive the whole time I have lived in Virginia (since 1996). I feel I should probably recertify. In my telephone interview, I discovered that Chesapeake Bay Diving Centers offers certifications through Scuba Schools Internationals. Since I am, technically, qualified, I can get a thorough refresher by auditing one of their classes, pool session, and open water session for $200. My next option was to attend a beginners course. This is probably my best option since I struggle with any activity water related…umm, still training for that triathlon. It consisted of three-3 hour sessions for $300. However, there is a mandatory Lake Phoenix checkout dive bringing the total cost of the course to $500. These cost do not include the cost of any equipment you may need for the course. The upside to this is you receive a $25 credit if you purchase these items through them.

My next challenge was sailing lessons. I discovered that the naval base offers sailing lessons. Again, it’s not a cheap thrill. It is $25 per hour for a minimum of 8 hours for private lessons. That’s a total of $200 for private lessons. The other alternative is a two-hour lesson for $50 per person.

Then I checked into parasailing and surfing lessons. Parasailing with Adventure Parasail was a tiered flight pricing. A 600-ft flight was $80 per person, 800-ft was $85, and 1000-ft was $90. They do have discounts you can take advantage of but I recommend calling them. The flight length is 10 – 12 minutes with the total boat tour lasting approximately one hour. I was excited to hear that the Captain would video the excursion if requested. They would also take pictures. It consisted of an SD-card at $33 for up to three people or $35 for four or more. Additionally, they take polaroid pictures for $11.

I was really excited to see that VB Surf Sessions offered a reasonable rate for their lessons. A private lesson is $99 for 0ne-2 hour session and a group rate of $79 for one-2 hour session. After that, I could rent a board to continue to practice for anywhere from $20 – $30 depending on how long I wanted to rent the board. I am in luck because they have a session on Sunday. My niece, Emily, really wants to learn how to surf so I already have a companion to go with me! That is the true bonus right there!

So what adventure will  I choose? If I were to choose right now, with availability and funding probably surfing. No, I think parasailing because it would really test my fear of heights. Then again, scuba lessons would allow me to swim with the dolphins…maybe?! I know it will definitely not be sailing because all the classes were full. BUMMER!

Tune to find out which adventure won the raffle. I think I will just pin each of them up on a dart board, throw a dart, and see which one wins!

June – Mandatory Family Fun Day

The day started with a deep conversation with a dear friend. Her struggles really hit my heart.  I wish there was something I could do to help her through this season of trials in her life. She is by far my greatest friend. She was there for me when I had absolutely no one else. She nurtured me through my own family struggles as a teenager. I watched her and her family. The bond they had made me envious. I wanted the same bond with a family that I knew I would never have. Her family showed me that it was possible to have a close family relationship. Her example is what helped me develop the bond with my own sons. I love her with all my heart and will be forever grateful of the example of a friend that she has been to me. Still, I am lost…I don’t know how I can help her. She now struggles with family relationships, heart disease, and issues I am unfamiliar with. How can I help her?!

After our talk this morning, my own family hit the road to Richmond, Virginia where we spent the day whitewater rafting with Karen and her family. Is it strange that I feel guilty for this trip after my previous conversation? I had to make a mandatory fun day because if I did not, I would not have been able to spend time with my sons. Their plan was to sit around the house and play video games all weekend.

The traffic was horrendous on the way there. Stop and go…for absolutely no reason. It seemed as if we were never going to make it there. There is nothing worse than sitting in a car with Wes driving and his frustration is at its peak. I knew I should have drove. At least then I could pull over and empty my bladder without listening to complaints and comments. Instead, I just sat quite, waiting until I couldn’t hold it any longer. Fortunately, he had to go before I ever said anything.

We arrive to the site a little early so we meet Karen and her crew at McDonald’s because it was literally right across the street from Riverside Outfitters. Not having much to eat before we got on the road, I wasn’t going to complain. It is not my choice of a good lunch but beggars can’t be choosy.

We finally reached the time to check-in and get our briefing. I am so excited by this point. I just knew it was going to be a great day on the water. I was looking forward to having something exciting and different to do. The day proved to be just that!

It was an awesome ride. We rode the Level I and II rapids because we had a very small 11 year old with us. We had a quick dip in the river and threw water balls at each other. Our tour guide was awesome! I am sure he thought we were a crazy bunch. I had Karen pick up a disposal waterproof camera for me and all the guys laughed at my archaic device. They acted like it came from another dimension. I actually thought it was pretty cool to have a tool blast back from the past. Kids today just don’t know what they are missing out on!

The trip was over and we headed to a restaurant called “Galley“. Unique for anyone that served on a ship of any kind. The food was good. The restrooms had piping for the toilet paper and paper towels. It also helped brace up the stalls. I definitely recommend stopping in there and checking it out.

Luckily, the trip home was pretty uneventful. We took a different route and seemed to be home in no time. I really enjoyed my day on the water and spending time with family and friends! There is nothing more I would rather be doing!

Stay tuned for my next post about Riverside Outfitters. They have a ton. more opportunities for me explore nature and peak my adventure side…whitewater rafting level 5 rapids, mountain climbing, kayaking level 5 rapids….the list goes on!