Oh, my people. If you have read our blog from the beginning you may have figured out I fear pretty much everything. Some fears cause more anxiety than others. But, bridges cause me to do and say things that make others extremely uncomfortable. I grab hands and I really don’t take into account that some people (Suzy) aren’t hand holders. I make the driver extremely nervous (Maryhelen) and am too obsessed with all possible dangerous outcomes to realize that. So, I keep on obsessing about cars that may or may not becoming into our lane LOUDLY and I keep on squeezing hands that may or may not be breaking TIGHTLY. You may also know that the last time I rode a bike I was with Tina, her husband and my husband and it was a muddy race. But, did you know that Chris and I came in last place? Did you know that after that ridiculous showing I sold my bike for $5.00. So, guess what happened when Tina shared that we would be BIKING over a BRIDGE? I bit the skin off of my toe-thumb. I actually bit off ALL of the skin on my toe-thumb.
Enough about my anxiety over bridges and bikes….at least for the next paragraph. None of us had bikes so Tina provided Stacy and Heather with the extra bikes she had in her garage. EXTRA bikes! Yes, Tina and her family are big into biking. Her son, G, is pretty much a racing prodigy and I, for one, am looking forward to traveling to France to watch him one day. Adventure #42!!! This is what Tina’s family looks like when they are about to go riding.
Aren’t they just so fancy? Here is our crew right before we took off.
We are not as fancy…but we look the part just a little, right? Ok, now look at the background of this pic. See that bridge WAY far away. That, my darlings, is the bridge we will be crossing. It is very far away and three of us don’t even know how to set up our bikes. Tina, rode the bikes around the grassy area and got the gears set up for everyone and we were off. Well, Tina rode the nice bikes around and set up the gears. My bike is my daughters and it was $50 at Wal-Mart so the gears are what they are. Ok, now we are off.
Tina and Stacy took off like the rock stars that they are and Heather hung back with me like the rock star that she is. Everyone needs a Heather in their life. She will always make sure you are taken care of and never makes you feel like you are holding her back. I made her ride in front of me so I had something to look at while conquering my fear of bridges with my girls. She is so sweet and caring and kind until….until she screams at you for bad ideas and drinking coffee past 4PM. Oh, how I love Heather. She can ride in front of you leaving a draft to get you up a treacherous hill and then throw an F-bomb your way about wording for a t-shirt for the VERY FIRST adventure girl baby. (Sorry, Kelly for kind of spoiling the surprise). But, you should know the wording is NOT my idea because my idea was TERRIBLE. I think it was because I was not allowed coffee and that hinders my ability to come up with good ideas for onesies. But, then in the next breath when I tell her she can go ahead of me she says, “No, I am really just enjoying your company.” I love you, Heather. There is no tush I would rather look at while dangerous cars zoom past me.
And now onto Stacy. I know I have probably said this before, but I really admire Stacy. She has a dry wit like no other and she really gets people. Her laugh makes me laugh and no one else I know would come to a biking adventure with hot rolled hair but Stacy. Seriously, that girl looked so beautiful she could have been heading to Prom. Even after 7.4 miles of blood, sweat and tears she looked like a million bucks. And it was Stacy that I was able to share some of my deep thoughts about what the trek up that hill meant to me (while the others were off peeing) and I knew she understood where I was coming from and stood ready to offer kindness and laughter and all that happened in 45 seconds. She really is THAT good. 45 seconds is all Stacy needs to make you feel loved.
Tina. My Spunky Tate. This girl is kind of a big deal. She will always laugh at your jokes and I think she may be the most patient of all of us. After a few emails from me asking if my “compromised lung” could handle the bike ride I finally just said, please tell me the route. The following is the email thread that will prove just how beautifully patient Tina is with me.
Tina: Drum roll…. Riding over the Woodrow Wilson bridge..stopping for guacamole & a margarita at national harbor and then when we’re well rested we’ll head back. Seriously we can go super slow. We’ll park on the parkway..not riding from my house. Do u think that sounds fun & ok? U know I always worry its not adventurous enough but I don’t think any has ever done it.
Kat: HOLY S%*$! Riding a BIKE over a BRIDGE! I can’t imagine anything scarier…for me anyways. Is that a bridge that has a hill? Freaking out already. The margarita and guac will surely help ease my anxiety on the way home. xo
Tina: Oops I didn’t even think about that! Look at all u will be overcoming:)
Kat: Are we parking at Church St? Thank you for the adrenaline rush this morning. Must go take nap.
Tina: No near marina where we went sailing..small park right there. You crack me up. You are going to rock this! Still laughing that you got rid of your bike.
Kat: Good grief, that is 4.7 miles each way. Damn! We will name this adventure Kat’s Trail of Tears. Yes, I sold the bike for $5.00 and said Peace be With You.
You get the idea. Tina is a saint. And as always, plans the most excellent adventures EVER! This had to be one of my favs. The only thing that would have made it better was having everyone there. Lisa came to meet us for lunch and cocktails even though she couldn’t do the adventure due to a nagging foot injury. She is so loyal and wonderful to all of us. Can’t wait for her to be back in the saddle. If I had the strength to put her in a baby’s seat on the front of my bike I would have! :) Love you, Lisa. You are an incredible friend and I am so happy your house hasn’t sold yet. JUST KIDDING…kind of. not really.
In conclusion, here are a few things I have learned while biking from Virginia to Maryland via a bridge.
1) When someone yells LEFT don’t veer to the left. That might be your natural inclination, but it is not correct. Stay to the right.
2) When Tina is going through rules like the one above don’t stare at Stacy’s hair and wonder how she got it to look so good. Actually listen.
3) Do NOT make a playlist for your ipod to listen to while biking over a bridge. You will get yelled at by your friends and it will sound like this, “You can’t listen to music while biking over a bridge. You NEED to be aware. GEEZ.” If you would like my inspirational playlist let me know. You can listen to it while doing less dangerous things like climbing a mountain or hunting.
4) When YOU scream left to a biker in front of you make sure you are actually going fast enough to pass him. It can be quite embarrassing to scream LEFT and never even catch up to him.
5) The same goes for walkers.
In all seriousness, I beg everyone to do this once. It is a wonderfully fun, exhilarating, challenging adventure and I know you will love it as much as we did. Here we are before the trek back over the bridge. We survived!
This has never happened. I forgot to write the blog post after our latest adventure. It was several weeks ago and it occurred to me this weekend when I was planning on meeting up with the girls for The Onion’s (Adventure Girl Kelly) baby shower. Here is the bad news. I have short term memory and I forgot all of the fun details. Here’s the good news. Suzy sat with me at the shower and reminded me of the hilariousness! Back to the bad news. As I sit here another 24 hours have passed and I forgot it all again. Well, shoot. I don’t really know what to do. I will give it a go with what I do remember. Suzy (our fearless planner) came in jean shorts and a tank top and I laughed in her face when she told us what we would be doing. My husband and I had “attempted” paddleboarding at the lake last year. We both failed. Miserably. I mean, we couldn’t even get UP, miserably. The laughter made things worse. Our two youngsters jumping on and paddling into the sunset made it so hysterical that we grabbed a cocktail and vowed to never try it again. So, when Suzy said, ” I wore regular clothes because I can’t imagine we will fall in”, I laughed hard. More good news. Suzy didn’t fall. Heather didn’t fall. Stacy didn’t fall. Patty didn’t fall. Lisa didn’t fall….and drumroll….I didn’t fall. Well, not that hard anyway. No one really saw my fall so really, did it actually happen? We paddled around the lake for a couple of hours and really enjoyed the beautiful day. We, of course, went out to eat after and spent some time going around the table and catching up. So many big things are happening for the girls. Heather and Suzy both have new jobs and Lisa is moving. I have plans to ruin all open houses because I can’t imagine her moving away from us. Oh, I almost forgot! Patty’s son won the Arlington Little League World Series Game this summer.
Wait! Something else just popped into my head about the adventure! Whew. I am getting old, people. At one point my board veered into some dangerous territory and dear, sweet Heather started to paddle over to save me. I told her to save herself, but she kept on paddling over to help me out. There were trees sticking out of the water, I am sure a few snakes and like always, I was confused and nervous. Here is the great thing and I may cry while writing this, but I am never truly scared of anything we do anymore. I am always nervous but, I trust these girls with my life. I trust these girls with my secret fears and I am so overwhelmed with their unconditional friendship. My hope is that everyone that reads this has a friend or two that listens without judgment, laughs easily at your flaws until they somehow start to seem endearing and above all are kind. Kind to one another, kind to others and kind to waitresses that don’t seem to give a flying fig about our adventure group. I promise that I will not forget to write after our October adventure and it will be a better recap than this one. Stacy and Heather are up and I think it is going to be super fun, folks. Can’t wait.
As always, we missed the missing. Here is to a wonderful fall for all of you! Here we are on our boards.
PS. Our adventure “guides” were young and cute. They always are.
PS Dos. I do not know why my swim shorts are unbuttoned. Did I forget to button them? Based on recent events it seems likely.
How many times can you tell an Adventure Girl that we will be naked on an adventure and have her fall for it? What number adventure are we are on? 17? Ok, then 17 times. This adventure was Tina’s choice and I know figuring out what to do was stressing her out. In the end, she chose the Segway tour and I am so happy she did! She thought the girls may think it was not adventurous enough, but I want to be clear on one thing. If it is something that pulls us away from laundry and driving our children to sports practices, encourages us to take a moment to nurture our friendships by trying something new then that is all the adventure we need. PLUS, Tina drove in DC….with Kat holding the GPS. Adventure in itself.
Instructional Videos and Bathroom Breaks
Once again, we had to watch an instructional video that outlines all the ways you can die while on the adventure. At least this time they used stick figures to show the many ways you could crack your head open. This actually gave me great confidence. Obviously, real people couldn’t fall off or they would have used actors to demonstrate, right? But, my over-analyzing mind then took a sharp left turn. What if they didn’t show REAL people because the results of the fall would be so graphic that you would ask for a refund and run like the wind? So….when I get nervous I pee. I walked into the bathroom and I caught the tail end of a conversation between two girls that would be joining our group.
Girl 1: In stall and I couldn’t hear what she said.
Girl 2: Washing her hands says “Don’t be mean.”
It made me giggle because I was sure they were talking about us. Here are some of things I thought Girl 1 may have said. ”Can those girls be any louder?” “Can you believe we are going to have to spend 2 hours with those sorority girls?” “How many times is that girl with the black hair going to have to pee?” In the end, I hope we won over the two Brooklyn Girls that were thrown into our madness. And since they asked for our blog address I hope they comment on what was actually said before I walked in on their conversation.
Are you ladies ready?
It was time for our hands on lesson. Our guide, Julie, could not have been more patient and kind if she tried. She reminded me so much of my dear, sweet Colleen Margiloff that I felt so at ease. UNTIL, it was my turn. One by one, my adventure girls stepped on their segways and one by one, they rocked it. It definitely takes a little getting used to and I think it is a wonderful workout because of the sheer amount of butt-clenching. As always, certain people shine when it comes to ability. Tina, Maryhelen, Suzy, Heather. And then there is Patty and Kat. And actually I shouldn’t include Patty. I am the only one that fell off during the training.
It was time to hit the streets. After navigating our first ramp, we were off. Because DC doesn’t allow segways on sidewalks we had to follow our fearless leader and “drive” alongside the DC traffic. And Tina was nervous this wasn’t going to be adventurous enough. You could probably guess who brought up the rear. Patty and I were lagging behind and that proved to be a bit scary as we watched the crosswalk timer expire to its last few seconds while we were still attempting to cross the road. Add to that our nervous laughter and it is a wonder we weren’t taken down by a Prius.
We continued on from monument to monument stopping at various locations to hear a story or two from Julie. She is an excellent story teller. My favorite was a stop at the Blair House where she told a story about Boris Yeltsin wanting to leave the quarters for an American Style Cheeseburger. Apparently after a few two many vodkas he snuck out of the Blair House through a window to find a burger joint, but was quickly wrestled to the ground by secret service. Kindly, they had the on-site chef make him one. And it was also at that moment that we decided we were going to eat burgers for lunch. We are always worried about the food.
We made it to the Lincoln Memorial and we were allowed to get off the segways for a closer look. We were given 12 minutes. This was the perfect moment for a few photo-ops. Our Brooklyn girls were so kind to help us with our first one. Isn’t our beloved city so beautiful?
But, then we wanted a photo with Lincoln in the background and “The Brooklyns” were nowhere to be found. So we attempted to take a selfie. After a million tries we had Success! Until we realized that we forgot to include ‘ol Abe. Here is our “successful” pic. Sometimes I wonder about us. I think if Kelly had been here this wouldn’t have happened.
Finally, logic struck one of us and we looked around. Realizing there were hundreds of people surrounding us we decided to ask one kind looking woman to take our photo. Here is what using your brain looks like, folks.
Maryhelen. The only title needed for this paragraph. You are already laughing, I know.
It was finally time to make the last 5 minute trek back to the office. We hopped back on the segways one by one. We were all kind of staying put when Maryhelen, looked back and said, “See ya, ladies” and took off! We all had helmets on and she took off so fast that the bottom of her hair was flapping up from the bottom. It is so hard to describe, but I can’t stop laughing at the visual. The way she looked back and shouted the see ya still has me in hysterics. We all followed suit and started tooling around the courtyard area. Julie, ever so patiently, asks us all if we are ready and to please make our way back to her. She says the following, “I know we are at the point of our tour where you all feel like pros and you are! But, this is also when most accidents happen. Let’s be careful and make our way safely back to the office.” A few minutes later Maryhelen pulls up next to us and says, “Do you think that convo was directed at me. I think it was, do you?” Umm, yes, Mario we do. I wish I had the take-off on video, but here is our big attempt at breaking the rules with Maryhelen. You can hear Julie’s sweet voice at the end telling us to gather around. LOL.
What a great day! We ended it with a trip to BTS. A great burger joint recommended by Julie. Boris would have loved it. There were vodka-infused milk shakes on the menu. Also, while eating we were reminded of how much we are needed at home. One by one, we received calls and texts from home with our men needing our help. The calls ranged from, “I was supposed to be home for daughter at what time? Oops” to “I need you to take a gander at my head when you get home. I accidentally hit it with an ax.” I am NOT kidding. I love our guys. Thanks for holding down the fort for us while we are away….kind of.
Here we are, including our Brooklyn girls, with our segways. They were all named by the way, Crazy Eddie, Blackjack, Scareforce One, etc. I miss those guys. Acting like tourists is so much more fun while traveling 12 miles an hour. THANK YOU, Tina and City Segway tours!!! Visit them and ask for Julie. You won’t be disappointed. http://citysegwaytours.com/
A few more pictures of the day! I love living near DC. It is so much fun.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
If you follow our little blog you may have noticed we have been on a bit of a hiatus. We are a strong, collective group of 10. When Tracy and Kelly both moved away from the area we took it hard. There have been times when one or two of us couldn’t make it to an adventure for one reason or another, but this was different. The dynamic had changed a bit. We all bring something wonderful to the group and when one or two are missing it is not easy. Life moved on and we all have been dealt a few blows this past year. That didn’t make it any easier. But, it was time to get back on the saddle . So I thought what better way to get back on the saddle than to ACTUALLY get on the saddle….with mallets and lots o’balls. POLO balls, you dirty birds.
I can’t even remember how I landed on Polo lessons for Adventure #16. I always try to choose adventures that I know will give me butterflies and scare me silly. I also knew from conversations with the girls through the years that it would stretch them, as well.
Phone Calls to Columbia
I am a bit of an over-planner. I was relentless with my emails and phone calls to the instructor. “Will there be enough horses?” “We are all beginners, just so you know.” “Are tennis shoes ok?” “Do you think we will be ok?” You get the picture. My emails and phone calls were either not answered or I was sent a curt, “Yes, no or maybe.” One time I called her and she was in Columbia. She said, “I can’t hear you.” dial tone. I was a little nervous about what it would be like when we got there. I will not go into too many details because in the end we left happy and fulfilled. And to be perfectly honest, I am scared out of my ever-loving mind that I will get my clock rung if I share the details. Let’s just say she is tough.
Patty doesn’t like lice. She now comes equipped with a beanie to put on her head just in case there is a helmet involved. And the helmets…oh my word. If you were there you would think we were picking out our dresses for the Golden Globes. Those late to the helmet wall were left with the football helmets. Once our heads were fashionably outfitted we were told to head to the barn and pick out a horse. Tina and I were both a bit nervous so we asked for the calm, less frisky horses. One of us got our wish and one of us did not. One guess who was saddled with “Horny Henry.” Check out Tina and Heather trying to figure out the helmet cam, mainly to see the football helmet.
Stacy Lays Down the Law
Stacy was given a horse that just wasn’t feeling like being a good girl. She took off running a few minutes into our lesson. Stacy was not down with that. She let us know she was calling it quits. We looked over and said an encouraging, “You can do this.” I was riding next to her and if there is one thing I have learned about Stacy through the years it is this; she says what she means and she means what she says. She was done. For the record, I would have been, as well. That horse was not having any of this polo nonsense. Later that same day when Stacy showed the videos to her husband he laughed and said something along the lines of, “Are you sure those aren’t camels? They are awfully slow.” Oh Phil…I oughta….
It looks easy, folks. It is not. I have so much more respect for riders now, including my own daughter. But, to every cloud there is a silver lining. If Stacy had not jumped off that horse we would not have this video footage. You know the saying, “I can’t make this stuff up.” Just focus on the audio…especially the last few seconds. Can you take it? I can’t. stop. laughing.
Despite the “tough love” we felt ready to move to the outdoor arena. I think Tina and Patty thought it was a lake at first? In their defense Stacy has a watering eye and Patty is in her 40′s now.
Here we are heading to the “lake!”
Ohhh….they are supposed to all go in the same direction. Yay, that’s not going to happen.
…and it didn’t. But, we actually learned to whack those balls. My horsey was as sweet as could be, but was smitten with Suzy’s horse. He showed his affection by doing the following: showing aggression, sniffing her butt, pooping as she walked by, attempting to eat that poop when she rounded back around. I miss him.
Once again, Kelly and Maryhelen led the pack. Kelly was kind of a big deal. She not only hit all of the balls, but they went further than a foot. This isn’t the first time she has showed us all up. Remember the cave where she scaled the walls? Maryhelen wanted to trot towards the end of the lesson. Our instructor let us know she would think about it. I think right about now she is thinking, “Oh shoot, I forgot to let the skinny girl trot.”
I saw this beautiful quote and picture about friendship and had to share.
It made me so happy and laugh at the same time. I thought of the kitty with the missing tail on the farm and Stacy’s horse. I wonder if they would smooch like that?
Sweet little kitty.
They will never tear us apart
I do know one thing. There is NO WAY I can ever go as long as we did between visits. I feel so inspired and feel like I am walking on air for days after spending the day with them. I realize that one day our bodies will scream, ENOUGH! But, we will find a way to adventure together. Maybe Tina’s dream of going in topless in public will come true. That shouldn’t be strenuous at age 80, right? Tina, in 2053, I will make that happen for you.
All joking aside…thank you to our tough love instructor. She was hard-core, but she helped us overcome a few more fears.
Here we are….the 2013 Polo Champions of the World.
This picture of Stacy cracks me up.
Our instructor discussed with us how a horse can help with anxiety and depression. You could tell that she adored her horses and knew they were capable of doing so much more than just carry us from one place to another. I can totally see that. After the initial fear subsided I did feel sense of calm.
Until next time, my beautiful equestrians. Next up! Tina. Can’t wait to find out what Spunky has planned for us in May.
One last thing: Lisa is a rockstar. Despite foot injury and surgery she still got on the horse. My girls are strong mammajammas.
A few more videos…
It was different this time. We all knew what we were doing. There was no surprise, no uncertainty of what clothing we should wear, no fear of the unknown….yet. We met up at 9 AM in Sterling to make the hour drive to Harpers Ferry, WV. If the place sounds familiar, it is just that. We had our first adventure in the exact same spot two and a half years ago. Remember white water rafting? We should have known this one would test us. For some reason, I was not worried at all. I know, crazy. That changed. I am certain that does not shock you. The drive was everything it always is for us. Therapeutic and hilarious. We were sad that Tracy, Stacy, Maryhelen and Kelly could not join us. Our kids are getting older and a couple of their children had birthdays and the Army took our Tracy all the way to Tennessee. We considered this an adventure between adventures because four of our compadres were missing. Tina brought her helmet cam this time and here is a little video of her testing it out on our car ride. Notice I am in the middle so I can easily see the scary bridges and speed limit signs.
Why, Beyonce, Why?
I am quite certain it was Patty that sang the first couple of bars of Irreplaceable. “To the left, to the left everything you own in a box to the left.” I spent the next 7 hours trying to remember if the next line was, “in the garage, that’s my stuff.” I even swore up and down that was the next line. Cut to my parents house later that night when my sisters googled it for me. Beyonce’s stuff was actually in the closet, not the garage. Sorry, I was so insistent. I was wrong. Moving on.
Our Bodies, Ourselves. We are all unique.
Once we all paid and Tina bought her 100th snack (peanuts) we walked over to where our “costumes” for this adventure were laid out. We pulled our harnesses up and were told to tighten. My harness was not feeling “right” on my lady parts. I asked the girls if they were having the same problem. They all seemed fine. I used this as a teaching moment. “Some of us just may be set up differently.” I was feeling more than a little unique, but about 20 minutes later was relieved to find out that most of the girls were set up just like me! The take away: Man made harness. Another take away: the new rule of not smiling on drivers license pictures makes Tina look like a fugitive.
Here we go again…on our own?
We have never been guide-less. We have always had some guy (usually pretty darn good looking) guiding us through our adventure. This time we were treated to a 5 minute class of safety. We were not allowed to practice because 20 five year olds had recently jumped on the wires. We were confused, but didn’t question. We knew Heather was listening and would remember….or would she? There really was a lot to remember and we knew we were in for a definite challenge having only ourselves to rely on this time. We were given two choices. Easy course or intermediate. If we completed the intermediate we could move to black diamond. We had two hours to complete what we were able. We decided immediately to do the intermediate. Wait, allow me to edit that. Everyone, BUT Patty and I, decided on the intermediate.
Ladders, ropes, wires…oh my.
Only three people were allowed on each canopy at once so we split into two groups of three. Lisa, Heather and myself were first. We climbed up the first tree and stood on the canopy. The canopy is a teeny, tiny piece of wood wrapped around the tree. The first obstacle was pretty simple and low to the ground. We had two wires to hold on to and we just had to walk across the log to the next canopy. From there it was two hours of pain, of struggle, of fun and eventually accomplishment.
Is this thing on?
How many adventure girls does it take to put on a helmet cam? This made me laugh so hard. This is so who we are in a nutshell. Helpful, dependant on one another, and most of the time coming in at a solid 7 on the clueless scale. It never stops us, though. We always have someone who knows something and we are a perfect fit for one another. My favorite line in this clip? Tina asking Patty, “Is this centered mama?” Funny yes, but funnier because of the cock-eyed helmet on Patty’s head.
It’s gonna hurt.
Heather was our fearless first, AGAIN. Lisa and I followed her lead and passed along the instructions to Patty, Suzy and Tina for the second obstacle. Basically, we said “The wires will tear into your skin and you will feel like death is knocking on your door, but hold on tight anyway.” Of course they rocked it. But a few obstacles later we were facing the obstacle that almost broke Heather, Lisa and I. The TIGHTROPE.
Barnum and Bailey will not be calling anytime soon.
Heather was first and looked like a pro. We all continued to talk and watched as Heather methodically made her way across the tightrope obstacle. It wasn’t until she made it to the other side that we realized the magnitude of this particular one. She looked over at us and said, “That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. ever.” Let me put it to you like this. Heather is a bada&*. When she says something is difficult I hyperventilate. Lisa went next and made it to the other side…barely. It was excruciating to watch and not be able to help….we were all clipped to trees for crying out loud. I was next and I am sure you can guess what happened….I fell. My big ol’ butt landed on the tight rope wire and wrapped around it for dear life. Who knew my bootie had survival instincts? I was scared out of my mind, but finally pushed myself off of the tight rope wire and used my hands to shimmy over to the other side. I am so thankful for the encouraging words. Patty, Tina and Suzy watched from the other canopy and had the good sense to treat this obstacle as a zipline. Why in the world did we not think of this? We were watching from the other canopy in disbelief that we were stripped of our skin…and dignity, when we could have just gone for a ride.
Where is the ground?
We continued through the course and had so much fun. This was quite possibly one of the most challenging adventures, but it was a beautiful day and once again we pushed ourselves beyond what we thought possible. My husband said, after hearing a recap of the day, “your next adventure should be a group massage and wine tasting. You all deserve a little downtime.” I am down with downtime. Please enjoy a video of our day by way of Tina’s head. I hope it inspires all of you to get out there with good friends and LIVE LIFE…no matter how high the obstacle may seem I promise your friends will be there to break your fall…or your a$* will. Either way, YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Also, I promise Suzy wasn’t the only one that completed this adventure. She was just right before Helmet Cam Tina so most of the footage is of her. Thank goodness….she is fearless so pretend that is what we ALL looked like…:)
RACHEL GREEN AND LITTLE WHITE LIES
Kelly and I planned Adventure #14 and we quickly decided on sailing. My husband had taken lessons before so I knew (or so I assumed) it would be challenging. I gave the girls one clue and that was Rachel Green. Well, I did also tell them to get brazilion waxes. But that was just to confuse and terrorize. I only get the opportunity once a year to put them through the torture I put myself through before each and every adventure. I ran with it! I sent them a youtube video of Rachel Green singing in her apartment nakie. Remember that episode? While I wasn’t thinking up new ways to scare my sweet girls I was busy scheming with Patty’s husband Jamie. He was throwing her a surprise 40th birthday party the day of our adventure. It was crucial we planned everything down to the minute. The plan was to meet at Pattys on Adventure Day so it was not odd that we would need to get back to her house after the adventure. We were to leave no later than 9:40 AM so our paths didn’t cross with The Margarita Man. To tell the girls what we were doing, Kelly and I showed the video clip of the Friends episode where Joey and Rachel go sailing. See, I wasn’t COMPLETELY lying. Rachel Green was a valid clue.
SUZY’S HAIR ALMOST TOOK THE OPERATION DOWN!
After we showed the girls the video clip we knew we had to get on the road. Patty’s husband, Jamie, had a party to set up. As we were walking out the door Suzy casually asked Patty for a hair tie. Patty went upstairs to find one for her and was taking FOREVA! Beads of sweat started to form on Jamie’s head. I yelled up to Patty that we were just going to wait outside for her. Patty finally arrived with hair tie in hand and we hit the road….JUST IN TIME. Jamie said a few minutes after we left the Margarita Man arrived. Phew.
Side note: Suzy NEVER used the hair tie. Proof below.
EVERYTHING LITTLE THING IS GONNA BE ALRIGHT
We arrived to Belle Haven Marina and we were all surprised by what we found. Reggae music and bare feet. This was my first clue that this adventure was not going to be as challenging as I thought. My second clue? Our “sailing class” lasted all of 5 minutes and 3 minutes of that were spent explaining our adventure group to the instructors. I am not sure, but I think they may have taken one look at my baby blue Keds and realized that we (I) were (was) in over our (my) head.
We had to seperate into two boats. I tried to put my best rushers in the boat with Kelly. She was the only DZ able to make this adventure so I thought if this was our only opportunity to sway her over to the KD side I was going to pull out the big guns! I am not going to say what happened, but she was asking a lot of questions about frogs, daggers and white roses later that day. We sure did miss Stacy and Heather!
OLD LADIES SHOULD NOT SAIL BOATS
Well, I was right. This turned out to be the most relaxing adventure we have ever been on. Although, our instructors did allow each of us us to steer the boat. Sometimes it went well: Tracy. Sometimes it didn’t: Tina, Patty, Kat. Here is a quick video to illustrate what happens when an instructor gives a “screamer” the till? jib? jab? Whatever it was named it sometimes made the boat rock? tilt? capsize? You be the judge.
Other things heard on the boats:
Instructor: oohh…we just hit the bottom.
Patty: The bottom of WHAT?
Instructor: The bottom of the river….ok grab the jib-jab and pull.
Kat: ***crickets.***hands over ears. If I can’t hear anything it is not happening.
Turns out this happens quite often, is not a big deal and we looked like complete newbies. Nothing will ever change.
One more convo worth repeating, although I am trying desperately to put it out of mind.
Kat: We are having our 20th High School reunion next month.
Instructor: So that would be class of 92? Man, I thought you all were a lot older than that?
Kat: What the HAIL?
Tracy: That is something you should have probably kept to yourself.
Instructor: (attempts to recover, but digs himself deeper) I think I will just drink my water.
Are we dilusional? I really thought we were more kitten-like and less cougar-like. I would to believe it was the salty air playing tricks on his eyes. The Potomac is a salty river, right?
I think these girls don’t look a day over 21. If you agree, let us know! If you don’t…well, why don’t you just keep that to yourself.
Side note numero 1000: Maryhelen was so happy she was not in our boat and the comment was ONLY directed to those of us that were :)…She would have jumped overboard.
I had this idea to recreate the Whitesnake video. The direction I gave the girls was to lay on the front of the boat and I would throw water on them while singing, “Here I go again on my own…going down the only road I’ve ever known..” Here is what actually happened. It was a little more Laura Ingells Wilder than Tawny Kitean, but I still think they are hot, hot, hot for 50 year old hags!
PINK KILLA TURNS 39 11/12!
After the wonderfully, relaxing adventure we dropped off Patty at her son’s last t-ball game, hit chipolte and drove back to Patty’s house for the big 40th Perfectly Pink Surprise Party! Patty was surprised, the Margaritas were yummy and of course more laughter ensued. Have you ever wondered who Jason Houtz (Suzy’s hubby) would want at a dinner table of six? Well, I won’t reveal the entire list, but Abe Lincoln and the bearded guy from Jackarse are on it. I want to be at that party! Who is on your list?
Here is the video the Adventure Girls made for our sweet Pink Killa for her party. She really is such a wonderful friend….and no matter what “bearded man-child instructor” says…you do not look A LOT older than 40. (I am not sure why this internet version has some of it upside down. The copy shown at the party did not.)
NEXT UP: Tracy, Suzy and Lisa. They swear it is something NONE of us have ever done or would EVER guess. I am officially going to be peeing my pants for the next two months.
A couple more videos of sailing just for fun.
Clues: yoga pants, red lipstick, short sleeved shirts.
Guesses: Athletic ladies of the night, tattoos, botox party.
Actual Adventure: Tramping, french word for jumping on giant trampolines.
Who you calling a tramp?
We fall for it every time. A clue that is just there to confuse us. The red lipstick had all us completely in the dark. For once I didn’t google the clues beforehand. But, I did this morning just for kicks. I was surprised by how many blogs and articles have the words yoga pants and red lipstick in the same paragraph, but there are literally hundreds. Finding out what we were doing from those clues would have been nearly impossible.
Unfortunately, Tracy still lives in Iowa? or Kansas? It really depends on if you ask Stacy or the rest of us. Stacy has lived in Ft. Leavenworth after all, so I guess we should trust her and concede that it is Iowa. And Suzy had a soccer tourney she couldn’t miss. We really missed those two spunky Adventure Girls.
Speaking of Geography, I have to let everyone know that Heather is going to Hawaii soon and she has been to Hawaii before. She will probably go to Hawaii every year for the rest of her life and we will continue to count the ways Heather brings this fact into conversation. She will do this while climbing over everything and everyone with her enormously long, lean legs.
I am going to get straight to the adventure. After realizing that we were not going to get poison injected into our face or ink zapped into our buttocks we were informed that we were going tramping. We had no idea what to expect with this one. When we walked into the joint there was a giant white board that listed all of the parties.
Party 1: Logan Party 2: Brenna Party 3: Adventure Group Party
This was our first clue that we might be of the older persuasion. Second clue? Our party room was equipped with paper plates for our pizza party. I was laughing too hard to remember who said, “When does Chuck E. arrive?”
After checking out our totally awesome party room we were escorted single file to the tramping area. Along our route we saw scores of women that looked like us, but were sitting cross-legged on the floor texting away on their cell phones, while their children were bouncing away behind the giant walls. I wonder what they thought seeing 8 grown women walking single file through parent alley to their bouncing doom? My hope is that they will think twice next time and put on those nasty, tramping shoes and join their children. Because…..
TRAMPING IS LAUGH OUT LOUD FUN!
The place is jumping…hard…with a ton of pre-teens. We started off slow and finally started to learn some tricks. All of the walls are trampolines too so once you get up enough nerve you can bounce off the walls.
Like always, Kelly and Maryhelen picked it up quickly. Look to the left, though, and you would have seen Patty and I laying on our backs laughing hysterically because we can’t get back up. We were reminiscing back to our first adventure of white water rafting where the two of us were stuck at the bottom of the raft unable to stop laughing long enough to get back up. Thirteen adventures later and nothing has changed.
Lisa was unable to participate because of the “boot”, but she came anyway. How wonderfully sweet is that? She snapped all of these photos and managed to make us laugh with the moments she captured.
Here are my top 10 photographic moments! Thank you Lisa!
Number 1: Tina’s new profile picture. How beautiful is this picture? I love Tina. She is so sweet, but dang, that girl is tough as nails underneath, as evidenced by the Glock Girl t-shirt she is wearing.
Number 2: Party Room. This is what had us rolling from the moment we walked in the door. Definitely looks like a place 30-40 something gals should be on Saturday night, right?
Number 3: Nasty Tramping shoes. Here we are sporting them. Notice how Heather is so far behind us, but her enormously long, lean legs are still front and center.
Number 4: Did someone say tattoo? Yes, I was correct….kind of. We did get our own tramp stamps. They all match for fear of stranger danger. I kind of ruined the picture on account of my giant thumb covering up almost ALL of MH’s hand.
Number 5: Kelly the Onion strikes again and again. There she is showing all of us how the wall climb trick is done. I love her fearlessness. Funny little tidbit: Look in the background. Witness little girl in pink pants. Yeah, that was the median age.
Number 6: Stacy’s Money Shot. Lisa shot at LEAST 80 photos trying to get Stacy in mid toe-touch. FINALLY the camera flashed at the exact moment Stacy was in the air. UNFORTUNATELY, pre-teen boy got in the way.
Number 7: Maryhelen’s Money Shot. Look at this shot…I mean, really, is there anything in this world that MH doesn’t look perfect doing? There was lots of behind the scenes laughter about this photo that I can’t share, but I can tell you to look in the background because it CRACKS me up. Check out Patty to the left in blue. Most likely she is calling out, “Be careful.” And then check out Heather to the right. She is jumping as high as MH…she is using those enormously long, lean legs to make sure she is in the shot. I think she may also be thinking, “My legs are going to look fab in my bikini on the white, sandy beaches of Hawaii.”
Number 8: Tina’s Money Shot. Again, awesome picture. She is so darn cute. But, again, please focus on the background. Look at MH. Why so mad, doll face? And, you may not be able to tell, but Heather is coming FULL FORCE at me. On the way, she said, “Catch me.” If I recall correctly, I did not. Shocker. I look like I am barely hanging on myself.
Number 9 and 9.5: Kat’s fall from grace. Unable to get myself out of the foam pit I happily received a helping hand from one of the referees. By the looks of the picture it “appears” he received a small token of my appreciation. Really, really not the best camera angle. Picture 9.5 shows me falling right back in immediately after being brought to my feet and sweet referee running to my rescue again.
Number 10 and 10.5: Rock you like a Hurricane. We decided to hit the hurricane machine after our tramping session. That thing is no joke. What I learned is that one should not open doors during hurricanes. I also learned that if pizza comes to our party room during a hurricane Maryhelen will pound on the hurricane door for everyone to get out the darn thing. She really doesn’t care if you are being pounding by 80 mile an hour winds when she is hungry. The girl needs to eat.
A few last things before I BOUNCE….(it’s funny. You know it is….I heard only the sound of my own laughter the first time I said it. But, it will get you. Maybe a couple of hours from now, but you will laugh.)
Ok so here goes…
1) When receiving your tokens for the arcade ask for a pitcher of beer. Something about it feels so wrong and so, so right.
2) When being pranked by pre-teen boys at Logan’s party, don’t take it personally. His friends may have dared him to sneak into the “old ladies” party room, but we all know we are years away from acting our age.
3) We did finally settle the Iowa vs. Kansas dispute when I told Stacy that I, too, lived in Ft. Leavenworth at age three and it is 100% Kansas. Small world, huh? I also shared my dream of being a talking baby later that night. Could you imagine Stacy and I, babies in Kansas, being strolled by our mamas and we pass each other as stranger babies on the street. We catch each others eye and I say to her “what up? In about 35 years you and I are going to be tramping together.” In my dream, Baby Stacy turns to me and says, “Word.”
Seriously, not in my wildest, craziest dreams did I ever think I would get the chance to do all of the things I have done these past two years. I think the others would have to agree.
Until next time when Kelly and I have a fabulous day planned for these crazy kids!
What is spelunking you ask? By definition it is the hobby or practice of exploring caves. Google Images tells a different story as we found out on our car ride to WVA. Don’t look. It scarred us for life and I would like to save you from the same fate.
Ok, are you back from checking out google images? Told you so. Let’s just wipe those images from our minds and move on.
We are kind of obsessive compulsive.
The final email (or at least what our planners thought would be our final email) went something like this:
You will need:
Driver’s license and medical insurance card
· Large trash bag
· Bottled Water (several)
· Food that does not need refrigeration (dinner will be very late so you might want to bring a hearty snack or sandwich)
· Small backpack/sack for your belongings
OLD CLOTHES THAT YOU DO NOT MIND GETTING DESTROYED
· Wool or synthetic socks (not cotton)
· Non-cotton long underwear (polypropylene, wool or synthetic blend)
· Sturdy, close-toed shoes or boots
· Long pants and long-sleeved shirt
· Rain gear if there is rain in the forecast
· Complete change of clothes, including shoes, socks and underwear!
· Thin Gloves
This email started a thread that went into the high 2 digits. While most were concerned about the clothing requirements I was most concerned about the food. Why would we need hearty food and extra hearty snacks. Will we be gone for a long while? I carefully and methodically planned my food as if my life depended on it…it turns out that it could have. More on that later.
Later that same day as part of the marathon thread:
Kelly: “Can you provide details like….if the average car gets 25 mpg, how many gallons of gas should the designated driver have in her car for the distance of the adventure….?”
Tracy: “That sounded like a Kat question.”
Stacy: “It’s always prudent to drive with plenty of gas.”
Kat: “This is insanity.”
Maryhelen: “Stacy, I saw the Fruit of Loom thermal blend for $8 on the end cap but it had cotton in it, is that okay? Sorry I’m being a pain:) just want to make sure gig the tigg gear:)
Maryhelen: “LMAO, autocorrected.”
And so it went for about another 40 emails. I wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at what it is like the week prior to EVERY adventure. It is madness and I love every minute of it.
After our Deliverance inspired drive to West Virginia we finally arrived at Whitings Neck. We met our tour guide, Eriq, and started the mile or two hike to the cave.
We kind of have small bladders.
When we arrived we were told we would be in the cave for 3-4 hours so if we had to “pee-pee” now would probably be the time. A few of us headed to what we hoped was a good private spot. Walking away we spotted “poo-poo” that was not human sized. What in the world were we doing there?
famous side note: Eriq said there was a port-o-pottie, but there is a mouse that lives in there. He let us know he probably wouldn’t bother us. Umm…yeah, we will take our chances with the bears instead.
We are kind of clairvoyant
We always try to guess what our adventure guide will look like on our way to each adventure. We hit the nail on the head with Eriq. 30 something, facial hair, athletic build, and married. Here he is with our two planners of the day, Tina and Stacy.
So here we go. It started as it always does, with me turning to whoever is next to me (this time Stacy) and whispering “I don’t think I can do this.” I always hear a confidant, “yes, you can.” It works every time. I was first to head into what looked like the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.
One by one we entered the cave and headed down the ladder and then up another ladder to what will be the “no turning back 75 foot tunnel.” Here are some of us right before that wretched hole of death.
The crawl was so difficult. Eriq had just completed what he said was a “french repel” which made sense to us. We were already convinced that he was indeed french because his name ended in a Q instead of the typical C. He became Er-reeq from that point on.
Back to the crawl of death. I can’t remember much except that I wanted it to end. You couldn’t move your head and basically had to do an Army crawl to the end. It was wet, muddy and when we finally reached the end we were beyond happy.
We kind of freak out easily.
Every so often, Eriq would try to put us at ease. One time he let us know that the key to his car was in his backpack just in case. Another time he let us know he had short-term memory to which one of the gals said, “Do you at least remember how to get us out of here?” He also pointed to holes and said those can shatter ankles. In all seriousness, he was extremely comforting, knowledgeable and funny!
We kind of enjoy food.
Everything is the cave is named after food. There was The Wedding Cake, The Donut Hole, The Pancake Cave, The Popcorn Cave, etc. You get the idea. We had only been in the cave for 25 minutes and this group was already starving. When Eriq said, “this formation looks like bacon.” Heather said, “mmm….Bacon. I like bacon.” It made me giggle and reminded me of a certain commercial when the couple talks about nutmeg. You know the one?
We continued exploring the cave and let me tell you this is tough. Eriq was shocked we were doing this BEFORE sky-diving. It was definitely a “constant state of fear” as one girl put it. There is no relaxation time. You are constantly challenged mentally and physically. But, I have to say I really started to enjoy it until we spotted this…………
Who does that? She was sitting on a rock that was right in front of you when you exited a teeny tiny hole. She startled all of us. Especially Tina, who even after 5 minutes of standing near The Baby said, “she’s not real, right?” YUP, the cave air was making us loopy.
We kind of ALWAYS laugh at the immature stuff.
There was a cave that required us to go down a slope to get in. Eriq yelled, “Are you ready to go downtown?” Say what? After much laughing he said, “bad choice of words.” Honestly, I wonder if other women our age would find that so funny. Do you? Somehow I think if you are reading this blog you do….and we salute you! Here’s to being 21 in spirit for life!
We kind of always have a Star for each adventure.
This adventure it was dear Kelly. We were given the chance to go down the donut hole. We would have to go across a large crevasse. If you don’t know what that is, Kelly will tell you “it is french for crevice.” She cracks me up. All, but Kelly declined. She kind of rocked that one. Way to go!
We kind of like to snuggle.
Which is why we decided that yes, we would like to belly crawl into the Pancake cave. One by one we slithered in and made room for the next. As I so eloquently pointed out, “the pancake cave is not made for us big-bottomed girls.” I decided to try the roll method. If you ever find yourself in a cave, don’t do it. Especially if you, too, happen to be a big bottomed girl. Here we are, all snuggled up in the Pancake Cave. Now quick, take the dang picture. Maryhelen HAS to get out here, now.
We kind of always come through CLOSER, STRONGER, BRAVER.
I know it goes without saying, but I could never do these crazy things without these girls. They are forever changing my mind about where my limit is and that the beautiful, adventurous moments are sweeter when shared. My hope is that I do the same for them. If for some reason we were ever trapped in a cave I could depend on each for something different that when put together would keep us alive (at least for a few hours.)
Stacy would help keep us calm by showing us different uses for our Wal-Mart bandanas. And would also let us know when “Big A** Holes” are ahead.
Maryhelen would make sure that we knew of all dangers that could exist in the cave. Earthquakes, falling spiders that turn out to be rocks, etc. We would be aware with MH there.
Heather would hit us with one-liners when we are at our lowest. She would also convince us that the Bacon rock was real and that we should attempt to eat it. MMM….Bacon.
Tina, would be the nurturer and mother figure for all of us. She would rock us, love us and feed us her smushed peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She would also do all of the above for The Baby.
Kelly would, well, to be honest, Kelly would be our only chance of getting out. Most likely we would send her into holes and crevasses and have her report back to us if that is the way out. If not, we send her to the next hole. We would cheer her on, though. We aren’t animals.
Suzy would make sure we kept our wits about us. She would not let us stray from happy thoughts. She would be steady and rock-like. If all else failed she would allow us to hold her hand.
Kat would panic. She would roll. She would try to steal Tina’s pb&j sandwich. But, then she would look around. She would see the 6 other girls that have her back, feel a deep sense of calm and she would say, “this is going to make for a kick-a** blog post, ladies.”
Thank you again to Tina and Stacy who planned this magnificent adventure. Thank you to our patient guide, Eriq! We survived!
We missed you Tracy (lives in Kansas now), Patty (had another party she had to attend) and Lisa (just got through foot surgery). We wish you had been there! NEXT TIME!
Next Adventure: March 3rd. PLEASE let it be in WIDE, open spaces.
One more photo of the wall of slippery rock we had to make our way up….