Maggie (the Patron Saint of Life Lists and inspiration for mine) suggested that at South by Southwest we should connect and tick something off our lists together. Galloping a horse was a multi-day endeavor and hot air ballooning was too complicated, but we found parasailing about an hour outside of Austin on Lake Travis and made reservations.
It’s beautiful. You should try it, even if you’re a total weenie when it comes to heights, because it is not so much scary as it is gentle and awesome and smooth. I felt like a kite!
It almost didn’t work out for a ton of reasons, kind of like the universe saying, “No, no, nope.” Scheduling conflicts, equipment failures, bad weather… I don’t believe in that The Secret stuff, but it really did feel the like cosmos were trying to keep us from floating over a lake, so I got pissy and dug my heels in, and we made it happen. Sometimes you have to work for your fun.
En route to Lake Travis we were super excited.
Once on the boat we took a quick ride to the middle of it. Then we were strapped in, given life vests, and then hooked up to a giant parachute thing.
At this point, I had a nervous butterfly, but just one.
The proprietors of the parasailing outfit (Airscape Parasail) were a nice older couple who brought their grand kids on the boat with us. Much better than the creepy parasailing guy in Puerto Rico who stared at my boobs way too long before deciding it wasn’t windy enough to go.
After we were strapped in, they instructed us to sit on the back of the boat. Then they let the rope out slowly, and we began to hover. I braced myself for a jerk backwards or a dramatic floating away feeling, but it didn’t happen. Instead it was the boat that seemed to go zipping away without us, and we were left in place, floating in mid-air.
And then we went up and up and up. Waaaay up!
At some point they dipped us down over the water and then brought us up again. I was expecting this, but as I watched the water come up closer and closer, it seemed like there was no way to recover from our gentle, inevitable decent into the lake. About twenty feet over the water, I just made peace with it; I gave in, I sucked in a big breath to hold and watched the gap close.
But then, last second, we were swooped up again. It was exhilarating.
I think tandem parasailing would be the perfect opportunity to trade government secrets, should you have any to share, and Maggie suggested it would be the place one college roommate would tell the other, “I’ve been in love with you for the past four years.” thus making the whole ride either really awesome or really awkward. We both thought it would be good for marriage proposals, but only if you were really, really careful with the ring.
I am so glad I got to do this! Horray for us!
P.S. My husband rocks! He took all these photos for us. Thank you Rob! After we were finished, Maggie used her considerable powers of persuasion to get him to go parasailing, too. When he got far enough away, he looked like a G.I. Joe.
“To infinity – and beyond!”