I love giving people presents almost as much as I like receiving them. So, when my boyfriend's birthday came around this year, I thought I'd give him something a little different. With the help of Groupon and my imagination, I decided to take him skydiving -- because who doesn't show their love by throwing someone out of a plane at 14,000 feet?
Being the great girlfriend I am, I hid it from him, lied, and told him get in the car and I'd tell him his surprise on the way there. About 30 minutes outside of Birmingham, he started to get antsy, so I gave him an envelope telling him where we'd be spending his birthday. It was a picture of an aerial view of Chattanooga. When I told him we were going skydiving, he lit up like a little kid. I went pale.
The heaviness of the situation started to sink in as I signed paperwork saying things like "in case of death or serious injury we are not liable". I shed a single tear, put my big girl panties on, and before I knew it, I was launching downwards through the air. Ironically, as you're plummeting towards the ground, there's something about the experience that makes you feel completely alive. The air in your ears is deafening, your heart has already beaten you to the ground, and you feel completely vulnerable - but the second the chute opens, you're suddenly okay.
There's something to be said about the adrenaline rush that comes with skydiving. For the first hour or two afterwards, you feel like you can lift cars. After that, you feel like you were ran over by one. That night, we had originally planned on hitting the town, but slowly realized that some BBQ for lunch and room service for dinner was all of the excitement we needed for the day.
In the true spirit of a lazy, Southern Sunday, we strolled around the abandoned streets with coffees in-hand and no plans whatsoever. Once my boyfriend saw the aquarium, though, that changed. We pet stingrays, saw the most beautiful jellyfish, and I decided that I need a pet penguin.
^The grumpy cat of turtles.
All in all, it was a fantastic, relaxing weekend and I couldn't have planned it any better if I tried.