Taxes and Hang gliding

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SOME of the various activities for the trip: whitewater rafting, hang gliding, kayaking, jetskiing, waterski, and airboatToday is tax day.  Some post offices stay open till midnight.  I was going to e-file, like I always do.  TurboTax.  It did not work today- not sure why.  I did my organizing last night, so today should have been plug and play…. but that wasn’t the case.  It told me that I gotta print, and mail, not e-file.  So I went to the post office, which was closed.  So, I ended up filing electronically through Freefilefillableforms.com for free, for an extension…. until I figure out what’s going on (probably tomorrow) – - but now my taxes are not done… an incomplete loop, I got a few of those to close (that’s why I won’t sleep much today).

Anyways- that part was annoying, but other than that, it’s AWESOME out!  Check it:

Kathryn calls me up and reminds me that Mother’s Day is coming up. In fact, she reminded me so by telling me that their new technology can probably make my mom a pendant out a photo of my 2 brothers and I.  It sounded awesome- I like creative gifts, but mom doesn’t wear jewelry, so it would just sit there, appreciated, but not worn. I thought of what the next surprise be.

I know!  I’ll visit Mom!  My uncle from Israel is visiting them, I can get my little bro on the way…. and I’ve been tough on myself for not having a crazy enough adventure lately, so why not hit up some hang gliding in Chattanooga?  I’ve always wanth ted to do that.  So, I told Kathryn about it– said she can go if she wants…. “You can be her present!”  “Are you sure she’d be ok with you just showing up with some random stranger?”  “Are you kidding me?? If I show up with some girl, she’ll think it’s the best mother’s day ever.”

Now, rewind a few posts, and Kathryn saw me speaking at a social media event in Dallas, then was the one who showed up to my rescue when I ran out of gas at SXSW.  How we spoke for the first time, was that she had posted a link to her 1st blog post…. and tweeted me that she’d love to see what I thought about it.  You can read my comment on there. Now I went and spent Easter over there, saw her neighborhood’s Easter Parade, and got to watch how Jewelry is made with Cad/Cam (design it on the computer, and the machine makes a physical model).

Back to the present- Mom won’t wear a pendant, but Kathryn didn’t freak out at a semi-joke, when I mentioned Hanggliding– this is fun! Taking a shy/quiet person, and taking them hang gliding?  She kept swearing that she’d never jump out of a plane, and I always said “You say that, now“  – so I actually brought Hang gliding up as “Well, it’s not skydiving” — personally, I think Hang gliding is more fun…. you can be up in the air longer, with more control, you can ride thermals up, etc… Cheaper too– you don’t need a parachute, and all that gasoline.

The details started filling in…. I had asked Craig recently what he thought of going hang gliding, and he said he’d be interested… so I started scheming– planning it on a weekend, so Craig can make it out with us.

Katie was telling me about a rough day yesterday, but not much about it.. just that it was, but today she decided that it was gonna be a great day, so it was… I said I agree, and told her that Kathryn agreed to go hang gliding. Katie lit up like Times Square…. “Hang gliding?  I wanna go!  I love hang gliding (followed in a later conversation by “I’ve been towed by planes, taken off a boat, jumped off the side of a mountain!”  – that’s awesome!  So… Katie’s going, Kathryn’s going… oh yeah… Katie hasn’t visited her cousin – who lives in Tennessee.

I forgot to mention that her cousin works in a White Water Rafting company…. screw it!  We’re adding White Water Rafting to our trip!

The funny thing is that earlier I was telling her that going Hang gliding will be life changing for her… ’cause if you never think of doing stuff like that, there’s a reason why…. and when you push your comfort zone to do something that you’ve never done before… so much so that you never even bothered imagining yourself doing that…. well, you’re gonna have quite the adrenaline rush, and I predict a nice juicy bite in the ass by the adventure bug!

“Well… how hard can this client meeting be, I mean.. I jumped off a friggin mountain!”

“So, after you go hang gliding, you can go on a milder adventure, and take your dad– like whitewater rafting”- and sure enough, later in the day whitewater rafting gets added.

I started calling, texting, and tweeting people– “Wanna join us for some hang gliding?”

Well… I kept adding— since I have until the 10th to kill.  So, drive to Tennessee on the 29th, by way of Dallas, to get Kathryn.  Be there by the 30th- hang glide for 3 days, then go white water rafting…. then go to Georgia, go to the Georgia Aquarium (which is mind blowingly awesome), and even sleep there… they have a thing where you can camp out there, and watch the whale sharks all night long.  I’m so down!  Then, go kayaking on the French Broad.

What luck!  Neither Kathryn nor Katie have ever been kayaking, and now Katie was saying she may ride along for the whole trip— ’cause she went to school down there, and has friends down there.   So…. get to Gainesville, FL on the 5th or 6th, get Itay and Nugget, and surprise the crap out of mom in South Florida.  Haven’t thought of the details… Maybe send Kathryn in to the house with my fake (but very real looking) gun?  Nah… poor girl, and my parents… they’d all be traumatized.   I suppose the machette is out too, and I lent out my rocket launcher to a friend of mine for a tv show they’re doing….

Maybe I’ll send Itay in, so Mom and Dad think he’s being sweet and showing up for Mother’s Day… I have him leave the door open (I do have a key), and then I Sneak in, and surprise them.  Or… maybe I’ll send Itay in with Kathryn, and see if they recognize her… ’cause I just did a shoot with Kathryn, and I sent the folks a copy of the picture.  That may be the way to go….  Confusion’s a fun one.

Once in South Florida, Kayaking in the mangroves, rent Jet-skis, water ski at the Ski Rixen , and ride an airboat through the Everglades.

Make mom some awesome brunch for mother’s day- maybe catch a musical performance somewhere, or dinner theatre, and then head back on the 10th– dropping Itay and Nugget off, making a pit stop in Atlanta, and then… having an extra day before Kathryn has to be back at the office, we’ll actually find some cool adventure between Atlanta, GA, and Dallas, TX.  Any suggestions?

We’ll probably ride in 2 cars.  Craig’s probably bringing Bentley, and Katie’s probably bringing Bentley- is that weird? They both have dogs named Bentley.

Basically, a 2 week roadtrip that evolved fully in one day.  It definitely fills up my adventure hole in my heart.  There’s many people to meet along the way.

So, yeah.. .I’m pretty excited.  Now… here’s some info, in case you want to go – either now, or later.

http://hangglide.com/ has the Weekend Package which is $399, for training, and 20 jumps off the short (65 foot hills- as compared to being thrown off a 1,500 foot cliff right away) hills, and 2 aero-tow lifts (get towed behind a small plane/glider  – so you do get the 2,000 foot experience).  I am actually signing up for the Mountain Package at $699 – which gets you ready for Level 1 & Level 2 certification- meaning you can fly solo (non-tandem) off a mountain afterwards.

One of my friends/couches is Derek, whom I just found out works for Thrill Planet, so he told me what their price is on hanggliding- or what rate he can get me as the couchsurfer (I crashed with him for a month in 2007) discount… but Hangglide.com has the same rate for tandem jums.  The thing that surprised me was that I was told the price.. I had actually asked for what would be a bulk rate, since I’m bringing a bunch of people… so I was given the rate, then I asked what I get for it- and I was told 30-40 minutes in the air on a tandem jump.  Well, $399 is a tiny bit more than double the price I was given… but it seemed absurd- why take one measly flight, when for a little more, I can get 20 jumps + 2 tows, and hang out there for 3 days– oh yeah.. forgot to mention, we’re camping!

We’re totally bringing the helmet cam!

One Response to “Taxes and Hang gliding”
  1. Kathryn Hunter Says:

    I'm excited and kinda terrified all at once. I think this is a state I'm just going to have to get used to for the time being.
    And actually what I (repeatedly) said was, “I have no intention of jumping out of or off of anything, ever.” So, yeah, admitting my wrongness on that one. ;)

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