It’s a bucket list thing, ya know?  You talk about skydiving one day when the kids are grown, and it seems less scary because it’s so far away.  You definitely wouldn’t want to do it before then, because duh, it’s really really risky.

But then you move to Hawaii.  And the scenery might just be more beautiful than you’ll ever experience again.  Suddenly, you decide that skydiving is definitely not the safest thing in the world, but it’s also not like you have a 50/50 chance of making it out alive.

Well, you hope.

And then a good friend comes into town, and you make these plans.  And then even if you are scared to death, you can’t chicken out now.  It’s just too late.

So you hire a babysitter (for the first time ever!), and you take pictures with each of your children before you leave.  Just in case.  They should have a “last picture with Mom” in case things go south.  But they won’t.

They won’t.

You make the long drive up to the North Shore and you check in.  And your stomach is in knots because this is the scariest thing you’ve ever done in your life.  (Even scarier than ziplining!)

But then it’s go time.  (After you sign in, watch two safety videos, take a pee break, check-in on Facebook, field comments from a concerned grandmother, and then wait around for an hour or more all while rambling non-stop because that’s what you do when you’re scared to death.)

So okay.  There are two companies that share a runway, but we chose to go with Skydive Hawaii.  We heard good things, and ultimately, we feel like we made a fantastic decision.  We were each assigned a tandem instructor (obviously) and a cameraman.  They took some shots while we were waiting for the plane.  (We ended up buying the pictures, but not the video, although the preview they showed us was pretty cool.)

That’s Tiara on the far left.  Love her and soooo glad she came to visit us.  This was actually her second time skydiving, but the first time was in Indiana.  I’m sure it was cool, but it definitely wasn’t Hawaii.  So I was super excited she was game to jump with us for our first time.

Then the plane came.  And it was real.  Like the real kind of real.
Oh the smile.  I was holding in my puke.

We filed into the plane and then we were off!

So this is Kaena Point.  We’ve hiked to the point from both sides, and it feels pretty awesome that we’ve now experienced it from above as well!

My T.I. was absolutely amazing.  I think I was told that he’d jumped roughly 10,000 times?  And he knew I was crazy nervous, but he did everything in his power to keep me calm.  My biggest fear was that the plane would just quit working and we’d crash.  So I definitely volunteered to jump first.  Then I’d be out of the plane, plus I wouldn’t have even more time to get nervous.

So after flying around a bit to find a spot in the clouds, we jumped!  Just like that.  All that fear.  Gone.

And James’s face.  Is it awesome or what??  His wife is pretty awesome.  I think he’d agree.

I’m sure it’s no surprise that this part is a total blur.

The camera guy kept showing me different things to do with my hands.  He wanted me to make a heart apparently.  Nope, wasn’t understanding that.  So my T.I. tried to help me.

Did you mean a diamond?

Nope, he wanted a heart.  But at least I could do the shakas.

And then the parachute opened!  Great news!  The whole way down was exhilarating.  For someone who is so scared of heights, the ride was shockingly peaceful.  Once you jump, you just know that you are no longer in control.  It’s time to just enjoy the way down.  So I did.

James was up next.  He had his game face on.

There they goooooooo.

Yeah, he had a lot of fun too.

And again, the parachute deployed.  Success!

Last out of our group (there was one more guy in the air), Tiara made her jump.

Blowing kisses…

Love this shot with that amazing backdrop!

And the last parachute opened.  We all made it through it alive.

The photographers captured these beautiful shots as they were headed down ahead of us.

I was anything but graceful in my landing.  At first, I was told to keep my knees up, but then he changed and told me to stand.

But then when we hit ground, my knees buckled and I ended up on my butt.  But I was alive, and really that’s all that matters.

I loved this guy! (His name is Brett.)

James came in next.

Looks like he landed on his behind as well.

And then Tiara.

Smooth landing!

Suuuuch a great experience.  Will I ever do it again?  Um, probably not.  How could I ever top this location?  I just see no reason to tempt fate.  James said he would probably go if family came to visit and wanted to jump.  But I’ll just hang out for moral support.

The kids are already counting down until their eighteenth birthdays.  If I thought I was scared when I jumped, I can’t imagine my fear when my children start venturing out on their own.  I can’t even think of it.

Shark's Cove
Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail