In case you somehow missed it, last Friday was my 10th wedding anniversary. Yes, yes, please hold your applause to the end. As I was informed by a friend involved in a 49 year marriage (and counting), we are still newlyweds. But still, a decade of loooooove seems like it deserves some celebration, so we spent the day as awesomely as possible. There is no way that any single blog post could contain the awesomeness actually, so I will have to split it into two, starting with an amazing date idea that involves death-defying stunts and high speed aerial stunts. You know. Like most dates.
After a sweet lunch at a new deli in town we drove up to Smuggler’s Notch for an afternoon of ziplining! I had never been ziplining before, so this was a new experience for me. The first thing that they do when you get to Arbortrek is to weigh you, to make sure that you are not so extremely fat that the zipline would immediately snap under your massive girth and fling you headlong into the forest 800 feet below. Luckily I made the cut, so we were on our way to be unflatteringly harnessed.
Look, nobody looks great in a harness, despite what the internet thinks, and we were no exception. There were eight people in our group, and we all looked as one might expect harnessed people to look: Excited! After we were squished into a van and driven up a mountain, it was time for flight training. They were not going to let us out there on the ziplines without proving to them first that we were capable of slowing ourselves down, stopping, and pulling ourselves along the line hand over hand if necessary. Actually, one of the women in our group failed training three times in a row and they gave up and let her go anyway, so I guess the training was just for informational purposes only.
The first zipline that we did was relatively short and low to the ground, but there was still a bit of hesitation on my part in the stepping off of the platform area. I was first in line to go (not sure how that happened), but it was my anniversary after all, so I took a deep breath, held onto the little piece of metal keeping me from plunging to my doom, and stepped into the open air, flying along a piece of wire to another platform. It was a lot faster than I imagined it would be. And it was exhilarating.
I should also mention how great it was that the guides took lots of pictures of us, freeing me from my constant need to document my life with my phone. The peace of mind that came with knowing that everything I was about to do would be well-documented on Facebook really freed me to enjoy the experience. And the fact that my phone was safely in my car, unable to fall from a great height, was also a very positive thing, considering my history with phones.
The longest zip that we did was over 900 feet long and we were zooming through the canopy of trees at over 35 miles per hour. We rappelled off of high platforms onto the forest floor. We hiked over wobbly wire bridges hung precariously from the treetops. And the whole time I was thinking, Boy, the kids would love this, but at the same time I was able to appreciate how much easier the day was with no small people to look after.
This is a huge breakthrough for me, as I often find myself excited to be somewhere with only adults, and then end up spending the whole time missing the children. After ten years of marriage and almost seven years of parenting, perhaps I am finally achieving some balanced perspective. I am able to enjoy new experiences without guilt or worry. I can do grown-up things with other grown-ups, and that’s okay.
But next time I’m totally bring the kids.