Jet Skiing Adventure

Has there been something you’ve dreamed of doing, something you knew would be so fun, so enjoyable, an absolute blast, but when you were actually able to get around and do it, boy-you were so wrong? That’s what happened to me when I recently went on a vacation to the Outer Banks with my boyfriend’s family.

When we crossed the North Carolina border we were greeted with sheets of rain, howling winds, and thunder that made the ground rumble. As the gray clouds got thicker and thicker, I whipped out my phone to check out the weather. Josh’s mom said that we had 6 straight days of sun in our vacation forecast. I was finally, going to the beach, finally days under the sunshine. I desperately needed a vacation. The last one was a trip to Colorado for my twin sister’s wedding (btw the plan for a co-owned blog by my twin sister, Andrea and myself is in the works. Stay tuned!) but a “wedding vacation” isn’t ever exactly a vacation. I looked at my phone and felt my entire body slump in disappointment. Rain. Rain. Clouds. Rain. Thunderstorms. Rain. Gray. No Sun. WHAT?? This can’t be possible. I checked another sight for Duck, North Carolina, and it was basically the same prediction, but it did promise one partially sunny day. I was depressed. There is nothing like going on a vacation to the beach and having it rain 24/7. I tried to remain positive saying to myself, “Rainy days make good writing days” but I certainly wasn’t feeling it.

About two days into the vacation, the sun broke out. I hadn’t seen it in so long I started checking the people around me for any glittering skin, The Outer Banks had transformed into Washington State so one can never be too careful (horrible Twilight joke I know).

edward

What I actually did was throw on my bikini, grab my boogie board and try to shuffle everyone straight to the beach. En-route, Josh’s step-dad, Tim, announced that before we headed to the beach we were going on a little adventure. The adventure was…JET SKIING!!

I clapped with joy! I have never ever been jet skiing in my life, and it was one of my life long dreams to go. I love boating, and what couldn’t be more fun that gliding across the gentle water on a “motorcycle of the seas”? As we drove to the Jet Skiing retail docks Josh told me story after story of his jet skiing adventures. All of the highlights of his adventures included someone flying off the back of the jet ski. My favorite description he gave was, “Yeah, Dad flew off the back of the jet ski so hard he looked like a rock skipping across the water! He was in so much pain the next day, it was hilarious!” Inwardly I grimaced and thought about how weird guys are. For so many of them “bonding” or “having fun” most always includes pain of some kind. With each story, my excitement turned into uneasiness. I would be the riding with Josh. I would be the victim. I would be flung in the air, skipping across the water.

We all signed waivers and then walked down a boarded walk to the dock where about 15 jet skis’ sat waiting to be used. The guy that worked at the dock was tall and so thin I thought he would disappear when he turned sideways. His skin was perfected toasted from what I could tell was a summer spent working in the sun. He mumbled a memorized speech of instructions and before I knew it we were pulling on life vests. It took me forever to find one that wasn’t too big or the home of a spider.

By now my hands felt clammy and my stomach felt like a twisted knot. I looked over at Josh and said firmly, “Babe, you can’t go too fast and you can’t throw me off, ok?”

He patted me on the back and insisted I would be ok. “I promise not to go too fast. But going fast is fun!”

I gulped. Our definition of “fast” was far from close. If I was Miss Daisy, he was a “break the sound barrier” wanna be.

We got on and I clung on for dear life, hoping that in the words of American Ninja Warrior, I had enough “grip strength”.

Once we got out of the no wake zone Josh hit the gas. The jet ski flew across the water. Let me just say, it didn’t feel like we were riding on water it felt like we were riding on concrete. I imagined the pain that was bound to happen flying into that rough water. The wind and water hit my face like little needles and I screamed feeling totally lame. I tried to be brave, but I felt my fingers slipping.

“Too fast!” I cried.

He slowed down a little and looked for waves to “bounce around”. “You’ll like this!” He called back to me.

We were crashing into waves and I held on like I was holding onto a bucking bronco. That’s how it felt to me anyway. He spun around in huge circles and then in little circles. We flew into the air after “bouncing” against the waves. I watched my life flash before my eyes.

 bronco

At one point the seat had gotten completely soaked and I was literally sliding off, bouncing around. He asked how I felt and I called back, “I feel like butter in a frying pan! I’m sliding all over!”

Josh suggested that I try to drive it. We came to a stop and I finally was able to breath again. When I drove it I realized I didn’t feel paralyzed with fear going 20 miles per hour or under in a perfectly straight line. I was lame. I was Miss Daisy.

photo credit: Driving Miss Daisy

photo credit: Driving Miss Daisy

I felt so bad for Josh so I begged him to drop me off at the dock, so at least he could enjoy himself more. He said he didn’t want to do that, he wanted to jet ski with me and he would just go slower. I felt awful so I told him to speed up to around 35 mph even though I was scared.

I had not imagined jet skiing this way. I imagined that I would love it. That I would save up and buy a jet ski one day. I had not imagined feeling relieved when the guy that worked there signaled for us to come back to the dock, and our time was over. When we docked I leaped off the jet ski to discover my legs and arms and fingers felt like they were frozen into position and I ended up being sore for days because I was clutching on so tightly.

I am glad I got to mark something off of my bucket list, but am sad that I didn’t enjoy jet skiing as much as I thought I would (I mean doesn’t every cool person like to jet ski?). But I do have hope for perhaps competing on The Next American Ninja Warrior…clearly I have killer grip strength. 😉

photo credit: American Ninja Warrior

photo credit: American Ninja Warrior

What is something you thought you’d love and ended up hating/not loving it after you tried it?

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…..Just Because

ImageOne Vacation to Virginia Beach sticks out in my mind.

Not because the sun was shining extra brightly making each and every day perfect (well, actually one day there was torrential rain!), not because the people I was with are people packed with laughter and fun, not because of all of the tasty eateries(my favorite is this Italian hole in the wall place-I CANNOT remember the name, sadness!), not the ocean, or volleyball, or boogie boarding, or walks under a starry sky along the water. Something else made this vacation extra memorable.

That summer we decided to add something to our vacation “to do list”: Make a stranger’s day. Each of us in the group set aside $25 with the soul purpose of making other random people happy. We decided we would share the stories of our “random acts of kindness” on the drive home.

BOY this is such a fun, memorable thing to do! The stranger that sticks out in my mind was a guy who bussed tables at this fabulous Italian Restaurant. I noticed him cleaning the tables and doing a great job, but something in his eyes told me that he was having a rough day. After dinner I went over to him and said, “Hi, umm…so I wanted to let you know you are doing an awesome job!” I handed him a crisp $10 bill. Yes, it was only $10 but I think it meant a lot more to him. The look on his face was priceless! His face literally was glowing and he got the biggest smile. He thanked me over and over again and kept saying you are AWESOME! He ran around and told other employees and then said while waving as we left, “You guys are all so amazing! You really made my day, you have no idea!”

So even replaying this memory in my head makes me happy (i am literally smiling right now….=) ) There is something WONDERFUL about helping or doing something nice for someone for no reason at all. One of my favorite quotes is, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”-PlatoWant a full, happy life? Bless the strangers and friends around you…JUST BECAUSE.

Do you have a story where you did a random act of kindness or where someone did something kind to you?