Tuesday, June 2, 2009


And now, the last of our Switzerland adventures...

We had to do one more thing to make our Momma cry: Paragliding.

Day 3 we put on our full-body gear again and drove up a mountain to, literally, jump off a cliff and hope the parachute properly expands. During the nauseating drive to the top, we got to choose the instructor we jumped with. Since no one spoke up, I immediately claimed the hottest one, and my sister has never let me live it down.

Once at the top of the mountain, the crazy Americans were buckled in with an experienced instructor. One after the other, we ran off the cliff. I regretted every Twinkie I ever ate as I prayed the flimsy material would keep me airborne. I ran, jumped and seriously felt the greatest freedom I'd ever felt. I saw the mountains, the glacier lakes and the town below. For the next 10 minutes, I was flying.

Then, I saw my sister in front of me, and her parachute started spiraling out of control towards the ground.

At this point, I became an irrational woman. I think I expected Big Sister Super Powers to kick in so that I could fly through the air to save her. What actually happened was that I started kicking and hitting my instructor, who was probably wishing we weren't buckled together, and screaming at him to steer us to my still-spiraling sister. When he didn't do what I asked, I actually started flapping my arms and kicking my legs to get our parachute over to her.

My instructor finally remembered his English and said, "no, no, it is a stunt! I do that with you! She is okay!"

Then, to prove his point, he let go of one of the handles and we started to spin to the quickly-approaching earth. I remembered my English at that point and said ugly words the rest of the way down.

I landed without drama and ran to my sister and made a deal that there would be no more adventures involving full-body gear. My Big Sister Powers just might have run out.


Mum said...

Crying????? There's no crying when you guys are on the dare train! I go straight to the freaked out stage which involves trying to figure out which girl's ass should be kicked first....which is the proper reaction of all moms that are practically scared straight....

Leslie said...

We've seen lots of people doing this here. I love it when a bunch of them are in the sky at once. It's such a colorful sight to enjoy...from the ground ;)