Hang gliding has been on my radar for years. Try it, learn it, and do it on my own.
I have researched places to learn to do it. I have researched places to do tandem flights both towed up and off the side of a mountain.
On our recent trip RV trip to Northern Georgia, we actually found a place to do it. Sadly the timing didn’t work out. We only had Wednesday free and the only place closest enough for us to do it was closed on Wednesday. Who is closed on Wednesdays?!?!
It was during this time it was decided that I was going to go on my birthday. Since my birthday is only a month after our anniversary, I didn’t have to wait too long 🙂
I researched places in Florida to decide which one I wanted to go to. After all the reading and comparing, I decided on Quest Air Hang Gliding.
First thing I liked about them, they do not talk reservations over the phone. You have to call and book your spot. I usually prefer this scenario when booking things. You get a feel for their business and you start building that relationship with them.
I called a week before my birthday to book my flight. When I called I spoke to Mark. He was super nice and helpful. It was such an easy process. I was born June 20th at 11:05 AM so I booked it for 11 AM. Nothing like tempting fate right?!
Fast forward to June 20th! The day I turned another year older and wiser…or something like that 🙂
We called Quest Air to make sure the weather was good before making the drive to them. They gave us the green light so we hopped in the car to grab breakfast before heading to them.
My breakfast was DELICIOUS!! Usually every year Colin cooks an amazing breakfast for me but this year due to time, we opted for going out.
After our satisfying breakfast, we hit the road off to Groveland! If you are asking yourself where Groveland is, it is right outside of Orlando. It is just over an hour drive from our house.
When we pulled into Quest Air, the excitement definitely turned up a notch! I have waited to do this for years. Don’t ask why it took me so long, I have no idea!
As soon as we walked up, we were greeted by Mark. He guided us inside and had us start on the paper work. Short version: You could die. Listen to our instructions so that doesn’t happen. Be happy. Have fun.
During the paperwork, Kim came up and introduced herself to us. The best way to describe Kim, a ball of happiness and energy! She is so passionate and so friendly. Mark had to step out to help 2 people who were going up before me, so Kim took over and ran through the safety instructions with me.
Then it was outside to wait for my turn. Quest Air has a pretty stellar set up. Beach volley ball court, pool with bar and grill, camping, Flyboard and horseshoes. Fun all around!
Once the two people before me wrapped up their hang gliding experience it was my turn!!!!
I meet my instructor, Spinner. This guy is cool. Can’t think of another way to describe him. Very down to earth. Easy to talk to and he has some great stories to share. They drive you over to the take off area of the grass air strip in what can only be described as the coolest damn car ever. It also tows the hang glider over to the spot as well. Great time to talk to Spinner and Kim.
When you get to the take off area, its helmet on and they instruct you how to get into the harness.
Before you know it, Mark is in the “cockpit” area of the Dragonfly plane and you are ready for take off!
The take off is something! I may have let out a girlie squeal when the glider first lifted off the ground. It was quite the sensation.
Another interesting sensation, being towed up by a plane (it was a small plane called a Dragon fly). It is very uneasy, but so cool. During the tow up part you are going about 35 mph, which of course it feels faster than that.
You can see in the above picture the tow line is secured to his harness. Once we hit our altitude of 3,000ft, he pulls on the release and we are free of the plane.
We went from 35 mph to about 20 mph. It feels like you hit your breaks! The wind in your face slows down drastically and the ride becomes much smoother.
When we were released, he took his hands off the bar for a short time. Using hands is over-rated anyways!
it was a beautiful sunny day and we could see for miles!! There are a ton of lakes in the area so we played guess the shape of the lake. We had a great conversation during the flight.
Spinner has a true passion for flying and you can tell it but talking to him. He told me his history of flying, places he has flown, heights he as soared.
For the most part it was a smooth ride, until you hit a lift. You kind of feel that you are on a roller coaster!! Little lift up, back down. Lift up, back down. It was cool. No fancy wording needed, it was just plain and simple COOL! This smile never left my face.
Here we are getting buzzed by the other Dragonfly plane!
Before you know it, you are down on the ground wishing the ride was longer.
When we touched down, it was Colin’s turn!
His experience was slightly different from mine. I just wanted to fly, experience the sensation. He wanted to focus on flying in the thermals. And he was able to experience just that. His ride actually lasted about 10 minutes longer than mine because they kept hitting the thermals!
And my favorite shot of the day:
Safely back on the ground.
It was such an amazing day. All the text messages, phone calls and Facebook comments definitely made me feel the love! And of course, My Husband made my day phenomenal. So much love for this man!