Monday, October 1, 2012

Going Ape

Chesapeake Bay Daughter and friend O.G.

Saturday, for Chesapeake Bay Daughter's birthday, we went to Go Ape in Williamsburg.

This is the final zipline.  It looks low to the ground, 
but trust me--it's not.
The distortion is caused by the camera's zoom.

Go Ape is a ropes course that includes ziplines and death traps known as Tarzan swings over in Freedom Park in Williamsburg.  Since anyone under the age of 18 had to be accompanied by an adult, I was forced to go went along for the ride.

After a safety briefing, it became clear that CB Daughter's friend O.G. was going to be the one taking care of our small group.  In other words, she was the adult, I was worse than a child. The harnesses featured a red hook, a blue hook and a place for a very special green hook, all of which were linked to either the safety cable around each tree or the zipline overhead. Then there was an additional blue thingie used for the ziplines. Daughter's Friend had to keep reminding me not to put the red hook in the blue thingie and not to remove the green hook first, since that comes off last, but only if you're getting off the rope ladder. If you're getting on the rope ladder the green clip comes first.

See what I mean? Is anyone else already confused? Trust me. The whole experience was even more exhausting than that last paragraph was to write read.  It's bad enough that a 47-year-old willingly jumped off a platform (on the so-called Tarzan swings) to free fall into a safety net like a trapeze artist at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus . But to have to remember which hook goes where and when? Also, I'm not a trapeze artist but was forced to play one on Saturday. 

Anyway, there was a very thorough safety briefing that the children understood but which took me a while to understand. In spite of this, there were no major incidents other than my sore throat (from screaming) and aching arm muscles (from clinging for dear life).

Interesting Factoid:  The exceedingly patient person who provided our safety briefing used to live in Mathews, Sail Cove to be exact.

Speaking of the safety briefing, nowhere in that thorough demonstration did they mention that on the "grand finale" zip descent back to Mother Earth it is possible for a leggy person's long legs to tickle the tops of young pine trees.

Interesting Factoid #2: Such contact of legs to trees, however, slight, causes one to spin around backwards and arrive at your final resting place the final landing pit backwards, completely covered in mulch from being dragged 20 feet through it after making precious contact with terra firma.

These platforms hold three people, 
all of whom are attached to that red cable.
Don't look down!  Just bear hug the pine tree for dear life 

and start kissing it.
(This not only distracts you from your fear of heights, 

but it amuses the people behind you. Immensely.)

This is the landing zone for the final zipline.
The small trench is from
present company included, 
who come in backwards at high speeds.

Frankly I felt there could have been more pomp 
and circumstance after surviving.
A marching band would have been nice.  

But I'm not complaining, it was a LOT of fun.
I can say that because I survived.

I highly recommend Go Ape.  As much as the ziplines and the two Tarzan swings caused me to scream, the rest is challenging but fun.

Also there is the side benefit of having people come up to tell you how much your screams made them laugh.

So it's possible to bring joy to others while fearing for your own life.

After surviving Go Ape, we had a typical Chesapeake Bay Family dinner on Sunday, which was Daughter's actual birthday.  I fired up the charcoals and grilled some salmon (free, courtesy of the man my father cuts grass for); shrimp; and chicken.  My mother made a delicious salad and a birthday cake.  I threw together some homemade macaroni and cheese and baked sweet potatoes topped with butter and brown sugar.

Here's the birthday cake before Baby Sis got into it. 

Here we have a standard CBW moment.  
While I was clearing away dinner dishes,
Baby Sis, being helpful, started cutting the cake to serve it up. 

Problem was, we hadn't sung Happy Birthday yet. 
(Slice marks on the left Candles not yet lit on the right.) 

So, I stuck whatever candles I could find lying around
(there happened to be 9 although Daughter is 14), 

ignored the slices, and away we sang.

Although there were no marching bands nor pomp and circumstance, we can all say we survived another birthday.

Click here, here, and here  to read about a celebration from several years ago that included a trip to the State Fair.


Anonymous said...

Brave Mama. Beautiful Birthday girl. Lovely family--and so good seeing your son enjoying the festivities. He looks great.

deborah said...

Happy Birthday to CBW daughter!
Sounds as if you had a great weekend...not so sure about the zipline thingy...but I'm sure the girls had a ton of fun! I would keep my eyes closed the whole time:)
Hope your son is recovering nicely now - is that him in the photo?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Thanks, yes, that's my son. He's doing much better and back to school full-time now.

Deltaville Jamie said...

I vote Go Ape as one of the next Blogfest activities (was that sentence awkward or is it just me?)

Daryl said...

i think CBD should go into business coming up with excellent birthday celebration adventures ... and a belated happy birthday!

Mental P Mama said...

So much fun. And so glad it was you and not me:)

Anonymous said...

What a great day! Looks like you had a blast. Betsy

Dghawk said...

WOW! That sure did look like fun! Glad everyone had a good time, and no mishaps.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I have three works for CB daughter...Happy Birthday Chicklet!
And I have three words for that zip line...OH HELL NO!
I'm glad you survived. How many Advil did that set you back?

TSannie said...

Such happiness! Just wonderful!