I remember the first time I asked for something I knew was impossible to receive. It was my birthday and I had been bugging my parents about wanting a horse. Even though we didn’t have a farm or any land, I thought they could make magic and give me a horse. I still remember going into the garage and seeing horseshoes and a bale of hay. I ran inside screaming to my mom, “you got me a horse!” I remember her face and her, “don’t get your hopes up”…I did get my hopes up… the horseshoes were horseshoes, those used for throwing and the bale of hay was for target practice with my new bow and arrow. I still have that bow and arrow.
The second time I remember going crazy with an idea was wanting to go to Florida State University to join their circus. Our family vacationed in Callaway Gardens for several years and I experienced the FSU circus. Every night during the summer, the FSU (Florida State University) circus would perform. I bugged my parents for years to let me go to FSU so I could join the circus. Still want to do that when I grow up.
We celebrated Thanksgiving in Tallahassee with James and good friends, Rick and Joanne. Their love for their alma mater takes them to all the home FSU football and many basketball games. Before enjoying Joanne’s fabulous meal we visited the FSU campus to take pictures. Of course my favorite place was the Circus Tent.
Chief Osceola and Renegade in front of Doak Campbell Stadium.
FSU signature building, Westcott Building
Thank you Rick and Joanne for a lovely Thanksgiving.
I have been thinking of some of the best gifts I have received over the years. Probably one of the most unusual and fun was my Christmas gift from Clara (Aunt Vern). She gave Dave and me powered hang gliding experiences from Hang Glide USA. I am not fond of heights and just kept putting this trip off. Finally Aunt Vern made the appointment and off we went to the Fernandina Beach Airport.
After donning our flight suits
and signing our lives away,
we were ready to board The Trikes.
“Powered hang gliding, otherwise known as trike flying, is an experience in freedom and excitement that is unmatched. Flying up to a thousand feet or more, you will experience aerial views unlike any other form of aviation.” Air Amelia.
Clara and Dave went first so I could take photos. (I wasn’t nervous or anything like that).
Dave gets buckled in and waits for instructions from certified, FAA licensed pilot, Kent Heitzinger.
Clara gets instructions from Gene Monnier, certified, FAA licensed pilot.
My first glimpse of Dave and Kent after takeoff.
And here comes Clara and Gene.
This small aircraft took off not long after the two Trikes.
A cold front had come through the night before making for a beautiful fall day with clear, blue skies. The wind was a little gusty and it was very cold up there (a little over 1000 feet.)
I was quite happy when my 2 Trike lovers came back into sight about 30 minutes later.
Safe landing for Dave and Kent.
With Clara and Gene bringing up the rear.
Dave and Kent had a great experience.
Gene and Clara ace it.
My turn. Gene gets me settled in. The passenger sits behind the pilot in a perch. We have full communication through head phones and microphone. Gene explained everything as we took off, flew south over the Omni Plantation and my home.
Next we turned east, then north and descended to about 200 feet to fly the beach. So much fun! Waved to the few people walking the beach. It was a very cold day for beachwalking.
We passed the Omni hotel, American Beach, The Ritz and all the homes along Fletcher. Next came Fort Clinch, one of my favorite places. To see it from above really puts it into perspective. Looking north I saw the south end of another favorite place, Cumberland Island, Ga; home of the old Carnegie ruins, wild horses, Greyfield Inn…just a wild, pristine island.
I have no photos from my vantage point because I couldn’t take my camera with me. I was holding on for dear life. At least I did hold the steering mechanism and felt like I was flying.
Thank you to Gene Monnier for taking me up in the sky and for the softest landing ever. I was a little scared of the landing but Gene brought us down without even a bump.
Think I should reconsider the FSU circus. I have learned to fly and might just succeed in the flying trapeze. My family will remember the Christmas present I begged for years ago, the Spanish web. Look it up at FSU Circus.
Watch for upcoming stories from my tailgating travels….And for more gift giving ideas….
For your Powered Hang Gliding Experience visit Air Amelia at www.airamelia.com
Come celebrate with me. I’ll save you a seat at the table.