Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Gulf Gettaway


This past weekend Emily and I hoped on a Southwest Airlines plane and visited our good friends Mike and Cheryl in Galveston Texas. I always like going down there. The ocean, palm tree's and warm weather are an easy tropical gettaway from the rather dry, scenic-less area I live in. Not only was this just a normal visit, we were also there for a mission. Two missions to be exact. We were up early saturday morning and in the car, headed back up to Houston where Cheryl and Emily were going skydiving!

We arrived at our scheduled time of 9:30am so they could check in and go watch the instructional video and meet their sky-diving instructor. Turns out, the place was so far behind with other reservations, they didn't even get on a plane until 3:30pm. That left us with hours of watching the same plane take off over and over and watching wave after wave of jumpers land in the designated landing field. Lucky for us, the weather was great all weekend. With temps in the upper 70's and cloudless skies, it was kind of nice to just hang out in the shade and watch the action. I took the opportunity to bring along my Digital Rebel and take some action shots of all the sky-divers as the landed. Finally it was Cheryl and Emily's turn. They suited up, boarded the plane with their instructors and took off! The plane climbed for about 15-20 minutes until it was no longer visible from the ground, which is about 14,000 ft. I just laid on the ground scanning the sky for any signs of falling people. Suddenly, parachutes begin to open far in the distance. Slowly, people from their flight begin to reach the ground. I notice thought its all solo jumpers. The tandum jumpers went last. Finally I can see Cheryl and Emily, attached to their instructors, drifting back down to earth. First Cheryl lands, then Emily. Both skidding gently across the grass for fairly soft landings. They did it! Mission one, complete! See this link for pictures from the day! ---> SKYDIVE HOUSTON

The second mission of the weekend was planned out long ago by Emily. Her entry form had been picked to allow her to try out for the game show Jeopardy! For weeks leading up to this trip, I had helped her study questionaire books, state capitals, presidents and information on foreign countries. Now it was time to take their test. The first level she had to get through was a quick fire round of questions. Ten questions with 10 seconds to answer each question. No multiple choice, you had to write it out. So either you know it or you don't! From what she told me, she was immediatly asked a couple questions over topics we had studied, so she easily got them correct. When that phase was done, and scores were graded, she didn't make the cut unfortunatly. The few that did, were taken to another room where they would compete in a mock Jeopardy show. This was to see how they did under pressure and on camera. That would have been interesting to see.

Later that afternoon Mike and Cheryl took us back to the airport for our flight home. The flight to and from Dallas and Houston has to be one of the shortest ive EVER been on. The plane takes off, reaches altitude and then begins the decent to the next airport. The flight is barely an hour. It was a great trip and I really needed the get away. Thanks to Mike and Cheryl for having us down. It was a lot of fun! I look forward to a summer trip so we can hit the beaches and swim in the hot south Texas weather!
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