High Smiles - My Family Travels
High Smiles

With the smiling yellow parachute above my best friend, Rachel, and I; we began to lift off the boat, and as the boat got smaller we began to see the world in a different outlook.  June 5, 2010 Rachel, her stepmother, Tammy, and I got into Tammy’s bright yellow mustang and set off on the two hour drive from the muddy waters of Biloxi, Mississippi to the crystal clear waters of Pensacola, Florida. 

As the sun will still high in the sky and the heat was sweltering, Rachel, Tammy, and I walked into High Smiles Rentals.  With Rachel and me only just barely weighing enough to break the two-hundred pound minimum weight requirement to be allowed to go safely parasailing, we stepped onto the boat with very little anxiety keeping us on the ground.   I, never having gone parasailing before, was excited yet scared at the same time. Excited for the newest adventure that I would be able to place under my belt, and scared, for the shear fact that I was going to be suspended five-hundred feet above the water, this was something I was not used to.

The boat driver helped Rachel and I get hooked into our harnesses properly and hooked us to the parachute.  He told us to sit on the back of the boat and wait for lift off.  I closed my eyes and counted back from ten.

This was it. No going back now.

I gripped the ropes tightly in my hands as my feet left the deck of the boat and we drifted higher into the air.  Higher and higher until the boat looked like a white speck on the blue-green ocean.  I looked to Rachel, who had gone parasailing once before, she was screaming with glee and couldn’t get enough of the height.  I, on the other hand, had to keep my breathing under control due to the fact that we were then falling back towards the water. 

Our legs were dunked into the water and we sunk to our waists in the warm waters, but just as quickly as we sank, we were jerked back into the sky.  Again, the world was small and I felt on top of the world. 

They began to slowly reel the ropes back in with Rachel and I attached.  I didn’t want it to be the end, I really loved the feeling I got while I was in the sky.  The boat began to get bigger and bigger again, until it was the size of the vessel we left. 

My feet touched the deck first, and I felt like I had been up there for mere seconds, instead of the actual twenty minutes we spent in the air.  We were detached from the ropes and we were sent to watch the next person begin their ascent into the air with the parachute smiling down on them. 

The other passengers enjoyed their trips into the sky and it was time to return to shore.  As soon as my feet hit the dock, the skies opened up and it began to pour down rain, Tammy, Rachel, and I ran back to the mustang to conclude my most memorable adventure yet.

Adventures do not always have to happen in faraway places, adventures can manifest in the most unusual of ways. Mine came to me as a giant smiling parachute, with my best friend right beside me.   

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