Gleeful

I’m not going to drag it out this time because I’m am over-the-moon excited about G!! I took a ride in a glider!

Those are my claustrophobic knees.

When I was a kid, my mom was friends with (and maybe dated, but I’m not completely sure) a man who was a pilot. He offered to teach me to fly a glider because I’ve always had this inexplicable obsession with flying. My mom nixed the idea and though I’ve had about 40 years to make it happen myself, I just never did.

I contacted some friends who fly and they unanimously recommended Bermuda High Soaring (bermudahighsoaring.com) in Kershaw, South Carolina. Making the appointment was easy. Convincing myself to go through with it was a little harder.

I’m not even a tiny bit afraid of flying. As my sister would say, it’s not usually a fear of flying but a fear of falling. Fair enough – but it still doesn’t freak me out. Small spaces do freak me out. So I was a little nervous about the tight quarters but once I met Chris, my instructor/pilot, I was fine.

Chris explained what every dial and lever does and then while we were flying, he explained exactly what he was going to do before he did it. This is a man who LOVES flying gliders and it’s simply contagious. I get it – it’s hard to be soaring silently, completely dependent on your knowledge, the plane, and nature, and not be absolutely gleeful. We were towed through a field behind a small plane. We lifted off first, then the plane lifted off in front of us. Once we got to 3,000 feet, they dropped the rope and we were left to soar back to Earth.

But I quickly learned that the fun of flying a glider isn’t just the soaring part – it’s all about hunting thermals, the columns of warm air that lift the glider back up into the sky. We got up to about 3,700 feet by bouncing from one thermal to the next and I learned how to find them. (Hint: clouds form thanks to thermals.)

I could write about this forever and share a million photos with you, but then you all would roll your eyes at me and pretend to be interested when you next see me. Just know that this experience was everything I ever hoped it would be and I haven’t stopped grinning! And before you ask, yes, I got to fly it. So very cool.

But one more.

Of course, Alphabet Travel requires Alphabet Bourbon, so I met up with my friends Joan and Jacquelyn for some George Dickel, which surprised me. I kind of assumed it was on the Jim Beam level (I really don’t like Jim Beam) but I was completely wrong and it was fantastic!

Joan knows how to throw an impromptu party!

G is exactly why I started this silly Alphabet Travel thing in the first place. I forced myself to make time to do something I’ve always wanted to do and it was fantastic.

Next up – H! Suggestions so far include a hot air balloon ride and a Harley ride. Other ideas?

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