Skydiving: The Perfect Summer Adventure

Skydiving. Have you done it before? Did you love it? Have you sworn you’ll never do it? Does the thought of it terrify you?

If you had asked me as a kid, I would have told you “No way. I’ll never do that, that’s crazy.” But as I got older and became more adventurous it sounded like something that could actually be fun to do. The beauty of skydiving is the ability one has as a complete novice to “jump” right into it with no more than 20 minutes of training, thanks to tandem diving. It also is a great thing to partake in this summer!

Years ago, for one of the many birthdays that E. and I shared together I decided that surprising him with a skydiving experience that the two of us could experience together would be an awesome birthday gift for him. At the time we were spending our summers in Newport, RI so I decided to look around the area to see if there was a place in the area and I was in luck!

In my search I found Skydive Newport. They were professional, explained everything carefully and with the jump you also received a video of your jump set to music (mine was set to Motley Crue :)) and still shot photos- all shot by a fellow skydiver who jumped with you- a great way to remember this amazing experience.

So, all I had to do was tell Eric I had a surprise activity for us and he had no idea since we were already in Newport that weekend. If you’ve never gone before but are looking for something to shake up the usual summer activities this will do the trick! And the views from the Newport jump were stunning- we could see all along the coast line and out to the ocean.

Another place in the New England area well-known for skydiving is Jumptown, located out in Western Mass in the town of Orange, MA. A bigger operation than Newport, the basic jump package is a bit less personalized. But for a little bit more money you can have that personal one-on-one experience. You also can bring groups such as bachelor/bachelorette parties, bring a group of friends for a birthday, an anniversary, or any other group event you can think of – they do jumps with up to 20 people. That may have to be my next skydiving experience, what do you think? :)

So then…are you going to take the plunge?

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White Water Rafting: Wild Fun on the River

Dare I say that we’re in the last leg of summer? It is hard to believe it is already August. But, we have a good full month of summer left, and if we’re lucky a little extra. So, for the rest of August, in addition to having the opportunity for some of my favorite bloggers to guest blog, I’m talkin’ about fun ways to take advantage of the warmth and summer sun while you still can!

Admittedly, I haven’t been as physically adventurous this summer as I usually am, due to my crazy busy schedule. But one thing I have enjoyed in summers past is white water rafting. I’m not generally one to do crazy things on the water, for instance I have been on a jet ski once and that was probably enough for me. But, I do thoroughly enjoy a good white water rafting trip. One thing I love about it is focusing a weekend around the activity and getting in some time out in the woods without full on camping (what do you want? I’m a city girl at heart). We’ve gone white water rafting a couple of places locally and had different, yet equally fun, experiences:

  • Deerfield River, Western Massachusetts: We went to Zoar Outdoor which hosts guided white water rafting trips, on class 3 rapids, and has cabin tents (read: has real bathrooms and not sleeping on the ground). We had a fun day out on the water, they provided us with lunch. And after we got back, showered, and relaxed we scouted out a local bar where a band was playing classic rock tunes and we were able to kick back with some beers and relax.
  • Penobscot, Maine: This is a bit of a hike if you’re visiting or from the Boston area, but well worth the six-hour drive. The rapids here are more of the class 4 and 5 variety, meaning more intense, but more challenging and fun if you’re looking for a little more risk. The guides at Penobscot Adventures here were knowledgeable and they gave us the opportunity to try out some fun stuff on the rapids all while keeping us safe. Again, we indulged in the cabin tent option, and we were bunked up with some of our close friends. We worked and played hard all day and partied hard at night. A great summer adventure.

Any plans for some outdoor fun this month? Have you been white water rafting in the New England area or elsewhere?

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Wicked Wednesdays: Meet Meg from Sunshine & Cool Breezes

Hi, ya’ll. I’m Meg from Sunshine & Cool Breezes. You may remember me from Wicked Wednesdays: A Magical Journey Through the Streets of NYC or Wicked Wednesdays: Winter Picnic. I’m so pleased to be back guest blogging on Wicked Good Travel & Activities!

On blogging:

Sunshine & Cool Breezes began as a place for me to optimistically talk about being 26 and single. A little space of the internet carved out just for me to practice honestly addressing my life. Now, having been blogging for over a year, with little to no focus on love, it seems surreal that this space started as a need to discuss it. (I actually chuckle when I read my first post “Dear Love” – it’s so unlike me to be so angst driven.)

Luckily for me, and my few readers, Sunshine & Cool Breezes evolved and we’ve shared many new journeys together, from learning to vlog, to housing my sweet memories of exciting adventures, to just being a general reminder of who I am. My blog is still just personal bits of my life and things I want to remember and savor, so it certainly doesn’t appeal to the masses but I’m okay with that. What I lack in theme, I make up for in personal satisfaction; the overwhelming happiness I feel when I read a bit of my own writing that I find magical, when I remember how I felt on a certain day because my blog was a place for me to write it all down, or just a reminder to be a better person, to strive for more, and to remember to always be kind.

My posts are rarely planned out, mostly just accommodating a current whimsy or fancy, which is evident if anyone felt the need to hit the “older” button and see how posts change in focus and style daily. Occasionally I’ll try out an idea for a series, such as my “I dream of…” where I talk about all the things I wish to experience or wish to see more of in this world. It’s idealistic and filled with other people’s words and images, and I couldn’t love it more. But that’s the best part of blogging; I get to do it my way. And it’s a phenomenal feeling.

On traveling:

I think my life would be complete if I could spend the rest of my days bopping around the world, meeting new people and learning their stories. And to be fair, I’ve spent a significant bit of time trying to do just that: studying in Ireland, living in England, backpacking through Scotland, tanning in Spain, eating in Italy, dancing in Greece, driving through Wales, RV-ing through the US, and loving in France.

I’ve had a chat with a sweet old man in an ill-fitted suite as I waited for a bus to Spain. Listening with tears in my eyes as he told me lovely stories of his lady, now battling cancer, and his eagerness for the bus to arrive so he could be on his way to her. I raised more than a few pints with some Irish lads that thought it funny to steal bar stools from pubs and race away with them. I realized how similar Americans and English are as I sang “Living on a Prayer” with some English friends in an English pub at 1am. I kissed a Frenchman on New Years under the Eifel Tower and felt like I was living in a movie. I played cards and shared laughs with some boys from Basque, talking in stilted sentences and using hand gestures to communicate. I made fun of an eccentric Scotsman and giggled as he liked me more for it. I shared a dinner with a lovely woman from Georgia, US while in Florence, Italy. Passing our dishes around and eating off each others plates like the very best of friends.

Each memory is sweet and leaves me with the heady feeling of needing to know more people, more intimate details, share more moments. A feeling and desire I wouldn’t give up for anything. I’m aching to visit Prague, dying to experience Morocco, to spend a moment with a cowboy in Montana, and pray on sacred ground in Sri Lanka.

And I’m thrilled to know Sunshine & Cool Breezes will be waiting for me when I’m done, ready to share in my memories and hold them close as I head off on another adventure.

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Wicked Wednesdays: The Training Room’s 2nd Anniversary

I have raved about The Training Room in posts past. Two years after they opened and 1 year, and 10 months after I started going here I can honestly say the honeymoon is far from over.

They have continued to provide a stellar service that allows their clients to achieve their fitness goals in a comfortable, friendly, and supportive environment. The owners, Heidi and Maren, are engaging, enthusiastic and have an obvious passion for what they do. It shows in everything from the equipment, to the thought put into classes, their interest in client feedback, and more. Plus they make working out seriously fun.

A couple of weekends ago The Training Room had their 2nd anniversary. They celebrated as they did the previous year with fitness fun “On the Ave”. Somerville Ave that is. So, if you happened to be strolling down Somerville Ave on Saturday July 23rd you may have seen an amazing spectacle; dedicated clients and new folks sweating it out in a bootcamp-style class or spinning as fast as they could in spite of the 95 degree weather we had that day. We worked hard out there and it didn’t hurt that we had the Felix Brown band there to motivate and cheer us on. What fun the whole event was! All the classes were free, the staff armed with super soakers and water balloons made sure we stayed cool and had a blast while ‘blasting’ those calories away!

All Photos Courtesy of The Training Room

I am beginning to sound a bit like a broken record. But seriously folks, if you’re in the Boston-area at all come check them out. Remember, they are not a membership gym so you just have to sign up and pay for individual classes with absolutely no obligations. Although, I can’t promise if you go just once you won’t be hooked!

Have any of you in the area been to The Training Room yet? If so, let me know what you think? If you’re not nearby, do you have a place you would equally rave about?

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Outdoor Adventures, Awesome Blogs, and More Summer Fun

I’m definitely excited for the month of August! It’s our last true month of summer here in New England, so we have to cram in all that summer fun while we can. That means August on Wicked Good Travel is going to be all about outdoor adventures. We’ll be hot-air ballooning, white water rafting, and more. If you’re looking for something to do to end summer in style then stay tuned!

I’m also really excited for this month as I will be highlighting some of my lovely fellow bloggers to share with you the amazing folks I read daily, to find out why they  blog, what their passions are. And of course we couldn’t do that without also finding out what fun things they’ll be doing to wrap up the summer, what places they love to eat, and the top spots on their to-travel lists. I have a feeling if you don’t already follow these lovely ladies, you will once you’ve had a chance to get to know them better.

Cheers!

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Calling All Bloggers

Well now, there is nothing like waitin’ till the last minute. I meant to get this post up last week. But, alas, life got the better of me as it seems to do sometimes.

Anyway- I am looking for fellow bloggers, who read Wicked Good Travel, that would be interested in guest posting for Wicked Wednesdays coming up in August. Technically, there are 5 Wednesdays in August, but if by some miracle of a chance I get more than 5 interested I will of course welcome more!

I am nearing the final turn to moving my blog onto its own domain (I know, I’ve said that before ;) but this time I am actually close!) and I thought it would be a great way to celebrate all the hard work that goes into maintaining a blog by recognizing the amazing products (aka: your lovely blogs) that are born from that work.

If you’re interested, please comment on this post and provide your blog name and I will email you back with details.

Cheers!
Amy

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Wicked Wednesdays: Wet and Wild on the Farmington River

By Chrissy Timreck

Chrissy hails from Connecticut and moved back over a year ago after living the good life in Boston. The change of pace has done her well and she truly enjoys living, working, and playing in her home state. Working in the field of marketing and communications Chrissy hopes that her posts will entice others to check out the great state of  CT!

When one thinks of Connecticut, they might not necessarily think of the beach, but Connecticut is home to the Farmington River: A 46.7 mile stretch of water located in Northwest Connecticut. As the temperatures soar and people look to get outdoors and cool off, a canoe or kayak ride down the Farmington River might be the ideal summer outdoor activity.

The Farmington River is an ideal place to begin your water adventure: The river is shallow in may sections (so no need to worry about not being able to see the bottom) and while the current can move at a good pace, the rapids are nothing like what one would encounter on a white water rafting trip!

Main Stream Canoe is where I have always rented my canoes and kayaks from. The shop is extremely friendly and takes safety seriously. The shop is ideal because if you rent from them, they will load your canoe or kayak onto a van and will then drive you to your drop-off point. Main Stream Canoe is also an ideal place because the shop has drop-of points all along the Farmington River – you can decide how far you want to paddle. I usually go for about 10 miles, but there are longer and shorter routes.

The Farmington River provides a picturesque view of nature with just the right amount of shade and sun. Kayaking on the river makes you forget about your troubles and allows you to connect with nature on a new level.

If being a bit more lazy on the river is your thing, you might want to consider tubing on the Farmington River. Farmington River Tubing provides bus transportation and tubes – all you need to do is come with your bathing suit on and the willingness to get wet!

When the weather gets hot, we all want to head to the water to cool off. Next time you think about water and the great outdoors, consider kayaking, canoeing or tubing on the Farmington River.

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