"Until you spread your wings, you'll have no idea how far you can fly."
Hello Summer of 2016! To kick off our Wandering Wednesdays, I told my kids to start channeling their inner Superman and Wonder Woman as we jumped in the car headed towards Virginia Beach. "Taking flight" was our theme for the day.
Our first stop: iFly, for indoor sky diving in a vertical wind tunnel. The wind tunnel is powered by four fans generating 1400 horsepower, creating variable wind speeds in excess of 180 mph!
(Now, let me start by saying that while I am quite adventuresome, you would be hard pressed to get me to jump out of an airplane. I just don't like the feeling of my stomach dropping. That said, I would jump -pun intended- at a chance to indoor sky dive again! As you are being lifted up by air, you don't get the crazy stomach feeling and truly, it is not scary! They welcome flyers from age 3 to 103!)
After signing in at iFly (advance reservations are suggested), we were sent up to the "flight deck" for a safety briefing and training sessions and suited up in flight suits, goggles, ear plugs and helmets. (Somehow, the Top Gun theme song kept humming in my brain.) ;) And then in we went into the Wind Tunnel side chamber.
Each flyer goes in with an instructor who will help you succeed. The instructor uses hand signals to guide you to adjust your body posture and form for optimal flight. The biggest advice is to relax and let the wind do its job, as fighting against the wind only leads to a very shaky flight. For the package we purchased, each flyer received two flights, plus a high tube flight where the instructor takes you all the way to the top of the wind tube. All three of us quickly figured out how to fly and we were grinning from ear to ear in flight! Double thumbs up for this experience!
To continue our flight theme, our next stop was supposed to be the Military Aviation Museum, which is home to one of the largest private collections of World War I and World War II era military aircraft in the world. Alas, we did not make it there and will have to plan a return trip. As iFly was a block from the ocean, we took a stroll to the beach after indoor skydiving and the ocean beckoned. My kids jumped in in their clothes and we ended up spending the afternoon in the sun, surf and sand. After all, sometimes you just need to seize the moment.
At the end of the day, we raced dripping wet to a cheap beach store, bought dry clothes from the $3.00 clearance rack, and headed to Rudees on the Inlet for a quick dinner before heading home. With unique gliding tables that overlook the water/marina, this restaurant is my kids' favorite, if you don't mind eating while you table is moving! (P.S.: You gotta try the Lobster Rolls!)
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NOTE: while many of our Wandering adventures are free or inexpensive, iFly is a budget-buster.