Skydiving in Monterey Bay & 17-mile Drive #tbt

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Enjoy this bit of calm before I careen through the sky

Skydiving

Skydiving is high on the bucket list for many, but for me it wasn’t important. I’ll be honest and say the only reason I agreed to go was because a good number of my best friends in the world decided to and I didn’t want them to all die without me.

To sweeten the incentive for me to go, my pals picked the skydiving venue with the highest possible tandem skydive allowed. That’s right, we jumped out of a plane at 18,000 feet…that’s 8,000 feet above a passenger plane when the pilot usually turns the “fasten seatbelt” sign off. According to Skydive Monterey, we were falling at 1,000 feet every 5 seconds, accelerating to 120mph. I still don’t even believe it.

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With all of that said, for anyone who has never been skydiving, I think you should go. It’s one those things that even if you hate it, you can at least say you did it and people will be impressed. The part that was actually worse for me than falling through the air or even jumping out of the plane was waiting to go up.

We went on a day that had questionable weather so we had to wait for about 3 hours before we went up. The entire time my stomach was in knots, especially when I saw the plane we were going to jump out of…

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I was lucky enough to have a very kind and professional man as my instructor so that did help calm me down a bit. He was very reassuring and walked me through the whole process.

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Cheesin’ with my instructor

The plane made me feel like I was in the cargo-hold of a regular passenger plane. The only thing to sit on were tiny benches and the door was just a thin piece of plastic that was easily rolled up and down.

When it was time to jump, my instructor patted me on the shoulder and we walked over to the open door. Before I knew what was happening, I was looking out onto open skies.

I knew that it wasn’t the time to hesitate so there I went!

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Ahhhhhhhh

My ears hurt a lot on the fall down. I originally thought it was because of the crazy loud sound of air rushing past my head, but later realized it was because of the pressure. I highly recommend popping your ears…I think that would have made my dive much more enjoyable.

I’m a super awkward person so I didn’t know what to do with my hands or my mouth the whole time (plus I have flabby chub cheeks from all the smiling I do), so please enjoy these hilarious pictures.

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I’m flying!
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About to pull the parachute. Goodbye!

After safely landing I was very glad to say I’ve experienced falling from 18,000 feet, but at the same time I’m not sure I want to do it again anytime soon! But who knows, maybe someday… 😉

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Coming in for a landing
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Jon and I happy to be alive

If you’re interested in doing a dive, this place is great. They have good prices, great views to jump to (hello Pacific ocean, I see you), and incredibly calming and knowledgable instructors. For prices, times, and more information, visit their website, www.skydivemontereybay.com. Whatever you do, DON’T SKIP BUYING THE VIDEO! Watching myself jump out of a plane makes my stomach turn every time. It’s so worth the extra money.

If you want to watch my skydiving video, check it out here (if you want to just see the jumping skip to 1:20):


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/156745765″>Sky Diving in Monterey</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user47937123″>BayAreaWeekend</a&gt; on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

17-Mile Drive

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Since we were in Monterey with a few more hours of daylight to kill, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to go on the 17-mile drive. This route takes about an hour to complete if you stop and take photos (and trust me, you will want to stop and take photos).

Even just on the way to the 17-mile drive, we saw so much beauty. One of the most gorgeous was these crazy purple flowers. I have had a tough time finding much information about what kind they are online as most people refer to them simply as The Purple Carpet. Some photos I found online refer to them as mesembryanthemum and others as the Ice Plant. If you know, please tell me in the comments!

They usually blossom between April and mid-June so definitely make sure to make a stop this spring if you can. This was alongside the town of Pacific Grove where there were many cute shops and places to grab a bite to eat.

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When we reached the entrance, we had to stop and pay a $10 fee (this is per car), which also included a map of all of the points of interest. Check out an online interactive map of the 17-mile-drive right now at www.pebblebeach.com.

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The Lone Cypress

The first thing that caught my eye about this drive was all of the spectacular views of the ocean it provides. There were tons of tidepools and rocks to scramble over and we definietly took the opportunity.

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While all of the vistas are grande in this drive, we really enjoyed the diversity of trees and plant life as well, like the plethora of cypress. We were running out of daylight so we weren’t able to stop at all of the destinations, but you can check them out here.

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Conclusion

If you’re heading to Monterey for the day, you can’t get a better blend of extreme and serene than jumping out of an airplane and then going on a peaceful drive down the coast. If you ask me, it’s the perfect balance.

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Have you ever been skydiving? Would you do it again? Share you experience in the comments below!

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