Venus and Ruby J have been making chapters in life for more than 30 years. When you don't have a sister, a best friend is the next best thing.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Ah, fall has finally arrived. As Mother Nature eases mankind into this beautiful season Ruby J and I are packing our bags for a Wimberley, Texas ziplining trip. I know you are thinking, WHAT? What are two middle-aged women (who believe they are still 17) thinking? Are the insurance policies up-to-date? Do they have a death wish? Ziplining, really? Well, it’s on our list of things we want to do, so after months of research and locating the perfect spot (that promises lots of shopping opportunities also) we make our reservations.
The planning stage is where the thrill begins. We watch videos of ziplining locations across the country looking for the perfect spot. The Wimberley Zipline Tours caption screams, “Prepare for high flying fun as you glide through the air on the most exciting Ziplines in Texas.” Excitement mixed with adrenalin causes me to pause for a moment of silence seeing my life pass before me before I hit the “send” button. Ah, it’s done. We are really going to do this crazy thing. Just as I relax and start visualizing the freedom of zipping through the air, flying over canyons, passing streams and gorges, breathing fresh mountain air, Ruby J starts sending me “death” ziplining horror videos. GREAT, just great!
Hum, something tells me she may not be totally committed to this venture. However, if she were truly “out” I know she would say something, but come on, she has walked all over a flea market with me wearing an umbrella hat. As the days get nearer, we text each other back and forth counting down until it’s finally here. Bags packed (trunk and back seat full) we put the top down on Hepburn and head south on IH35. We made plans to stop in Hillsboro to have lunch at Mimi and Papa’s. These are old friends, near and dear to our hearts. There is nothing better than a good meal, talking about old times and getting hugs from people who feel more like family than friends. Until we meet again, Mimi offers an old saying making me smile as we jump in the car and continue on our dare devil girl trip.
Cursing down IH35 even the wind whipping past us doesn’t cause us to miss a beat in conversation. We have our hair tucked up in our trusty 9-1-1 baseball caps (in case we get pulled over), sunglasses and ice tea. Before you know it we are in Round Rock and pull in to shop for unfound treasures. We strike big at the shops and realize we will be hitting Austin at rush hour traffic. No fear….WE ARE ON VACATION!!!! Turning off the highway in San Marcos we make a pit stop then jump on the two lane country roads, following Hepburn as she guides us all the way to the front door of our country abode. “You have arrived,” she says confidently.
Unpacked, we can’t believe how beautiful the place is; we have all the comforts of home and don’t even have to share a bed….yeah! It’s late, there is a cool breeze drifting through the windows and we have a nice spread of cheese, olives, crackers, fruit and pastry cream horns stuffed with icing. Life is good. Tomorrow is a shopping day and we have mapped out every shop in town. For now, we need our beauty rest to withstand the temptations of items that will surely want to go home with us.
We hit the shops early and after shopping we decided we literally walked 8 hours today. This will help me with my fitness pal entries, because I did not stick to my diet. Let’s see 8 hours times a zillion equals hum, I can eat all I want for two years and never gain a pound. Cool. See, shopping is healthy. One of the best places we found today was a little shop called Climb On. It was like a candy store of natural beauty products. Heaven! They had me at “pure”. I think we bought one of everything in the store then made sure we were on their email list, phone list, FaceBook and Twitter. We could not wait to get back to the casa and try the purest of pure. I could tell Ruby J looked 15 years younger just standing in the store holding the stuff.
With our dogs barking, it was nice to kick off those flip flops and get in our PJ’s. Dinner tonight is a smorgasbord of goat cheeses, crab, sauces and avocado; by the way, did I say we had fresh baked pie from the Wimberley Pie Company? Still that didn’t help our nerves as we talk about tomorrow – D- day. With the lights off I start to sink into slumber when I hear Ruby J praying:
Oh Lord, won't you bring me some lightening and rain?
My friend wants to go ziplining, she must be insane.
Worked hard all my lifetime, now broken bones are my pain,
So Lord, won't you bring me some lightening and rain?
Oh Lord, won't you give me a helping hand?
My friends mid life crazy her heads in the sand.
I wait for a sign each day Lord as dementia sets in.
So oh Lord, won't you give me a helping hand?
Oh Lord, won't you buy me some silver jewelry?
I'm counting on you, Lord, please don't let me down.
Prove that you love me and buy the next round,
Oh Lord, won't you buy me some silver jewelry?
Morning comes with the most beautiful sun rise, clear skies and crisp air. We watch a small herd of deer outside our window as we enjoy coffee and cream horns. Dressing quietly we gather our gear then head out early not realizing we are only about 10 minutes away from the site. I use the excuse I didn't want to get caught in the Wimberley morning rush hour traffic….it’s 9:30 and there’s not a car on the road. Parked, we slowly get out, recheck our gear and walk to the welcome center. We do the usual meet and greet as our guides help us put on harnesses, helmets and gloves. There are 10 of us dare devils. Two sets of old friends and three couples celebrating their anniversaries. The guides start giving us the do/do not speech. “Fingers cut off,” got my attention real quick. Taking in all the instructions we are admitted to flight school. Of course, we passed with flying colors. I mean it was only two feet off the ground. I’d have felt bad if we failed. Giddy we talk back and forth as our nerves get the best of us, when the guide hollers for us to load up in the back of the truck. We all scrunch in as the driver begins to climb the mountain and I notice I’m griping the rail with an iron claw.
At the first plateau, we gather as a group (yes we had to hike up Mount Everest). The guides talk about the history of the land and terrain. Then it’s up another mountain as we reach our first zip line. It’s called the Bunny Run. Ruby J is third in line and I’m directly behind her. Fear quickly diminished after we zipped like pro’s and made it to the bottom without even a scratch. WooHoo, let’s do it again! Fashionesta zippers! Ruby points out how good we look in harnesses and helmets. We could have blended in with construction workers or well diggers easily. I might get Ruby J a construction belt for Christmas this year. Pink of course. I could always glue a tiara on the helmet to add a touch of bling.
Zip one, zip two, zip three….let me go first, zip four, zip five….love it, love it…zip six, zip seven, and sadly zip eight. No, we want more; give us more, can we work here? Let’s do it again. How can it be over, we just got here? If we walk very slowly maybe they will think we are with that next group and we can go again. Ah, I don’t wanna go (foot stomping).
Super psyched on adrenalin we say our goodbyes and realize we are starving. A late lunch at Lucy and Ethel’s was just the right fit for the day. Still energized we drive to Dripping Springs, just to see if treasures there might be trying to find us, but no, we were already spoiled by Wimberley’s gracious hospitality so we head back to town. But wait, oh my, we see a store we missed yesterday and must stop in. We find the perfect gift for our dwelling host, buy some local wine then are ready to have dinner and turn in for the day. Our last eatery is Milagros Hill County Tex Mex. It’s a good thing we got their early, because when we left, the line was out the door. As our energy winds down, we know this is our last night before we pack up and head home. We spend what’s left of the day reminiscing about how we overcame our fears of ziplining and start planning our next adventure.
We wake early and on the 10 hour drive home we never stop talking about our adventure, past adventures, future adventures and as always about old friends and times gone by. Another goal marked off our list and another story to remember always.