Sunday, May 28, 2017

Live life adventurously

For her birthday celebration this year, Grace chose to try Go Ape! a treetop obstacle course at the Mill Stream Reservation in Strongsville, OH.  It is a high ropes course with a series of rope bridges, Tarzan swings, and ziplines.

You have to be 10 years old and 55 inches tall as the minimum requirement so it was a perfect adventure for her special, double digit birthday.

Due to the price and the need for close adult supervision (1 adult for every 2 kids) Grace was allowed to invite 3 friends to go with us.  She tends to hang out with the boys at school more than the girls. Maybe there is less drama.  Maybe the boys are more active and fun. But whatever the reason, she decided to invite Jacob, Ben, and Noah to join us.

Watching them together and listening to them in the car, I have to admit she made a great decision. They are all really sweet and polite and they supported each other when things got a little difficult and scary on the course. I am happy she has such nice kids to call her friends.

Since there were only a few kids, we were able to buy each one a shirt and fingerless gloves.  They must have liked them since they put them on immediately. They even said the gloves would be used later this summer as "biking gloves"!

When we got to the Go Ape! lodge, Kyle and I signed to take responsibility for two kids each.  At that point we didn't know what we were getting into!  The challenges were just that - CHALLENGING - so there are no photos of us up in the trees!

After putting on our harnesses and about 20 minutes of training and practice on low obstacles, we were set off on our own.

At the beginning of each station you had to climb a wiggly rope ladder to the first platform.  Then, you transfer your safety equipment to the cables, double check, and figure out a way to get across to the next tree.  Transfer again and tackle the next "bridge".

I use the term "bridge" loosely as they looked something like these...

It took about 3 hours, but we all made it.  No injuries and we didn't lose any kids.  That's a victory.

The zipline at the end of each group of obstacles was like a reward for actually making it.  It was hot and humid so flying through the trees was a cool relief!

The kids devoured snacks in the van (Thanks Jill and Kent for lending it to us!) and we went to Dairy Queen for a meal and ice cream.  Kyle and I were reminded why we only have one child.  They were fun and entertaining, but a little crazy together!  We were ready to return them to their parents after a 6-hour birthday celebration.

Back at the house they ate more sugar and Grace opened her presents.

The feedback is that it was a lot of fun and they all want to go again!  As for me...I am going to be sore tomorrow.

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