Sunday, October 9, 2011

365 Project - Day 282 - "Flying High at Thirty-Five"

October 09, 2011 - "Flying High at Thirty-Five"

It's my birthday. My thirty-fifth, to be exact.

And it has turned out to be the single-best birthday, ever!

The day began with my BFF Lenny "kidnapping" me - at what I thought was waaaaaaay too early for anyone to have to be awake on their birthday, especially when it falls on a Sunday! We headed to the Holiday Diner for a wonderful breakfast and conversation... before heading up to "Shooters" in New Milford for an hour of "release", with five pistols... and a LOT of ammunition. Some 9mm... some .22-cal... and a ton of 40-cal rounds hitting targets. It felt awesome!

I thought that THAT was it... and believe me, THAT was already more than I could have ever hoped for - but Mr. Lenny had other plans. On the drive home, we passed the exit that would easily lead to my house... and the next thing I know we seem to be heading towards the mall. No big deal... and I'm thinking that Lenny is planning to hit the Mall - perhaps the Apple Store for some iPad dreaming or something to that effect. Then he pulls out a bag and tells me he has something for me. I look inside to find a small die cast Cessna plane. Pretty cool! I'm thinking it's just a freakin' cool little plane... then he tells me that there's "something else" inside. I open it to find a gift certificate for a 1/2-hour flight out of Danbury Airport! I'm freakin' shocked!

Lots of jokes about the pilot having only two flights under his belt... lots of talk about recent plane crashes in the area... and next thing I know I'm sitting at the controls of a tiny puddle-jumper - and we're taking off! Slow climb... a little jittery... a few dips and "bumps" that send my stomach into a flurry - then we turn and head out over the Mall and towards Candlewood Lake - and the pilot says "You have the controls!" - and the next thing I know, I'm flying! I think he's completely joking until my nervous hand hits the wheel a bit too far to the right and the plane jolts that way and I realize "HOLY SHIT! I'M FREAKIN' FLYING!".

It was incredibly awesome! We flew out over Candlewood Lake - and looked down at my house - before turning, heading over New Fairfield... FCI... then Danbury High School - before aiming towards the Mall - and Tarrywile Park, which is the subject of today's photo. We looked out over the horizon and could see the Manhattan skyline to the right... and Long Island and The Sound to the left. The pilot took back the controls for the landing... which was incredibly smooth.

More jokes... and a promise to kill Lenny at some point in the future.

My heart racing... my palms sweaty... and me, happy as hell!

We make our way to the Sycamore for a quick round of Root Beer Floats - before heading home. I'm thinking that this is the most incredible birthday I could possibly have... and I'm planning to go in the house, relax a bit... maybe watch some football... then go to the dinner that Holly told me she had reservations for later.

I walk in the door - to the sight of a table overflowing with food... and dozens of people shouting "SURPRISE!!!" - while party horns blew and my heart starts racing again! I was set up! So much excitement and shock, it took me more than a few moments just to figure out who the hell all of these people were!

Family and Friends everywhere... hugs... happiness... laughter - it was, perhaps, the single-most wonderful feeling I've experienced since the birth of my children!

Wonderful conversations... Great food... Lots of laughter... More food... a great game of "Pin the tail on the donkey"... even MORE food... music... dessert... more dessert... even more dessert - a terrific viewing of "JAWS"... followed by "The Big Lebowski".

Now it's almost 11:30PM... everyone is gone and now I'm relaxing on the couch... STILL IN SHOCK!

Today was - without a doubt - the most wonderful day... the BEST birthday I've ever had - or could ever hope to imagine!

To all of you who made this day so wonderful - THANK YOU!!!

I love you ALL... so very much!

Life truly IS, good!

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